Our kitchens are primarily for cooking, so it’s no surprise that many of us store hoards of cookbooks in our kitchens to help us whip up tasty treats and wholesome meals. But why is it that we store them out of sight or just shove them in an inconspicuous corner?

We’ve put together some inspirational ideas to help you get creative with your cook book storage, bring them out of the dark and showcase them in all their glory.

1. Beautiful Baskets

www.houzz.com/

Yes it’s simple, but it’s gorgeous too!  Why not try filling a wire basket with your favourite cookbooks for easy access and a chic display. Perfect for a shabby chic décor.

2. Front Facing Shelves 

allthingsfabulousblog.com

Make your cookbook storage a design feature in your kitchen. This unique shelf enables you to store your books front facing showcasing their cover designs and making it easy to find the one you want quickly and easily.

3. Locker Room Lockers 

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Open the doors the reveal your cookbooks in all their glory or lock them away out of reach from others. This eye catching book storage solution would look great in a retro kitchen!

4. Tiered Book Racks 

www.desiretoinspire.net

A tiered book rack would be a beautifully unusual addition to any Kitchen. Spin it for easy access to all your books!

5. Vertical shelves 

japanesetrash.com

Taking up minimal floor space whilst still offering maximum storage space, this vertical shelf is perfect for smaller kitchens.

A great alternative to a generic horizontal shelf, this quirky design is a simple way to add a touch of creativity to your kitchen.

6. An Entire Wall Of Books

www.mattersofstyleblog.com

If you’re a hard core foodie who’s managed to compile a substantial cookbook collection over the years, why not try and create an entire wall of cook books in your kitchen? This amazing idea is more than just a storage solution it’s a piece of art! Show off beautiful cover designs, add colour to your kitchen or even create different moods. Imagine a wall covered with Vintage cookbooks!

7. Unusually shaped shelves

www.prweb.com

Why would you displaying your cookbooks on a plain old shelf when you can create something beautiful using unusually shaped shelves such as this ‘read’ shelf? There are lots of other shaped shelves available on the market such a trees and maps too!

8. The Paperback Wall System By Studio Parade

www.bonluxat.com

Use the spines of your cookbooks to add colour and a focal point to your kitchen using the Paperback Wall System created by Studio Parade. This fully customizable storage solution can be used to store more than just cookbooks, add your favourite ceramics of pictures too.

9. Behind The Door Storage 

www.apartmenttherapy.com

In a small space every surface counts, so if your kitchen is rather tight then move your cookbooks off your work tops and utilize the forgotten space behind your doors. This great idea not only looks cool due to its floating appearance but it’s also extremely practical when trying to save space.

10. Cookbook stand

www.vat19.com

If you’re a novice cook or only have a few cookbooks and still want a clever way to store them whilst you grow your collection, try a single book stand. You can buy them in many different styles to suit any kitchen and their great for displaying the inside of your books too.

11. The Poets Book Hanger

Appliance City - Food & Home

This unconventional shelf created by Jakob Jørgensen is a fantastic, multifunctional way to store your cookbooks. Use the wooden sticks to hang your books and book mark your favourite recipes!

12. A Chair Made From Cookbooks

www.artsjournal.com

This amazing creation is perhaps not for everyone and is certainly not the most practical cookbook storage solution, but it is stunning! For all you super creative individuals out there this would be a great idea to try out, sitting on it may not be a good idea though!


The kitchen is probably the most important room in the home. Not only is it the room that gets used the most often, but it’s usually the most expensive when it comes to remodelling and updating. Making changes to a kitchen requires meticulous planning to ensure all the necessary elements are co-ordinated and all the details fit in the plan, not to mention keeping within a budget. Lack of thought and preparation in new kitchen design can produce disastrous results, creating a botched-up job and costing you more money than you’d anticipated.

So, before you get tackling your new kitchen upgrade, read the following five most frequently asked questions about designing a new kitchen.

