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3 Top Tips for Transforming Your Kitchen

3 Top Tips for Transforming Your Kitchen

Transformation can take many forms, and the result does not always realise the dream we visualised. Fortunately, preventing your kitchen transformation from turning into a nightmare whether aesthetically or financially, is easy, provided you observe a few simple tips and tricks, and here are 3 of the top ones worth taking ahead of calling in the kitchen fitters or getting handy with that hammer.

1. Redesign: Make a Kitchen that Works for You

The best way to truly transform a kitchen is of course to call upon an expert designer or design team. There is a massive difference between calling on the help of a kitchen fitter and calling on the expertise of a kitchen designer or design team. To put it plainly, a designer or design team will not only create a new kitchen to replace an old, outdated or shabby looking one, but take the time, make the effort and go to the length of transforming an entire kitchen space into one that doesn’t just meet your needs but exceeds them. Therefore, to truly transform your kitchen, seek the assistance of a designer.

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2. Renovate: Make an Existing Kitchen Work for You

Provided your kitchen is equipped with the bare necessities – we’re talking working white goods, a sink and fitted counter tops and cupboards / storage, it is entirely possible to make your kitchen work for you and do so without ripping the whole room out and beginning from scratch. It might be hard to believe, but tackle key issues such as lighting and you’ll have successfully transformed any kitchen.

The trick is to remember that whilst pendant lighting used over islands and tables and the addition of under cabinet LEDS to add some sparkle are both great ideas, simply dressing your window(s) well is often sufficient to brighten up a dull or dark kitchen. Further, because dressing a window is a necessary expenditure and additional lighting isn’t, it is worth doing so properly.

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Hence, invest in blinds or shadings to create a stylish, unobtrusive look and to inject some additional vibrancy opt for a bold or block colour blind or shading. Unfussy, contemporary and the best means of controlling the amount of natural light within a kitchen, swapping out old curtains or nets for blinds is an instant transformation.

Meanwhile, for more inspiration, ideas and to learn about some brilliantly thrifty, retro and truly illuminating  ways to transform any kitchen into an exciting and fun space in which to cook, eat or simply make a brew, you can continue your reading via the This Old House website.

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3. Reimagine: Make Your Kitchen the Heart of Your Home

Kitchens are particularly tricky and often end up also being a particularly costly room to transform. This is due to two major reasons. Firstly, kitchens are rooms which require expensive and often less than lovely looking gadgets and goods – namely ‘white goods’. Secondly, most kitchens in 2016 are of the ‘fitted’ variety. Hence, there is little to no scope of rejigging the furniture should you get bored or find the existing layout is not ideal for you and your family. Fortunately, there are ways of working around these two sizable issues which can transform a kitchen from a space entered out of necessity into the heart of a family house.

To begin with, free yourself from the idea that just because the cabinets and appliances perhaps are fixed into place this means your sense of style must too be reigned in. Whilst it is true that kitchens are best kept clutter free for health and safety reasons, this needn’t mean cooking in a sterile environment or one scrubbed free of personality.

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To see proof of this and just how an ordinary kitchen can be turned into an extraordinary space, visit the Pinterest website and view their online gallery of extraordinary kitchens. With literally thousands of designs as well as DIY ideas on how to go about creating million dollar looks, even those working to the tightest budgets are likely to find a way, or numerous ways, to transform their kitchen in 2016.

Featured photo credit: Shutterstock via shutterstock.com

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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