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Remodeled kitchen with white cabinets and brown island.

Ideas for Upgrading & Remodeling Your Kitchen

Starting a kitchen renovation? Modernizing your kitchen can create a more welcoming space to cook and spend time with loved ones—and receive an ROI of around 54%, 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

View of a kitchen with gray cabinets, marble countertops, and an enteryway rug.

Photo via @dupsyme

Before starting your kitchen makeover, assess the layout of your space and determine your goals for the room. Do you want more space for kitchen storage? Or smoother traffic flow? And consider the functionality of the kitchen—for example, place the stove, sink, and dishwasher near each other for easy transfer, and keep breakable items in upper cabinets away from kids. Additional kitchen remodel ideas include designing a feng shui kitchen, or adding a pass-through so you can interact with guests in another room without knocking down walls.

Design an Open-Concept Kitchen

When you’re planning your kitchen renovation, create an inviting space for guests with an open floor plan or eat-in kitchen. Connect the kitchen to the dining area with a large table and plenty of seating. You can even rearrange your kitchen floor plan to maximize space between 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. Add a kitchen accent wall with dark colors like charcoal gray or deep green to tame the energy in your cooking area, or try patterned wallpaper to add more contrast to the 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.

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Change Out the Kitchen Flooring

Update your kitchen by upgrading your floor! Lay concrete floors for a low-maintenance 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. A great small kitchen design tip is to lay the same flooring as the connecting rooms to create the 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 a new backsplash! Not only does this add a bit of texture and interest to your dream kitchen, but a backsplash also protects your walls from cooking stains. Add personality with patterned tile with finishes like matte, satin, or gloss—use glossy white subway tiles to help make your 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, wooden shiplap is a durable alternative perfect for your farmhouse kitchen. Or you can refresh your current backsplash with a stencil and protect it with a wax or laminate sealant.

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 stainless steel countertops for their sturdiness, easy cleaning, and modern look. Or go with affordable butcher block counters for a unique and eco-friendly kitchen feature—just 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 provide a convenient prep area and extra storage for cooking supplies. 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 a breakfast bar. If you have a smaller kitchen, consider installing a peninsula or swing-out counter instead! Just make sure to leave plenty of room to walk around it on all sides.

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 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, save room with a DIY pull-out pantry cabinet!

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. Cabinets with push latches, clear or frosted glass windows, 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 contact paper. 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 space. Choose wall-mounted metal shelves for a modern industrial kitchen style or install wooden floating shelves for a cottagecore aesthetic. For a fun DIY kitchen project, build your own open shelving or construct recessed shelving for a sleeker look. Or simply remove your cabinet doors for a quick, renter-friendly way to create open shelving.

Add Statement Decor Pieces

Kitchen shot of an oven with hanging storage.

Photo via @magical_manor

Liven up your kitchen area with statement decor pieces! Hang large artwork on the walls or incorporate antiques to create a moody aesthetic in your kitchen. Or combine character and functionality by adding fun bar stools to a kitchen island, placing houseplants on a windowsill, or displaying pots above the stove.

Make Room for an Appliance Garage

Create a permanent home for your small appliances by constructing an appliance garage to store small appliances like coffee makers, mixers, blenders, microwaves, and toasters. This hidden kitchen storage 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.

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. Include task lighting for function—like recessed lights for a warm under-cabinet glow at night. Mix different lighting types with LED dimmer switches to add another layer of interest when redesigning a kitchen, and match your hardware material to bring it all together!

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 update 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, matte aluminum, or mixed metal cabinet pulls. Or if you’re aiming for sleek and modern kitchen cabinets, forget the handles altogether and install a touch latch system.


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Ideas for Upgrading & Remodeling Your Kitchen