The kitchen is the heart of a home. It is where your family gathers – breakfast, dinners, special occasions. Everyone seems to gravitate to the kitchen; No matter how your house is laid out, no matter how big or small the kitchen. It is also the biggest selling feature of any home. So, if you are going to put any money into your home it should be in the kitchen.

A kitchen renovation may not be in the cards for everyone. A full kitchen overhaul can run you upwards of $30,000. Beyond that, it can be a big disturbance to your life. Like I said, the kitchen is the heart of the home. Now go without it for a few weeks….

The good news is there are several simple upgrades that you can do yourself to revive the look of the kitchen:

1. Paint

Probably the first thing that came to your mind as well. Changing or even refreshing the paint color in your kitchen can give it a new life. Your kitchen is heavily used, and the walls can start to get dingy especially around food prep area. Giving the walls a fresh coat will brighten up the space again and make it look cleaner. For a real impact, try changing the color. For color ideas check out our Color Mood blog

2. Change your cabinet hardware

Your cabinet hardware (knobs and pulls) can convey a style – traditional, rustic, country, modern… dated. Changing out the hardware will give your cabinets a lift or could even change the overall style of your kitchen.

If you currently have pulls (handles with two screw holes), you’ll want to try to pick new ones with the same spacing. Pulls typically have the same screw spacing across all brands – it a standard. Measure what you have an be sure to pick up the same. Not only will you not have extra holes in your doors, but it will make the change over much faster.

3. Change your light fixtures

Lighting, like cabinet hardware, is another way style is achieved – traditional, rustic, country, modern…and dated. By changing the light fixture(s) in your kitchen, you can turn a drab kitchen into one that looks expensive. I usually head to Wayfair when I’m looking for a new light in a project. They have a great selection for any style and budget.

Don’t forget to look at the bulbs. The fixture might the right look, but the bulb could be giving the wrong glow over your kitchen. You will want to look at the tone the light gives off (warm vs cool). A warm light will give a yellow-ish glow to the room where a cool light will give a more white, blue color. If you have halogen lamps, switching to an LED bulb could be the fix you need!

Photo by: Aaron Huber – unsplash

4. Pay attention to your ceiling

The ceiling is often the surface that is forgotten. But by adding something of interest to the ceiling, your eye will pick it up.

Most people will paint it out white and be done with it. Painting isn’t necessarily a bad choice but try choosing a color different. Stick to a lighter shade. Darker colors will make the ceiling feel like the ceiling is coming down on you. For more ideas on color look at our Color Mood blog.

Another way to trick the eye is by using shiplap on the ceiling. Running the long edge of the boards against the long edge of the room will elongate the space, making it feel bigger. You could also use faux wood beams to create a similar appearance. Be cautious of using faux beams if you have low ceilings though. It could make them feel lower than they are.


5. Create an accent wall

A simple way to give the kitchen a fresh look and add interest is to do an accent wall. A great place to do this is in an area you want people to socialize. A blank wall behind the kitchen table, for example. Choose the place where your family and friends will gather to eat or chat. Appling wallpaper or painting it a bold color that is different than the rest of the kitchen will ground the wall. Doing this will naturally grab your eye and pull you to this area.

Photo by: Yasmine Boheas – unsplash

6. Add/modify an island

If you have the space and don’t have one already, add an island! This doesn’t have to be a big, substantial piece. What’s great about adding an island is it not only gives you more storage (who doesn’t need more storage in a kitchen) but it’s another surface for family to gather around. Again, Wayfair has some great mobile islands that are affordable.

If you already have an island revive it by changing out the stools (something to fit your new color and style theme maybe).

7. Update your appliances

If you have the budget for it or you are planning to sell your house, updating your appliances is a great investment. This is especially true if your appliances aren’t energy star or are mismatched – example, stainless steel range with a white fridge (this was my kitchen for years before I could afford an upgrade). 

When in doubt, choose stainless steel appliances. They fit any design style, are a big selling feature for buyers and gives any kitchen a more high-end look.

Bonus: your backsplash

If you already have a backsplash, I wouldn’t recommend changing it unless there is some major damage to it already. This is a big, messy and costly job. However, if you don’t already have a backsplash adding one will make a big impact in your kitchen design. It simply finishes the look.

You’ll want to pull from the colors in your kitchen, keeping in mind the design theme you are going with.

Photo by: Wu Yi – unsplash