1. How much should I budget for my new kitchen?

No two kitchens are the same, so no budget will be the same as another. The factors that will have an influence include how big your kitchen is, how much remodelling you’re planning on making and the quality of materials or appliances you intend to use. Another important factor is how much you intend to do yourself, or whether you’re going to employ the services of a professional tradesperson. Obviously, how much money you have to spare will also determine just what you can do in your kitchen and the quality of the materials or appliances you choose.

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It can be really easy to get carried away with the excitement of planning a new kitchen, so always try to stay within your budget. Make a careful, detailed plan of how much things will cost. Not only will you need to consider costs of appliances, fixtures, fittings, materials etc. but you’ll need to factor in service charges, labour and any painting or decorating that may need doing as well. Leave a bit of leeway within your budget, in case unexpected expenses crop up or you change your mind about certain elements along the way.

A very basic refit could cost as little as £1,000, but an average remodel could cost anywhere between £5,000 – £10,000. However, many kitchen refits can cost a lot more than this. Some people even argue that where you live can influence how much a refit will cost.

2. What design elements make a kitchen more or less expensive?

Expect to spend up to half of your budget on the kitchen cabinets if these are included as part of your refit. How much you spend on your cabinets depends on a number of factors. How big your kitchen is will impact on how many new cabinets you’ll need. The quality of the materials used to make the cabinets, such as the materials of the cupboards and doors, as well as the worktops, are all influenced by price. Bespoke materials and custom-made designs will cost more than off-the-shelf designs, so bear this in mind. Get a few quotes in, and have a look around at the different designs and price ranges before picking one, as you’ll want to ensure that you’re getting the best value for your money. Ask for recommendations of any designers and kitchen fitters and always choose one with a good reputation. They should be able to show you examples of previous work undertaken.

If you’re working to a tight budget, and can’t afford to replace all of your cabinets, then consider changing the handles or drawer knobs, or giving them a repaint to spruce them up a little.

The type of floor you choose, the splashbacks and appliances are also elements that can eat into your budget.

3. How long will the whole process take?

How long it takes from start to finish of your kitchen redesign will depend to the extent on how much you’re having done to it. It could take between a week or two, to several weeks or even a few months for a major remodel. Speak to the designer and fitter to get an idea of timescales, and always factor in a bit extra for any unexpected hiccups along the way. If you’re doing some of the remodelling yourself, then it may take longer than a professional, so bear this in mind. Also factor in the possibility that the designer or fitter may have other projects on the go, so be clear of your expectations before any work begins. If you want sole priority, then you may have to pay extra for this service.

Appliance City - Food & Home

If the planning and co-ordination of materials is robust from the start, then the work should be carried out as quickly as possible, and to the given time schedule. Lack of planning and ordering materials at the last minute can delay proceedings. Don’t forget you also have a part to play in how long it takes – if you keep chopping and changing your mind on the design, then you will lengthen the process. Whilst it is important to make the right decision, once you’ve made your choices try to stick to them as best as possible.

4. How much value will be added to my house with a newly designed kitchen?

Experts argue that the kitchen is one of the biggest selling points for people looking to buy a new home, so a newly designed kitchen is real asset to anybody thinking of selling up. But how much value will it add exactly? A lot depends on where you live. If your property is worth £100,000 and your kitchen remodelling project cost you £30,000, then don’t expect it to add that much extra onto the value of your home.

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However, as a general guideline, you can expect to add 5-15% onto the value of your home.  If you live in an area where lots of houses are up for sale, then a high-quality kitchen can give it a competitive edge and help boost a sale. But, if you are planning on selling and are considering a kitchen upgrade, always use the value of your home as a guideline to how much you should spend on your kitchen, and try to keep it in proportion.

5. Which are the most important appliances to invest in?

The appliances you choose as part of your remodel will depend on which are most useful to you, and, of course, which need upgrading. If your cooker is worn and shabby, then it will be a worthwhile investment to get a new one as part of an upgrade. Don’t buy appliances that you aren’t likely to use.

