At one time or another, I think we’ve all found ourselves pining for a top-to-bottom kitchen reno only to realize it’s not the right moment. Budget constraints, rental properties, and timing issues can all limit our ability for a full-scale redesign, but that doesn’t mean a kitchen update is entirely out of the question. With small, actionable steps, there are endless ways to reimagine your space with absolutely no hard hats required.
Today on the blog, I’m walking through my favorite ways to give your kitchen a fresh new look with a totally streamlined approach. I like to think of it as a minimalist “reno” for times when a little extra organization and restyling are all you really need. My number one rule: if it's out on the counter, you should use it every day and it should be beautiful.
3 Tips for Updating Your Kitchen without a Renovation
START WITH A CLEAN SLATE
Before you begin layering any styling pieces or rush ahead to the “fun stuff,” take a step back to evaluate your current setup. I love kitchens with clutter-free countertops, which often means finding creative storage solutions to tuck away all the unsightly extras.
This is the time to find new spots for your small appliances in a cabinet or the pantry. Those seldom-used appliances (looking at you, turkey roasters and bread makers) can head straight to the garage until they’re needed. As you work towards decluttering the counters, take a minute to hide the extra length of your appliance cords using industrial twist ties. By paring down the appliances on display and minimizing the cords in sight, you’ll be well on your way to a fresh new space.
REFRESH YOUR FIXTURES & FINISHES
Now that you’re working with a clean kitchen slate, it’s time to focus on small updates that make a big impact. While new paint can definitely get the job done, I’m always shocked by how transformative cabinet hardware can be. If you’ve been living with outdated drawer pulls and knobs for far too long, start by sourcing some new hardware that speaks to your style. Don’t be intimidated by self-install, because it’s way easier than you’d think. Once you’ve got your new hardware in place, add an updated sink faucet and I promise you’ll be wowed.
With all the nitty-gritty tasks out of the way, you’re ready to move on to the final styling. This is the opportunity to infuse your design perspective and create styling vignettes that reflect your personal tastes. Some of my favorite ways to freshen up a kitchen include using vintage wooden bread bowls, ceramic batter bowls, and an assortment of woven baskets to organize your citrus and root vegetables on the counter. Next, consider adding a small accent lamp to your countertop. It might seem a bit unconventional, but I’m pretty certain that lamp will quickly become your favorite light in the kitchen.
When it comes to filling wall space, I love finding a nice spot for a vintage or even vintage-inspired piece of art. But, if your upper cabinets leave little to no room for hanging art, try using a cookbook holder or small easel as a creative workaround. This styling hack is a great way to create an artsy moment that’s equal parts pretty and functional.
After all is said and done, the finishing touch to any kitchen update comes down to your rug selection. I always recommend swapping out the standard kitchen mat for a gorgeous vintage runner or area rug that hits all the right style notes. Search for a rug that incorporates a beautiful balance of color and pattern, and you’ll be amazed by the impact. We love The Madison, The Potomac, and The Howard for kitchen spaces. Because is there anything better than a refreshed kitchen with a styled vintage rug? In my opinion, absolutely not.