Kitchens are often thought of as the heart of a household. We spend a lot of time in our kitchens every day, and they’re usually the backdrop of most social gatherings in our homes. If your kitchen style is beginning to feel outdated and uninspiring, there are a number of quick and easy ways to update your kitchen that will save you the time and expense of a complete kitchen remodel.
Here are 12 ideas that are sure to have your kitchen looking new and improved in no time:
- Update Cabinet Knobs
Updating certain hardware pieces throughout your kitchen is a simple change that can have a big impact on the overall look of your kitchen. Replacing basic ceramic or plastic knobs on your cabinets with heavy-duty stainless steel or brass knobs can give your kitchen cabinets a whole new refreshed style. Depending on the look you’re trying to achieve in your kitchen, you’ll find metal cabinet knobs that range in aesthetics from simple and contemporary, to ornate and decorative.
Solid brass, bronze and stainless steel knobs are durable and long lasting, even under heavy use. If elegance is your thing, then opt for knobs made of crystal or marble to take your cabinet décor to the next level. These materials look sophisticated and classy. This simple change of replacing cabinet knobs is easy to implement on your own, and it will cost a whole lot less than replacing your cabinets entirely.
- Replace Drawer Pulls With Stylish Cup Pulls
Cup pulls add a unique style to drawers by going beyond the basic drawer handle. Whether you’re looking for a way to add antique or rustic style to your kitchen or you want to add modern flair, cup pulls enhance any décor. Since cabinet pulls are used frequently each day, look for quality metal styles that are durable and built to last. Cup pulls also come in interesting shapes and designs like leaves and clamshells to give your kitchen a fun aesthetic.
If you have a removable island or a butcher block in your kitchen, an easy way to make that extra piece look cohesive with the rest of your kitchen décor is by adding coordinating cup and cabinet pulls to drawers and doors. This addition will make your island look purposeful and blend it with the rest of your kitchen cabinets — even if the finish or countertop is different.
- Swap out Cabinet and Door Hinges
Replacing a door hinge may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking about updating your kitchen. However, older and cheaper cabinet and door hinges have a tendency to break or discolor over prolonged use, especially if they are made of plastic.
If you think about it, you open your cabinet doors multiple times a day. Over a few years, that can take a toll on those hinges holding your doors in place. Replacing them with hinges that are made from a quality material like solid brass will not only help your cabinet doors function better, but it will make them look better, too! Choose a hinge color that matches the other hardware in your kitchen for a unified look and feel. For easy installation, look for hinges that are adjustable so you can use the same hinges to fit multiple sized doors and cabinets. This small change will make your cabinets look updated and keep them functioning properly for years to come.
- Choose a Whole New Hardware Suite
When updating your kitchen with new cabinet hardware, one of the easiest ways to achieve a cohesive look is to choose a matching hardware suite. By choosing a hardware suite, all of the guesswork of matching one piece to another is done for you. A hardware suite includes things like cabinet knobs, drawer pulls, door hinges and even window hardware — all with a similar finish and craftsman style.
Many suites come with multiple sizes of each item so you can update areas throughout your kitchen by coordinating hardware on everything from cabinets, drawers, doors and even appliances. Changing your cabinet hardware is an inexpensive way to give new life to your kitchen, and choosing a matching hardware suite makes it simple.
- Install a Built-in Wine Rack
If you’re a budding wine connoisseur who wants to someday own various bottles of the best wine from around the world — or if you simply have limited counter space and a standing wine rack won’t do — then installing a built-in wine rack in your kitchen is exactly what you need!
Wine Logic wine racks are built-in right underneath your kitchen cabinets, eliminating the need to take up any counter space with a freestanding wine rack. Wine Logic racks come with two to five separate slide out trays that each hold up to six bottles of wine. And the best part is, Wine Logic’s horizontal design stores wine in the best possible condition, keeping the corks wet and the wine untouched by air.
The shade from the cabinet also keeps your wine shielded from the light and sun, preserving the natural flavors of your wine. When you’re ready to choose a wine from the rack, simply slide out one of the shelves and browse your full selection of prized wine!
- Change Your Lighting
If you have dim lighting, dull fixtures or you’re just not thrilled with the lighting pieces you currently have in your kitchen, swapping out lighting fixtures is a quick and easy upgrade you can do yourself.
Check out online home stores to find coordinating fixtures or browse vintage shops to find unique statement pieces. There are plenty of inexpensive light fixtures to choose from if you don’t have a big budget.
Even if you have multiple light fixtures in your kitchen, don’t worry about finding new fixtures that match exactly. By varying the design slightly, each light fixture will stand out and create visual interest in your kitchen. However, when choosing one-off pieces, just be sure to stick with a theme for your lighting so it looks purposeful. In other words, if you’ve picked a rustic metal chandelier for over your dining table, choose something that is also rustic inspired to hang over your kitchen sink, like a simple pendant light, and keep that theme going with other lighting choices as well.
- Mount LED Lighting Under Cabinets
The kitchen is one place in particular where the more lighting you have, the better. By installing extra lights underneath your cabinets, you’ll give your kitchen a high-end feel for minimal cost.
