Kitchen makeovers can completely transform a tired, dated space into a fresh, modern, and highly functional room. Whether you’re looking for small upgrades or a total renovation, there are countless ideas to inspire your next kitchen remodel. Here are 10 kitchen makeover ideas to spark your creativity and help you create the kitchen of your dreams.
Choose a Statement Backsplash
An eye-catching backsplash is one of the easiest ways to add wow factor to your kitchen. Bold, patterned tile or textured stone can act as the focal point of the whole room. Some popular backsplash tile trends include:
- Moroccan fish scale tiles in gleaming metal or iridescent glass
- Vintage-inspired penny tiles in black, white, and bold colors
- Marble or travertine subway tiles for a classic look
- Handmade ceramic tile with artisanal shapes and patterns
Aim for a backsplash that complements your cabinetry and countertops without clashing. A statement backsplash brings life to the entire space.
Update with Two-Tone Cabinets
Two-tone kitchen cabinets can lend a polished, designer look while breaking up monotonous cabinetry. Try pairing stained lower cabinets with crisp white uppers or gray shaker-style down below with warm wood up top.
Other two-tone combinations like navy and white work especially well in coastal kitchens. Or go bold with bright lower cabinets dressed up with neutral uppers.
Don’t be afraid to get creative–you can mix and match materials like painted wood down below and sleek lacquered cabinets above. Mismatched sizes like a bank of floor-to-ceiling pantry cabinets can look fantastic next to standard uppers.
Install a Kitchen Island
Kitchen islands are hubs that provide additional prep space, casual dining, and visual appeal. Plus, who doesn’t love that extra surface area? kitchen islands come in all shapes and sizes to suit your needs. Consider features like:
- Seating space for 3-4 with an overhang for bar stools
- Drawers, cabinets, and shelving for extra storage
- Sink,dishwasher, or cooktop to create a workspace
- Granite, quartz, tile, or wood for the countertop
- Custom options like a chopping block inset
Make sure to leave sufficient clearance so the island doesn’t disrupt workflow. Islands can make even small kitchens look and function better.
Select Statement Lighting
The right lighting elevates a kitchen from boring to brilliant. Whether you opt for sleek minimalism or eye-catching fixtures, statement lights make a difference. Some options to consider:
- Linear LED undercabinet lighting for task illumination
- Pendant clusters over an island for ambient light
- Sputnik, orb, or faceted chandeliers as art
- Backlit glass cabinets to display china
- Strips of LED lights under shelves as accents
Mixing fixture styles can work well in an eclectic kitchen. Remember to layer lighting for functionality and drama. The details matter in kitchens.
Create an Accent Wall
Accent walls lend color, texture, and visual interest to kitchens. Try painting one wall in a bold hue to contrast neutral cabinetry. Use a color that already exists in tile, stools, or appliances so it feels cohesive.
Some other accent wall ideas:
- Vintage tin tiles for a rustic vibe
- Weathered wood planks for warmth
- Brick or faux brick for an urban loft look
- A wallpaper mural for serious drama
- Open shelving to display glassware and dishes
Keep the rest of the kitchen neutral to let your vibrant accent wall pop even more. Have fun highlighting one area.
New floors can make a huge impact since they cover so much surface area. Timeless kitchen flooring options like hardwood or tile work with almost any style. Trendy vinyl and polished concrete are budget-friendly alternatives. Consider your lifestyle when choosing flooring:
- Hardwoods like oak add natural beauty but can show wear.
- Tile is durable and water-resistant but be aware of grout lines.
- Luxury vinyl plank offers the look of wood with less maintenance.
- Concrete floors have an edgy, industrial vibe.
Whatever you choose, a cohesive floor brings the whole room together. Extend flooring into adjacent dining rooms for a seamless flow.
Refresh with New Hardware
Sometimes small upgrades make the biggest difference. Replacing dated hardware is an easy and affordable kitchen makeover idea. Swapping out knobs, pulls, faucets, and handles refreshes the entire look. Sleek metal finishes like matte black, brass, or nickel convey a contemporary vibe.
