Simple Things You Can Do Today To Improve and Update Your Kitchen Style
Whether you actually like to cook or not, the kitchen is usually the heart of a home and where people gather to share and create memories. However, for many of us, just the thought of stepping foot in there for any significant amount of time fills us with dread. From the space being too small or dark, to not being able to find anything and just an overall feeling of being cluttered, sometimes our kitchen is just not a fun place to be. But what can you do about?
You might think that revamping your kitchen space requires spending big bucks, but in reality, there are small things you can do today to give the room new life without having to spend much of anything at all. Small things like adding color and light can make a huge difference and actually make you want to get in there and whip up a few things. Whether you’ve lived in your home for years or just got the keys, we’re giving you five easy to-do tips that will help you fall back in love with your kitchen today.
The main thing that makes a kitchen feel blah and useless is all the clutter and disorganization. Cabinets filled with junk and not being able to find things you actually need can fill you with unnecessary stress and frustration. You can alleviate that problem asap by simply throwing out things that no longer serve you and getting more organized so that your kitchen becomes functional.
Create A Focal Point
Unless you’ve designed it from scratch, most kitchens come with bland white walls that say nothing about your personality and style. Use the backsplash to make a statement by using stick and peel contact paper to add pops of color and create a focal point in the space.
The kitchen is the heart of the home. Make it a lively and inviting place by adding a small countertop speaker to play your favorite tunes. Not only will it add to the decor, but the added beats can encourage conversation, dancing and good vibes.
HOW MUCH IS ALL THIS COSTING? PLUS, YOUR OTHER BURNING BUDGET QUESTIONS AROUND OUR RENOVATION
sent out a call for questions regarding the financials around renovating. There were so many amazing questions, so we tried to grab those most frequently asked (and juicy!) ones, so we can answer them here. We’ve learned so much over the last 12 years about budgeting for projects and hope to shed some light on this topic. Design, time, space, manpower, a plan; all things needed for your renovation/remodeling. But let’s be honest, probably the aspect of renovating that scares people most is the money. Reading through your questions, I realized there’s a lot of mystery around it.
A big part of renovating is budgeting. In fact, I would feel 100% confident in saying we are able to renovate BECAUSE WE BUDGET. So we’re going to pull back the curtain a bit, share our approach to our budget, as well as answer many of the questions sent in on Instagram from all of you.
Of course we won’t pretend we don’t then get the partners and sponsorships — we fully recognize that benefit and perk of our job — but any money saved by those things stays in our project account and goes toward our next project. For us, that means more consistent projects and keeps us and our team employed, but the principle of having the money first, has been the biggest contributor over time to our expanding project budget.
Another major piece is having a process/system for tracking your money. And not in a restrictive way – that’s the wrong mindset. In a freeing way. “We get to spend this much money on our family vacation!” “This money is going toward the bathroom!” This is for my monthly decor budget!” It’s exciting and fun to make plans for your hard-earned dollars.
these are things we are so on board with:
1. Give Every Dollar a Job
Budgeting doesn’t give you more money. It gives your money more purpose.
2. Embrace Your True Expenses
Figure out what you really spend and treat those infrequent expenses (like twice-a-year car insurance or replacing your laptop every two years) like monthly expenses in your monthly budget. When the time comes to pay them, you ain’t sweatin’ it.
3. Roll With the Punches
Accept that things change and your budget needs to be flexible. You won’t spend the same amount on all categories every month, so be prepared to move money around. Moving money around doesn’t mean you are budgeting wrong; it’s a sure sign you’re engaged, and what could be more right?! We talk more about how this one came into play BIG time this year with our exterior renovation below.
4. Age Your Money
Break the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle by aiming to reach the point of using the money you earned last month to pay this month’s expenses. This is the part that is most freeing, and when you really begin to love it. This is what has allowed us to renovate more and more. We have rolled over our money and aged it for over a decade!
KITCHEN DECORATING IDEAS
Fall kitchen decorating has become so fun for me! Maybe it’s because this is the first time I’ve been able to decorate my kitchen here at the Tanglewood house. So, come on in and see fall in my newly renovated kitchen
The kitchen is not quite finished. There are still lots of little things that need to be done! So this week the workers will be back. And I’ll temporarily move the fall decor until they are done!
