Tired of the same old kitchen, but don’t want the hassle (or price tag) of an entire renovation? These fast and easy updates take the room from make-do to magnificent.
1. Add Table Lamps
Put table lamps on your island or dining table to make your kitchen feel like a room, not a laboratory, like designer Robert Stillin did with Visual Comfort’s Column lamp in Sheffield silver for House Beautiful’s Kitchen of the Year with Ina Garten.
See More: At Home with Chef Tyler Florence
2. Try a New Gadget
You don’t have to invest in brand-new appliances like an industrial stove. Instead, become inspired to cook a new dish, or just have more fun cooking a family favorite, with a fun, functional gadget, like a citrus juicer. We like this one from Cuisipro.com.
Related: 101 Pretty Plates
3. Suspend Pots and Pans
Instead of investing in brand-new cabinetry, try working with what you have. You can free up space by suspending your pots and pans from the ceiling. A pot rack adds style, makes them easily accessible, and creates more cabinet space for other items, says designer Shannon Bowers, who did that in this Texas home’s kitchen.
4. Add Large Baskets
If you have extra space but lack shelves, try stacking large baskets. They can hold onions, potatoes, or other items, as demonstrated here in this New Jersey kitchen designed by Lisa Cohen.
Related: 2011 Kitchen of the Year Floorplan Sneak Peek
5. Plant Fresh Herbs
Instead of buying herbs at the grocery store, take a cue from this Connecticut home by designer Carole Lalli, and plant herbs in pots for your kitchen. They will add freshness to the atmosphere and your food.
See More: A Nautical Urban Kitchen
6. Hang Mirrors
For extra light and to make a kitchen feel more open, hang a mirror. It will reflect any natural light already present. You can even panel the cabinets, like in this Brooklyn home by designer Jonathan Berger.
See More: A California French Country Kitchen
7. Transform Your Tiles
Update the look of your backsplash — without grout — by using tile decals. These adhesive stickers come in various sizes to perfectly cover up dated tile designs, without leaving a sticky residue. We like these Mibo tile tattoos through 2Jane.com, or try Zazzle.com’s vintage tile stickers.
8. Refresh Your Cabinets
An easy way to update cabinetry is by painting the insides a contrasting color, like architect Gil Schafer and his color consultant, Eve Ashcraft, did in this western Connecticut home. Next, either remove doors to create open shelves, or enjoy the pop of color through glass doors.
Related: Colorful Kitchens
9. Mix Up Seating
Whether you have upholstered chairs or all-wood seating, a fresh and modern look is to mix up the dining area furniture. Alternate chair cushion colors, like designer Todd Klein did in this New York apartment, or if you’re more bold, try using seating that’s not all part of a matching set.
10. Switch Out Hardware
“Replace the cabinet pulls; it alone is a major transformation,” says designer Jeff Lewis, who created this contemporary design for House Beautiful’s 2010 Kitchen of the Year.
See More: Beautiful Designer Kitchens
Tell us about YOUR kitchen. What are some inexpensive and hassle-free changes you’ve made in your kitchen?