Frugal living doesn’t correspond to sacrifice in lifestyle. The key to a frugal life is picking up a level of quality that minimizes spending yet gives the enjoyment from things you prioritize. It’s important that you have your priorities in mind before you jump onto the bandwagon of living frugally.
Once you start cutting down on the things that don’t matter to you, you’ll find it extremely rewarding down the line. And what’s a better place to start your frugal living journey other than your kitchen. You spend a lot of time there, why not try out some economical ways to customize your kitchen. You just need to get creative with your strategy.
6 Thrifty Kitchen Customizations for Frugal Homeowners
Here are six simple and inexpensive ideas to pull off some DIY kitchen upgrades. Each one is easy to do on your own with very little investment in tools and labor.
Add Open Shelves beneath the Island
Traditionally kitchen islands have relied on closed cabinets and drawers tucked into the design. Most people prefer closed shelves as it’s usually safer and looks cleaner. But adding open shelving gives your kitchen a refreshing look and unravels a plethora of possibilities. You can transform the kitchen island into a much more functional unit than just for your cooking needs.
If you add open shelves beneath the island, you double it up as a storage item to house all sorts of kitchen supplies, dishes, cookbooks, or even some decorative items. If you have a particularly large kitchen island, you can even try a combination of closed and open cabinets. This spacious area will give you the perfect opportunity to showcase your cookbooks or have extra storage space at your disposal.
You can get an inexpensive shelf cabinet or open-frame at any size you prefer and put it in the area under the island. Stack dishes of the same size together for the best utilization of this space and a cleaner look.
If you have a relatively small kitchen without an island, consider getting a small kitchen island cart. You can get a relatively cheap one with drawers, spacious open shelves, and even some fancy composite woodwork, plus it would be super portable.
Targeted task Lighting Over the Counter
Ambient light may sometimes leave shadows in key working areas, which means you have to rely on task lighting to illuminate those areas. Common task lighting solutions include LED strips and puck lights.
Start with the countertop; that’s one of those areas that require more focus. Installing task lighting is easy and cost-effective; You can even use a plug-in or battery-operated units if you don’t want to conduct a kitchen audit. You can get a simple puck light or LED strip for $15 and up, and all of these options are perfectly suited for under cabinet mounting.
The right set of lighting fixtures will help you safely prepare meals and accomplish the day’s tasks with ease. Aside from countertops, you can choose to add task illumination in cabinets, drawers, and over the island or sink.
A pendant over the island or peninsula can double up as task illumination when pulled down and ambient light when recessed up. Even a simple task lighting update will change the entire look and feel of your kitchen space.
Activated Carbon Air filter to Capture Kitchen smoke
A poorly ventilated kitchen is a recipe for disaster. Nothing beats a dedicated range hood that vents to the outside when it comes to eliminating smoke and cooking odor. But that’s expensive. It often requires professional installation and may not be a feasible solution for every kitchen.
All you need is an Activated Carbon Filter-based air purifier. These filters can handle small to moderate fumes and odor levels and keep your kitchen hygienic and healthy. Air purifiers come in a wide range of budgets and capacities. A good air purifier with a HEPA filter will take care of all the volatile organic compounds (VOCs), kitchen odor, and other harmful particles.
Carbon filters require replacing every time it gets saturated with pollutants, but you can spend a bit more and get a washable filter that will save you on maintenance costs. Although an activated carbon filter is a great cost-effective alternative to a traditional range hood, it’s not the only solution.
There are several other ways you can maintain fresh and clean air in your kitchen without worrying about a traditional venting hood or installing other costlier ventilation solutions.
Functional Corner Kitchen Sinks
The corner area in your kitchen is often underappreciated when it comes to practical use. Installing a corner kitchen sink is probably the best way to get the most out of that tiny area, especially for a smaller kitchen.
Given the prevalence of standard sinks, you might ask yourself if there are any shortcomings to a corner sink. Don’t worry; modern corner sinks are available in lots of different materials, shapes and often come with excellent amenities of their own. These offer the same, if not better, range of functionality and features as a standard kitchen sink.
Among the various advantages of a corner sink, the primary ones are that it offers shorter reach within your kitchen, and you can add different functional units around the sides of the sink. These units may include additional bowls, strainers, soap holders, and more. Corner sinks feature very ergonomic designs and come in a host of material choices such as Stainless steel, Ceramic, or Silgranit.
Many people prefer dual basin corner sinks, for it allows you to be more versatile. Once you grow accustomed to using a corner sink, you won’t look back from its level of convenience.
Revive the Sink Skirt
You can hang a DIY curtain or a piece of fabric under the sink to soften the look of hard-edges or conceal the rustic area under the sink. It might sound like a simple thing, but it adds a nice touch of character to your kitchen’s overall ambiance.
The skirt has to look good! Take this as an opportunity to redefine a barebones kitchen with your favorite fabric choices as well as open up a bunch of possibilities functionally. You can add a skirt to pretty much any open space aside from the sink, from kitchen counters to cabinets.
Best of all, you don’t have to purchase a new skirt. Cut a piece of fabric to fit the opening size, hem it all the way and hang that on a curtain tension rod, or stick cheap velcro tape to the underside of the cabinet and the fabric. There you have it. Use the sweet skirt to conceal the garbage pail and all the cleaning supplies under the sink.
You can even change the skirting during different seasons because no one likes the same color scheme throughout the year, or perhaps get creative and add decorative items like ball fringe to it.
Magnetic knife holder Strip around the work station
No more rummaging around the kitchen for knives or other common tools. Getting a magnetic knife holder has several benefits: It saves precious space in your countertops and drawers, prevents the blades from scratches, and comes with the apparent convenience of better kitchen management.
With a magnetic knife holder strip, you get quick access to the most crucial tool in the kitchen, and in the process, make your kitchen look fancier and more modern. These strips come in a few different types, from sleek wall-mountable strips to magnetic countertop racks. You can get one for dirt cheap, but have the option of getting stronger magnets and more sophisticated designs if willing to spend more.
The only thing you need to keep in mind is to mount them high enough so that the knives are out of reach of children. Also, you won’t be able to use them with ceramic knives. Aside from that, magnetic strips are probably the best way to store and display your collection of knives, or any other metallic tool for that matter.
Kitchen upgrades don’t always have to cost a fortune, especially if it’s already in a perfectly acceptable shape. You don’t need to shell out cash on a kitchen remodel.
These were a handful of creative customization ideas you can use to decorate your space visually as well as functionally. For anyone without a bucketful of cash, making smart and sustainable choices is crucial. But choosing one area to start refreshing can be challenging.
Given that the kitchen is one of the most essential rooms in your house and has many possibilities as far as upgrades are concerned, it seems like a win-win to pick it.