Under-cabinet lighting serves not only a fashionable purpose by creating visual depth in your kitchen, but it serves a functional purpose as well. The added lighting will make everything from chopping veggies to reading recipes to measuring ingredients easier to see as your countertops will be under direct light from above. And as far as style goes, the right lighting can make all the difference!
- Refinish or Repaint Cabinets
Installing new cabinets is an expensive and time consuming task you will likely need to hire a professional to do. If you want the look of new cabinets but you don’t want the cost and hassle of completely replacing your old ones, then give your current cabinets a facelift with a new stain or paint color.
When choosing your new cabinet color, the options are limitless! White is a popular choice for cabinet colors because it goes with just about everything and will lighten up your kitchen. If the idea of having a kitchen that stands out is your thing, however, then pastels like sage green and light robin’s egg blue will give your kitchen a rustic feel with a subtle pop of color. Additionally, modern colors like bright red and deep gray are bold choices that will certainly have your kitchen making a statement in your home.
After you have your perfect colors selected, painting your kitchen cabinets can be done in a just a few steps:
- Remove cabinets from the wall and lay them on a flat, protected surface.
- Take off the doors, drawers and hardware and lay them flat as well.
- Get rid of existing paint, gloss and dirt by rubbing a thin layer of deglosser over your cabinets.
- Paint on one coat of primer over every surface you’ll be painting.
- Once the primer is dry, paint your cabinets with two coats of your chosen color. Make sure the paint has completely dried between coats.
- Reattach doors, drawers and hardware, and rehang your newly refinished cabinets!
- Add Custom Appliance Covers and Handles
If your old fridge still runs like a champ on the inside but it’s starting to look like a but run-down and haggard on the outside, spruce it up with a DIY custom cover! Appliance covers are fastened directly to the outside of your appliance, masking their appearance on the outside and making them blend in with your kitchen cabinetry. You can take materials like bead board paneling, wallpaper, wood from old pallets or even mismatched wood scraps from barns to create an interesting look for your old appliance.
If you’re going for wood paneling, the process is pretty simple. Fasten the pieces together and cut to the size of your appliance. Then, remove the handles from your appliance and glue the panels onto the front using a hot glue gun. You can either paint the wood and the sides of your appliance to match your cabinets, or you can leave it as is for a natural unfinished feel. Complete the look by adding new appliance pulls to match the rest of your kitchen hardware. Appliance covers can be added to just about any kitchen appliance that has a door like a refrigerator and dishwasher.
- Update Switch Plates & Outlet Covers
Over time, switch plates and outlet covers can become dingy and dirty. Replacing your old outlet covers is a quick way to add some new life to your kitchen décor. Switch plates and outlet covers are no longer stuck just being basic functional pieces on your wall. There are many different designs, materials and finishes that can complement the look of any room. Choose switch plates and outlet covers that are made from high-quality metal materials because they are more durable and stylish than basic plastic ones. Plus, you won’t have to worry about kitchen splatter creating unsightly stains on your covers, as this material is super easy to wipe clean!
- Choose New Window Hardware
Updating the hardware on your kitchen windows can take them from standard to standout in seconds! Typically, window sash locks and lift pulls blend in with your window color, but switching these traditional styles up with an elegant bronze or a satin nickel finish will add interest and pizzazz to your windows. You can also choose a finish that matches the rest of your kitchen hardware for a pulled together style.
- Install a New Backsplash
Backsplashes are a fun way to break up solid kitchen wall colors while protecting your walls from food splatter and spills. The tiles used in creating a backsplash, whether they’re made of ceramic, vinyl or another material, can be easily wiped clean to remove all food debris after cooking.
When choosing a backsplash color scheme, keep in mind the type of look you want for your kitchen. By choosing a backsplash color that blends in with your wall color, you’ll be creating a streamlined, coordinated look. If you want to make a statement and have your backsplash pop, try choosing one or even a few colors that accent your wall color, making it stand out from the background.
Tiling a backsplash may seem difficult, but it’s actually easier than you’d think. Many home improvement stores sell tile backsplash in larger sections that are partially assembled, so all you have to do is piece them together like you would a puzzle when gluing them to your wall.
You can also create a one-of-a-kind backsplash by purchasing individual tile pieces and putting them together yourself. This could end up being somewhat time consuming — and you’ll need a steady hand to get those measurements exactly right — but the result could be amazing! Just keep in mind, the smaller the tile pieces are, the longer and more intricate this project will become. There are many tutorials online that will show you the tricks of the trade and give you a handle on exactly what to do before your start.
Get Started Updating Your Kitchen Now
There are lots of ways to update your kitchen that don’t involve taking on an exhausting complete kitchen remodeling project. Sometimes simple upgrades like replacing cabinet hardware and quick changes like swapping out light fixtures are all you need to give your kitchen new life.
Even adding new décor pieces like food-themed wall art, rustic chalkboards and decorative fruit baskets will add extra flair to an otherwise plain kitchen design. If you’re up for making a few simple swaps and working a little DIY magic, then refreshing the look of your kitchen can be quick and easy!