Baby Steps Toward a Better Kitchen

There's no doubt that the kitchen was once the center of family life. While that isn't usually the case in today's hectic world, many people spend more time in the kitchen than they'd like. Making the room practical, functional and attractive can minimize the time you have to spend working in the kitchen and maximize your enjoyment of that time. Take a look at some of baby steps toward a better kitchen. Removing the clutter - Clutter is the bane of many rooms and the kitchen is no exception. If you limit the amount of clutter piled up around your kitchen, you'll also be limiting the amount of time it takes to perform tasks, including clean up time.

Start by throwing away (or at least putting away) all that useless "stuff." If the bread machine has been sitting unused on the countertop for more than a couple of months, find somewhere to put it away. And if you're just never going to bake bread, this would be a good time to donate that monster to a local charity or put it in a garage sale.

Maximizing the space - You may be overlooking some important chances to make the most of your space. If you have a corner cabinet, consider adding a Lazy Susan (a circular shelf that rotates). Those are nifty little gadgets that let you use the entire space without losing everything that falls to the back corner of the cabinet. If you have cabinets with tall shelves (or no shelves at all), add some. You'll likely find what you need at a local hardware store or lumber supply. You'll likely find shelves that will fit right into your cabinet and many have holes already drilled for shelf supports.

If you're using raw lumber, you can even ask someone at the hardware store to cut the boards to the size you need. Add a touch of something - Whether it's "pretty," "elegance" or "class," adding some special touches will bring warmth to your kitchen. Curtains, rugs and even some new dishtowels will perk up your room. Change something - It may be time for a makeover. New cabinets, sink, faucets, countertops and appliances may be in order. On the other hand, if everything is still working well, you may find that changing some of the smaller points of the room will help.

One relatively inexpensive way to change the look of your kitchen is with new handles for your cabinets. Choose something bright or pick a finish to match your faucet. An antique look may be better suited for your kitchen.

Whatever you select, a small detail like new handles can jazz up the entire room. Add some light - Light can change the entire look of a room. Consider a new ceiling fan/light combo or even a fancy new shade for your existing light. Just because it's a kitchen doesn't mean that lamps aren't possible, and you can even use light to create a focal point - on that new wine rack, for example.

For more information about the latest in kitchen trends, starting with your kitchen cabinets, visit The Cabinet Case

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