When you wander into your kitchen do you yawn? Not because it’s after midnight and you’re sleepy. But because your kitchen is the most boring room in the house?
Maybe you’re partially to blame for your kitchen’s lack of luster. Decorating can be overwhelming and time-consuming. Or maybe your budget took a hit this year with that bathroom makeover.
It doesn’t matter who or what’s to blame, we have good news for you.
You can take your kitchen from ho-hum to wow with a few simple changes. If you’re ready to feel inspired rather than tired when you turn on the lights, these 7 kitchen update ideas are for you.
Clear the Clutter
You may not consider clutter part of your kitchen décor but if you want a kitchen refresh without spending a dime, get rid of it.
Start with the countertops. If you’re like most people, you use at least one countertop as a landing strip for keys, mail, and whatever else you have in your hands when you walk through.
Place a bin or basket on one counter for things you tend to throw down when you come home from work.
Next, relocate small appliances. Do you really need the espresso machine, toaster, food processor and blender on the counter?
Now, for the countertop décor!
It’s tempting to use counters as a display area for your collection of chickens and roosters. Or your indoor plants. Find another home for anything not essential to cooking.
Once you declutter, prepare for the shock of how different your kitchen looks. It’s like a mini-facelift.
Change the Light
Clearing clutter puts a whole new perspective on a kitchen. Changing the lighting is another way you can update a kitchen.
We’re talking brand new fixtures, not just replacing burned out lightbulbs.
Install LED lighting on the underside of kitchen cabinetry. These lights are not only functional—they illuminate prep areas—they create a feeling of warmth in the kitchen.
For the kitchen with an island or breakfast bar, install stylish pendant lights above the area. You also go dramatic and swap out your plain-Jane ceiling fixture with a fancy chandelier.
Whatever type of lighting you choose, you’ll add a fresh splash of style to your kitchen space. A change in lighting might be all it takes to refresh the entire kitchen!
Swap Out the Hardware
If you want a true kitchen transformation without blowing your budget, go for new hardware.
New knobs or pulls can change both the look of your cabinetry and the design style of your kitchen. Imagine adding gold hardware to your white cabinets. Or matte black hardware to complement your stainless-steel appliances.
The choices for hardware are almost endless. You can stick with the timeless beauty of a satin nickel finish. Or explore the world of kitchen hardware and choose leather pulls or crystal knobs.
The key to choosing hardware? Narrow your selections down to a few and buy one pull or knob in each pattern. Take them home and try them out on one cabinet and drawer.
A Facelift for Cabinets
If your goal is to create a striking new look in the kitchen, consider changing the cabinets.
Change doesn’t always mean a complete replacement. You can dramatically change the look of your kitchen with cabinet refacing.
When you reface kitchen cabinets, you save money. An added benefit? You save cabinetry that other than looking a bit worn on the outside is still structurally sound.
Refacing means you replace cabinet doors and drawer fronts. The cabinet bodies get a new veneer finish.
Similar to a facelift for a person, refacing gives cabinets and drawers a new look without tearing out the entire structure.
Add a Backsplash
Go from blah to beautiful and install a backsplash in the kitchen. If you have a tired old backsplash, giving it an update is a simple, cost-effective way to give your kitchen a new look.
If you don’t have a backsplash, you’re missing a few benefits of having one.
Don’t feel like you’re limited to tile.
If you like the look of pallets, use laminate flooring. For a vintage look, try a tin backsplash. If you’re going for a farmhouse or industrial design style, why not create a backsplash from corrugated metal?
Install New Flooring
A backsplash is like icing on the cake when you’re updating a kitchen but so is new flooring.
Flooring is one update most homeowners can do themselves and it doesn’t usually take more than a weekend. If you shop around and DIY, you can keep the cost down as well.
For the homeowner who’s set on luxury flooring, plan on spending around $20 to $30 per square foot. If you desire a dramatic change without spending a fortune, you can keep costs under $1 per square foot.
When deciding on new flooring you want something durable and easy to clean. Best options are:
- Ceramic Tile
Ceramic tile in a kitchen offers the best value. You get an easy to clean floor that can handle heavy traffic and the wide of variety of spills you encounter in a kitchen.
Paint the Walls
Looking for an easy and economical kitchen make-over? Painting an outdated kitchen can easily bring the entire room into the current century.
Use a splash of bold color on one wall and make that your accent wall. Paint the remaining walls in a more subtle color. White, eggshell, and gray are popular kitchen colors.
Painting the walls lets you brighten and modernize your kitchen space without spending an enormous amount of money.
In fact, if you have a small budget, you can combine new hardware, lighting, and wall paint. All small changes that add up to a big difference.
Want More Kitchen Update Ideas?
We hope these ideas inspire you and help you see how making small changes can make a huge impact in an outdated kitchen.
Whether you choose new paint, refacing cabinets, swapping out old hardware, new backsplash, or installing new flooring, you can get a dramatic new look without spending a large sum of money. Of course, if you do have a bigger budget, why not use it and combine several of these ideas?
For more kitchen update inspiration, check out our archives and explore more popular DIY trends and ideas.