Buying a new kitchen can be a big investment, but if funds are short or time is limited, there are lots of little things you can do to bring life to a tired cooking space. Here are nine ways to give your design a speedy update.
1. Tidy Those Shelves
If your kitchen shelves are groaning with cookbooks, dishware, plants and everyday clutter, a quick tidy up will instantly make the space look more organized.
Start by taking everything off the shelves and giving items a good clean, then putting a few choice pieces back one by one, erring on the side of minimal, to create that “showroom” finish.
Not sure what to keep? Ask yourself if it’s functional and beautiful. If it checks off only one of those boxes, then stash it away in a cabinet or drawer.
2. Replace Your Cabinet Door Handles
If your cabinets have less-than-exciting door pulls, it can be a relatively inexpensive job to upgrade them, and your kitchen will thank you, because the right handles can take a door from plain to fabulous.
Think of handles as jewelry for your kitchen. The soft gleam of polished brass against a dark drawer front or the pleasingly tactile feel of a leather door pull can elevate your room and show off your own personal style at the same time.
3. Upgrade Your Accessories
How old are your cutting boards? Treating yourself to a couple of new ones that are display-worthy can raise the style quotient of your kitchen in a single move.
Choose a classic wooden design with a beautiful grain and shape, or invest in a smooth, polished marble board and it will be something pleasing to look at every day.
4. Go Green
Houseplants can bring fresh new life to a tired room, and in the kitchen they can be as practical as they are beautiful if you choose edible herbs.
Mint, basil, lemon balm, rosemary. The beauty of herbs is that you can mix and match and experiment with them as much as you like to find your favorites. Make space for a few pots on a windowsill or countertop and use the leaves in cooking, for making fresh teas or for flavoring water.
5. Don’t Forget Artwork
Often the walls in a kitchen can be overlooked in favor of countertops or cabinets. But artwork can totally change the look and feel of a kitchen, bringing some personality into this hardworking room.
Obviously, with cooking and washing happening in this space, you need to be careful about what type of piece you choose and where you hang it. If it could be damaged, you’ll want to site it well away from the oven and sink, and frame it appropriately.
Don’t let that deter you completely, though, because art can express your personality as well as linking the kitchen to the other rooms in your home.
6. Add Some Color
This is not the quickest update, but if you have the time and budget for a midlevel upgrade, wood furniture can be updated with a fresh coat of paint for a totally new look.
Painting cabinets is a labor-intensive job that’s best left to the professionals if you want a perfect finish. However, upcycling a small piece of freestanding furniture, such as a chair or stool, is a fun job that can be tackled in an afternoon.
7. Whip Your Cabinets Into Shape
When you have a total kitchen upgrade, it’s often used as an opportunity to refresh your cabinetry. But you can still treat your existing kitchen to this same level of care and attention.
To get that “new kitchen” feeling, take half a day to review the contents of your cabinets. Remove everything, check use-by dates, clean out old containers and wipe down dusty shelves.
Then group ingredients by type, color or whatever other system soothes your soul, before putting everything back in a neat and ordered fashion.
8. Beautify Your View
Swapping old blinds or curtains for a fresh new window treatment can add life and color to a tired kitchen. A brightly patterned blind like this one can bring interest into a neutral scheme, and if this is the only element of pattern in the room, you can afford to have fun with it.
Equally, if you want to bring more light into your kitchen but have a less-than-appealing view, swap dark or tired blinds for a translucent window film instead. This will allow light into the room while screening the view.
9. Paint a Wall
Sometimes it’s not the kitchen cabinets that need an upgrade, but the room around them. Repainting a wall is a midlevel job in terns of effort, but it can transform a space for relatively little outlay.
Here, a rich navy blue makes the white kitchen cabinets look fresh and zippy and creates an elegant mood.