For traditional kitchens, bronze, pewter, and distressed finishes feel current. Don’t stop at cabinets–update hardware on windows, moldings, and appliances too. Matching metals throughout the kitchen looks sophisticated.
Unify with Matching Appliances
Stainless steel appliances have been popular for years, but a full suite of matching appliances achieves a holistic look. Major brands like KitchenAid, GE, and Bosch offer appliance packages with a coordinated aesthetic. Some options include:
- Matte white or black for a sleek, modern feel
- Retro styling like SMEG’s Fifties-inspired pastel line
- Pro-style stainless with chunky handles and fronts
- Integrated appliances that blend seamlessly into cabinetry
Built-in refrigerators, invisible dishwashers, and pop-up vents maintain a streamlined look. Browse options online or in stores.
Install a Kitchen Desk
For households that spend more time cooking than eating at a dining table, a kitchen desk can provide valuable workspace. Built-in desk areas are great for meal planning, paying bills, homework, and hobbies. Make sure to incorporate:
- Base cabinets for storage and filing
- Upper shelving or cabinets for organization
- A comfortable chair that tucks into the desk when not in use
- Pendant lighting for task illumination
- Electrical outlets, USB ports, and device chargers
A kitchen desk can make time spent cooking and cleaning more enjoyable. Create zones purposefully.
Add Architectural Interest
Simple changes add architectural flair that imparts style. Consider these custom details:
- An exposed brick wall or accent wallpaper behind a stove
- Arched doorways between kitchen and dining room
- A vaulted or wood-beamed ceiling
- Textured tiles as a backsplash
- Floating shelves for display above sink or island
- Frameless cabinetry for a sleek, contemporary look
Infuse character through material textures, varied colors, and deliberate shapes. Don’t overlook what makes a kitchen unique. Even modest kitchens can integrate special touches.
Designing Your Dream Kitchen Makeover
With so many options to consider, planning a kitchen makeover that perfectly suits your needs and style can feel overwhelming. Here are some tips for designing your dream kitchen remodel:
Assess How You Use Your Kitchen
Analyze how your family actually uses the kitchen. Do you need more seating, storage for large platters, or a bigger fridge? Does the current layout cause bottlenecks? Address problems through smart redesign, don’t just make cosmetic changes.
Set a Realistic Budget
From replacing cabinet fronts to knocking down walls for an expansion, costs vary wildly. Set a realistic budget and prioritize must-haves like new appliances or safety upgrades.
Collect inspiration photos of kitchens with features you adore. Notice elements like cabinetry finishes, hardware styles, tile patterns, and lighting fixtures. This helps communicate your vision to contractors.
With detailed measurements in hand, you can create an accurate layout for optimal function. This allows you to spot potential spatial issues and plan placements of cabinets, appliances, islands, and fixtures.
Map Out a New Layout
Using graph paper or an online planner, experiment with different layouts. Don’t be afraid to get creative! Just remember to allow proper clearance around appliances, entries, and high-traffic areas.
Pick Materials and Finishes Wisely
Choose materials that are family-friendly, easy to clean, and fit your overall home aesthetic. Many designers recommend investing in quality finishes for elements like counters that endure daily use.
Hire the Right Remodeling Pro
Find an experienced kitchen designer or contractor you connect with. Check reviews, verify licensing, inspect past projects, and make sure you understand exactly what is covered in the contract.
Decide on a Style
Is your taste traditional, modern, farmhouse? Being decisive about personal style makes it easier to select cohesive finishes. Collect inspiration images to show your contractor.
Prep for Disruption
A kitchen remodel often makes the space unusable for a period. Plan for appliance delivery timing, temporary cooking arrangements, eating out more, and a general lack of access to avoid headaches.
