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Remodeled kitchen with white cabinets and brown island.

Ideas for Upgrading & Remodeling Your Kitchen

Starting a kitchen renovation? Upgrading your kitchen can not only create a more welcoming space to cook and spend time with loved ones, but kitchen remodels also recover 67% of their resale value—making them one of the best home improvement investments. Follow these 17 kitchen renovation ideas to create your dream cooking space!

Rethink Your Kitchen Flow

Before you start your kitchen makeover, take a moment to reconsider the layout of your space and determine your goals for the room—like more space or kitchen storage? Or would you be happy with a smoother traffic flow in your cooking area? Depending on your goals, your kitchen remodel may be as minor as shifting around your kitchen island and large appliances to create a feng shui kitchen. Or you might widen the room with a pass-through, which allows you to interact with guests in another room without having to knock down load-bearing walls.

Design an Open-Concept Kitchen

A kitchen with white countertops and a powder blue island with a runner rug is shown. Photo by Instagram username @dupsyme.

Photo via @dupsyme

When you’re planning your kitchen renovation, opt for an open floor plan or eat-in kitchen to create an inviting space for guests. Connect the kitchen to the dining area with a large table and plenty of seating. You can even rearrange your kitchen floor plan to optimize the layout of your refrigerator, dishwasher, and lower cabinets. Plus, eat-in kitchens are a desirable home feature that can pay off when it’s time to sell!

Add a Pop of Color to Your Walls

One easy way to change the look of your kitchen without bringing down the walls is to paint them. Adding a kitchen accent wall with dark colors like charcoal gray or dark green can tame the energy in your cooking space. Painting a chalkboard wall is an inexpensive and fun kitchen upgrade for those with little ones. Another kitchen remodeling trend is textured walls. Opt for off-white limewash walls or comb-textured walls for a calm kitchen. Extend the texture and color all the way up to your ceiling, or go for exposed wood beams to create a rustic look and contrast with white kitchens.

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Change Out the Kitchen Flooring

Upgrade your kitchen by upgrading your floor! Lay concrete floors for a low-maintenance flooring option that’s easy to clean. Install earth-toned glazed ceramic tiles with heated underlay to combat cold winters. If you love hardwood floors but you’re looking for a less expensive option, try installing vinyl plank flooring for a more affordable kitchen floor with the same effect. And if you feel like your kitchen is disconnected from the surrounding rooms, laying down the same flooring between spaces is a great way to create an illusion of a larger kitchen and connect the area seamlessly.

Upgrade Major Appliances

Replacing appliances with quality, ENERGY STAR-certified models is an easy way to make big changes and save money in the long run. You can also opt for panel-ready appliances that blend in seamlessly with your cabinetry to make your small kitchen look bigger. Panel-ready appliances—like refrigerators, dishwashers, wine coolers, warming drawers, and more—come unfinished and ready to be personalized. Though this kitchen remodeling idea can come with a higher price tag, the cost might just be worth it to build the kitchen of your dreams.

Add Backsplash with Character

Give your kitchen a refresh with new backsplash tile! Not only does this add a bit of texture and interest to your dream kitchen, but backsplash also protects your walls from cooking stains. Using glossy white subway tiles as a backsplash is a kitchen upgrade trick that can make a small kitchen feel larger. Experiment with herringbone, basketweave, and stacked backsplash patterns to achieve a different look with the same tile. If you’re not interested in using ceramic, glass, or stone tiles for your backsplash, wooden shiplap is a durable alternative perfect for your farmhouse kitchen.

Revamp Your Kitchen Countertops

Marble kitchen island. Photo by Instagram user @colonialmarble

Photo via @colonialmarble

Renovating kitchen countertops is an excellent way to breathe new life into your cooking space. Use popular quartz for its many color and pattern options, durability, and low maintenance. Take advantage of sturdy stainless steel countertops for their sturdiness, easy cleaning, and modern look. Or go with affordable butcher block counters for a unique kitchen feature—and make sure you regularly maintain them. After choosing your counter material, pick a complementary color to match your backsplash and tie the room together.

Double Your Kitchen Island as a Breakfast Bar

Kitchen with island and eat-in dining. Photo by Instagram user @tamarackhomes

Photo via @tamarackhomes

A kitchen island can expand your cooking space by providing a prep area and extra storage. While customizing your kitchen island, include shelves or drawers for storing appliances and dishes—and add space for a microwave, dishwasher, or sink. Design your kitchen island with an overhanging countertop you can use as additional seating or breakfast bar. If you have a smaller kitchen, consider installing a peninsula or a swing-out counter instead!

