The kitchen is a crucial part of any home, where we cook, eat, and spend time together. It’s often the center of daily life. Sometimes, kitchens need a refresh for looks and functionality. The good news is you don’t have to go all-in on a major renovation.

So, whether you are a homeowner or renter, here are 10 practical ways to modernize your kitchen without a complete overhaul.

Paint the Cabinets

updated kitchen
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Painting your kitchen cabinets is an easy way to modernize your kitchen. It is a budget-friendly way to update your kitchen cabinets without the high price tag and labor costs of a complete replacement.

You can go for a two-tone look by painting the bottom cabinet or upper cabinets different colors, or keep it simple and paint everything the same color to give your old kitchen a modern look. Go bold and paint it with forest green, grey, or navy blue paint – or keep it classic and clean using white paint.

This DIY kitchen makeover can be applied to most kitchen cabinet surfaces using high-quality primer and specialty paint from Sherwin Williams, Benjamin Moore, or Home Depot. Once complete, you may not recognize your original kitchen. Just wipe it down with a cabinet degreaser before priming and painting it.

16 Best Cabinet Paint Colors by Sherwin Williams, 2023

Change the Faucet

kitchen faucet
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Your kitchen faucet is vital to the functioning of your kitchen. A stunning kitchen sink faucet can add beauty and sophistication to a kitchen – especially a pull-down faucet.  Updating a kitchen faucet is a simple way to help breathe new life into your kitchen. As long as you have the right tools, the desired faucet, and the patience, updating a kitchen faucet is a small change that can revamp the image of your entire kitchen. 

How to Install a Kitchen Faucet

Restyle Your Countertop

stylish countertop
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Restyling can be as simple as reorganizing the items on your countertop or adding unique home decor to make it look attractive. Clean and seal it before incorporating modern accessories to create a fresh look and feel. 

Showcase your cute cutting boards or add matching soap and lotion dispensers. Add some greenery, such as flowers or fake plants, to bring instant beauty and life to your kitchen. Bring a bit of nature to your kitchen and give it a natural vibe.

Round out your countertop space with beautiful accessories. Incorporate a charming cutting board and display your pretty cooking utensils. Then, organize your kitchen knick-knacks with a pretty basket.

How to Seal Granite Countertop

Bring in New Appliances

new appliances
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One of the fastest and easiest ways to modernize a kitchen is to replace old appliances with modern versions. Replacing aging or malfunctioning appliances can help save you energy and money while increasing efficiency.

Consider replacing an old refrigerator, stove, or microwave to give your kitchen a facelift automatically. Explore energy-efficient options and opt for stainless steel or other up-to-date designs that fit your budget.

If large kitchen appliances are not within the budget, incorporating small ones can be as simple as a fancy new coffee maker, stainless steel toaster, retro microwave, or this funky color air fryer.

The Ultimate Kitchen Essentials List

Add Open Shelving

open shelving
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Open shelving is a trendy way to take advantage of vertical wall space while making things more easily accessible in your kitchen. It is also the best way to fill a blank wall and help display some of your best or prettiest kitchen accessories and appliances. 

Open shelves can serve both for their décor value as well as practicality while making your kitchen feel larger and brighter. You can purchase ready-to-install floating kitchen shelves or DIY your own to give your space even more storage.

Update Kitchen Floor

updated floors in kitchen
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Simple changes like new flooring can make a world of difference in a kitchen. From laminate and luxury vinyl tiles to engineered wood, there are plenty of modernized flooring options that won’t break the bank.

Update your kitchen from drab to fab within a weekend by replacing your old linoleum floor and opting for luxury vinyl plank instead! You can have a new, refreshed, modern kitchen in just a few days.

Pros and Cons of Vinyl Plank Flooring

Beautiful Backsplash

backsplash with black grout
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One cost-efficient way to modernize the kitchen is by adding a backsplash. You can go the traditional route with white subway tile with black grout, or spice things up with patterned tile, ceramic, or shiplap. Backsplashes are a great way to give your kitchen an updated look, no matter what style of cabinets and decor you have!