Appliance City - Food & Home

Spend a bit extra on those that will get good use. If you’re thinking of buying appliances which you’re hoping will attract potential buyers, should you decide to sell in the future, then choose ones with universal appeal, and ones that are either in-built or you are prepared to leave for future buyers. Appliances can be expensive so do your research. Read online reviews and choose ones that match the rest of your kitchen styling and blend in well with each other. Opt for the most energy efficient appliances, as they’ll be cheaper to run.

Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwarby/


Buying a new fitted kitchen can cost thousands of pounds, but there’s no need to spend that much money on updating your kitchen if you don’t want to. There are a lot of ways to modernize your kitchen without spending a fortune, and if you’re creative and resourceful you can get a great new look, even on a modest budget.

1.     Paint works wonders

Re-painting your kitchen is the easiest and most affordable way to revitalize the room. If you decide to re-paint your kitchen, choose a latex based semigloss paint, so that you can sponge down splashes and stains easily. Be sure to clean and strip each surface before you paint it, so that the paint adheres to it properly.

Appliance City - Food & Home

If you have wooden cabinets which still have their natural colour, varnish them to prevent them from taking up any stains too easily.

2.     Revitalize your walls

If you want an attractive, rustic look for your kitchen but can’t afford to completely remodel, try adding faux stone walls. These “3D” tiles add depth and detail to your room, but are substantially cheaper than the real thing. Be warned, however, cleaning these tiles is much harder than cleaning plain tiles or paint.#

http://www.flickr.com/photos/colleen-lane/

 

3.     Lighting for a new look

Never underestimate the importance of good lighting. Replacing dim CFL lights with high quality halogen ones will not just make your room look brighter, it will save you money on your energy bills too. In addition, the quality of halogen lighting is far superior, making it easier to see clearly when you prepare food, and making your kitchen look nicer.

Don’t just stick to pendulum lighting, install lights over the sink and stove, and consider adding under-cabinet lighting near frequently used worktops as well. Installing the lighting may be expensive compared to some of the updates on this list, but it will be worth every penny.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/swimphoto/

 

4.     Simple hardware updates

Leaky taps, creaky hinges and wonky handles make even the nicest of fitted kitchens look worn and dated. If there’s nothing particularly wrong with your existing installation other than a little wear and tear, why not take a moment to fix it up? You can pick up replacement hinges, taps and handles quite cheaply at most hardware stores, and even the most casual DIY fan can replace a door handle in a few minutes. You’ll be amazed at how much better your kitchen looks when those little details are in place.

Don’t underestimate the impact of different handles. Using one design consistently through the entire room, whether it’s something modern like this:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/colemama/

 

 

Or timeless, but child-like, such as this Tigger themed handle:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/pengrin/

 

It will make a big difference, especially when combined with tea towels, plates and other accessories which match.

5.     Resurfacing – cheap and effective

Even cracked and chipped counter-tops can be fixed up. Instead of paying for a whole new fitted kitchen, get your existing countertops resurfaced, or re-paint them to give them a new lease of life. You may have to spend a couple of hundred pounds to get all of your counters resurfaced, but it is significantly cheaper than getting an entire new fitted kitchen done.

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You can purchase furniture refinishers quite cheaply and do the job yourself for only a small expenditure; however you should read the instructions carefully before you try the job. The chemicals in furniture refinishers are both highly flammable and poisonous. Do not get the chemicals on your skin or in your eyes, keep them out of reach of pets, and open a window before you start work so that the room is well ventilated. Use a respirator if the instructions recommend one. Stripping the finish may also remove some of the stain, so you should look over the bare surface carefully and apply an extra coat of stain to even out the colour if necessary. Let the stain dry, wipe the counter clean, and then apply a clear coat to give your counter tops a shiny new finish.

6.    Upcycle

Upcycling is the practice of taking old, rickety and worn items and turning them into something new and interesting. For example, you could take an old lamp and turn it into an attractive vase or rescue an old Victorian trunk from a junk yard, fix it up, and use it as a decorative storage box in your bedroom, or salvage an old cabinet and turn it into a fixture in your kitchen.

