Even on a supertight budget, a revamped kitchen is within reach—it's all about organization. Just remember the big picture: "The kitchen has to have a conversation with the rest of the house and its overall decor," says Mara Miller
, who along with her husband Jesse Carrier coauthored the new book Carrier and Company: Positively Chic Interiors
. Here are their best streamlining tips.
1. Purge unnecessary kitchen items and then clear the countertops.
"People generally have too much stuff," says Miller, who recommends decluttering
before starting any kitchen improvements. "If you don't use something daily, put it away. A clean countertop is like a fresh start."
2. Be mindful of clashing finishes.
Everything on the counter should be visually harmonious. "Instead of having a white toaster oven, a black coffee maker, and a stainless steel kettle," says Miller, "try to keep the finishes unified."
3. Keep like with like.
Store food items in one cabinet, plates and bowls in another near the dishwasher, and so on. "Things should be clustered according to their use," says Miller. "I'd rather pack a cabinet with all my baking items than have to walk across the kitchen every time I need something."
4. Maximize your space.
Carrier and Miller took advantage of the Southampton kitchen's high ceilings to install a showstopping hanging pot rack, which freed up cabinet and drawer space. The concept works on a smaller scale
, too: "We had an awkward space in our own kitchen that we converted into a spice rack," Carrier says.
5. Anything looks better when it's organized.
Use trays, baskets, and bowls
to hold small items. For instance, place sugar packets and single-serve pods in a stylish bowl next to the coffee maker.
6. Take a stand on stacks.
Kitchens with open shelving
give you a chance to make a style statement, whether it's with minimalist bowls, as in the Southampton kitchen, or a more eclectic, colorful mélange. "It all depends on your personality," says Miller, but whatever you do, make it deliberate.
Mara Miller and Jesse Carrier are the authors of new book
Carrier and Company: Positively Chic Interiors