Time to Enterain
It’s that time of year when you start thinking about how you can make your kitchen look better for your upcoming holiday entertaining. You may be noticing your kitchen cabinets are a little worn, appliances may have seen better days, or that you are simply tired of coming into that space every day the way it is. As we all know, no matter how much planning you do to keep people out of the kitchen during a party—the kitchen always ends up being the central location people love to gather in.
I always remind people that it is important to make change in your home—no matter how small the changes may be. It will make you like your spaces again and realize that you do not have to break the bank doing so.
This is exactly what was motivating some recent homeowners I did a kitchen renovation with. They enjoyed entertaining and their before space was no longer working out for them. We could not build out to expand their narrow galley style kitchen, but we were able to reconfigure their nearby breakfast area to create a new location for their fridge, pantry and give them a perfect bar area for entertaining. The end result gave them breathing room, an open concept feel, and an updated style—but it also illustrates the power of reworking things you have to make them better. The galley kitchen is still there--but the new white cabinets, frosted glass backsplash tile, new lighting, a new gas range, chocolate stone countertops all give the once-cramped space a new attitude. The most dramatic thing we did was open up the wall between the kitchen and the nearby den to create a bar countertop with stools. This opening made a world of difference and gave them all they needed.
Okay—so now we switch gears to your own kitchen. Yes, it’s true that most of us are not going to tackle a renovation right before the holidays, but we can learn from this recent project and break things down to see what you can do with what you have.
So, with that in mind, I offer up some simple cosmetic change ideas you can do no matter how big or small your kitchen may be:
- Prime and paint your existing cabinets to give them a fresh and clean new look.
- Change out doorknobs and drawer pulls.
- Consider removing some upper cabinets to allow for open shelving to display everyday dishes.
- Get new countertop for one area such as a kitchen island or create a new island where there is none.
- Choose to invest in one new appliance instead of replacing them all now.
- Update lighting choices—pendant lights over sink or island, under-cabinet lighting, track lighting to brighten darker areas and draw your eye to zones. Do not forget dimmers—that is a must-have in the kitchen.
- Add crown molding or other trim.
- Think about being able to open up a non-supporting wall to open up the room and give you more space and new vantage points.
- Use paint to your advantage to clean things up.
- Use a favorite color to be an “undercurrent color” to the new style (warm tones of rusty orange were used in this kitchen) in lighting accents, tile, artwork or accessories.
- New window treatments that are simple and clean—yet can allow you to control the light (and the views). Don’t forget to wash your windows.
- Counterscaping is a great way to give any kitchen an inexpensive makeover. Getting rid of clutter on countertops is key. Style with similar-colored props such as bowls, flowers that bring out a favorite color, but also details you love to use.
- Some go-to ideas for getting ready to entertain:
- Lots of candlelight
- Music is key—Pandora Radio is great for finding music to suit your mood.
- Bowls of fruit for instant decor, bunches of one kind of flowers of varying colors from the market placed in various locations.
Do you need help making your entertaining space work for better the holidays?