DIY projectsThe following article was provided by Ryan Hirst who writes articles on a daily basis for Eurofit Direct. Ryan is the marketing and media assistant and handles the company blog along with Eurofit’s social networking sites.

If you believe old stereotypes, the kitchen was once a place simply used by the woman of a household, somewhere in which she would spend many hours of her day. Preparing and cooking meals for the family and any guests; fast forward to now.

At Eurofit, we call the kitchen the ‘the heart of the home’. Thankfully, gone are the days of the kitchen being portrayed as a “women only” zone and now is a time where the kitchen is essentially a living room along with a place to prepare food.

Our kitchen is now probably the most used room in the home, along with our bedrooms and because of this we need to spend our money and time wisely on improving, renovating and redesigning it.

That’s why today I will give you some easy tips on improving the look of your kitchen that will not only improve your lifestyle but also improve your home’s valuation. Perfect, right?

Open plan kitchen living

Open plan living is taking off not only the UK, but the world; Nordic-style trends are all the rage right now and I can certainly see why. You can integrate a space to ensure your kitchen has the function of not just cooking but socialising too.

One of the most boring things about the old fashioned kitchen has got to be the fact that it was separated from the rest of the home. Not anymore. An open plan kitchen living space allows the chef to interact with family and guests while cooking up their secret recipes.

However, there could be problems within your open plan kitchen design if you don’t do a few things well. For example, you still need a separation of space between your cooking area and your social zone.

One simple way to do so is to have a kitchen island installed; the island will act as a traffic control system and provides guests and family somewhere to sit while being away from your kitchen appliances.

The noise element to your kitchen is also something to consider – although, there is a simple way to get round the racket of televisions, fans and dishwashers. When renovating your kitchen why not look for quiet performing appliances? They should be around the same price but without the noise! Simple.

Kitchen fittings – The needed yet unnoticed

Kitchen fittings are something not many homeowners know about – until something breaks, of course. It is always a good idea to upgrade your kitchen fittings if you’re looking to renovate your kitchen. Replace those kitchen cabinet hinges and drawer runners and dampers for soft close versions.

Doing so will not only ensure protection of your drawers and cabinets from being slammed but they also allow safety for your children. In a lifetime how many times will your child trap their hands in one or other? Not so many with when selecting your soft close options, that’s for sure.

You can purchase many different kitchen fittings that all have a small effect on your design but a dramatic effect on user happiness. However, one notable kitchen fitting change that can be made to improve the style and design of our kitchen are kitchen cabinet and cupboard handles.

Although our handles don’t seem to have much of an effect, imagine your cabinets with the wrong style or colour. The whole room looks poorly designed and also obscured. Changing kitchen cabinet and cupboard handles is an affordable and easy way to improve our kitchen and I would advise adding it to your list of kitchen renovations and improvements.

Eco-friendly kitchen appliances

With the kitchen not just being a place for the cook anymore and the emphasis on being green and taking care of the environment means any appliances we are buying should be eco-friendly! Yes, it may cost us a little bit more than usual to install these appliances but in the long term it could save us an absolute fortune on energy bills, worthwhile? I think so.

In the modern era, just about anything and everything is costing us money on our energy bills and because of this we should be looking to save where possible. There are five main appliances in the kitchen that I feel we can update for a more eco-friendly solution and they’re as follows:

–          The dishwasher

–          The oven

–          Our taps

–          The fridge

–          Light bulbs

Most of these are fairly expensive improvements but in my opinion we should all be looking to install them when renovating our kitchen. However, the light bulb is one of the cheapest yet most effective ways to help our homes bills decrease, along with turning things on standby off. An energy efficient bulb can last as much as 26x the lifetime of a normal one and I very much advise changing immediately, you can help the environment while saving a fortune over the years.