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10 Kitchen Upgrades

10 Kitchen Upgrades

The kitchen is traditionally seen as the heart of a home. A place where time is spent brewing coffee in the morning, pulling up a stool to enjoy a chapter of that new-to-you book, crafting comforting meals, whipping up seasonal cocktails for company, or simply pouring a generous glass of wine after a long day. Since we tend to spend so much of our lives in the kitchen, it only makes sense to create a space that combines both aesthetics and function.

Whether you’re ready to completely remodel your kitchen or start with a few modest upgrades, we have a handful of ideas for you. 

Paint walls

A fresh coat of paint can do wonders. Go with a different shade to switch up the entire feel of your kitchen, or simply reapply the same color for an easy refresh. It’s hard to go wrong with white for a bright, clean feel, although if you’re leaning towards a moodier look, dark blues and greens can be a much-welcomed change. If you don't have experience or the time and patience to learn how to properly apply paint, leave it to the pros. A single room won't break the bank. Leave your budding DIY paint skills for the basement or often-vacant guest room.

Fresh kitchen paint Paint or replace cabinets 

Already have your paint supplies (or the painting pro) out? Might as well tackle the cabinets for a full upgrade. If your cabinets are beyond refacing repair, or you simply don’t care for the design, swap in new cabinets—budget allowing, of course. You don’t have to make all of these updates at once, so pick what makes the most sense to tackle first, then go from there. Painting usually takes place near the end of a large project, followed by hardware, lighting, and artwork.

Kitchen cabinet paint Swap in new cabinet hardware

Replacing your cabinet hardware is an easy, affordable change. New knobs and handles can update the overall feel of a kitchen and offer an extra splash of interest to an otherwise standard design. Glass knobs can be a fun addition, while oil rubbed bronze is a classic choice. Want to add some flair? Introduce gold for subtle hints of glam, or choose leather pulls for a unique nontraditional look. Coordinate your faucet if that’s important to you; they don't have to match! Choose a complementary finish for a more compelling visual—black and gold is always a solid combo. Kitchen fixtures

Add shelving and in-drawer dividers

Have a collection of beautiful bowls and mugs? Install exposed shelves to arrange your kitchen wares. Open shelves can make a small space seem brighter and more spacious than cabinets, plus it can force you to declutter. Perhaps you simply want to be more organized. Install shelves inside lower cabinets and place dividers in drawers to avoid piles of pots and a drawer full of mingling cutlery.

Open kitchen shelves

Introduce an island

Adding an island doesn’t have to be as complicated or as expensive as you might think! You can purchase mobile kitchen islands, which require little to no installation. Tuck a couple of stools alongside for casual eating or entertaining guests. The extra counter space and storage will come in handy, especially if you consistently find yourself cooking up a storm. Meal preppers rejoice!

Kitchen island

Update counter surfaces

Perhaps you’re ready for a big upgrade. Smooth quartz countertops will instantly make your kitchen feel more luxurious. Plus they’re easy to clean! While marble looks beautiful it stains easily and is not the best route to go concerning wear and tear. 

Kitchen counter

Upgrade appliances

Appliances can be pricey, so really think through all of your options before making a final decision. What is going to fit in your space, and what makes the most sense based on how often you cook. Do you (or someone else) typically cook for several people? Two ovens and ample refrigerator/freezer space will make your life easier. Whipping up recipes for yourself? No need to go overboard with a six burner range… unless you’re going to channel your inner Martha Stewart regularly. 

Kitchen appliances

Enhance lighting

A perfectly lit kitchen makes all the difference regarding ambiance. Select colorful, artsy pendant lights to add an extra splash of interest, utilizing dimmers to get the lighting just right depending on the time of day and your mood. You can always introduce a couple of strategically placed candles (scented or unscented) for an extra warm glow. 

Kitchen lighting

Show off vases, pottery, and glassware 

After you swap in new hardware, add another inexpensive ambiance booster in the form of vases, pottery, or fun glassware! Fill your vessels with fresh or faux flowers for a welcoming touch and another pop of color plus texture. Some vases are beautiful as is—less can certainly be more when it comes to decor. 

Kitchen vases, pottery

Utilize artwork

Last but certainly not least, introducing meaningful artwork into your kitchen is another easy, affordable (depending on your taste) upgrade that will instantly boost the vibe and add a splash of personality to a potentially sterile space. Go for a single statement piece, or opt for a gallery wall featuring several creative works.

Kitchen art

Interested in more ways to elevate your home?

See Bathroom Upgrades, Big & Small.

Learn How to Replace an Outdoor Faucet.