If you are worried about installing it yourself, a stylish backsplash is simpler than you think. With the right tools and some guidance from YouTube tutorials, anyone can learn how to install a new backsplash that will help bring a completely new look to any kitchen.

Pros and Cons of Using Black Grout on White Tiles

Replace Cabinet Hardware

kitchen cabinet hardware
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Although a small change, replacing the kitchen cabinet hardware can greatly impact your home. When you think about the number of times you open and close your cabinet doors daily, it’s easy to understand the wear and tear and abuse the handles receive.

Changing the cabinet knobs, drawer pulls, or handles can have a lasting effect. Adding new hardware is also an effortless kitchen update. You can update the color to an oil-rubbed bronze knob finish or gold – either way, your chosen color or style will instantly update your kitchen.

Declutter and Reorganize

drawer in kitchen
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Our kitchen cabinets and pantry are the ultimate storage spaces for dry food, dishes, pots, cookware, and other accessories. We often don’t realize how much stuff we pack into our cabinets that we don’t need or no longer use. Reorganizing our space can save us a ton of money and time when preparing meals, planning, cooking, and grocery shopping. 

Take some time to declutter your space. Grab a garbage bag or donation box, and get rid of everything you no longer need or expired items. Categorize items in a way that makes sense for your household. Use lots of bins, baskets, and storage containers to organize your stuff, and consider labeling and decanting for easy access.

Incorporate Wallpaper

wallpaper in kitchen
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Wallpaper can be beautiful and stylish. Wallpaper can add color, pattern, and texture to your kitchen. Adding wallpaper is a great alternative to painting an area. Go for the removable peel-and-stick wallpaper, which can be less intrusive and permanent (especially if you live in an apartment).

An excellent place to start is by choosing a safe space (one that isn’t behind the sink or stove) in your kitchen to add the wallpaper. You can add wallpaper to a door, an accent wall, or inside the cabinets. 

14 Most Popular Benjamin Moore Cabinet Paint Colors

off white kitchen cabinet color
Image Credit: The Thrifty Apartment

Kitchen cabinets are a visual centerpiece in the kitchen. And that’s why the color in which you paint your cabinets matters. Choosing the right cabinet paint color is one of the most important decisions regarding kitchen design. With so many options to choose from, it can be overwhelming to make a decision.  From classic whites to warm grays, 14 Benjamin Moore cabinet paint colors will help you design the most perfect, stylish space.

14 Most Popular Benjamin Moore Cabinet Paint Colors

How to Clean Sticky Grease Off Your Kitchen Cabinets

kitchen and floors
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Our kitchen cabinets can easily accumulate dirt, grease, and grime. Here are some of the most effective cleaning methods to revive those greasy kitchen cabinets.

How to Clean Sticky Grease Off Your Kitchen Cabinets

12 Surprising Items in Your Kitchen that Need to Hit the Trash Immediately

kitchen countertop with cutting board and muddler
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The kitchen holds a special place in our homes, serving as a hub for cooking, meals, and gatherings. However, even though it’s the center of our daily lives, it’s easy for clutter, disarray, and items that have outstayed their welcome to accumulate in this space. Check out the 12 items in your kitchen that should be thrown away immediately.

12 Surprising Items in Your Kitchen that Need to Hit the Trash Immediately

The Ultimate Kitchen Essentials List

kitchen with stove
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A well-stocked kitchen is essential for any home. Equipping your kitchen with the necessary items can change how you cook and experience your cooking space. Whether you’re building up from scratch or simply looking for kitchen necessities for a new apartment, this checklist has you covered.

The Ultimate Kitchen Essentials List

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Tamara White is the creator and founder of The Thrifty Apartment, a home decor and DIY blog that focuses on affordable and budget-friendly home decorating ideas and projects. Tamara documents her home improvement journey, love of thrifting, tips for space optimization, and creating beautiful spaces.

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