Common Kitchen Makeover Mistakes to Avoid
Kitchen remodels involve big investments of time, money, and effort. Unfortunately, even well-planned projects can go awry and result in regrets. Here are some common kitchen makeover mistakes to be mindful of so you can avoid setbacks:
Trendy touches are fun, but the kitchen must function efficiently. Ensure the new layout allows multiple people to cook, clean, and move around easily. Test different workflows.
Choosing the Wrong Height
Standard kitchen counters are 36 inches, but go lower if anyone in your home is petite. Taller households may prefer 40-inch counters. Island and bar counter heights should align with seating.
Ignoring Lighting Needs
More light equals better function and ambiance. Include ample task lighting, stylish fixtures, and variety to illuminate the whole kitchen brightly.
Overlooking Storage Needs
Maximize every inch to accommodate cookware, appliances, pantry items, and more. Consider pull-outs, built-in racks, and other smart storage.
Picking Trendy Finishes
What’s in looks dated fast. Opt for versatile, high-quality materials and classic styles that stand the test of time and changing tastes.
Cookie-cutter kitchens lack personality. Seek special details like an antique chandelier or accent wall to infuse character.
Placing Form Over Function
Pretty yet impractical choices quicky become annoyances. Insist on smart design to avoid problems down the road.
It’s cheaper to make minor repairs than replace damaged cabinetry or moldy drywall later. Don’t let issues snowball due to negligence.
Unique flourishes have limits. Odd-sized appliances and cabinets make future changes far more difficult and expensive.
Kitchen Makeover Ideas on a Budget
Big dreams don’t have to equal massive budgets. Little tweaks go a long way to sprucing up worn kitchens. Here are budget-friendly makeover ideas for transforming your kitchen on a dime:
Update Cabinet Hardware
Freshen up cabinets by replacing dated knobs and pulls with modern brushed brass or sleek black hardware. It’s easy and affordable.
Install Peel-and-Stick Flooring
Self-adhesive vinyl tile goes down in minutes. Choose wood look-planks or patterned tile for an instant flooring upgrade without remodeling.
A coat of white, navy, or even bright teal paint modernizes cabinets for the price of a gallon. Sand and prime properly so the paint adheres.
Add a Statement Light
Over-island pendants, sculptural chandeliers, and retro sconces make a stylish impact on a budget. Use bold lighting to direct attention.
Change the Faucet
A cheap basic faucet drags down even great kitchens. Spend a bit more for a sleek deck-mounted faucet in brushed nickel or matte black.
Hang Shelves for Storage
Open shelving gives a light, airy look while housing cookbooks, dishes, or barware. Try wall-mounted rails or floating shelves.
Show off pretty dishware, colorful pots, or cherished cookbooks on shelves instead of hidden away inside cabinets.
Add Architectural Accents
Molding instantly dresses up plain cabinets and walls. For drama, frame a cooker hood with reclaimed barnwood beams.
Update Window Coverings
Swap dated valances or swags for simple Roman shades or bamboo blinds in white, ivory, or gray. Crisp, tailored window dressings look current.
Change Plate and Shelf Displays
Rotate out old collections and display dinnerware, glasses, and treasures you currently enjoy to refresh the vibe.
