6 DIY kitchen upgrades for those who love to cook

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If you enjoy cooking for your family and friends, you probably spend a lot of time in your kitchen. If it could use some improvements, there are many projects you can make, or worth the investment to rent out. These six upgrades can give you the kitchen of your dreams and increase your resale value.

Whether your space is large or small, there are many ways you can upgrade your kitchen and turn it into a cooking oasis. Whether you do one of these six projects, or hire someone to do them for you, here’s how you can remodel your kitchen without breaking the bank.

Expand your sinks

The sink is widely used in most homes, whether a cooking hobbyist lives there or not. However, if you’re cooking, you’ll need plenty of space in the sink to wash vegetables and measure out water and other wet ingredients. Oh yes, and you also need space to store the dirty dishes.

You can make all of these tasks easier if you increase the size of the sink. A larger area allows more things to fit, while a deeper sink makes filling large pots much easier. You may even want to install two sinks: one for preparing food and one for washing dishes.

If you can’t (or don’t want to) cut through your countertop to make your sinks bigger, you can replace a traditional two-sided sink with a sink model that’s deep enough to accommodate larger pots and pans, as shown in TJ Lawrence’s video above.

Increase your counter space

Nothing is more frustrating when you’re cooking than realizing you don’t have enough counter space to prep (or just put down) another item. To make sure you never run out of prep space again, consider hiring a contractor to extend your countertops.

However, if you are able to make this project, Skillfully yours Maris will walk you through the process in the video above.

Another way to add more prep space is to add an island in the center of your kitchen. You can hire someone to do this for you, but an easier (and much cheaper) way to do it is to just buy a cell phone. You get the extra space you need without all the hassle and clutter of construction.

Install a new lighting fixture

A work lamp above a stove.

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Good visibility makes cooking much easier and much more enjoyable. From reading recipes and measurements to slicing and dicing vegetables, there are countless reasons why you need excellent lighting in a kitchen.

If you’ve been cooking under dim, yellowish light in your kitchen for far too long, simply swapping out the bulbs can greatly enhance your cooking adventures.

However, if the fixture is the problem, consider replacing it with something that provides bright enough overhead lighting to properly illuminate all surfaces.

Light color is measured on the Kelvin (K) temperature scale. A lower number means a light is more yellow, while higher numbers mean it is more white or blue. A warm, yellowish white will fall between 2,700-2,800K, while a whiter warm light will be closer to 3,000K.

A neutral white light would be between 3,500-4,000 K, while light blue would be bright white light above 5,000 K. The best lighting to use in a kitchen will generally fall somewhere between 3,500-5,000K.

If you don’t want to replace the fixture(s) in your kitchen, another option is to simply install some task lighting above your counter, stove, or other workspaces.

Prioritize storage space

Home cooks usually have a variety of appliances, cookware, and pans needed to make all of their specialties. Rather than wasting precious counter space, investing in additional storage space makes sense for many cooks.

There are several ways you can do this, but the option you choose will depend on the layout and features in your kitchen. For some, it may make the most sense to renovate the existing cabinets, while others may decide to either have some extra cabinets installed or buy a whole new set.

This is, of course, another project you can rent out, but if you’d like to learn more about installing it yourself, check out the Get It Done Home Repair video above.

If you don’t want to replace your cabinets but still want to use more storage space, a hanging rack for those space-consuming pots and pans can make a huge difference.

If it’s your counters that need to be cleaned up (and you have the space), a simple storage hutch could be the answer to your storage problems.

Install Quartz Countertops

Quartz is a popular stonework option for kitchen countertops because of its durability and appearance. It’s certainly pricey, but because it’s scratch and stain resistant, many people think it’s worth the investment.

Not only can quartz withstand heavy use, it’s also non-porous, making it the perfect surface to deal with messes and spills in high-traffic areas, such as the kitchen.

Again, you can hire a contractor to do the work for you, but it would definitely save you some money if you feel confident enough to do it yourself. Watch the video above from This Old House to learn more about the process.

Build a pantry

Having a pantry is ideal for home cooks as you need storage for all of your ingredients. It can also help you keep all your herbs, spices, and other dry goods organized so you can easily find them when you need them.

If you already have a pantry, but could use more space there, adding a few shelves or baskets may be enough.

You can add one ton extra storage for your pantry with a simple over-the-door organizer.

Another option is to turn a wardrobe into a pantry if you have one in (or near) your kitchen. Or, if you have the space, you can buy a standing cabinet to store your ingredients.

If none of the above options are an option, you can also have a pantry built, or you can watch the Home RenoVision DIY video above and build your own pantry. While this shall takes up some space in your kitchen, it will enhance your cooking experience as your ingredients are not in the way, but much easier to find when you need them.

You can also store small appliances, tools and other items in your new pantry instead of on your counter or in your cupboards.

Cooking is a lot easier (and more fun) in a kitchen that’s really built for it. From replacing the lighting to building your own pantry, a little DIY can take your kitchen from cluttered to stylish, not to mention much more functional.

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