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Area of dining room with table and view of the bright open plan kitchen

07 Dec 2017

Posted in:  First Time Buyer

“The kitchen is the heart of the home.” We’ve all heard that well known phrase, but what doesn’t quite have the same ring to it is, “the kitchen is the mess of the home!”

But it can be just as true. Depending on how functional or hard-wearing your kitchen is, it can be the cause or the solution to all of your décor distress. You eat there. You might watch telly there. If you’re unlucky, you could do more of your fair share of cleaning there, too. Over time, your beautiful kitchen may start to wear down and there comes a point where you’ll need to give it a facelift.

A kitchen transformation can be a big task in terms of both planning and budget, but it will be worth it in the end.

Because what’s an Irish home, really, without its heart? So, we’ve put together eight practical ways to give your kitchen the TLC it deserves.

1. Go big

Older houses often have small, scullery-style kitchens that don’t function well for most modern families.

A kitchen extension could be just what’s needed to make your home work for you.

A space with room to move while you’re cooking, which also has room for a large table and chairs is the ultimate for lots of us. Add in a comfy seating area and large glazed windows out onto the garden, and you’ve got a lot of people’s dream kitchen sitch. Psst – why not contact your local EBS office to discuss what options you have to extend your space? Or head over and check out our blog post on how to qualify for the Home Renovation Incentive Scheme.

2. Remove unnecessary appliances and gadgets

Many kitchens include laundry facilities but lack sufficient food storage. Same goes with bulky, barely-used appliances and china collections, just sitting there gathering dust. Might we suggest you take a few minutes to sit down and write a list of the things you use on a daily, weekly and monthly basis?

Place these items in locations by order of how often you use them. Essentials like the kettle and toaster should stay on the kitchen counter, but perhaps that juicer could go down into a cupboard, to give you more prep space.

Next, rehouse anything you rarely use in a separate cupboard or shelf outside the kitchen. This way your space functions properly and completely for about 99% of the year.

3. Work those surfaces

If an entire kitchen remodel is out of the question, how about replacing your existing countertops? This is a more affordable way to refresh your kitchen with a bright new look.

Solid wood can be a great choice – though it will need protecting around the sink area. Stone, like quartz and granite, looks great when polished to a shiny finish and is super hardwearing. If you want a trend-led look, white marble (or marble effect) surfaces are very much en vogue, and if you’re on a budget, laminate wins. Finish off your budget kitchen makeover by giving your cabinets a lick of paint and updating the door knobs.

4. Cabinet re-think: Paint, replace or re-shelf?

Most Irish kitchens are fitted with top and bottom solid-covered cabinets. This might not be the cleverest use of space for your kitchen, however. You could consider replacing the top cabinets with open shelves if you don’t need a lot of food storage and love the idea of having your servewear on display.

This gives you not only a bang-on-trend look, but also easy access to your most frequently used items. By removing heavy upper units, your kitchen will appear larger and more spacious. Best of all, it gives you an opportunity to style your shelves and add some personality to the space.

5. Love your layout

If you can afford to spend a few extra cents on your kitchen transformation, a re-think of the layout could be worth the money. Would it work better if you moved the fridge nearer the sink, and is that cooker really where you need it to be? Whether you’re doing up an old build, or just updating your existing kitchen, a reorder of units and the addition or removal of a dining area could suit your family’s needs far better than the current plan.

6. Wall of fame

Many kitchens are tiled mid-way and then painted to the ceiling. It’s a simple, practical choice, but it’s not the only one. Wood panelling, vinyl decals and bold wallpaper can add tons of personality to a kitchen, even if only used on a section of the wall space.

Or why not extend your tiling all the way to the ceiling? This elongates the walls and makes the room appear much bigger.

7. Small storage

Yes, we love banging on about storage, but that’s because it’s so important in a working space!

Clutter and poor organisation will not only make your kitchen look messy, it’ll make it much more difficult to use.

Clear out any junk and expired products and rearrange your food neatly using jars, tins and more specialist kitchen organisers. TK Maxx, Ikea and Amazon are excellent go-to spots for handy products.

Let us help you along the way

If you’re thinking of buying a home, pop in for a 30-minute chat with one of our Mortgage Masters. So, whether it’s your first home or you are escaping a home where you fell for the tricks of an estate agent – we’re only too happy to help you on your way.

There are more tips in our First Time Buyer guide.

Don’t forget to visit our Facebook page for the latest home inspiration, news and great competitions.

The content of this blog is expressed in broad terms and is limited to general information purposes only. Readers should always seek professional advice to address issues arising in specific contexts and not seek to rely on the information in this blog which does not constitute any form of advice or recommendation by EBS d.a.c.

EBS d.a.c. neither accepts nor assumes any responsibility in relation to the contents of this blog and excludes all warranties, undertakings and representations (either express or implied) to the fullest extent permitted under applicable law.

EBS d.a.c. is regulated by the Central Bank of Ireland.

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