This battered old cabinet could easily be sanded, stained and varnished to create a rustic and appealing fixture in the kitchen.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jacbt/

7.    Be thrifty when buying appliances

Do you really need to spend hundreds of pounds on a new washing machine, or thousands on a fridge with a built-in Wi-Fi screen? If your existing appliances are several years old, and are not Energy Star rated, or have a D rating or lower, then you will save money over the lifetime of the appliance by buying a new one. However, if your appliance is Energy Star A rated and in good condition, why replace it when you can simply hide it behind a cabinet door if the colour doesn’t fit your kitchen?

Kitchen Upcycle - Appliance City

Image Credit: Kitsch N Kitchens

If you do need to buy appliances, don’t rush straight to the department store. Take a look on Craigslist, Freecycle, Ebay and any local listings sites or notice boards. Often, people get rid of nearly-new appliances when they’re moving house, so you could pick up some brand-name appliances that are in good condition for a fraction of the department store price.

Freecyle users give away old goods for free. If you are lucky enough to get an appliance at an affordable price on Craigslist, and your old appliance is in good condition, consider giving it away on Freecycle instead of paying to have it disposed of safely. You will save money, and someone less well-off than you (perhaps a young person moving into their first home, or someone who is going through a period of unemployment) will really appreciate the help with stocking their kitchen.


The kitchen is one of the most frequently used rooms in the house. Even if you aren’t a passionate baker or dedicated chef, you will still use your kitchen to cook up at least one or two quick meals per day. Many people also use their kitchen tables as a workspace for paying bills and doing paperwork or homework, and the room is also frequently used for socializing. This means that it’s essential to keep the room tidy and organized, and pick a functional layout.

Are you making these common mistakes?

1.       Lack of Counter Space.

Design your kitchen so that you have as much available counter space as you possibly can. The last thing you want to happen is for a meal to be ruined because you precariously balanced some baking trays over the sink after you ran out of counters to put things on.  If you’re cursed with a small kitchen, try to minimize the number of counter-top appliances you use. It’s all too easy for infrequently used appliances to take over your kitchen, leaving you with no room to prepare food.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/quasimime/

2.       Forgetting the Kitchen Work Triangle.

The “work triangle” is the cornerstone of every kitchen layout. You should design your kitchen so that you have easy access to the stove, fridge and sink. If you have to walk around an island and dodge lots of obstacles to get to one of those things, your design isn’t working. If you run a two chef kitchen, make sure that both chefs can get to the things they need without tripping over each other.

3.       Lack of Storage Space

Pots and pans, appliances, cutlery, dinnerware and cleaning solutions take up a lot of space. If your cupboards are overflowing, maybe it’s time to start looking at some more creative storage solutions. Hang pots and pans on the wall; invest in a magnetic knife strip for storing knives, instead of using a bulky counter-top knife block. Get rid of that electric can opener and invest in a smaller handheld device.

If you’ve accumulated several years’ worth of stuff, get rid of some of it. There’s no point having gadgets and cooking accessories if you never use them and they get in the way when you are trying to cook.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/arthaey/

4.       Bad Lighting Design

Everyone knows the importance of lighting when it comes to living rooms and bedrooms, but it is frequently overlooked in the kitchen – after all, the kitchen doesn’t have to look pretty, does it? In truth, lighting is even more important in the kitchen. If your kitchen is not well-lit, you won’t be able to see if food is cooking properly, and if you choose lighting that has a strong colour to it, that could make your food look unappetizing.

Natural light is the best choice, but you can’t rely on that all year round. Add spot lighting above the stove, sink and your most frequently used counter tops. Choose neutral light sources.

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5.       Doing Too Much DIY

DIY can be fun, but not every task is a good project for a long weekend. If you’re using DIY as a way to pinch pennies, you could be putting your finances, and your safety, in danger. As a general rule, anything that involves the gas supply, electricity, or plumbing (beyond un-clogging a drain) is not a good DIY project. In fact, you could be breaking the law if you try to take on complex gas or electricity jobs yourself.  If a DIY project goes wrong you could flood your kitchen or cause a fire. Do you really want to take that risk?

