A full renovation may not be within reach — and may not even be necessary — to bring new energy to your kitchen. Much can be accomplished with a simple kitchen refresh. Here are 10 easy ways to liven up a kitchen that’s gotten a little stale.
1. Clear out the clutter.
Go through your kitchen section by section and get rid of anything you don’t love or use regularly enough to justify the space it’s taking up. Of course, there are seasonal or holiday items you’ll want to keep that only get used once or twice a year, but gadgets that made sense when you bought them, but then never used should probably go. Chipped or cracked dishes, containers without lids and other broken, damaged or overly worn items should also be tossed or recycled. Clear as much as possible off countertops.
2. Organize everything in a logical place.
Consider how you use the items in your kitchen when you are deciding where to store them. Group similar things and keep items necessary for a particular activity (such as baking, or making coffee or school lunches) together in a handy place near where you use them most.
3. Refresh the paint.
Paint goes a long way to freshening up a room, even the kitchen. Pick a hue that complements your cabinets. Adding a bold accent color is an easy, inexpensive way to create a pop of color. There are types of paint for surfaces other than walls, too. With the right paint and preparation, you can paint wood floors, tile flooring, a backsplash and cabinets.
4. Update the hardware.
Hardware is like jewelry for your cabinets. Upgrading from basic builder hardware to something with a more current feel can completely update your kitchen. Play with mixing metals and shapes. Add a whimsical cabinet pull or two for some fun and personality.
5. Change the light fixtures.
Light fixtures come in many different styles. Opaque shades provide directional light shining down, which can be good for task lighting, while translucent or glass shades illuminate the whole space.
Kitchen accessories should enhance the look of the kitchen without creating more clutter. Choose them carefully for what they bring to the overall look. Decorative bowls or platters, a plant in beautiful pot, and small appliances that are out on the counter or an open shelf can either add or detract from the look and feel of a kitchen. Too many accessories can be overwhelming, and too few can leave the kitchen feeling stark. Accessories can add a splash of color and interest.
7. Add a (washable) throw rug.
A rug in front of the sink or a runner down a long kitchen adds softness and color. Choose a rug that is both durable and washable, because spills in the kitchen are inevitable.
8. Hang artwork.
Art can be a surprising touch in a kitchen, and is especially helpful from a design perspective in an open kitchen that is part of greater living space. Looking at the kitchen from outside can help you identify where a painting or beautiful photograph would be aesthetically pleasing as well as tie the different areas together.
9. Change the window treatment(s).
Window treatments add color and texture. If you can sew, making an inexpensive shade with remnants or discontinued fabrics is an economical way to brighten a kitchen.
10. Add dimmers and under-cabinet lighting.
Dimmers and accent lighting, such as under-cabinet lighting, can create drama and offer a softer lighting option than overhead lights.