Turn a Corner Into a Modern Dining Nook

Depicted is a kitchen dining nook with pink chairs and windows behind. Photo by Instagram username @myblushcrush

Photo via @myblushcrush

Is there an unused corner in your kitchen? A great home improvement idea is turning this space into a cozy breakfast nook, complete with benches and a small table. Banquette seating is perfect for a quick meal or snuggling up with a book and warm drink. Make your kitchen dining bench even more comfortable and functional by including a cushion, a few fluffy pillows, and extra storage space below. Plus, eye-catching colors and patterns in your dining nook will make it a great focal point in your eat-in kitchen!

Build a Coffee Bar

A small coffee bar installed at a wall corner is shown. Photo by Instagram username @bertofcoffee

Photo via @bertofcoffee

One of the best kitchen makeover ideas is to build a designated espresso station! This is a great way to incorporate making a cup of coffee as part of your morning routine while utilizing any small, awkward spaces you might have. A kitchen coffee bar is also a relaxing space for conversations with loved ones as you sip on your coffee. Show off your espresso machine on your countertops and hang your favorite coffee mugs on under-shelf hooks or a wall-mounted mug rack. Not a fan of coffee? A home brew bar can house your favorite wines, teas, or snacks instead!

Include a Pantry

Whether you’re completing a large or small kitchen makeover, pantries are an important storage detail in a kitchen remodel. Not only can you keep spices and dried goods on shelves and in drawers, but you can also store brooms, mops, and trash cans out of sight. Consider building a butler’s pantry in between your kitchen and dining area or a walk-in pantry with a sliding barn door to complete your dream farmhouse makeover. If you don’t have enough space for a walk-in pantry, try making a pull-out pantry cabinet to save room!

Update Your Cabinets

Hardware-less kitchen cabinets in modern kitchen. Photo by Instagram user @kvikkitchen

Photo via @kvikkitchen

Change out old kitchen cabinets for ones that match your style or a refresh. Cabinets with push latches, integrated handles, or edge-pulls are perfect for mastering a simple yet modern Japandi-style design. Instead of going for typical earth tones, try colorful and timeless cabinet colors like mint green, navy blue, or soft yellow. If a major cabinet overhaul is not in your kitchen remodel budget, make simple upgrades to existing cabinets by repainting or applying vinyl wrap. And don’t forget about cabinet interiors! Features like sliding drawers, drawer dividers, pantry pullouts, and more can make accessing items easier.

Show Off Dishes in Open Shelving

Want to display your fine china collection or decorative dishes? Try open shelving! This kitchen improvement idea provides a beautiful storage solution for your kitchen. Choose wall-mounted metal shelves for a modern industrial kitchen style. Install wooden floating shelves for the cottagecore aesthetic. For a fun DIY kitchen project, build your own open shelving or construct recessed shelving for a sleeker look. Or remove your cabinet doors for a quick, renter-friendly way to create open shelving.

Make Room for an Appliance Garage

Create a permanent home for your small appliances by constructing an appliance garage, where you can keep small appliances like coffee makers, mixers, blenders, microwaves, and toasters easily accessible but hidden. This space-saving kitchen trick is perfect for clearing countertops to give you more prep surfaces. Opt for tambour doors, vertical lift hinged doors, or sliding pocket doors on your appliance garage. And be sure to match the color of the door with your cabinets to help it blend in with the room for a cohesive look in your kitchen.

Roll Away with a Library Ladder

Ceiling-height cabinets are good for increasing kitchen storage space, but they can be difficult to access. Make reaching those high kitchen cabinets a breeze by including a rolling library ladder. Choose a wooden ladder if you’re going for a woodsy cabin aesthetic or a dark-colored metal ladder for an industrial look. If you’re worried about having space for a ladder, make it removable and designate a storage spot nearby.

Switch Out Lighting

Though it might seem like a small detail, replacing light fixtures is a great idea to give your kitchen a brand-new look. Pendant lights, wall-mounted sconces, and track lighting are all easy ways to create focal points and set the mood in your kitchen. However, it’s also important to include task lighting for function—like including recessed lights for a warm under-cabinet glow at night. Mix different lighting types to add another layer of interest to your kitchen design, and match your hardware material to create a cohesive look!

Modernize Your Hardware

A kitchen countertop with charcoal gray cabinets and gold hardware for cabinet pulls and faucet is shown in picture. Photo by Instagram username @hadiyahlove

Photo via @hadiyahlove

An easy kitchen renovation idea is replacing hardware like cabinet handles, drawer knobs, faucets, and light switches to make your kitchen feel brand new without breaking the bank. Choose classic hardware like brass or nickel knobs, or add an industrial edge with copper, wood, or mixed metal cabinet pulls. Or if you’re aiming for sleek and modern kitchen cabinets, forget the handles and install a touch latch system.


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