Your kitchen is the heart of your home. It’s where you gather with loved ones to share meals and make memories. But over time, even the best kitchens can start to show some wear and tear. These 19 kitchen projects will help breathe new life into your space, whether you’re looking for quick updates or major remodels. With a combination of DIY improvements and professional contractor jobs, there are options here for every skill level and budget. Read on to discover kitchen projects to consider for your home.

Paint or Refinish Cabinets

Giving your cabinets a fresh coat of paint or stain is one of the easiest ways to update your kitchen’s look. For painting, a latex enamel paint formulated for cabinets provides a durable and washable finish. Light, bright shades like white or light gray open up the space, while bolder colors like navy or black add drama. Distressed paint techniques also give cabinets a charming worn-in style.

For refinishing, you can work with your existing cabinet wood stain color. A gel stain offers richer color effects than traditional stains. Finish up by applying a clear sealer for protection. Painting or refinishing cabinets allows you to revive their look for a fraction of the cost of buying new cabinetry.

Install New Hardware

Sometimes small changes make the biggest impact. Updating your cabinet hardware is a simple project that packs a visual punch. Swapping out dated brass knobs for modern brushed nickel pulls instantly modernizes the space. Or go for a funky, eclectic look with unique hardware like crystal, bamboo or wrought iron.

Measure your existing hardware to determine the size and holes needed. Standard sizing includes:

  • Knobs: 1⁄2 inch to 1 inch diameter
  • Pulls: 3 to 6 inches long
  • Handles: 1 1⁄2 to 2 1⁄2 inches wide

Browse a home improvement store’s selection to find the perfect fit. Make sure to buy enough for all cabinets, drawers and appliances like the refrigerator and dishwasher. Switching hardware only takes an afternoon, and costs less than $100 for a full kitchen.

Install an Apron Sink

The farmhouse apron front sink remains one of the most popular kitchen trends. An apron sink has a large front panel that covers the cabinet face beneath. Usually made of enameled cast iron or fireclay, apron sinks have a deep, wide basin perfect for filling stockpots or tackling big cleanups.

Updating to an apron sink requires some plumbing work. You’ll need to reroute the existing sink’s P-trap and supply lines to accommodate the new sink. Apron sinks come in a range of widths from 30 to 60 inches. Just make sure it fits with your existing counter space and cabinetry. Farmhouse sinks offer vintage character that pairs well with many kitchen aesthetics.

Update Kitchen Countertops

Countertops see a lot of action in the kitchen. Over years of use, surfaces can become stained, scratched or dated-looking. New countertops instantly elevate your kitchen’s style. Popular options like quartz and granite counter durable, attractive choices. Or make a statement with concrete, metal or recycled glass surfaces.

For DIYers, new laminate offers dozens of patterns mimicking stone, slate, butcher block and other looks while resisting scratches and stains. Installation is a weekend project. Or have countertops professionally installed for a seamless appearance, especially for large surface areas and closley mitered edges.

When choosing new countertops, take accurate measurements of your existing layout. Ask about available edging styles to finish the look. Even small sections of new countertops, like around a sink, refresh the whole kitchen.

Add Under Cabinet Lighting

Good lighting transforms any kitchen. Under cabinet lights illuminate your countertops, providing visibility for food prep and clean up. LED strip lighting comes in a self-adhesive design that installs easily. Just stick on the included adhesive backing and connect to an outlet.

Look for LED tape lights offering different color temperatures. Cool white (4000K to 5000K) mimics natural daylight. Warm white (2700K-3000K) gives off a cozier ambience. You can even find tape lights with dimmable or app-controlled options. Install under cabinet lighting yourself in an hour or less. It makes a big difference in both form and function.

Install or Update Kitchen Backsplash

Like jewelry for your kitchen, backsplashes provide the perfect finishing touch. Protects the wall from water and stains while adding visual interest. Traditionally made from ceramic tile, backsplashes now offer dozens of materials like metal, glass, porcelain and stone. Even laminate sheets provide a budget-friendly option.

Consider a backsplash design that complements your countertops and cabinetry. Accent with metal trim or decorative tiles. Measure the area needing coverage to determine how much tile or material to purchase. While professionals handle complicated tile patterns, many backsplash products have self-adhesive backing for easy DIY installation.

Reface or Replace Kitchen Cabinets

Does your kitchen layout work but the cabinets have seen better days? Refacing offers a cost-effective upgrade, with results rivaling a full cabinet replacement. Refacing removes existing cabinet doors and drawer fronts, side panels and hardware. New doors, decorative trim and upgrades like soft-close hinges are installed for a finished look.

For completely new cabinets, look for quality materials and durability in high-traffic areas. Stock, semi-custom and full custom cabinetry give you options for layout, storage style, finishes and details. Maximize every inch by reaching to the ceiling with uppers. Include pull-out shelves, Lazy Susans and other functional storage solutions.

Updates like crown molding, decorative legs and specialty hardware give cabinets built-in style. Work with an expert designer or cabinet maker to create your dream kitchen.

