9 Ways to Update your Kitchen

They say the kitchen is the heart of the home and it is where you probably spend a bit of time cooking, entertaining (and cleaning) everyday- so of course you want to do that in a pretty space. But what if your kitchen is feeling like it needs a bit of a refresh and it just isn’t in the budget to do much at the moment. From fresh paint to simply adding some thrift store barstools and fresh linens- I have got you- today it’s all about a couple of ways to make your kitchen feel fresh on a dime.

Kitchen Before

Ahh the before. It’s always fun to look back at where we started. And it was a doozy of a kitchen. What you can’t see in this photo? The asbestos flooring. The leaning cupboards. The holes in the wall where an old pipe for the cookstove was. The old cloth wires hanging from the wall where a sconce might have been. The unfinished ceiling that was sagging several inches and had to be pushed back up.

Update the Kitchen Inexpensively

When we bought this house- we didn’t have a budget on hand to remodel or fix up. It took every last penny just to get the loan and buy it. So we did most everything on a dime and as we could afford to. We didn’t add anything fancy- the chandeliers came from thrift stores. The knobs were 12 for $10 at the hardware store. The paint was often Oops paint- meaning slightly wrong tint and returned. We bought from the bargain bin and stuffed cracks with newspapers to seal them up when a bat flew into the house from the attic. This house not only gave us a run for our DIY skills money- it was a money pit needing Everything done right down to adding insulation (there was none in the walls) and fixing the windows that were held in place by bent over nails. I kid you not. SO- we learned a bit about DIY. A lot about using power tools and doing everything the least expensive (but right) way.

A Fresh Coat of Paint

Need I say more? We all know that freshening the paint can make a room instantly feel like a new one- just like when we put make up on or take the time to style our hair. I am a big fan of grabbing a can of paint and giving rooms a fresh look whenever I feel like they are a bit stale. Favorite in the kitchen for me is a semi-gloss in a simple white like Benjamin Moore Simply White. The photo below is a flash back to the in between renovations that we did but is near the same view as the Before photo above to give you an idea.


Lighting updates

Changing those chandeliers to pendants or pendants to chandeliers or any other kind of change that you are looking for can instantly elevate the feeling of your kitchen. When we moved in- there was a ceiling fan in our kitchen. With a beer bottle pull. You can’t make this stuff up folks, but when we put the chandelier in the fan’s place, it instantly feels like a completely different room. If you are a diy kind of person- you can tackle this on your own. If not – make sure to reach out to a licensed electrician – do not tinker with any kind of wiring on your own.

kitchen chandeliers

Add a pot rack

Such a simple way to make a big impact. All those pots and pans or collections of copper or silver serving pieces – put them on display behind the range by adding a pot rack.

kitchen range

Change knobs

So easy and such a big impact in a fresh look. Simply swap the knobs or pulls for something in the style that speaks more to you.

Change shelf displays

If you have open shelving already – add some artwork or decorating elements to break up the stacks of bowls and glasses. If you don’t have vintage- there are some wonderful vintage look options available.

cottage kitchen

Add a Wall Treatment

Of course a backsplash in marble tile or sheets of marble is a beautiful look- but you can absolutely do this on a dime by using peel and stick tiles, wood and more to get the look you love. Simple, easy to change and an inexpensive option as well.

Bring in a place to sit

If you have an island or a kitchen area with a counter that would be perfect for a couple of barstools- add them. Or if you have some barstools already but they are feeling a bit worn out – give them a refresh or replace them. Check thrifts or marketplace for good inexpensive options.

kitchen islands

Fresh Linens and Rugs

I know it sounds kind of odd but simply updating the linens and/or rugs is a simple refresh that makes the room feel fresh. I love to add in some hand linens to the range or the sink area for a pop of pretty- and a beautiful vintage or vintage inspired rug is a lovely touch. There are some good machine washable options now which also makes keeping them clean and a breeze.

Open Up Shelving

One of the things I did in the kitchen when we first moved in? I took the cupboard doors off. I painted the insides of the cupboards and added a top detail and called it good. The open shelving instantly makes the room feel more open. You can read more about that HERE and see a look back at our kitchen.

kitchen island with peonies

Get the Look

affiliate links