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10 Ways to Update Your Kitchen in Just One Weekend


We’ve probably all been there: tired of the look and feel of our kitchen, but unable to take on a full renovation either because of time, or money, or both! The good news is that there are a myriad of ways to update your kitchen without tackling a complete overhaul and most can be done in a single weekend! I’ve listed my 10 favorite ways to give you some inspiration.

You can do any or all of these, but be warned — once you start, there is often a domino effect! What you don’t touch might all of a sudden be screaming for attention when everything else is looking fresh and new.

1. Start at the start. 

Oftentimes, just a fresh coat of paint is all that is needed to freshen up a tired kitchen — especially if it is a new paint color.

2. Update your cabinetry.

Keep the carcasses (internal structure of the cupboards) as they are, but remove and either repaint, refinish, or replace the doors and knobs. You will be amazed at the difference this can make. On a recent project, I added two new doors to a pantry cupboard and put mesh in the doors to provide a glimpse inside the cupboard as well as ventilation for the veggies — and the effect was spectacular as well as functional.

3. Update your benchtops.

If your benchtops are tile, timber, or laminate, in some cases you can paint them, which can completely rejuvenate both the benchtop and the kitchen. If they are outdated marble or granite (yes, there was a time when dark green was the all the rage) it is best to replace them, but it may be possible to put a new surface on your old benchtops, which can really save on costs.

4. Change the lighting.

You can add more or less task lighting (i.e. down lights or spot lights) or introduce decorative yet functional lighting via pendant lights. You can even install a skylight. Each of these things can completely change the look and feel of a kitchen, making it more visually appealing but also increasing its workability.

5. Change your backsplash.

Much like the cupboard doors, changing the color or material of your backsplash can have an incredible lifting effect, especially if it has a prominent place in the kitchen.

6. Update your appliances.

This one is extra fun, because you also get that boost of efficiency that comes with new appliances. If you are replacing large appliances such as your refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, keep to the same dimensions as the old appliances in order to keep costs down. Integrating appliances brings a minimal, clean look to a kitchen, but the joinery that is needed will add to your costs.

7. Replace your tapware.

You would be surprised how easy it is to replace the tapware in your kitchen — or even your entire sink — and possibly even more surprised by the impact it can have on the visual appeal of the space. Some taps today are almost works of art!

8. Update your flooring.

You can sand and re-stain or paint existing timber boards, or cover your existing floor with new tiles or timber boards. Just pay attention to whether a slightly raised floor will interfere with doorways.

9. Install some open shelving.

A big issue many of us have with our kitchen is not enough counter or shelf space. If you have an empty wall, inexpensive floating or bracketed shelving can solve the problem. And with the careful use of books, plants, and attractive cookware, shelves can also introduce a lovely decorative element to the kitchen.

10. Update your window.

To completely change the look of your kitchen, paint or replace window frames and window treatments. Just make sure you keep them to the same size for ease.

Bonus tip: This takes it to the next level, but if you have time, money, and the room, consider raising the ceiling height to create a greater sense of space. Alternatively, lower a section of the ceiling and use back lighting, which creates the most gorgeous glow of light to add mood to the room. Depending on the style of the kitchen, you can also add timber slats or beams, which enhance a space both visually and acoustically.

This article was written by Marylou Sobel. For more, check out our sister site, Homes to Love.

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