Wake up your kitchen and refresh its look with some simple yet impactful changes using accessories. From swapping out your linens to adding a bright backsplash, accessories are an easy way to breathe new life into your kitchen.
The kitchen is the heart of the home, where family and friends gather to cook, eat, and spend quality time together. However, even the most well-designed kitchen can start to feel dull and dated over time. Redesigning and renovating a kitchen can be expensive and time-consuming, but updating your kitchen accessories is an easy and affordable way to give your space a fresh new look.
Accessories include all the smaller decorative items that add visual interest to your kitchen – things like towels, rugs, curtains, lighting, wall art, dishes, and more. Swapping out these accessories allows you to change up the style and color scheme of your kitchen in an instant. Suddenly your boring, all-white kitchen becomes infused with bright pops of color and cool textures by adding some new dish towels, colorful bowls, and unique wall art.
In this article, we will share 15 ways to wake up your tired kitchen simply by switching up some key accessories. With a little creativity, these simple changes can make your kitchen look and feel years younger. Read on for inspiring ideas that will help you fall in love with your kitchen all over again without breaking the bank!
1. Update Your Window Treatments
One of the quickest ways to instantly change the look of your kitchen is to replace the window treatments. Dreary, faded curtains or blinds can make the whole room seem dark and dated. Consider replacing them with:
- Bright patterned curtains – Opt for bold colors and fun prints to let more light in and add a playful punch.
- Textured cafe curtains – Crisp linen or burlap cafe curtains add natural texture.
- Roman shades – Soft gathered folds create a relaxed vibe.
- Vintage-inspired tie-up curtains – Nostalgic farmhouse-chic.
- Smart blinds – Upgrade to remote-controlled or voice-activated window shades.
Choose window treatments in natural fabrics like linen and cotton that match the overall aesthetic you want for your kitchen. Hang them high and wide to maximize light and visibility.
2. Add an Area Rug
An area rug is a great way to warm up your kitchen visually and literally underfoot. Choose a patterned wool or braided cotton rug to create a cozy space. For high-traffic kitchens, stick with durable, stain-resistant materials and avoid light colors.
Use a large rug to define the kitchen seating area. Runners are nice for galley kitchens. Boost safety and comfort with non-slip rug pads.
Rugs come in countless colors, patterns, textures and materials to match any style. From modern graphic prints, to colorful vintage Moroccan rugs, to rustic jute textures, an area rug brings visual interest to tired kitchen floors.
3. Import Cozy Textures
Replace worn kitchen textiles with cozier, higher quality versions. Old dingy dish towels and hot pads can make a kitchen feel drab and dated. Purchase new sets of:
- Dish towels – Opt for pretty printed cotton towels to brighten up the sink area.
- Potholders & oven mitts – Quilted styles look extra homey.
- Chair pads – Add a pop of color and cushioning to worn seats.
- Table linens – Solid colored or patterned tablecloths and napkins liven up meals.
- Placemats & table runners – Natural woven fibers like jute, linen, and cotton bring warmth.
Quality textiles in soft natural fibers and cheerful colors make spending time in the kitchen more inviting.
4. Display Your Best Dishes
Tired of rummaging through messy cabinets? Show off your favorite kitchen dishes, mugs and glassware by displaying them decoratively. Replace mismatched dishes stashed away in cabinets with coordinated collections in your favorite colors and patterns.
Unique ways to display dishes:
- Open shelving or glass-front cabinets
- Hanging mug racks
- Wall hooks or floating shelves for mugs
- Countertop utensil crocks
- Apothecary jars for utensils
Coordinate dishes by color or style for a curated look. Include decorative bowls, platters, and teakettles. Add interest with DIY ceramic dipped mugs. Displaying dishes makes them more accessible while boosting the visual appeal of your kitchen.
5. Upgrade Kitchen Linens
Replacing old stained tea towels, oven mitts, aprons, and potholders with new matching sets makes cooking and serving feel fresh. Consider:
- Tea towels – Absorbent linen or microfiber in cheerful hues.
- Oven mitts & potholders – Quilted patterns complement the color scheme.
- Aprons – Fun personalized or printed aprons.
- Chair cushions – Cozy padded seats in stain-resistant fabrics.
- Table linens – Bright tablecloths and cloth napkins.