BEST FALL KITCHEN DECORATING IDEA
No matter where your kitchen is located in you home, keep the fall decorations and the color palette the same as the rest of your home. I love, love love the look of a cohesive home! And two of the biggest ways to create a gorgeous look no matter what season you are decorating for is to
My kitchen is white so it is easy to add almost any color to it when I decorate. But I also know that using the same color palette as the rest of the fall decor in my home will make a beautiful, pulled-together look! Even a color palette can be considered a repeated element
Did you notice all the white pumpkins scattered about? I call County “pumpkin land”! As I drive there are fields and fields of pumpkins! Pumpkins fill roadside stands and farmer’s markets here! So, I’ve used them liberally throughout our house. They are repeated fall decor. Subconsciously your eyes have been looking for them because they see white pumpkins as a repeated pattern in my home
Budget Kitchen Upgrades for Every Kitchen that Will Change the Way You Cook
Cooking is much more fun when you have all the right gear to make your food dreams into food reality. If you have a contentious relationship with your kitchen, the problem may have to do with things like dull knives or the wrong tools, requiring you to undertake boring, repetitive tasks to make the simplest things.
I love to cook, and I think part of the fun for me is having the toys in my kitchen to play with when a recipe strikes my fancy or I get a crazy idea. Of course cooking is going to be more fun when you have the right equipment—laboring away in an under-equipped kitchen can lead to a ton of time-consuming, boring, manual labor that could be easily accomplished with the right multi-taskers in your kitchen cabinets.
A Good, Sharp Knife
If you haven’t used a quality knife while cooking, you haven’t lived. There’s nothing like flying through kitchen tasks with a trusty, sharp blade to make you feel like at home in the kitchen. Just make sure you buy quality, buy sharp, and buy a knife that compliments you. We’ll get to that in a moment, but before we go further it’s worth noting you don’t have to break the bank on quality knives—consider them an investment, but there’s no need to take out a second mortgage.
explains, “Your knives do not need to be the latest and greatest available, only well maintained. Knives should fit who you are, your cooking style, your hand, and most importantly, your budget.” We agree. Make sure you try out before you buy, and you should probably have two or three good, sharp knives that you like in your kitchen.
also suggests you keep your knives happy: “Sharp knives cut and dull knives tear. This is something that a chef in culinary school taught me and I will never forget it. Sharp knives allow you to be precise, get professional grade cuts, butcher proteins with ease and make chopping veggies a lot easier.” He notes that if your knives are losing their edge, pick up a honing steel—something we’ve shown you how to use before
Ways To Simplify Your Kitchen That Make a Big Difference
When you simplify the kitchen, everything gets streamlined and the days flow easier. Since so much of life is lived in the kitchen, paring things down so that it’s completely manageable simplifies life on pretty much all levels.
When the kitchen is streamlined it’s easier to prepare meals and whatever mess happens through the rest of the house isn’t as overwhelming, because there is one area that is simple and easy to do what you need to do in.
Pare down the Tupperware.
Pull all your food storage containers out of their drawer or cupboard and immediately discard all the cheap plastic containers (think: yogurt, sour cream & cottage cheese containers). If they can be recycled, then great. But if not, don’t worry about it – you need to just get them out of your home and cupboard. Look at what’s left and pick out enough containers to last you a week: approximately 10. I keep only 10 containers and there are 7 people in our house. Keeping it down to this amount means that when you see there are no more containers available it’s time to clean and fridge and have a left-over night for dinner. This prevents containers from being pushed back in the fridge, forgotten and growing.
Evaluate the decorations.
Do you love the decorations in your kitchen? Or are they there because “that’s what should be there.” I see this most with cupboards and tall ceiling: most people feel that there needs to be plants or ceramics or some cute shabby chic decoration. If you love these items, then keep them. But if they are just there because “there is supposed to be something up there,” and the dust on the plastic ivy annoys you… then take those suckers down and be free of them. It will give your kitchen some breathing room and there will be no more “I should dust that” thoughts running through your head.
Minimize the dishes.
Getting down to only the dishes you use daily is a tremendous help. It forces one to wash dishes consistently, which means that the dirty dishes never take over the kitchen again. You know… the ones when you’ve waited for 4 days to catch up on dishes and now it’s going to take 3-4 hours to do them all? When you pare down to only what you use each day, they can all be done in a few minutes and you can start fresh in the morning. Forcing yourself into a new routine is one of the best ways to develop it: there are no other options.