5 Ways You Can Upgrade Your Small Kitchen for Comfort and Style
It’s said that the kitchen is the heart of a home. If your current kitchen no longer meets your lifestyle or design preferences, now is the time to consider a remodel. According to a Forbes survey, the average cost of a kitchen remodel in the United States is $28,030, which is a significant amount of money. Fortunately, there are tons of small kitchen upgrade ideas that do not require such an immense monetary investment. In fact, there are plenty of do-it-yourself small kitchen upgrade ideas that will improve the comfort and style of your space without breaking the bank.
When you want to fall in love with your kitchen all over again, consider the following small kitchen upgrade ideas.
Install a Fire Sprinkler System
More common in commercial buildings than residential, fire sprinkler systems are also a beneficial addition to your home, particularly when installed in the kitchen. Fire sprinklers are water-discharging devices that are activated when a fire is detected. Whether you have Cypress wood ceilings or tiles, your kitchen ceiling is an ideal place to install a fire sprinkler system. Why? When activated, fire sprinkler systems release water, which suppresses fire. In the kitchen, you don’t have to worry about your suede sofa or expensive smart TV getting ruined, but you still get the benefit of fire suppression.
When it comes to installing a fire sprinkler system, there are a few available options. Wet fire sprinklers are by far the most commonly used systems because they get the job done and are very cost-effective. A wet fire sprinkler system is constructed with steel pipes and emits pressurized water when the sprinkler head is switched on. These systems help with fire suppression, giving you and your family extra time to safely exit your home.
Another option is a dry fire sprinkler system. This system uses compressed air and larger pipes to release the pressurized water, and it is more expensive than a wet sprinkler system. There are also foam fire sprinklers and deluge fire sprinklers, but those tend to be used more in commercial properties.
Worried about water in your kitchen? It’s a legitimate concern, as there can be a bit of water damage if the sprinklers release too much water too quickly. However, any water damage caused by a sprinkler system pales in comparison to the damage caused by the pressure of a fire hose. Additionally, smoke damage and fire restoration services are a more complicated process than fixing water damage, and hiring water damage cleanup experts ensures that you will not have to worry about lasting damage.
Add a Bar to Your Kitchen
Thinking about small kitchen upgrade ideas? Why not add a bar? Perhaps the most obvious benefit of a bar is that you will have additional surface space, and if you place the bar strategically, you may even be able to increase your counter space.
A kitchen bar is one of the most perfect small kitchen upgrade ideas for people who love to entertain. With a bar, you will have the option to eat in a dining room while leaving food on the bar for those who want seconds or thirds. For formal dinners, this can be an important benefit. If you love to design and decorate your table according to the occasion, you have much more freedom if you do not have to worry about how you will fit all of the food on the table. For more informal gatherings, like a Superbowl party, bars are the perfect spot to put snacks and finger foods. The bar area keeps the snacks in reach but still out of the way.
Another great thing about adding a bar to a small kitchen is that you have an automatic border that defines your kitchen space. This can come in handy for a number of reasons, but if you host a lot of parties, a bar is an easy way to keep your home compact and easy to understand. A bar also encourages communication in a way that having snacks randomly spread through your kitchen or dining room does not. A bar will also give people a spot to gravitate towards, which helps keep your party feeling intimate without leaving guests feeling claustrophobic.
Beyond being the perfect addition for families who enjoy entertaining, a bar is a great and informal place for the family to gather. Enjoy a light snack together, work on a family jigsaw puzzle, or complete arts and crafts easily at your bar. The style of your bar is completely up to you and the design is fully customizable. Experiment with various window coverings or bar wallpaper until you find the perfect solution for your space.
Add a Breakfast Nook
Adding a breakfast nook is one of the most popular small kitchen upgrade ideas, but many homeowners assume you need a larger kitchen to accommodate the creation of a breakfast nook. This is not true. Breakfast nooks fit conveniently into homes with all kinds of floor plans, and can actually be beneficial to smaller kitchens. Traditionally thought of as cozy, you can design a breakfast nook that is as charming or sleek as you want it to be.
If you think that adding a breakfast nook is a bit of a hassle just to have a space designated for lighter meals, there is so much more that this area of your kitchen can be used for.
Breakfast nooks provide you with a major increase in surface area, which supplements the counter space you already have. Even larger kitchens with islands can benefit from additional surface space. A breakfast nook is a perfect spot to gather the family for mealtime, but it’s also an ideal place to do food prep without having to be on your feet the whole time.
