Is the reason your kitchen is only 50 percent functional is because it is cluttered, poorly organized or both? Use cabinetry and storage areas to maximize the area and create a beautiful space. Shelves, hooks, caddies and cooks can make the kitchen a clean, complementary and useful room.
If you want to update your kitchen to be stylish and functional, the following tips will improve kitchen storage and organization and will efficiently mesh flair with practicality.
Little changes can make a big difference in the functionality of your room. Find unused space — like the 4 to 6 inch gap between your appliances and the wall — and maximize it. For example, a customized narrow, rolling shelf can hold canned goods and be tucked into tight spaces. Mount the microwave under the cabinetry to open up counter space. Hang knives or spice jars on metal wall strips underneath the microwave to use the space in a creative and decorative way. Create a custom a breakfast bar in an adjacent room complete with a coffee maker, toaster and cereal containers to help get other appliances off the counter.
A folding counter top mounted to the wall or side of an island can create more working space or even serve as a temporary kitchen table. Counter height stools from a source like VisionDecor.com are great because you can tuck them under your counter top to save space. For an extra pop, paint them a bright hue or use a deep stain. In the breakfast nook, use built-in benches with storage underneath instead of bulking chairs that can take too much room. If your kitchen is missing an island, invest in a rolling kitchen cart that can be brought out when extra space is needed.
Use Cabinets, Not Counter Tops
Removing mixers, toasters, blenders and other bulky items from the counter tops will also help maximize your space. This will expand your workspace and keep your kitchen looking clean and clutter-less. Use pull-out racks to organize baking dishes in deep cabinets or hooks to hang pots and pans decoratively and efficiently. (See this great tutorial from This Old House on how to install your pull out kitchen racks, here.)
De-clutter Fridge Front
Remove photos, large magnets and paper notices from the refrigerator that make it look heavy and dark. A clean white, black or reflecting metal refrigerator — free of clutter — brightens up a room almost in the same effect as adding a window. If necessary, hang a small caddy for pens and paper on the side of the fridge, or add a single photo to the front for a little personalized detail. For items you used to hang on the fridge, mount a frame with side-by-side cork-and-chalk boards. There, you can pin notes and photos and write messages or to-do lists.
Flood the Space With Light
Like a blank fridge opens up a room, strategic lighting can update the room with a stylish flair. Trying to avoid heavy curtains in the kitchen, natural light streaming through a thick, decorative window pane (like this one featured on Emily Shares) brightens up the room and your mood while doing dishes or making dinner. If adding a window or skylight isn’t an option, use can lights to illuminate the loneliest of kitchen corners. Don’t ignore your main source of light, either. If adding a shapely light fixture or bold pop of color is feasible, go for it.
Elizabeth Kennedy studied creative writing in college and is working on a book of poetry. She is a stay-at-home and real housewife of New Jersey.