Southern kitchens are light, bright and breezy. Here are 11 kitchen makeover ideas to make guests feel welcome to sit and chat awhile.
1. Add a bay window. This bump-out style window adds the illusion of extra space in your kitchen and floods the room with light. Be sure to have the contractor fit the window with screens so you can enjoy a refreshing breeze when you're firing up the oven or stove top. Tuck a bistro table and two chairs into the space to create a little nook for visiting one-on-one with a friend.
2. Display your seasonings. Add a rustic spice rack to the wall near your stove. Keep your cooking favorites handy--not tucked away in a kitchen cupboard.
3. Choose bright paint. Classic Southern kitchens are known for their spacious appearance. To do this, keep your color palette neutral and bright. White, eggshell, pale yellow and even powder blue make the kitchen look clean, open and inviting. Save the deep, rich jewel-tone paint for your living room or bedroom.
4. Add a pop of color with accessories. One classic option is copper-bottom kettles. Keep a boiling pot handy on the stove and display narrow skillets on the wall. The pretty pots are both functional and stylish! Then choose an accent color. Try cherry red or royal blue for a modern twist on a classic Southern kitchen. Add the splash of color with canisters, hand towels and rugs.
5. Update your light fixtures. Whether your prefer a modern appeal or a plantation-style feel, add ornate lighting. Detailed wall sconces, hanging overhead fixtures, under-cabinet lighting and fan/light combinations are perfect for your kitchen. Choose fixtures with little or no metallic features for a warmer, classic look. Fans painted white and sconces with large glass covers blend with the simplicity of the kitchen.
6. Make the space extra inviting. If you have an island or breakfast bar, add bar-style chairs to encourage guests to have a seat while you prepare dinner or warm a snack to share. Display cookbooks as part of the decor. These double as reading material for guests if you leave the room momentarily. Encourage children to relax in the space by keeping coloring books, crayons and small hand-held games tucked in a low cupboard near a table or breakfast bar.
7. Resurface the cabinets. If you're tired of the look of your storage spaces but don't want to have to take out a second mortgage to buy new cabinets, consider having them resurfaced by a carpenter. He can remove existing paint or stain to freshen the cabinetry. Choose light-colored paint to coordinate with the walls, or a clear polyurethane to amplify natural wood grain. Keep the look light and bright to coordinate with adjoining rooms in your home.
8. Install new countertops. If your cabinets are in good shape but your countertops have seen better days, call a contractor. Countertops are installed separately from the cabinetry, making the flat surfaces simple to update. This is an easy way to change the color scheme of your kitchen. Consider slate or quartz countertops to coordinate with tile flooring. Or, save a few dollars and choose a linoleum-covered wood countertop with wrap-around edges that resist peeling.
9. Add a new sink. Tired of that old, stained porcelain sink? Opt for a new stainless steel model (that won't show stains), or have the sink resurfaced to give it a fresh, clean look. Either option costs just a few hundred dollars and can easily be completed in a day.
10. Buy new appliances. Give your kitchen a true touch of old-world charm by ditching the modern, shiny appliances. Choose a white porcelain enameled stove with an antique feel to make your kitchen look cozy and classic. If you can't part with your stainless steel refrigerator, move it to the pantry for easy accessibility. This also opens up space in the kitchen for a rolling butcher block-top table or rustic wine rack.
11. Update your flooring. If your linoleum is peeling or your hardwood floors are too thin to sand and refinish, opt for tile flooring. This serviceable substrate stays cool during warm Southern summers and resists humidity. Call an Atlanta-area remodeling company to give you a price quote on new flooring for your kitchen makeover.