Smarten up your kitchen with clever ideas and the latest technologies
When it comes to kitchens, the Blockheads on Channel 9's The Block really shine. But we've got some ideas to help you master your own DIY kitchen and laundry projects too.
AGL is powering The Block on Channel 9 in 2019. This year couples will renovate the Oslo Hotel in St Kilda into five top-end, three-storey homes.
An inexpensive and fun way to update the look of your kitchen is to swap out everyday appliances like your toaster and kettle with more colourful options. Choose a model in your favourite shade to add some semi-permanent colour – this is ideal if you’ve got a fairly monochromatic kitchen. The latest appliances are super-savvy, too, with loads more features than older versions.
Add more colour – without the hefty price tag which comes with more major upgrades like new paint or tiles – by growing a pot of herbs or finding vases, artworks and other knickknacks you love at local flea markets to display in your kitchen space. It’s good for your wallet and the environment.
If you’re getting a little sick of your kitchen cabinets, it might be time for a reshuffle. Or, at least, replacing the door-knobs with more decorative options and drawer-fronts with a new style. It’s one of the more affordable things you can do to give your kitchen a whole new look.
Dark timber cabinetry is still bang on trend, but more traditional panelled styles are making a comeback in a nod to classic Hamptons homes. Take your time in choosing a style – your choice of cabinetry really sets the scene for the rest of the kitchen.
Copper, brass or black tapware are all so hot right now. Whether you go for something sleek and minimalist to match the mood of a contemporary kitchen, or a more vintage vibe to suit something a little more rustic, the good news is that there are more choices than ever before. If you’re on the hunt for a bargain, you could scour online marketplaces to see if something you like pops up second-hand.
Storage options in the kitchen and laundry are getting better every year. There are so many smart ways to hide away unattractive appliances and clutter while still ensuring that the tools you need to whip up a meal are still within easy reach. As a minimum, you could look at replacing old hinges and runners with touch-to-open doors, telescopic runners and soft-close drawers.
If you’ve got the room and you’re planning a bigger kitchen renovation, see if you can fit a butler’s pantry into the design. Not only are they great for all your everyday pantry items, but these days they also include sinks, dishwashers and even second ovens – it means you can get as messy as you like without it all being on display.
Your kitchen is the ideal place to make the most of the latest smart home technology. For the price of a nice meal at a local restaurant, you could grab a smart home device like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. Then, ask Alexa or Google to do the leg-work in finding the best rendang recipe, writing a shopping list and buying the ingredients using click and collect.
As a bigger investment, you could splash out and buy a smart fridge that alerts you when you’re low on milk or other essentials. You might find that newer fridges are a lot more energy efficient than the older model you currently use, which will help you save on your energy bills.
A lighter load
In the laundry, the latest washing machines can be controlled by your smartphone. Via your phone, you could turn the washing on when you leave work so it’s ready to hang out when you walk in the door. These machines could also alert you when things go wrong or when a filter needs changing, potentially avoiding costly call-outs from technicians. Again, newer machines can be more energy and water efficient, helping you to reduce your bills.
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