the kitchen – the heart of the home.

Upgrading your home can be great fun, as we demonstrated last year in ‘Key Ingredients for an On-Trend Bedroom in 2017’. This year we turn our attention to the kitchen.

This part of the house is considered the busiest, and it is constantly being upgraded and reinvented. Taking that into account, here are some key ingredients for a modern 2018 kitchen.

Open-plan kitchen layout

Open Kitchen

Do you like your meals prepped quick and consumed quick, too? Ideal Home suggests trying a Scandinavian style open-plan kitchen-diner, which will give you plenty of space to move around freely. This open plan design is also great for when you have family and friends over. It really makes the kitchen stand out as the centre of the home.

Matte black appliances

Matt Black Appliances

You can do away with your plain white and silver appliances and replace them with matte black ones. They’re beautiful to look at and much easier to maintain. There are fingerprint-resistant refrigerators and stoves that can withstand even the greasiest hands. Choosing the right colour and finish for your appliances is important as it impacts the overall look and feel of your kitchen.

Smart kitchen technology

Smart technology is usually associated with TVs and sound systems, yet the kitchen is also at the forefront of this new type of tech. Business Insider lists the latest traditional cooking equipment that can be linked to your smartphone. You can get connected appliances like the Samsung Family Hub 4-Door Smart Refrigerator, where you can set expiration notifications so your food doesn’t spoil and go to waste. It can even help you plan your meals according to the ingredients available in your fridge.

Minimal and simple

If you hate clutter and you’re willing to make a major renovation, strip out your kitchen and replace it with something more uncomplicated. Take down some of the shelves and leave the walls bare, then paint them white or grey for a clean look. Put all your storage under the counter, and remove their doors to make everything look more spacious. House Beautiful also recommends replacing your lighting with simple drop-down bulbs and decorate with statement pieces like a huge vase or a fruit centrepiece.

Better exhaust and insulation

Not all homeowners know that taking the kitchen’s exhaust and insulation for granted can cost you extra money in heating bills. In years gone by, it was a challenge to hide a stove’s exhaust, but ranges nowadays come with beautiful hoods. They provide your kitchen with proper ventilation and complement your kitchen design at the same time.

Consider hiring a contractor for this particular project as it takes a lot of expertise and precision. Any gaps, like drill holes and cracks in the walls, could affect your entire kitchen’s exhaust and insulation. Your contractor can also help you choose the best materials for your kitchen renovation—especially when it comes to the size of your gas range hood, and the type of insulator. Choosing which insulation foam to use is crucial, as there are different kinds and the curing period can take a few hours; even up to days. Screwfix’s information on expanding foams details how the foam is used for “insulating, stopping draughts, filling gaps and dampening sound”. Your contractor can show you how to apply it so you can do touch-ups yourself in the future if needed. It’s worth the investment because substandard insulation and a poor quality exhaust will be more costly in the long run.

After renovating your kitchen, make sure you get plenty of good kitchen tools, too. Yorkshire Pudd’s list features a reliable pan like Simply Perfect by Raymond Blanc Hard Anodised Skillet Pan and even unusual ones like a banana chopper.