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6.       Inadequate Clearances

If you have a kitchen with an island design, you should make sure that there is at least 3 feet of clearance around all sides of the island, at a bare minimum. No matter what layout your kitchen has, make sure that you have enough space to open the fridge door, open any drawers and cupboards, and generally walk around the kitchen. If you can’t get from the sink to the kitchen door without having to dodge something, you don’t have enough space to work safely in the kitchen. Choose a better layout before someone scalds them self or has an accident trying to navigate the kitchen with a pan full of hot food.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/lorigami/

7.       Poor Ventilation

Ventilation is important from a safety and comfort point of view, and also because it helps to protect your appliances. If you don’t have good ventilation, cooking smells will linger long after they have ceased to be pleasant, and you could end up with a condensation problem. Stale air and smells from last night’s curry are not pleasant, and circulating steam and grease can leave ugly marks on your walls, and damage your appliances. Invest in a good ventilation system that actually pumps hot, dirty air out of your house (instead of circulating it inside the kitchen), and use it regularly to keep your air clean and fresh.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/goldyohio/

8.       Compromising On Quality

Unless you’re celebrating a recent lottery win, you will have a budget for redecorating your kitchen. Fitting all of your desired features into that budget is going to be a challenge. Try not to compromise on quality, especially for items that you use a lot. A no-name freezer or a cheap stove will break down quickly, and you’ll have to spend more money to replace them. The same goes for fitted kitchens – if you skimp on materials, or hire the cheapest firm you can find to do the job you will end up with a half-finished kitchen or one with drawers that come to pieces and rickety cabinets. If you’re on a tight budget, prioritize one or two features, and think about your compromises carefully. Instead of having expensive stone tiles all around the kitchen, why not just use a stone backsplash near the oven? If you can’t afford matching appliances, keep some of your old, still working appliances and make the kitchen “match” by hiding those appliances behind cabinet doors.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/rumble1973/

9.       Not Having a Plan

Remodelling your kitchen means more than simply ripping out the old fitted kitchen and putting new cabinets and counters in place. Before you call in the workmen, figure out exactly what will go where, and choose your floor tiles, wallpaper, backsplash, lighting and blinds. If you don’t pick them out now, there’s a good chance that you’ll run out of time or go over budget, and end up with a half-done kitchen. Those finishing touches are important, so try to do everything right, first time.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/vincent_oberle/

10.   Extras You Don’t Have the Space For

Appliance creep happens to everyone. Every year there’s a new must-have gadget. First it was the bread maker, and then a rice cooker, now everyone is talking about air fryers. Do you really need all of those things? Appliances are only worth having if they make your life easier. If you only bake bread twice a year or the only rice you eat is from the takeaway, all those gadgets do is cost you money and take up space. Get rid of them.

It’s not just appliances that take up space, though. An island with an extra sink or a cooktop might sound awesome on paper, but if you’re the only person that cooks, why bother? Save that floor space and don’t install the island. Or, use the island for extra counter top space instead.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hob/

Title Image Credit: STUDIOAFLO


The back-splash is the area of tile just above your kitchen counter. Back-splashes are particularly important near your kitchen sink and your oven. The back-splash is there to protect your walls. It is far easier to remove food stains from tiles than it is to get them off paint or wallpaper, and tiles less susceptible to water and steam damage too.

mosaic black-splash

Image source: http://www.midwestliving.com/

Tiled back-splashes are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. You can use ceramic tiles, marble, or even stainless steel to make a back-splash. What sort of tiles you choose, and whether you go for a chunky look or use smaller mosaic tiles is entirely up to you. Mosaic back-splashes take longer to lay since you have to follow a precise pattern, but they look beautiful when they are done.

Stainless steel backsplashes are hardwearing and eco-friendly, and look great in any modern kitchen. Ceramic tiles offer an attractive, rustic appearance and are available in a range of colours whilst still being quite affordable. Marble tiles are more expensive than most other kinds of tiles but they have a lovely, luxurious appearance and are also hardwearing and easy to clean. Remember that if you cannot afford a particular kind of tile, you can often purchase cheaper tiles that create a similar visual effect.

