We are not talking about a new side return and bespoke kitchen cabinets, here. (Although there are some amazing Black Friday kitchen deals if you are heading down this route…).
No, we mean quick fixes to make your kitchen look more stylish, and work better for you while you’re cooking.
We’ll go into detail about Christmas decorations in another piece but for now, here are some kitchen transformation ideas you still have time to implement before the big day.
Yep, the most straightforward way to give your kitchen a new look is to get rid of all the stuff you don’t use. Invest in a copy of Debora Robertson’s book Declutter and study the chapter on Cooking and Eating.
“Believe me, if you get your kitchen right, everything else will flow from there,” she writes. Kitchen declutttering, according to Robertson, is about confronting the truth of who you are and getting rid of appliances – bread makers, spiralizers etc – that are just not you; chucking away plastic containers with no lids and rationalising your spice collection.
If you must invest in a new kettle or toaster (always better for the planet to get them fixed, remember), try to find one that matches your existing appliances.
If you have a red toaster, microwave, or fridge, for example, obviously you will want to go for a red kettle.
Update your splash back
Changing the splash back behind your cooker and sink is an easy way to overhaul the look of your kitchen without buying new units. If money is no object, go for hexagonal tiles from Popham Design.
Rethink Your Lighting
Lighting is key in a kitchen: it needs to be bright enough for you to be able to see what you are doing but ideally it should also be attractive – i.e. not too many of those harsh LED spots.
Invest in statement lights above your kitchen island or table and backlights inside glass cupboards or above your work surface. For traditional over-island lights, check out Hector Finch – we love their globe pendant and glass bells.
For something more contemporary try Heal’s or Made.com. Don’t underestimate the beauty of wall lights, either, as an alternative to harsh ceiling spotlights. Neptune has some tasteful options that don’t cost the earth.
You’ll have to get an electrician to fix up your new lights (and a handyman to fill and paint around the mess they leave) but the effect is more than worth the expense. If you’re installing a new system, make sure it is on a dimmer to allow for more atmospheric lighting when you’re entertaining.
By the way, if you’re in London the only handyman you should be using (in my opinion) is Bits, Bobs and Odd Jobs.
Another job for a handyman that can transform the usefulness of your kitchen. In tall cupboards, consider installing a couple of extra shelves; or mount some floating shelves on your wall for cookbooks, matching bottles for oils, herbs, spices and condiments. Corralling similar items together on a shelf adds order to chaos and is an inexpensive way of decorating.
Get Out The Paint Brush
A surefire way to change the look of your kitchen. According to Edward Bulmer, of Edward Bulmer Natural Paint, people are really starting to bring more colour into their kitchens, sometimes even quite contrasting colours.
“However this is usually grounded with a more neutral shade of a colour,” he says. “Other people go for the off whites and greys, preferring light shades of greens (Eau de Nile), blues (Sky Blue) and hot favourite is our neutral Lilac Pink (which is neither lilac nor pink). He recommends using linseed oil eggshells, which have a luxurious finish and are extremely hard wearing.
Should you be painting your island the same colour? Definitely, says Bulmer. “People are also painting their cupboards in different shades: favourites are Invisible Green, Rose Pink, Brimstone and Vert de Mer.”