The kitchen is the heart of the home. It is a place where meals are prepared with loving care; where the members of the household catch up on the news of the day and where you entertain guests. Although home owners might give a great deal of thought to the décor of other rooms in the house, the kitchen is often overlooked. This means that some kitchens can often end up looking quite bland and uninspiring.

What can you do to transform your kitchen into a warm and welcoming place and make it stand out from the rest?

Replacing kitchen cupboard doors

Not only is refitting the entire kitchen costly but it can cause a great deal of upheaval to your daily routine and is accompanied by mess and noise. Replacing kitchen doors is an ideal solution if you already like its existing layout and the storage space is sufficient for your needs. With a wide range of styles and colours available, you will be sure to find exactly what you’re looking for. Best of all, this complete kitchen makeover will cost a fraction of the price of brand-new cabinets.

Adding a splash of colour

Although traditionally white, repainting your kitchen in a different colour will make a world of difference to how it looks. There are a wide range of colours available to suit every taste. Apart from your personal preferences, consider the size of the kitchen and how much light it receives before choosing a shade.

If you feel that painting the kitchen in a bold colour would be too overpowering, you could compromise and have an accent wall in a brighter hue. This shade would contrast well with the starkness of pure white walls. Wallpaper is also possible for the accent wall or the entire room. However, you should make sure that it has been designed to be both heat- and steam-resistant.

You could also add a splash of colour to your bland kitchen by hanging pop art or amusing signs on one wall. If they feature bold primary colours, they will stand out against the white backdrop of the walls.

Choosing the right lighting

The most common mistake that householders make is to have a single centrally-located hanging light fixture. Not only does this result in the uneven distribution of light but it is difficult to change the mood by subtly altering the lighting.

Bland kitchens can be greatly improved by the installation of the correct lighting fixtures. Think about using some/all of the following:

• adjustable hanging pendants (with a dimmer switch) over the table or island.
• Spotlights over kitchen counters for completing tasks.
• Uplights/downlights set into the cabinets for a softer ambience.
• Halogen bulbs set near the extractor fan.

Creating a kitchen with character

Whether you have an up-to-date hi-tech kitchen or are more traditional, it’s the small finishing touches which can transform a bland kitchen into an inspiring one. Apart from the cupboard doors, colour of the walls and the lighting, try to put your own personal stamp upon your kitchen. This could be the choice of the right blinds or curtains; a dresser to display your crockery or glassware or even the presence of herbs on the windowsill. Not only will these tiny changes transform the kitchen into a room where you enjoy spending your time but it will be a welcoming place for your guests too.

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