Install Kitchen Island

Take your kitchen to the next level with an island. Islands centralize the work area while adding storage and countertop space. Browse ready-made kitchen islands or have one custom built to your room’s dimensions. Features like pull-out shelves, butcher block tops, and overhang eating space maximize functionality.

When planning placement, make sure there’s enough clearance. Islands need a minimum of 3 to 4 feet around all sides for circulation. Run electrical beforehand for lighting and outlets. Coordinating your island finish with your existing décor pulls the look together. Whether you DIY a kitchen island or buy one ready-made, it becomes the room’s centerpiece.

Update Sink and Faucet

Even without a full kitchen remodel, upgrading your sink or faucet provides an instant refresh. For sinks, look for durable materials like stainless steel or porcelain enameled cast iron. Undermount sinks attach below the countertop for a streamlined look.

Splurge on extras like a deep double basin design or built-in drying racks and cutting boards. Touch-activated faucets add high-tech appeal. Premium finishes like bronze, nickel and matte black complement any style, from modern to traditional. Easy to install, new sinks and faucets modernize the space above and below your countertop.

Install High-End Appliances

Trading up your major kitchen appliances takes the room to a luxurious new level. Pro-style ranges come in gas and electric with options like double ovens, indoor grills and extra-large capacity. Trade up to French door or column refrigerators for expansive fresh food and freezer storage.

Quiet, built-in dishwasher drawers get dishes spotless while maintaining a low profile. Consult with kitchen designers to select appliances in complimentary finishes and styles. Integrated models install flush with cabinetry for a built-in look. With high-performance cooking power and smart features, luxury appliances cater to the master chef in your family.

Add Mosaic Tile Backsplash

Nothing elevates a simple kitchen quite like a mosaic tile backsplash. Tiny handmade tiles arranged in an intricate pattern make a spectacular focal point. Glass, ceramic and natural stone tiles come in a limitless array of colors, shapes and textures. Mirror tiles add reflected light and visual expansion to small spaces.

Install your mosaic backsplash as a full wall treatment or in a concentrated area, like behind the stove or around a window. Use varying tile sizes to create borders and accents. A mosaic backsplash requires careful installation and grouting for clean, even spacing. The artistic result dresses up your cooking space with artisan style.

Install Kitchen Peninsula

Open concept kitchens may benefit from delineating the cooking zone with a peninsula. Kitchen peninsulas function as a countertop surface, visual divider and informal eating bar. Sitting perpendicular from other cabinets and counters, it separates kitchen traffic from other areas. It also increases your total counter area compared to an island.

Interesting designs include lower shelving, open racks or floating shelf supports. Multi-level countertops elevate seating space for casual dining and conversation. Consider electrical and plumbing needs for pendant lighting, outlets and bar sinks when planning. With customized storage and seating, the peninsula becomes a natural hangout spot.

Upgrade Kitchen Flooring

Many of today’s most popular kitchen flooring options blend good looks with hardworking performance. Porcelain and ceramic tile stands up to heavy use while adding visual interest. Mix rectangular sizes, mosaics, borders and patterns. The grout acts as a sealant, making tile very water-resistant.

For a natural look, hardwoods like oak bring warmth and richness. Finish with multiple coats of water-resistant polyurethane. Luxury vinyl plank flooring mimics wood or stone with the durability of vinyl. Easy click-lock installation makes DIY remodeling easy. A new kitchen floor brings your whole look together.

Install Glass Cabinet Doors

Glass front cabinet doors maintain an open, airy ambiance even with closed storage. The transparency keeps the kitchen visually uncluttered. Choosing glass doors only on upper cabinets maintains more concealed storage on lower cabinets. For a really modern look, glass uppers and lowers create an ultra-sleek aesthetic.

Tempered glass ensures safe durability. Match any style with options like frosted, patterned and colored glass. Encase paned glass in sleek frames for architectural details. LED lighting on upper cabinets highlights displayed items behind the glass. The transparency of glass cabinetry maintains your kitchen’s light and space.

Add Contemporary Pendant Lighting

Pendant lights hovering above kitchen islands and counters provide both illumination and art. Streamlined cylindrical pendants in polished metals or colored glass make a modern design statement. Updated takes on classic pendants include edison bulbs or adjustable height designs.

Group multiple pendants together for a designer look with serious “wow” factor. Position pendant lighting 36 to 48 inches above the countertop for ideal visibility. Check lighting needs in terms of wattage and lumens when selecting fixtures. The right pendant lighting casts your kitchen in both form and function.

Install Kitchen Banquette Seating

Make the most of unused space by turning it into built-in banquette seating. Kitchen banquettes tuck into corners, creating a cozy table area. Free-standing or custom designed, banquettes feature plush upholstered benches, padded backs and storage beneath. You can customize lengths and heights to perfectly fit your kitchen’s footprint.

Square and L-shaped designs contour to your specific layout. Consider electrical outlets and lighting overhead to complete the built-in look. Add a classic touch with skirted bases or removable seat cushions. Banquette seating creates a comfortable place for family meals without taking up valuable floor space.

