Kitchen confidential: Simple functional design hacks

Kitchen confidential: Simple functional design hacks

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Presenting a few ideas for a beautiful kitchen that offers functionality for optimum space use.

In a perfect world, you would have a large kitchen with a huge dining table and enough space to fit all your appliances in. But we’re not in a perfect world, and your kitchen is probably not as large as you want it to be. Yet, there are ways to have the best kitchen décor with simple hacks.

* Open up the walls and invite the light in.

The simplest decorating idea for the kitchen involves streaming as much natural light into the area as possible. It makes the kitchen appear larger. Open up the largest external wall and fit it with glass shutters to invite the light in (but do check the direction of the wall, since you don’t want harsh Southern light flooding right in). Place the dining table as close to the light as possible, while moving the cooking surfaces away from it.

* Cabinets under the counter, shelves on the walls.

Your kitchen needs a large amount of storage space for pots, pans, cutlery, crockery, spices, jars, cleaning materials, etc. But here’s where it gets interesting – most people opt for overhead and below-counter cabinets to stow everything away. While this creates a lot of storage, it also creates a lot of ‘visual clutter’; the kitchen looks busy, and not in a nice way. A handy decorating idea for the kitchen involves clearing up the space by adding shelves on the walls and cabinets under the counter.

* Let the prep/serving counter serve as the dining table.

A small kitchen will not have the space for a dining table. So, let the kitchen cooking top or serving counter do double duty as a dining table. This gives you the chance to add quirky bar stools or high chairs on one side. Another oft-ignored kitchen décor element is the addition of a large light fixture above the cooking island/dining table – it makes all the difference when you want to isolate the space from the rest of the house.

* Pull-out shelves can do all the heavy lifting.

You probably have a large selection of jars holding all the different spices and condiments you use while cooking. If these are taking up space on your counter, it’s time to put them away in a pull-away shelf. Add a narrow drawer under the cook top that holds about three shelves – let the drawer be open on two sides for easy access to whatever you need. Heavier drawers built in the same vein can also hold kitchen appliances like blenders, pressure cookers, etc. There, your counter is clutter-free already!

* Build the coffee maker, oven and toaster into the wall.

Here’s a kitchen design tip for added functionality: carve a large niche in the wall and deposit your oven, coffee maker and toaster into there. This way, you keep the counter free and the wall gets a quirky upgrade.

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