Choose linens to match your new kitchen color palette. Natural linen, burlap, and cotton offer classic textures.
6. Accessorize with Plants
No kitchen makeover is complete without some greenery. The health benefits of keeping plants in the kitchen are well known. In addition to improving air quality, displaying pretty potted plants instantly livens up any kitchen’s decor.
Some great kitchen plants include:
- Succulents – Easy to care for, iconic contemporary look.
- Herb garden – Convenient access to fresh cooking herbs.
- ZZ plant – Thrives in low light.
- Snake plant – Removes toxins from the air.
- Orchids – Elegant blooms, available in many colors.
Cluster your plants together on windowsills, the counter, or shelves. Use planters in materials like ceramic, wood, galvanized metal, or macrame.
7. Incorporate Warm Metallics
Cool silver and stainless-steel appliances are ubiquitous in today’s kitchens. For a warmer, more inviting look, incorporate accents in brass, bronze and gold throughout the kitchen. Try:
- Gold cutlery and flatware
- Brass light fixtures
- Hammered bronze or copper pots
- Antique gold faucets and hardware
- Sparkling crystal and gold barware
Matching metals throughout the space creates harmony. Vintage and handcrafted pieces add character. Warm metallics instantly balance out cool tones for a more livable vibe.
8. Display Vintage Kitchenware
Vintage kitchenware instantly adds charm and personality. Look for inexpensive retro pieces at flea markets, antique shops, or online auctions. Ways to display vintage finds:
- Display vibrant vintage Pyrex on open shelves.
- Hang vintage utensils from hooks or racks.
- Decorate with enamelware pots and antique tin canisters.
- Use old cake stands and plates as decorative accents.
- Convert vintage silverware into wind chimes.
Mixing in family heirlooms or memory-filled pieces makes your kitchen uniquely you. Vintage kitchenware brings a sense of nostalgia, craftsmanship, and warmth to any kitchen decor.
9. Add a Fresh Coat of Paint
Painting the kitchen walls and cabinets is a fast way to achieve a whole new look without a major renovation. If your kitchen feels dark and out of date, a fresh coat of paint can wake it right up. Ideas for using paint:
- Repaint walls in a lighter, brighter shade.
- Paint the ceiling a dynamic shade.
- Freshen up old cabinets with a coat of glossy white or bold color.
- Paint inside open shelves in an accent color to display bright dishes and accessories.
- Add personality with an artistic or geometric wall/ceiling accent.
Painting allows you to switch up the color palette of your kitchen easily. And the results are immediately transformative.
10. Install New Lighting Fixtures
Dingy old fluorescent lights and outdated lampshades can cast unflattering shadows in your kitchen. Replacing lighting fixtures instantly modernizes and brightens up the space. Ideas for stylish new fixtures:
- Sleek track lighting or recessed cans highlight work areas.
- Cage pendants illuminate the kitchen island.
- Rustic barn lights for farmhouse appeal.
- Sparkling crystal chandeliers or vintage lamps over the dining table.
- Under cabinet lighting for prepping and cooking tasks.
Choose energy-efficient LED bulbs in daylight or soft white to maximize brightness. Dimmer switches add adjustable ambiance. Proper lighting transforms how your kitchen looks and functions.
11. Update Handles and Knobs
Replacing outdated hardware and handles is a simple upgrade that makes a noticeable visual impact. Swapping in new knobs and handles is an easy DIY project that transforms plain cabinets and drawers. Popular hardware options:
- Sleek matte black pulls for contemporary style.
- Brushed brass for warmth and glamour.
- Vintage crystal, ceramic or glass knobs.
- Whimsical bin pulls or ring pulls.
- Rustic hammered metal handles.
Match your handles and pulls to other metals in the space for a cohesive look. Hardware comes in a range of prices to suit any budget.
12. Hang Stylish Kitchen Art
Fill up empty wall space and bring personality into your kitchen with art, prints, mirrors and photos. Ideas for kitchen wall decor:
- A set of botanical prints or fruit illustrations.
- Framed photos of family gatherings and meals.
- Floating wall shelves holding colorful cookbooks or ceramics.
- Framed spice labels or tea towels.
- Full-length mirrors to open up a small kitchen.
- Rustic signs with food-related quotes.
