7 Ways to Make Your Kitchen a More Personal Space

Written by Kevin Jefferson

Every kitchen needs to have some basic elements such as cabinets, sink, fridge, appliances, etc. and together with the necessity to boost functionality, adding a personal touch to this room can end up being a proper challenge. However, there’s always a way to make your kitchen more personal without making a mess. In case you’re interested in a personal kitchen makeover, the following ideas might come in handy.

1. Play with Colours

There are many ways you could utilise colours in your kitchen to leave traces of your personality and style. For starters, the shades you choose for your walls can make a lot of difference. In case you’re keen on keeping the main elements neutral, you can brighten up the space with vibrant chairs, cabinet hardware, cloths and towels, etc. In case you have a tile backsplash, adding patterned tiles randomly is a great decorative trick. For those of you looking for an impactful and effective yet budget-friendly backsplash solution, you can always go with waterproof vinyl wallpaper.

2. Interesting Lighting Solution

If you find it difficult to spot areas in your kitchen that have more room for personal décor, turn to your lighting. There are so many shade and cover options available on the market these days that you can turn your ordinary kitchen light fixture into a truly amazing and personal statement piece. Obviously, depending on what you want, you can make your lights stand out more or less, but still add a proper personal touch to this room.

3. The Cabinet Design

In case you find your kitchen cabinets a tad boring, you can always transform them, and your kitchen in the process, into something that truly fits your style and personality. The obvious answer is repainting them, but there’s so much more that you could do. Decoupage technique can turn out to be the ultimate makeover solution. You can also opt for an antique furniture DIY. Both of these are great for a more vintage or shabby chic look. With a self-adhesive vinyl wallpaper, you can give a completely new look to your countertops, as well. And if you feel really creative, you can draw or use stencils to add the more personal touch to your cabinetry.

4. Spice Up Your Storage

If you fancy the look of open shelves, you probably keep your spices and teas on there as well. But even if you don’t, you can start by introducing interesting containers such as jars and other personalised boxes where you would keep teas, spices, coffee, etc. instead in their usual cardboard packaging. Transparent jars are definitely the most popular trend but you can also get fully customised ceramic and plastic containers that already have an interesting design.

5. Add Art to Your Kitchen Walls

For those of you lucky enough to have free wall space, gallery walls would be the perfect addition to your kitchen. You can pretty much choose anything you want – and you definitely don’t have to stick to the typical kitchen wall art unless you want to. The eclectic style achieved with different style frames and art in general with regards to the setting is one of the most prominent and unique design ideas that has been trending lately.

6. Feel Free to Mix the Textures

If you wish to introduce more warmth to your kitchen area, mixing the textures is a great idea. The easy way out is to add decorative table cloths, chair cushions and curtains. But, if you don’t mind going all out, you can achieve a truly amazing and personal look by mixing metal, wood, tile, granite and even brick. And since it’s very important to have a functional smoke alarm and top-quality fire ducts for safety reasons, this particular trend can help you make these plain amenities more balanced and minimise the cold and impersonal vibe they tend to give off.

7. Bring in the Statement Piece

There are many items that can end up being your kitchen’s statement piece thus allowing you to add your own personal touch. Actually, statement pieces are especially great for smaller kitchens where you don’t have a lot of room to express your creativity. This can be a really unique DIY for your accent lighting cover but also an interesting piece of furniture such as a dining table if you keep one in your kitchen. Essentially, even a DIY mosaic for the window (you can use small stones and/or coloured glass pieces with glue) in your kitchen can look absolutely amazing and help you create the personal focal point for this room.

As you can see, it’s more than possible to personalise your kitchen space without having to clutter things up. However, it’s important to decide what creative addition you’re going to choose before doing anything else. After all, planning in advance will allow you to make the most out of your particular kitchen, its layout, and its size.

About Kevin Jefferson

Kevin Jefferson

Kevin Jefferson

Kevin has gone through an extensive home renovation with his son, which he has both thoroughly enjoyed, and dreaded every morning. He is now the proud owner of half his dream house (the other half has been waiting for spring). You can read more of Kevin’s work at PlainHelp.

Invite the Outdoors In

Despite the comfort and convenience it affords, modern society is contributing to a vanishing relationship with the natural environment. However, there are plenty of ways to bring nature indoors to reap the benefits of an earthy connection inside your home.

According to a survey commissioned by the Velux Group, a gap is growing between the time Americans spend outdoors and the time they’d like to spend in nature.

In the United States, 63% of survey participants said they average one hour or less a week in nature, but 88% agreed they would like to spend more time. In addition, the majority of respondents said they believe nature, daylight and fresh air have a positive impact on stress levels, and most also agreed those factors have a positive impact on mental well-being.

