5 Ways to Update Your Kitchen Without Remodeling

If you’ve owned your home for awhile — and especially if you’ve been cooking up a storm in recent months — then you might be thinking about a kitchen remodel. A full-on kitchen remodel is not something to go into lightly, especially because you’ll have to be prepared to be without your kitchen while the work is happening.

Not to mention that a full-on kitchen remodel can come with a hefty price tag. That could be why a kitchen remodel can be something that you put off and keep on your wishlist. However, we can take a cue from home staging techniques where a few key details are used to change the look of a room, to take steps to update your kitchen without a full remodel. With these changes you can give your kitchen a new look with additions like new colors, updated countertops, and creative lighting that can take your kitchen from drab to wow.

Update countertops

One way to dramatically transform a kitchen is by updating kitchen countertops. Real estate agents say that countertops are one of the most important design elements in a kitchen, which can really draw attention to it — especially when it comes time to sell. New countertops come in a range of prices, but you don’t necessarily have to go with the top-of-the-line to have a big impact.

Granite might be the first material that comes to mind, but there are plenty of other materials that can truly transform your kitchen. Some materials worth considering that can add a modern touch are butcher’s block, marble, and terrazzo (a durable composite material which may include marble chips or recycled glass). Once you’ve updated your countertops, you might consider other features to update to go with your kitchen’s new look. 

Repaint cabinet doors

The reason why a lot of homeowners go for a full kitchen remodel is because once you’ve updated one element of your kitchen, you might want everything to be updated to have a cohesive design. Pulling out cabinets completely and replacing them can be disruptive for your kitchen life, but it could be that all you need for a refresh is to take off the cabinet doors and repaint or refinish them. If you have wood, laminate, or metal cabinets, you can probably repaint them easily.

Another option is to replace the doors completely while leaving the rest of your cabinets intact. This kind of upgrade is less-disruptive than completely replacing your cabinets, while creating an impactful refresh. After repainting your cabinets, you can also replace cabinet hardware for a polished and modern look. Repainting cabinets can also make your kitchen more attractive to potential home buyers.

Get creative with lighting

Light is a necessary element for any room of your house, and adding light can breathe life and fresh air into any space. Updating lighting, like modifying cabinets, can also add design elements to your kitchen. You can pick on-trend pendant lights or get creative with mixing different styles of lights. Some popular styles, that can add something a little different, are natural bamboo shades, clear shades, or ditching the shades all together.

One consideration is matching the finish of your cabinet pulls with lighting to create a unified design. Or, you can match light shades with the color of your cabinets for another modern touch. You don’t just have to think about overhead lighting, some other options are sconces, lights that frame a window, or under-cabinet lighting. Large, open floor plan kitchens can be good candidates for oversized lighting, while smaller kitchens might be better off with a cluster of pendant lights. To add even more light, a skylight can be a kitchen-transforming addition in single-level homes.

Add accent walls

They say that color can transform a space and kitchens are no exception. Of course, one clear choice is to repaint your kitchen, but you can also take your kitchen to the next level by painting a single wall, or even the ceiling. Accent walls aren’t just painted, you can also use wallpaper to transform a boring wall into an accent wall.

Let your imagination run wild and get creative with more than one accent wall, a wall with a favorite quote, or a tiled backsplash as an accent. If selecting a pattern, the colors in the accent wall can be used to tie together the rest of your kitchen. Accent walls in multiple colors and two walls in related shades can also add a playfulness to your kitchen. If you aren’t sure where to begin, start small with one wall and then add on as you update more of your kitchen.

Update your sink

A new kitchen sink — like new cabinets or countertops — can elevate a kitchen in a bold way. Stainless steel is a functional choice, but there are some kitchen sinks worth considering that are design elements all on their own. Undermount sinks rest under your countertop and can give a seamless design for minimalist kitchens.

For something completely different, there are ceramic sinks with a basin design, like you might find in a farmhouse. These bold washing up areas come in a range of sizes, and you may be able to add one without changing much else in the space. While you’re there, you can consider upgrading your faucet with hardware in a finish that matches other hardware in your newly refreshed kitchen.

The kitchen is one of the most high-traffic areas of a home and with the wear and tear that comes along with that role, a refresh can be high on the top of homeowners’ wish lists. While you could go for a full remodel, you can save time and money by making a few upgrades that can have a big impact with their bold design features. Even just one of these changes can create a kitchen transformation. Get creative with bold colors and design details and you’ll be inspired to get cooking in your new kitchen. 

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