Kitchen Makeover Ideas on a Budget: Before and After Transformations
Seeing the dramatic difference a few simple, budget-friendly updates can make will inspire you to dig into your own kitchen’s makeover. Here are some real-world transformations:
Dated 1990s Kitchen Gets a Facelift
- BEFORE: Outdated oak cabinets, dull beige tile flooring, worn laminate countertops, florescent lighting
- AFTER: White paint on cabinets, coordinating cabinet pulls, light gray peel-and stick tile flooring, new stainless appliances, pendant lights over island
Total estimated budget: Under $2,500
1970s Kitchen Goes Sleek and Modern
- BEFORE: Mustard laminate floors and cabinetry, dark granite counters with visible seams, arched soffits, fluorescent lights
- AFTER: Glossy gray cabinet fronts, white quartz waterfall island, linear LED undercabinet lighting, mirrored backsplash, new brushed chrome hardware
Total estimated budget: $5,000
Builder-Basic Kitchen Gets Infused with Character
- BEFORE: Oak cabinets, white laminate counters, double wall ovens, ceramic tile backsplash, few lights, dated window treatments
- AFTER: Navy lower cabinets, white upper cabinets, butcher block counters, black hardware, brass pendant lights, custom shelf brackets, bold roman shade
Total estimated budget: $3,000
Outdated Dark Kitchen Sees the Light
- BEFORE: Heavy cherry cabinets, granite counters with ornate edge, red walls, recessed fluorescent lighting, window valances
- AFTER: White cabinets, marble-look quartz counters, undercabinet LEDs, pendant cluster lights, accent mirror backsplash, gleaming subway tile, dark metal hardware
Total estimated budget: $5,000
Planning Your Kitchen Remodel in 10 Steps
Once you’ve set your kitchen makeover goals and budget, it’s time to map out the remodeling process. Planning is key for a smooth, successful project. Follow these 10 steps:
Set Your Schedule
Aim for periods when you can manage being without a kitchen. Avoid holidays or busy family events if possible.
Vet several to get bids and determine the right fit for your project scope and style. Ask to see examples of past kitchen remodels.
Explore Layout Options
Use an online planner or sketch it yourself. Figure out changes to cabinets, walls, and appliances.
Select Features and Finishes
Choose cabinet style, countertops, backsplash, lighting, hardware, flooring, and other elements to pull the whole design together.
Your contractor will handle required permits but know that this can take weeks or months.
Order Must-Have Items
Purchase appliances, cabinetry, and items with long delivery times as early as possible. This prevents delays.
Declutter and Clean Out
Getting rid of accumulated small appliances, cookware, and everything stored in cabinets makes packing up the kitchen easier.
Photograph the Process
Document the process from all angles for memories, your own records, and inspiration for others.
Pack an Essentials Kit for Cooking
Prepare for living without a kitchen. Have paper plates, plastic cutlery, a plug-in burner, microwave, coffeemaker, and other basics on hand.
Install the Details
The finishing touches make all the difference. Take time to properly install hardware, accent lighting, and specialty décor.
Planning ahead reduces unwanted surprises and saves money. Savor the process of creating your dream kitchen!
Kitchen Storage Ideas to Maximize Space
For kitchens big and small, storage is a must. Well-planned spaces eliminate clutter and keep essentials within reach. These clever ideas maximize precious kitchen storage:
Utilize Blind Corner Cabinets
Install specialty lazy susan or turntable shelves to access awkward corner cabinet spaces. Spin shelves bring items front and center.
Add Pull-Out Pantries
Roll-out shelves in base cabinets hold staples and make food visible and accessible. Consider pull-outs near cooktops and islands.
Incorporate Drawer Organizers
Customize wide drawers to sort everything from silverware to pots and pans using partitions, trays, and inserts tailored for your needs.
Design a Message Center
Use a full-height cabinet fitted with a chalkboard, corkboard, and cubbies to store mail, keys, and paperwork out of sight.
Build a Baker’s Cabinet
A tall, narrow cabinet outfitted with wide pull-out shelves excels for storing baking sheets, cutting boards, trays, and more.
Opt for Open Shelving
Pretty display shelving puts dishes, glassware, cookbooks, or coffee bar items on view. Just remember to keep things tidy!
Add Pull-Out Pantries
Built-in floor-to-ceiling pantry cabinets maximize every inch. Roll-out shelves and interior organizers keep things sorted.
Install Slim Storage Racks
Stand upright between cabinets or inside pantry doors to hold cutting boards, trays, pans, and other flat items vertically.
Incorporate storage under islands with everything from large drawers to accommodate pots and serving bowls to wine fridge cubbies.
Remember Toe-Kick Drawers
Use the empty space