Tools Needed to Tile a Kitchen Backsplash

To tile your kitchen backsplash, you will need:

  • Tile adhesive
  • Grout
  • Two spatulas (one for the grout, one for the putty)
  • Tile edging strips and spacers
  • A chisel
  • Putty
  • A spirit level

If you want to create a truly rustic looking kitchen, consider leaving out the grout and laying your tiles so that there is almost no gap between them. Groutless backsplashes are harder to keep clean, since there is more risk of dirt getting between the tiles, but they do look great in a country-style kitchen.

rustic style back-splash

Image source: http://www.plumsiena.com/

Whatever tiles you choose, be sure to order enough to cover the area you intend for your backsplash, plus an extra square meter or so to allow for mis-calculations or tile breakages. Choose a supplier that allows you to send back unopened boxes of tiles, so that you are not left out of pocket if you order extra and end up not using it.

Step-by-Step

  1. Before you start tiling your kitchen backsplash, you should prepare the area to be tiled. It’s best to remove your existing tiles before laying the backsplash, because laying tiles on top of tiles results in a loss of counter space. However you decide to lay the tiles, make sure that the surface is clean, dry and free of dust before you start work. If there are any holes, dents or gouges in the wall, fill them in and let the filler dry.
  2. Measure the area that you intend to cover with tiles, and work out how many tiles you will need. Remember that tiles can be cut to cover unusually sized areas, but it is difficult to achieve a neat cut if you need to make a very thin tile. If you expect to have just a small amount of wall left uncovered, consider adjusting your starting point so that you can use one roughly half sized-tile at each end of the wall instead of incredibly thin tiles. If you need to cut tiles down to size, use a wet saw to do this.
  3. Turn off the power to your kitchen wall sockets, and remove any faceplates in the area to be tiled.
  4. Once the wall is prepared, you can start laying the tiles. Apply tile adhesive to the wall using a notched trowel. Make sure that the adhesive is applied smoothly and evenly across the whole of the wall, with no bumps.
  5. Put the tiles onto the wall, pressing them gently into place. Position the tiles close together, but do not push or drag them into place, because this will cause adhesive to seep between them. The tiles should sit together naturally with only a small amount of separation.
  6. If you put a tile in the wrong place, or place one upside-down, gently pull it off the wall and rinse the glue off with water. Re-apply some tile adhesive to the wall, and then place the tile again.
  7. Leave the tiles to dry for at least 24 hours before applying the grout. Mix the grout until it has a consistency similar to that of toothpaste, and carefully apply grout to the gap between each tile. Wipe off any excess grout with a damp sponge.
  8. Once the grout has dried, replace the covers to any power sockets, and turn the power back on.

Always put safety first when doing DIY. Do not attempt to tile around electrical sockets unless you are sure that the power is off. If you have to cut tiles, wear goggles while doing so to prevent any sharp splinters from damaging your eyes. Take your time, and try to keep the room well ventilated while you are working. Tile adhesive is generally safe to work with, but always read the labels on any glues, paints or cleaning substances, and follow any safety instructions given carefully.

mosaic back-splash

Image source: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hhmosaics/

Conclusion

Tiling a kitchen backsplash is an easy job, as long as you measure the area to be tiled carefully and are patient while waiting for the tile adhesive to dry.

Updating your kitchen backsplash is a great way to breathe a new lease of life into an old kitchen. A striking new backsplash will add variety to your kitchen, and makes even the plainest of cabinets and counter tops look good.

Whether you are an avid DIY enthusiast, or someone with less experience, tiling a backsplash is a project that can be completed in a weekend, and is good practice for bigger projects such as re-tiling a larger area of your bathroom. You don’t need to do the entire kitchen – many people only use backsplashes near the oven and the sink, leaving the walls next to other counters bare. You can tile as much or as little of your counter as you need.

Title Image Credit: HouseBeautiful