Use wall decor to reinforce the kitchen’s color palette and theme. Anchor small pieces over prep and dining areas to create intimate vignettes.
13. Upgrade Countertops
Countertops tend to get more wear and tear than other kitchen surfaces. Stained, cracked, or outdated countertops can make the whole kitchen seem old. Easy countertop upgrades include:
- New engineered quartz counters in solid white or neutral hues.
- Butcher block counters add vintage farmhouse charm.
- Tile countertops provide visual texture.
- Laminate countertops offer budget-friendly durability.
Upgrading kitchen countertops requires more investment than some other accessories. But fresh counters truly complete the look of a revamped kitchen.
14. Add Warming Wood Elements
Wood instantly warms up any kitchen with natural texture and beauty. There are many ways to incorporate wood elements without full cabinetry refacing:
- New oak or walnut cutting boards.
- Wooden shelving for open storage.
- Sleek wood and metal barstools.
- Rustic wood counters or kitchen island.
- Warm wood flooring or wood-look tile.
- Exposed ceiling beams, if allowed.
Seek out real sustainably sourced wood rather than manufactured composites. The richness of natural woodgrain brings vitality and timeless elegance to kitchen decor.
15. Install New Backsplash
An updated backsplash serves both form and function in the kitchen. From sleek glass mosaics to handmade ceramic tiles, a new backsplash updates your kitchen’s style. Consider:
- Subway tiles – Classic clean lines.
- Moroccan tiles – Intricate patterns and colors
- Brick or stone – Rustic and natural.
- Stainless steel – Modern industrial edge.
- Graphic prints – Artsy personalization.
Along with its decorative impact, a backsplash protects your walls from spills and splatters. It’s a medium-effort upgrade that delivers a serious style payoff.
Wake Up Your Kitchen Today!
By focusing on high-impact changes using new accessories, you can breathe new life into your kitchen without taking on a full remodel.
- New textures like rugs, linens and window treatments.
- Stylish new dishes, cookware and barware.
- Plants, lighting and hardware in current finishes.
- Wall decor that showcases your personality.
Even modest updates to accessories and accents make a noticeable difference in how enjoyable your kitchen is. The magic is in the details! Reclaim your love for your kitchen by incorporating some of these inspiring accessory ideas today.
Frequently Asked Questions About Updating Kitchen Accessories
How much do kitchen accessories cost compared to a full renovation?
Kitchen accessories generally range from inexpensive to moderately priced, while full kitchen renovations can easily cost tens of thousands of dollars. Refreshing a kitchen just with new decor accessories can typically be done for under $2,000 total.
Where is the best place to shop for affordable kitchen accessories?
Big box stores like Target and Ikea offer a wide range of trendy and affordable kitchen accessories. Thrift stores and flea markets are great places to find inexpensive vintage items full of character. Etsy offers many handmade and custom kitchen accessories supporting independent artists.
What are the biggest trends right now in kitchen accessories and decor?
Current popular kitchen decor trends include warm natural materials like wood and rattan, Moroccan-inspired tile backsplashes, vintage charm from antique accessories, concrete and terrazzo surfaces, and environmentally sustainable products.
How can I measure my kitchen for new accessories like rugs and curtains?
Use a tape measure to get the accurate width and length of any windows, counter space, or floor area you plan to add accessories to. For curtains, measure both the width and height of each window. Leave extra room for rugs to extend under appliances.
How do I clean and care for kitchen textiles like rugs, towels and curtains?
Carefully follow the cleaning instructions for each material. Most can be machine washed on cold and air dried. Stain treat spills immediately with dish soap or stain remover. Steam pressing helps curtains hold their shape. Routinely wash and disinfect kitchen rugs.
With just a few inexpensive but impactful purchases, you can breathe new life into a tired kitchen. Focus first on high visibility accessories like curtains, rugs, lighting, hardware, and dishware to make the biggest visual change. Adding personal touches like plants, wall art, and vintage finds makes the space uniquely you.
A full kitchen remodel isn’t required to enjoy a fresh new look and feel. Strategically updating key accessories creates an updated oasis for cooking and connecting, without waiting years or overextending your budget. Revive your love for your kitchen by incorporating some of these energizing new accessories ideas today. Let your refreshed kitchen inspire you to gather, cook, and create memories for years to come.