When it comes to the rooms in your home that you upgrade the most, your kitchen is probably quite high up on that list. Why? Well, simply because we use this room the most. In fact, kitchens have developed over time to become pretty multi-functional. Whereas once they would have been a space purely dedicated to cooking (with dining and socializing activities going on in other parts of the home), now we use them for a multitude of different things. Often, we use them as a dining room with a table in, as the concept of the ‘dining room’ has died out somewhat as houses become more compact. Equally, we use them for catching up with friends and family in over a cup of tea (or a glass of wine!) and even for hosting parties in. The versatility of the kitchen, therefore, should never be underestimated. For all of these reasons and more, it is also the room in your house that holds the most value, so any changes you make to it can be seen as an investment. If you have recently noticed a growing difference between your own kitchen and the ones you see in magazines and online (or even in real life at your friend’s houses) it could be a sign that something needs to change. But how exactly can you bring your aging kitchen into the 21st century? Here are a few amazing gadgets and luxury upgrades that will make you never want to leave your kitchen ever again!
An at-home bar
We already know that kitchens are perfectly designed for entertaining in. After all, how many times have you hosted a gathering or a house party and despite the myriad of other rooms in your home, everyone has ended up congregating in the kitchen? Whether you like this or not, you may as well run with it, as it’s not likely to change anytime soon! Therefore, a home bar could be a great addition to your kitchen that will make your parties and gatherings the talk of the neighborhood. It shows you are sophisticated and makes entertaining at home so much easier. Plus, what with so many of us shunning nights out for nights in, there has never been a better time to make this change to your kitchen. Sure, you may not be a bartender by trade, but it’s never too late to learn and impress your guests! You can always just buy a ready-made home bar, but if you want to save a few pennies, you could easily make one yourself too. Just get hold of an old cabinet or shelving unit, give it a lick of paint, and there you have the basis of your bar! From there, you will just need some quirky extras, such as some stylish glassware and a cocktail making kit. If you are hosting a special event, you could even make your own drinks menus and display them on the bar – kind of like a ‘specials’ list. Don’t forget to stock up on syrups and garnishes, so you have a whole range of different drinks at your fingertips.
Taps that do everything
We are used to the very basic function of the kitchen tap – it’s either on or off, and it’s either hot or cold. You might think that’s all you need from a tap, but when there are so many other options now available on the market, what’s stopping you from indulging in some amazing water technology? The hottest new gadget of the moment has got to be the instant hot water tap, which means you won’t need to buy a kettle ever again. When you consider that the average kettle takes three years to boil, resulting in around 18 hours a year of kettle-wait time, this could easily be in the running for most convenient gadget of the last few years. It can also save you a lot of money too, as you only use the exact amount of water needed for your cup, rather than filling the kettle for just one cup of coffee. There are also other tap-related gadgets that you can invest in, such as taps that dispense slush and ice on demand. When you’re having some laid back drinks on your patio in the midsummer heat, a refreshing slushie can sometimes be just the ticket. Often you can buy fridges with these kinds of dispensers already-built-in, or failing that, you can get a standalone machine.
A warming drawer
When you are entertaining guests at your own dinner party, it can often be easy to feel the pressure. There is always so much to do, and all too often we can become panicked and stressed throughout the cooking process. The last thing you want to do is to be so preoccupied with a side dish or serving up drinks, that you leave your main dish out and it’s cold by the time you serve it – especially if you have been planning this evening for a while. For these instances, a warming drawer can be your best friend. You may recognize them from programmes such as the Great British Bake Off, where they are frequently used to help cakes rise and keep them warm during the preparation stages. Now, more and more homes are jumping on the bandwagon and getting their own warming drawers to help accommodate their lifestyles. Spent the evening cooking a luxury meal for your partner, only to find that they are going to be home late from work again? No matter – simply pop their portion in the warming drawer, and it will remain heated until they get in, without becoming overcooked while you’re at it. In fact, if you are someone who struggles with timings in the kitchen altogether, a warming drawer should be an absolute must in your home. What you end up choosing depends on two things: how high you want the temperature inside the drawer to reach, and how much room you have in your kitchen to accommodate it. These drawers are also ideal for baking bread in and even defrosting food, so they really are one of the most multi-functional pieces of equipment you could have in your kitchen.
A cutting board rubbish chute
Fancy cutting out the middle man when it comes to disposing of your rubbish while cooking? A messy workspace during meal preparation can often be enough to sway even the most relaxed of chefs, and constant trips to the bin can easily throw you off your schedule. Make all this a thing of the past by considering a built-in chopping board that leads directly down to your in-kitchen trash can. This means that you can rid your surface of debris as you go, leading to a much more focused and organized preparation area. You could even have multiple ones installed for different types of food – i.e. one for meat and one for vegetables. This is especially important when it comes to avoiding cross-contamination, which could potentially be very dangerous for your and your family. Even if your chopping boards are built-in, always make sure you clean them well after every use to rid them of any lingering bacteria. You may not be totally convinced on any or all of these kitchen upgrades, but remember what was mentioned earlier – the kitchen is the most valuable room in the house, so it is definitely worth upgrading it as you see fit.