Though a few visible signs of habitation make a kitchen look more realistic, perfectionists and neat freaks will never tolerate it. Anything unsightly, from a dish towel to mismatching spice containers, can drive them nuts. We can’t blame them though; can you imagine the awesome kitchens on Pinterest showing a “real-life” item? Most of the time, we only see beautifully curated spaces that look unused.
Such kitchens are actually staged, meaning designers have purposely styled them for the Gram. Home-sellers do it too, in hopes of attracting buyers. Indeed, as the heart of a home, buyers place heavy consideration on kitchens.
But you don’t need to be a designer or a home-seller to have a staged kitchen. If you have ample time, money, and creativity to spare, use these tips and tricks to make your kitchen look photogenic all the time, even with daily use:
The Secrets to a Perfect Kitchen
1. Organize, Organize, Organize
You don’t need a big kitchen to keep the things in it organized. But you do need a generous amount of cabinetry. If yours is scarce, consider hiring an experienced remodeling contractor, such as Serenity Kitchen and Bath, to explore your options. You’d most likely be advised to refresh your dated cabinets and to install new ones on unused vertical spaces.
When your cabinets are ready for filling, make a plan on where to put which. Decide a specific use for each cabinet; for example, the one under the stovetop is strictly for pots and pans, while the one above it is mainly for spices. If the spaces in some cabinets are still cramped, consider installing pull-outs in it. It keeps the stuff tucked, and easily accessible when you need to reach for them.
Lazy susans are a good organizing tool as well. They’re mostly designed for bottles, be that of cleaning supplies or cooking ingredients. It is a circular tray that rotates, allowing you to pick up bottles without taking out the ones in the front row.
If you have open cabinets or floating shelves, display your kitchen accessories or pretty china on it. Basically, the ones you don’t normally use for cooking and dining. Exposed storage is a nice touch to add to a monochromatic kitchen.
Consider buying new spice and liquid containers too, so that even if they’re lying on the counter, they still look appealing. Uniformed containers make your kitchen and pantry cleaner, and can disguise clutter as decorations. Plus, if you choose clear acrylic varieties, they expose the color of your spices, making them instant accent pieces, if you plan on exposing them.
Organizing by activity is a clever hack as well. It means splitting your kitchen into zones so that you don’t have to move around while doing a task. For example, assign a counter space or storage for coffee. That way, you can stay in one zone while making coffee, and put everything back in the same cabinet when you’re done.
2. Clean As You Go
Often, our kitchens become cluttered because we’re too lazy to clean up, especially if it’s only one thing that’s making a mess. Abandon this habit in 2020, and start getting used to cleaning as you go. Once the dishwasher finishes its dry cycle, put back the dishes in the cabinets. Wash the sink after every heavy use. Put the dry cookware back where they belong.
If you empty your sink every night, make that after every meal. That’s right, stop soaking a greasy pan overnight, or leaving it “for later.” Sure, the grease is a pain to deal with, but looking at unsightly stuff is more annoying. When you diligently get rid of the mess, no one will suspect that your kitchen has just undergone use and abuse.
3. Hide Countertop Appliances, or Choose Built-in Types
Everyone can agree can countertop appliances, such as toasters, microwave ovens, kettles, and more, are an eyesore, especially when their colors don’t match your kitchen’s palette. Plus, they take up counter space. A quick, albeit pricey solution, is replacing countertop microwave and ovens with built-in types. But if it isn’t an option, build an appliance hutch or conceal them in spacious cabinets.
4. Put Dirty Plates in a Bus Bin
Buy a bus bin to keep your sink clean. It is a small plastic tub with a drainage hole in the center. You put your used plates and utensils in it so that if you need to use the sink to wash your hands or rinse vegetables, you can move the bin out of the way. What’s more, it’s a faster way to hide dirty dishes when a guest comes over and you’re unprepared.
5. Display Decorations
Lastly, adorn your clean kitchen with decorations, like framed art or photos, fresh flowers, and decorative chopping boards. You can also display a cookbook near the stove and colorful fruits on the island.
You need an extreme deal of dedication for aesthetics and tidiness to be able to maintain a photo-ready kitchen. But even if the effort required sounds intimidating, you’d barely feel it once you get used to a spotless and staged kitchen.