For families with younger children, a breakfast nook can be an ideal space for painting, coloring, or doing puzzles. This gives your child a sense of independence, but you can keep an eye on them easily while you work in the kitchen. If you have school-aged children, this area will become a quick favorite after-school hangout area. You can serve your kids, or have them serve themselves, a quick snack and take a few minutes to talk to them about the day they had. Additionally, a breakfast nook is the perfect homework spot because it’s free from distractions like the television in the living room or the toys in their bedrooms.
When thinking of a breakfast nook, most people envision an area near a kitchen window, and if you have a window in your kitchen, this can be a great space to place yours. Placing a bench under the window, adding a table and two or three chairs is easy and affordable. You may want to find a few decorative pillows for added comfort and style, and you could even invest in a new window treatment to make the area look extra special.
If you do not have a kitchen window, consider using a corner of your kitchen as a breakfast nook. Interior painting services are available to update the corner for you to designate the area as special, and you can create a fun accent wall with a bold color. Not a fan of the round table and chair look? Why not use benches to create a booth or picnic-table style breakfast nook?
When it comes to small kitchen upgrade ideas, a breakfast nook is easily one of the most versatile and functional options available.
Build a Unique Wine Rack
Love pairing your food creations with various wines? Consider building your own wine rack. This is one of those small kitchen upgrade ideas best suited to a wine lover, as a smaller rack you can place on the counter may be perfectly sufficient for someone who drinks infrequently.
Do you know why wine cellars typically store bottles horizontally? For bottles of wine that have a cork, storing them on their sides as opposed to standing helps the cork stay wet. Why does it matter if the cork maintains moisture? When opening a bottle of wine that is sealed with a cork, a cork that is moist will yield more easily. If the cork has become too dry, it can get brittle and cause the cork to break into pieces as you’re opening your wine. Nobody wants to serve wine that has bits of cork floating in it to guests.
A unique wine rack will allow you to properly store your wine horizontally, while also adding immense visual interest to your kitchen. If you drink a lot of wine that has a screw top, storing it vertically is no problem, but storing it horizontally will not affect the wine either.
One of the most popular wine rack designs is the lattice wine rack. There are several reasons that this is a popular option, perhaps the first being that it is an easy DIY project if you feel inclined to craft one on your own. It is important to note that wood can be a source of mold and mildew, so be sure to call in mold remediation services if necessary.
Another popular option for keeping a wine rack in your kitchen is wrought iron. While building a wrought iron wine rack is best left to professionals, the sleek beauty of it may be worth the cost to you.
No matter what type of wine rack you decide to put in your small kitchen, you can customize it however you see fit. If you love making custom jewelry, like necklaces or bracelets, a wine rack can be a handy way to display your creations. Loyal to a particular sports team? Choose decorative accents in their color to show off your personality and taste.
Create Open Shelving
For the past few years, open shelving has been one of the most popular small kitchen upgrade ideas, and the trend shows no signs of going away. Why do homeowners love open shelving?
First, if you have ever remodeled a kitchen before or you were researching a kitchen remodel, you know that cabinetry can be one of the biggest expenses. Going with an open shelving plan can save you a significant amount of money. If you aren’t quite sure that open shelving is for you, remove the doors from your cabinets and leave them exposed for a week or two. This gives you time to get used to the new look without having to fully commit to the remodel.
Still think you love the look of closed cabinets? Instead of remodeling your kitchen and spending extra money on cabinets, try an open shelving plan as an interim measure. You will be able to get rid of the cabinetry you no longer like, but you won’t have to shell out a ton of cash right away to install new ones.
Another reason homeowners love open shelving is that it is so convenient. Having all of your kitchen items visible and easy-to-grab at all times can save you the time you would otherwise spend digging in drawers or moving things around in your closed cabinet. Additionally, if you entertain often, guests will have an easier time navigating your kitchen without having to constantly ask you where a certain item is.
You also won’t have to worry about constantly clearing cabinets when professionals come to work in your kitchen. Whether you need refrigeration services or an emergency plumber for a leaky faucet, open shelving is easier to clear than traditional closed cabinetry.
Still not convinced that open shelving is one of the best small kitchen upgrade ideas? Getting rid of cabinetry and installing shelves will open your space up, making it feel larger than it really is. It will also help to brighten up your room, whatever color scheme you choose for your shelving and your kitchen.
You do not have to spend a ton of money to add comfort and style to your space. With these small kitchen upgrade ideas and more, you can customize your kitchen to perfectly suit your aesthetic and to blend seamlessly with the remainder of your home’s interior decor. A little bit of creativity and DIY dedication can go a long way in helping you refresh your small kitchen.