Refresh the Paint Color

A fresh coat of paint is one of the easiest ways to instantly change the look and feel of a kitchen. Go bold with a saturated hue like navy blue or emerald green, or keep it light and airy with a pale yellow or robin’s egg blue. Painting the walls, ceiling, cabinets or an accent wall are all great options.

Change Up the Cabinet Hardware

Swap out dated or boring cabinet hardware for drawer pulls and knobs that showcase your style. Try sculptural hardware in an antique brass or black metal finish for a contemporary look, or go for crystal or ceramic knobs for a glam vibe.

Install New Countertops

Countertops get a lot of wear and tear, so replacing yours is a worthwhile upgrade. Granite, marble, and quartz are elegant options, while concrete, wood, and laminate counter alternatives offer unique, affordable style.

Add an Accent Tile Backsplash

A backsplash is like jewelry for your kitchen, letting you add pops of color, dimension, and sheen through tile. Subway tiles, Moroccan fish scale tiles, and handmade ceramic tiles all make stunning backsplashes that show off your personal taste.

Display Your Dishware

Open shelving, glass-front cabinets, and plate racks are perfect displaying your favorite dishware, glasses, and mugs. Opt for symmetrical arrangements or creative free-form displays to exhibit your collections in a meaningful way.

Incorporate Personal Photos and Art

Photographs of family, friends, special places, and fun memories enliven a kitchen with sentimentality. Likewise, still life artwork, framed botanical prints, or modern abstract pieces add striking visual flair.

Add Warm Lighting Fixtures

The right lighting elevates both the form and function of your kitchen. Add pendant lights above islands and sinks, under-cabinet task lighting, accent lighting inside glass-front cabinets, and dimmers to control the ambience.

Install a Statement Range Hood

A range hood is essential for ventilation, but it also offers the perfect opportunity to infuse personal style. Stunning range hoods come in materials like copper, bamboo, stainless steel, concrete, and marble.

Include Meaningful Accents

Decorative accents with significance, like handcrafted pottery, family heirlooms, or souvenirs from trips, make a kitchen homey. Place them strategically throughout the space for an authentic lived-in feel.

Organize Smartly with Clever Storage

Maximize every inch of space with storage solutions tailored to your needs. Some great options are slide-out cabinets, pull-out spice racks, drawer dividers, tiered shelves, and wall-mounted pot racks.

Upgrade Kitchen Appliances

Today’s kitchen appliances come in a rainbow of on-trend colors that pop against cabinetry and add vibrancy to the space. Or choose sleek stainless steel or matte black appliances for a modern uniform look.

Switch Up the Faucet

An eye-catching faucet transforms a standard kitchen sink into a striking focal point. Look for sculptural shapes or unique finishes like black, brass, copper, or bronzed metals for serious style.

Install New Flooring

Swap out worn floors for fresh ones that complement your aesthetic vision. Hardwoods, natural stone, concrete, and patterned tiles are all attractive options guaranteed to update the space.

Add Molding and Trim

Crown molding, decorative trim panels, baseboards, and other architectural accents give a kitchen cohesion and character. Use them to highlight open shelving, the stove area, or cabinet faces for ornate embellishment.

Embrace Your Style in the Open Shelving

For a kitchen that embodies your taste, carefully curate the items displayed on open shelves. Include favorite cookbooks, unique barware, pottery, and accents in your preferred color palette and materials.

Customize with Chalkboard Paint

Make the kitchen even more your own by adding chalkboard paint to create interactive display spaces. Use it on an entire wall, the sides of island cabinets, or the backs of open shelving.

Incorporate Meaningful Textiles

Vibrant, textured textiles like cushions, rugs, curtains, and table linens bring warmth and nuance to kitchens. Choose materials and patterns like cotton, jute, embroidered lace, or vibrant graphic prints.


What are some budget-friendly ways to customize a kitchen?

Some wallet-friendly ways to make a kitchen your own include updating cabinet hardware, painting the walls, adding new textiles like curtains and towels, installing an accent tile backsplash, and incorporating personalized wall art and accessories.

How can you make a small or awkward kitchen feel more personal?

In a small kitchen, opt for small-scale personalized details like matte black hardware, dainty pendant lights, artful dishware displays, and pops of color through appliances and textiles. Clever organizational solutions can also maximize functionality.

How do you incorporate your taste into a rental kitchen?

For rental kitchens, use removable upgrades like new cabinet hardware, peel-and-stick backsplash tiles, tension rod curtains, floating shelves, and customized organizers. Also display personal accents and textiles. Just be sure to get landlord approval first.


Making your rented, awkwardly-sized, or outdated kitchen distinctly yours comes down to infusing personal style through paint colors, materials, textures, accessories, displays, and accents. By thoughtfully adding special and meaningful touches, you can create a kitchen that reflects your personality. With these 18 tips, you’ll be well on your way to transforming your kitchen into your dream space.