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14 Fast and Affordable Kitchen Updates to Freshen Up Your Space


The kitchen is the center of most homes — a busy, well-used space where everyone gathers. So it’s not surprising that it can become a little worn out after years of use.

But, it’s also the most expensive room to renovate. If your kitchen still functions well but looks dated, try some of these simple updates to give it a facelift.

1. Splashback Tiles

The average splashback does not cover a massive area, so updating it is generally achievable on any budget. If you don’t want to add tiling to your résumé, then spend the money and get a professional. There is an amazing variety of tiles on the market in every style and price point.

splash back tiles

(Photo Credit: Homes to Love)

2. Cabinets

Sometimes the style of cabinetry doors and drawers is the main culprit and makes the kitchen look out of date. As long as the bones of the cabinets are fine and sound, you can modernize the cabinetry by replacing the doors and drawer fronts. Talk to kitchen design companies about getting this done if the doors and drawers are your main issue.

3. Countertops

Replacing your old countertops is less expensive than you might think, and it will give your cabinets a boost, too. With so many finishes available — from marble effects to textured surfaces — and given its prominence in the kitchen, a benchtop upgrade will deliver a massive transformation.

4. Storage

It seems we can never have enough storage in the kitchen. If you have a spare nook, consider a free-standing storage unit for dishes and cookbooks. If space is tight, install a simple wooden shelf with brackets or a floating one to provide display space.


(Photo Credit: Homes to Love)

5. Lighting

Add a new focal point to the kitchen by swapping outdated lighting for a stylish pendant or cluster of lights. Because lighting is so important in any room, this one change can totally transform the space. If lighting is dim over the bench and prep areas, consider LED strip lighting installed under the above-bench cabinets.

6. Paint/Re-Spray

Paint is the most cost-effective way to change any room. A coat of paint on the walls or cabinets can instantly change the feel of your kitchen and won’t break the bank. If your kitchen is small, opt for white or a light color on the walls as this will help to create the illusion of space.

It’s fine to paint your walls and cabinets the same color, too. However, if your cabinets are lacquered or made from a laminate, painting them is not an option. But, there are lots of kitchen companies that offer a re-spray service, which can give your cabinetry a new lease of life at a fraction of the cost of buying new.

7. Appliances

Tired appliances can really bring the look of a kitchen down. If you’re replacing big-ticket items such as a fridge or dishwasher, stick with the same finish to keep the space uniform. Or link the trim of smaller appliances, like with the stainless steel, below.


(Photo Credit: Homes to Love)

8. Seating

Replacing the seating is another simple way to revamp the kitchen zone. When choosing stools, there are many things to consider: practicality, height, material, back, or no back.

Metal is an easy choice because it’s a great material for easy cleanup, but the warm tone of a wooden stool will soften a minimalist kitchen. White goes with everything and has a beachy vibe, but if you’re after a pop of color, bright stools are a good way to do it. Fabric seats might be super comfy, but they can be hard to keep clean.

9. Hardware

Switching your old handles, knobs, or pulls for something more modern or decorative can really transform the look of your cabinets and is probably the most common kitchen update. The price per item can add up fast, though, especially if you have a large kitchen with lots of cabinets. When selecting handles, consider the finish on your appliances and the shape of their handles — are they all square? Mixing it up can look great.

10. Art

Although not commonly seen in the kitchen, art can add a focal point to the area. Colors in the artwork can then be pulled out and added through accessories such as placemats and dish towels.

art update kitchen

(Photo Credit: Homes to Love)

11. Clutter

Streamline your kitchen by planning built-in systems to conceal eyesores such as trash cans. Some concealed cans come with soft-close and antibacterial features. 

12. Flooring

There are several options for refreshing your kitchen floor, including painting it, laying a laminate floor, and putting down new tiles. Laminate flooring is a relatively affordable choice to give your kitchen a lift and can generally be installed quickly and without help. The key is to ensure the floor is level before you start. Replacing floor tiles will not only transform the space, but could enable you to change the style of the kitchen. It might be costlier than other options as it is more labor-intensive.

floor update kitchen

(Photo Credit: Homes to Love)

13. Tapware

Changing your tapware is a very straightforward way to upgrade your kitchen. It is also a small investment for something you use multiple times a day. Tapware style is generally determined by the style of the kitchen, but this is only a guideline. Black and brass finishes are on-trend and can be just the detail you need to take your kitchen from good to great.

14. Accessories

Sometimes all it takes is a few new decorative accessories to refresh your kitchen. If you are looking at bringing an accent color into your kitchen, this is a great way to do it — install open shelving and add canisters, dishes, trinkets, and plants.

accessories update kitchen

(Photo Credit: Homes to Love)

This post was written by Vanessa Nouwens. For more, check out our sister site Homes to Love.

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