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The 3 best ways to invest in your kitchen

House Beautiful UK logo House Beautiful UK 05/08/2022 Rosie Stagg

There’s a room in your house that reigns supreme in terms of use and versatility: the kitchen. Not only is it a functional space used for cooking up meals, but the kitchen is often the centre of social activity and a place for casually congregating throughout the day. No matter the size of your kitchen, it’s a space that is both informal as well as a hive of activity (particularly around mealtimes). You want it to feel personal and work for you to get the most out of it.

When it comes to viewing a potential home, house buyers pay special attention to the kitchen – after all, if you’re going to spend a lot of time in there, it needs to be perfect! As a result, the kitchen can often be the make or break factor when it comes to buying or selling a home.

Whether you're selling up or looking for a forever home, investing in your kitchen is a failsafe way of making the most of your house. For those planning on staying, a well-designed and thoughtfully decorated kitchen will mean you benefit the most from it in daily life – both in terms of enjoyment and practicality. If you're planning to sell your house, carefully elevating your kitchen makes it more attractive to potential buyers (not to mention the benefits to your asking price).

We’ve rounded up the three best ways to invest in your kitchen.

• A bespoke kitchen is the best way to utilise space

Kitchens come in every shape and size imaginable – from spacious open plan rooms encompassing both kitchen and dining room, to snug galley spaces with limited floor space.

‘Every kitchen is different. Challenging features such as chimney breasts, sloping ceilings, alcoves or large windows can become assets and enhance the look and individuality of your space,’ says Tom Howley, Design Director at the eponymous kitchen company.

Such quirks add character to your home, so work with them, instead of against them. This is where bespoke kitchens come in, enabling you to make the best use of the features of your kitchen. Going bespoke will help you to maximise the space available, create defined zones for different uses, and incorporate your lifestyle and personality.

If you can afford a bespoke kitchen, we recommend investing in it, especially in your forever home. However, that’s not to say you can’t make your kitchen work with budget-friendly DIY methods. A butcher's block can be used in place of a kitchen island, and you can add hardware such as rails for hanging up pans. Moveable units and carefully placed shelves can go a long way to creating more storage. When it comes to going bespoke, it’s all about what works best for you – in every sense.


Video: 10 Kitchen Cabinet Storage Ideas & Upgrades to Try (The Family Handyman)

• Lighting is key to creating an inviting atmosphere

None of us want to spend time in a dingy room, and the kitchen is no exception. A combination of natural, artificial and ambient light can be used to create a feeling of lightness and brightness in your kitchen.

Rossio Matt Black Pendant Ceiling Light With Gold Inner, Iconic Lights © Iconic Lights Rossio Matt Black Pendant Ceiling Light With Gold Inner, Iconic Lights

Niki Wright, co-founder of lighting design lights&lamps, explains: ‘Kitchens obviously need to work hard and so does the lighting. Recessed spotlights or under cabinet lighting is a common solution, but also consider the space when it’s not functional.

'Family and friends often congregate around an island so consider low-level or pendant lighting here. Don’t be afraid to use ‘living room’ lighting in the kitchen: a floor lamp in a corner or a table lamp at the end of a worktop.’

The key is to create an airy feel and ensure the light in your kitchen can adapt not only to the changing levels of daylight but also to the multifunctional nature of the room itself.

• Invest in easy-to-access storage solutions

A tidy, accessible kitchen is key to enjoying the space, and most importantly, whipping up a home-cooked meal. Keeping all your cooking essentials stored thoughtfully whilst being instantly accessible means you’ll never waste time rummaging for utensils or pans.

Take it from an expert: 'When you cook a lot, you want to have a lot of open shelves,' says Michelin star chef Karim Khouani. 'You don’t want too many doors and cabinets. There is no need, as everything on the shelves is used almost every day. Hooks, hanger racks, and rods are a really good way to keep utensils and pans at the ready.’

We recommend spending some time thinking about how you function in your kitchen and what you need or want to access the most. Once you identify this, you can design the storage in your kitchen to keep your essentials at your fingertips and neatly tuck away everything else.

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