“Exposure to nature such as trees, plants and views of open spaces has been found to improve the cognitive ability to focus and read social cues,” said Arie Greenleaf, associate professor of counseling at Seattle University. “Even ADHD symptoms in children are mitigated by views of and interactions with nature in a host of different ways. Worker productivity, how people feel about the work they do and the level of engagement, improves with a view of nature.”

Despite ample research demonstrating the benefits, the study revealed a common theme, with 85% of participants believing they spent more time in nature as children than children do today. That’s a trend that translates into adult habits, too.

“With work and family responsibilities, we can’t always fit spending time outside into our busy schedules, effectively making us the indoor generation,” said Peter Foldbjerg, head of Daylight, Energy and Indoor Climate for The Velux Group. “One thing we can do is improve how our homes connect to nature: From houseplants and nature-inspired art to skylights and screened porches, there are a wide variety of options for creating nature connections in the place we spend most of our time – our homes.”

Learn how to bring more nature into your home with these decorating and design ideas:

Houseplants

Living plants not only add a touch of the outdoors, but they also help clean the air inside your home. In smaller spaces, even a few pots of herbs can add a refreshing touch of nature. If flat surfaces and floor space are at a premium, get creative with your wall space and incorporate shelving and wall-mounted planters.

Sunshine and fresh air

Whether it’s from windows or skylights, bringing natural light and fresh air inside can keep your space fresh and inviting. There are scientifically proven correlations between natural light exposure and mood, as well as your body’s ability to maintain its circadian rhythm. Refreshing the air in your home can help eliminate volatile organic compounds, pet dander and microparticles from cooking and cleaning.

If your home is lacking in natural light, a skylight may be easier to add than a window, and skylights bring in twice as much light as vertical windows; their angle allows more of the sun’s rays to reach farther into the room. Some skylights, including many offered by Velux, also offer venting options that can contribute to cleaner air.

Nature-inspired art

Studies have shown that simply viewing photos or paintings of nature scenes has mental and physical benefits. You can also use decorative mirrors to reflect natural light and make a space feel larger and brighter.

Botanically inspired patterns

Look to pillows, area rugs and wallpaper to incorporate patterns inspired by flowers, foliage or landscapes outside. These decorative elements can boost your spirits and create a welcoming environment indoors by reflecting the outdoor world.

Natural materials

Sisal rugs and baskets, wood planking and stone countertops or side tables can add texture and a touch of the natural world to your interiors. These materials let you incorporate nature into your design aesthetic with natural textures that not only look stylish but feel great, too.

Connect with Nature at Work

If you work outside your home, at least a third of your day may have you stuck inside an office. Make your work environment more appealing with these ideas that let you embrace nature even while you’re on the clock.

  • Incorporate natural life with a desk plant. You may feel more refreshed by that touch of green, and it helps clean the air around you, too.
  • Find the sunlight. Today’s offices actively promote free-range working, so find a sofa near a window and get your best work done there. Or spend a few hours working outside each day. If your office design is behind the times, take a daily walk outside during your lunch break.
  • Surround yourself with natural materials. Transform your desk-scape with a bamboo monitor stand, stone smartphone holder or woven seagrass inbox.
  • Trick the senses with natural soundscapes. Earbuds are a must in today’s open-plan offices. Instead of playing music, escape with nature-inspired tunes like rain, wind in the trees or forest birds.
  • Select art influenced by Mother Nature. Decorate with nature-inspired art, whether it’s photos of landscapes or a sunflower print.

Find more ideas for integrating the outdoors into your home design at whyskylights.com/outside-in. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Velux

8 Gift Ideas to Sink Your Teeth Into

When you’re shopping for someone who has everything he or she needs, finding the perfect gift can be a real challenge. Fortunately, there’s one type of gift that virtually everyone can appreciate: a kitchen gadget that answers their favorite food cravings. This guide offers some of this season’s most clever ideas, from the perfect cocktail mug to a vendor-style hot dog maker.

For the Home Entertainer

The Moscow Mule cocktail has been a beloved beverage for decades. This commemorated libation is so divinely delicious, it even has its own copper mug counterpart to bring out the drink’s smoothest, most refreshing flavors. The Mikasa Moscow Mule Mugis ideal for enjoying this famous drink – or any other cool, refreshing beverage – year-round. Available with either a hammered or smooth finish, each mug holds 16 fluid ounces and is handcrafted from solid copper with a food-safe, nickel-plated interior and a brass handle.

