Home Renovations for the HolidaysNick Walton
In this fast paced world people never have time to cook at home anymore. That’s why a home cooked meal over the holidays is special. Almost every family has their own set of traditional recipes for the festive season. But while these culinary traditions seem quaint, the reality doesn’t always live up to your expectations.
Holiday Cooking Catastrophe
Cooking for a large group of people in a cramped kitchen isn’t very fun. There’s nothing special about frantically trying to prepare food in time, only to find that you don’t have enough counter space to slice vegetables for a salad after placing a hot, freshly baked casserole on your chopping board so it can cool.
And then the only thing worse than not having enough counter space to juggle all the dishes you’re preparing, is not having space to store your utensils. As if it isn’t bad enough that both your oven and refrigerator are already filled chock-and-block, you don’t even know where to find a spatula when you need one!
This scenario is frustrating to say the least, and it’s enough to put off even the most enthusiastic amateur cook from preparing home cooked meals. Which is a pity, because home cooked meals are much healthier than takeaways. Ideally your kitchen should be a place where you’d gladly cook meals throughout the year, not just over the festive season. But preparing meals in a small kitchen that’s poorly organized takes longer. Constantly having to search drawers for utensils – or clear spaces after every activity before starting on the next – is time-consuming.
Remodeling Your Kitchen
No matter how tired you are of your kitchen, renovations shouldn’t be taken lightly. There’s no sense in hurrying through the planning phase. Neglecting to consider your primary needs will result in unnecessary splurging in less important areas, while nagging issues are left unresolved.
Your kitchen renovations should be done with your needs in mind. Don’t ask someone else for advice about what to do in your kitchen before you don’t know what problems you’re trying to solve. Professional advice regarding what options you have can help, but only once you know what problems you want to address.
Small Kitchen Tips
Dealing with a small kitchen is tricky. If your kitchen is small, renovations can do wonders to open up the space to feel more roomy. You’ll find that creating enough counter and storage space will be problematic. The issue is that you can’t simply have more cabinets and counter tops installed – there isn’t any space for that. There are a few things you can do to turn your cramped little kitchen into space that works for you.
Custom shelving can help you use vertical space more efficiently. Because your kitchen won’t have much space to walk around, you should try to use more wall space and keep the floor open so you can move about in your kitchen while cooking.
Hooks Above Your Stove
Instead of drawers and cabinets, use hooks for your favorite utensils and pans. Installing a corbel with hooks above your stove is a great way to use a space that would normally go wasted. This way you’ll be saving valuable drawer space and your favorite things will always be where you can easily find them.
Install Pantry Drawers Instead of Shelves
If your kitchen is small, chances are you don’t have a proper pantry. Even after renovating your kitchen, your pantry won’t be big. Avoid shelves, as they waste vertical space. The problem with shelves is that you have to allow extra height so you can reach things at the back of the pantry. Drawers solve this problem by pulling out so you don’t have to add extra height on top of what your supplies will take up.
Move Your Stuff Elsewhere
Deciding how you’ll create more storage space in your renovated kitchen is important. But before planning your storage space, you should know what you want to store in your kitchen. Take a moment to consider how you can reduce the amount of storage space you’ll need.
Moving things you don’t use often to other rooms is a great option if you have more space elsewhere in your home. Your fancy dinner set and wine collection, for instance, could be stored somewhere in the dining room without seeming completely out of place.
Don’t Buy Plastic
Plastic containers are handy, but they can take over your kitchen. The problem with things made from plastic is that it’s easy to think that you’ll always have space for more – after all, they’re easier to store than glassware. But this way of thinking will lead you to buy more plastic than you have space for. To solve this problem you should ideally use glassware instead of plastic wherever possible.
When it comes to plastic, make a list of the bare essentials you need, like lunch boxes (and perhaps a few cups and bowls if you have small children). As with glassware, you should strictly limit the amount of plastic things you buy. If you only need six plastic cups, don’t ever buy more.
With proper planning, your renovated kitchen can be a fun place to cook, not only over the holidays, but all throughout the year. If you’ve never cooked much before, your new kitchen might even inspire you to take up some lessons and learn to cook impressive meals your friends will love. Cooking with your family in a beautiful, space-efficient kitchen can also be a great time to spend quality time together. Once your kitchen is a pleasure to be in, you’ll soon discover why kitchens are considered the heart of every home!