Smarten up your kitchen and laundry with these clever ideas
The current COVID-19 restrictions present a great opportunity for clever DIY kitchen and laundry projects to try while you’re spending more time at home.
Your kitchen is the ideal place to make the most of the latest smart home technology. For the price it might usually cost to go out for a nice meal at a local restaurant, you could do some online shopping to grab a smart home device like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant. Then, you can ask your smart home device to do the leg-work for you – like finding the best rendang recipe to try on the weekend, putting together a shopping list, and buying the ingredients online from the supermarket using home delivery or ‘click and collect’ so you can have a full culinary experience without needing to leave your home.
If you’ve got some extra time on your hands, you could shop around online for a second-hand 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 may help you save on your energy bills. You might even find a special deal on other more energy efficient appliances and smart home devices from online stores like Facebook Marketplace or Amazon.
Try some new recipes
With more time available, you could experiment with some new recipes (like those from YiaYia’s Greek Kitchen). Make sure to cook on a low heat to save energy and turn the handles of saucepans away from the stove when cooking. Where possible put lids on pots and fry pans so that you’ll avoid any splashes and use less energy to cook your food.
Read more ideas about staying safe in your home and making it more energy efficient.
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 that you may find from online stores like Etsy or Facebook Marketplace. 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 may be 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 to display in your kitchen space.
If you’re in the mood for some online shopping, have a look at your local small businesses that might be doing it tough as a result of COVID-19, and check out some of the local retailers in your area who might be offering contactless click and collect or delivery from online second-hand shops.
eBay or Gumtree are another great place to look for some cost-effective bargains to brighten up your space. Remember that when you upcycle or shop second-hand, it’s good for your wallet and the environment.
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 go to bed so it’s ready to hang out when you wake up. These machines could also alert you when things go wrong or when a filter needs changing, potentially avoiding costly callouts from technicians. Again, newer machines may be more energy and water efficient, helping you to reduce your bills.
And while technology can be a great assistant around the home, a bit of research and planning may help you to save time and energy on your laundry routine by choosing the best time of day to run the washing machine to suit your schedule and take advantage of any off peak energy rates that you might be able to access. Simple changes like switching to a cold-water wash and using your washing machine on a shorter cycle may also have a big impact on how much energy and water you save while washing your clothes.
If you’re getting a little sick of your kitchen cabinets, it might be time for a reshuffle. Or, at least, replacing the doorknobs with more decorative options and drawer-fronts with a new style. It’s one of the more affordable things you 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.
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