Ever notice that everyone seems to gather in the kitchen, despite the fact that there's dedicated seating in the living room or elsewhere? It's an unexplainable phenomenon. It's also the reason kitchen remodeling consistently ranks as one of the most popular remodeling projects.
There are lots of ways to create a more inviting and functional kitchen -- even when you're working within a tight budget and building or space restrictions. Here are some simple ways to improve your kitchen.
New appliances can update and unify a room, whether you choose to go with stainless steel or a trendy, brightly colored suite.
Keep energy efficiency in mind when purchasing home appliances. The energy efficiency of similar-looking appliances can vary significantly, and it's more cost-effective to purchase household appliances with high-efficiency ratings.
Also consider built-in ovens, microwaves and small appliance storage to declutter your kitchen. If you entertain regularly, you might want to think about a built-in wine refrigerator or a small countertop version that will conveniently keep a few bottles properly chilled for guests.
If there isn't enough room in your kitchen for a closet pantry, consider a roll-out pantry. These fit into an area about 18 inches wide by 5-1/2 feet tall. If there isn't room for any kind of pantry, consider converting a closet outside of the kitchen to a storage area for fine china, large pots and infrequently used items.Invest in Good Lighting
Good lighting is often overlooked. Install under-counter lighting and clean halogen lights to make your kitchen appear larger and more comfortable.Expand the Sink Area
A large sink will make it easier for you to clean large pots and pans, and it provides a great place to stash the dirty dishes before you have a chance to rinse them. If you live in an apartment or a small house, a large kitchen sink can do double duty as a utility sink too.Other Ideas
• Fasten wire baskets to the inside of cabinets to hold trash bags and other frequently used items.
• Mount an instant hot water heater on the sink.
• Install a tile backsplash on the walls above the counters, stove and sink.
• Update cabinet pulls and drawer knobs.
If you enjoyed this article, check out our free Kitchen Remodeling Center, which features expert advice, design and material comparisons, as well as custom price estimates for your remodeling project.