For the Home Chef

Sharp knives perform best in the kitchen, but many people don’t know how to properly sharpen their knives. Take out the guesswork with the Sabatier 12-Piece Edgekeeper Pro Self-Sharpening Knife Block Set. The set features five integrated sharpening slots with ceramic rods that hone the blade’s edge every time the knives are removed or placed back into the hardwood block. Each knife features an ergonomic, triple-riveted handle and the blades are made of high-carbon stainless steel, which is corrosion- and stain-resistant.

For the Cocktail Aficionado

This BarCraft 7-Piece Deluxe Wine Gift Setincludes all of the essential tools and accessories for opening, pouring, storing and enjoying a bottle of wine. The twist-action foil cutter makes it simple to quickly and easily remove the foil from nearly any bottle. The deluxe lever-arm corkscrew keeps the wine bottle in place with squeezable lever arms to remove the cork, and a wine pourer is ideal for spill-free pouring. The vacuum pump removes excess air from the bottle, helping prevent oxygenation and preserving freshness. Two included stoppers help keep wine bottles sealed tight.

For the Baker

Bake two different types of pies in one pan, or one traditional full-sized pie, in the Chicago Metallic Split Decision 9-Inch Pie Pan. The three-piece set includes a 9-inch pan and two inserts. One insert divides the pie in half, allowing two different types of pies to be baked at once. The second insert is for a full-sized pie. The lift-and-serve removable bottom allows you to push the baked pie up from underneath to easily remove the pie without wrecking the crust.

For the Foodie

Delight the foodie on your shopping list with a kitchen gadget that makes food preparation easier. The West Blade Large Flake Hand Grater features patented “tineless” blades, which enable effortless grating in both directions; perfect for rapidly shaving hard cheeses and creating delicate flakes of chocolate. The grater also comes with a hand guard attachment and a protective blade cover for storage.

For the Bagel Lover

The Hoan Bagel Guillotinemakes it easy to safely and effortlessly slice bagels in half. A cradle holds the bagel in place while two clear acrylic safety shields help keep fingers away from the bagel-piercing blade. It features precision ground serrated cutting edges and a Xylan-coated stainless steel blade for smooth slicing and durability.

For the Hot Dog Lover

Try a quick and easy way to make a perfectly cooked, vendor-style hot dog in the microwave with Hot Doglicious. This device cooks the hot dog and warms the bun at the same time for a ready-to-eat, in-the-bun hot dog in less than 55 seconds. The cooking chamber has unique ribs that pierce the dog’s casing, allowing it to grill and sear from the inside out, while the vent allows just the right amount of steam to escape to warm the bun for that delicious, concession stand-like taste.

For the Stocking

Preserve the freshness of leftover fruits and vegetables with Farberware Food Huggers, a set of four reusable silicone covers. Just push leftover produce down into the hugger that gives the snuggest fit and save it in the fridge. The food hugger creates a seal to hold in natural juices and prevent exposure to circulating air, which can cause food to spoil or dehydrate. Additionally, they’re dishwasher-, microwave- and freezer-safe. (Family Features)

SOURCE:
Lifetime Brands

Increase Kitchen Efficiency With Ease

As the festive season approaches and the calendar begins to populate, it’s important not to allow the stress of entertaining large groups to become a burden. Below are four tips to help organize a kitchen and host with ease, creating a functional space for family and friends to enjoy.

Plan in advance

Set aside time early in the week to plan the menu, from simple appetizers to the main entree. Grocery shopping apps, like AnyList, allow the whole family to share and build lists together — which can help avoid any last-minute trips to the grocery store. Also, try to identify dishes that can be prepared in advance so more time can be spent away from the kitchen when guests arrive.

Maximize storage and counter space

Optimize counter space by designing small stations for easy access to the necessities. A coffee bar “nook” complete with Keurig cups and mugs can help kick-start a busy day. Storage near the fridge should be stocked with foil and containers, ideal for packing up leftovers after a large party. Reserve the island counter for meal prep and the cabinets below for serving ware and glassware storage.

Keep all staples in arm’s reach

Cooking can be made simple by organizing the essentials. Keep similar tools together, such as bakeware and cookie sheets in one drawer, and pantry staples in another. Spices and herbs should be alphabetized and stored near the stovetop to effortlessly add flavor. For those with design in mind, opt for open shelves to showcase dishes and small kitchen accessories, such as succulents and cookbooks, while keeping everything within reach.

Simplify kitchen cleanup

Cleaning is often the most time-intensive chore in the kitchen, but if designed right, can be a breeze for home entertainers and kids alike. The Delta Foundry Kitchen Faucet complete with ShieldSpray Technology, available at the Home Depot, offers laser-like precision to contain splatter, meaning less soaking, scrubbing and shirt swapping. (BPT)