Add Crown Molding

You don’t need a major renovation to add a touch of elegance. Install crown molding throughout your kitchen for an instant facelift. Crown molding resembles a wide “frame” capping the line where walls meet ceiling. It elegantly finishes a room the way a picture frame completes a painting.

Made from wood, foam or vinyl, crown molding comes in different depths and detailing. Shop styles like contemporary quarter-round or intricate Versailles designs. Durable polyurethane options resist moisture. Pre-primed varieties make DIY installation easy. Use sophisticated crown molding to frame your entire kitchen design.

Install Kitchen Wall Tile

Cover bare walls with tile to take your kitchen décor to the next level. Mix and match shapes, sizes, colors and patterns for tons of design options. Handmade subway tiles, colorful mosaics, sleek granite and rustic penny tile all make stunning accent walls. Include decorative borders and inlaid designs.

Wall tile requires some careful prep and planning because surfaces need to be stripped, cleaned and leveled before installation. Use spacers between tiles for even alignment and wide grout lines. DIYers can easily manage small installations. For extensive tiling, professionals complete the work quickly and expertly. Make a tile focal wall the crowning touch on your kitchen revamp.

Add Built-In Shelving and Cabinets

Built-ins provide custom storage that seamlessly blends into your existing layout. Floor to ceiling shelving maximizes every inch. Add cabinets with doors or open shelving above appliances. Built-ins can be painted to match your color scheme. Include storage drawers, racks and adjustable shelves to organize cooking essentials.

Built-ins work especially well flanking a window, refrigerator or pantry entry. Display cherished dish collections in enclosed cabinetry with glass fronts. Hire a skilled woodworker or carpenter to construct and install custom built-ins tailored to your kitchen’s dimensions. Built-ins expand storage options exactly where you need them.

Upgrade Kitchen Ventilation

Proper kitchen ventilation keeps the air fresh while whisking away smoke, grease and steam. Powerful ventilation like classic exposed hood vents or sleek downdraft systems improve indoor air quality. Integrated ventilation mounted into cabinetry or islands maintains a streamlined look.

Consider energy saving features like automatic shut-off and heat sensors. Look for vapor lights to safely illuminate the cooktop. Quiet, multi-speed fans promote smooth airflow. Proper ducting to the outside completes the system. With better ventilation, you can breathe easy during all your kitchen activities.

Install Pull-Out Shelving

Maximize every kitchen cabinet and drawer with smart pull-out shelving and trays. Pull-out systems fully extend from the cabinet, making contents easy to see and reach. Keep spices organized with tiered shelves that pull out like drawers. Use deep pull-out trays for storing bakeware or pots and pans.

Look for full extension drawer glides for easy access. Consider features like soft-close to prevent slamming. In blind corner areas, specialized cabinet hardware like lazy susans create functional “corner storage solutions”. Retrofit existing cabinets with pull-outs or upgrade when buying new cabinets. You’ll gain storage capacity without using more space.

19 Kitchen Projects Every Homeowner Should Know About – FAQs

What are some easy DIY kitchen updates?

Some of the easiest DIY kitchen updates include painting cabinets, replacing hardware like knobs and pulls, installing new lighting fixtures, and updating backsplashes with tile, laminate sheets or removable wallpaper. These affordable projects make high visual impact with minimal time and skill needed.

How do I give my kitchen a facelift on a budget?

A budget kitchen facelift focuses on quick, affordable upgrades like adding a fresh coat of paint, updating door hardware, adding under cabinet lighting, replacing faucets and sinks, installing peel-and-stick floor tile or backsplash, and adding updated window treatments. Even just clearing clutter and cleaning can give a kitchen facelift feeling.

What are the most popular kitchen remodels?

Today’s most popular kitchen remodels include installing new, customized cabinetry, swapping out countertops to materials like quartz and granite, upgrading major appliances, adding statement backsplashes and accent lighting, replacing floors, and opening up layouts through removing walls for a more open concept design.

Should I remodel my outdated kitchen or buy a new home?

The choice between remodeling your outdated kitchen or buying a new home depends on factors like your budget, how well your home’s layout meets your needs, and whether you want to remain in the same neighborhood. Remodeling just your kitchen is often only 10-25% the cost of buying a new home.

What is the #1 most important thing in a kitchen?

Function is likely the number one most important kitchen factor, with layout and storage playing key roles. But aesthetics and design style also rank very important for many homeowners. Ultimately, your kitchen should marry form and function – keeping cooking convenient while creating an inspiring space you enjoy spending time in.

How long should a major kitchen remodel take?

A major kitchen overhaul involving changes to layout, cabinets, counters, flooring and appliances typically takes an average of 2-3 months from demolition to completion. Smaller kitchen facelifts can often be completed in 4-6 weeks. Allow ample time for designing, permitting, ordering materials and professional installation.


Giving your kitchen an upgrade enhances both beauty and functionality of your home’s heart. From easy DIY paint jobs to luxurious overhauls, these 19 kitchen projects range from simple to dramatic. Refreshing your space promotes pride and increases enjoyment of cooking and entertaining at home. With the latest designs and innovations, you can craft your forever kitchen.