They say the kitchen is the heart of the home, probably because that’s where the food is, but it’s also usually the most cluttered, the dirtiest and the most frustrating. You dream of a kitchen that is open, spacious, well lit and filled with modern appliances when what you have is a dull, dimly lit, 1970’s shoebox with minimal bench space and your mum’s old food processor. So how do you improve it without breaking the bank? Well it’s not as hard as it looks and most of it you can do without spending a dime… or ten cents, but that just doesn’t sound as cool.
So where do we start?
1. Clean out your fridge: This might seem obvious, but your fridge needs a little TLC so take everything out and give the shelves a wipe down, remove all those dried up basil leaves that have rammed themselves into the crevices and gone brown. Then check all the expiry dates on your jars and go through your veg, salvage what you can and bin the rest, it’s very cathartic.
2. While we’re still with the fridge, remove everything on it, get rid of those ugly free tradie magnets and replace them with cute ones like these adorable elephants from Iddy Biddy Boo, chuck out those already paid bills and give the whole fridge a quick clean with some spray. A magnetic to-do list like this one from Kikki K is enough to keep you organised.
3. Recycle a tin can or install a rod with hooks (or Command hooks if you’re in a rental) to keep your most commonly used cooking utensils near the stove. Not only does it mean easy access when you’re cooking, it also looks good.
4. Have you looked in your baking cupboard recently? Is there spilled flour everywhere because the paper packaging they come in at the supermarket is flimsy and falls apart easily? Recycled glass jars are inexpensive, keep bugs out far better than paper does and look so chic, you can even customise them with cute labels.5. If your cupboards are ugly and flat, with ridges underneath instead of knobs to open them, why not spruce them up with wall stickers? There are thousands of designs on Etsy and they can be removed and updated if you change your mind.
6. To free up precious storage space, build a spice rack behind a cupboard door or into the wall. If one wall of your fridge is exposed, why not add magnets and store them there. Repurpose some spice jars, by soaking the labels off in warm water, add your own and fill with loose spices from an Asian supermarket, they’re much cheaper.
7. Change your lights: your kitchen should be well lit, so if you don’t get great natural sunlight, try buying a different kind of globe or light fitting that you can use in the existing light brackets. Warm lighting might be the most welcoming, but let’s be honest, it’s easier to cook in a white light.
8. Build a peg board a la Julia Child, it’s cheap, easy to mount, ridiculously functional and looks incredibly cool. You can find instructions here.
Finally, cook and bake often. The smells are what keep a kitchen alive and visitors coming in.
Cybele Masterman (Bele) trained as a beauty therapist, aromatherapist and journalist. After working as all of the above has found herself on a quest for a beautiful and meaningful life that doesn't cost the earth. Follow on google: +blahblahmagazine twitter: @blahblahzine or Instagram: BlahBlahMagazine