By Uma Campbell
An outdated or unattractive kitchen can make cooking feel like a drag, as no one wants to spend time in a visually unappealing room. Many homeowners decide to spruce up their kitchens, but unfortunately, remodeling a kitchen is easier said than done. The average kitchen remodel costs an incredible $22,500 with a major high-end remodel averaging a staggering $50,000. Remodeling your kitchen at any scale is expensive, but you do not need to invest a massive amount of money to update your kitchen.
When you look at your kitchen, there are a few main elements you are likely to notice first. Flooring, countertops, cabinets, appliances, and the walls are major components of any kitchen. Some of these elements are difficult to change as replacing countertops alone can be thousands of dollars, but there are other features you can easily change. With some simple decorating tips and tricks, you can revamp your kitchen without breaking the bank.
Introduce Strategic Color
Changing or adding color is one of the easiest, cheapest, and fastest ways to update any room. However, there is a strategy for altering the colors in your kitchen. The three-color palette method of adding color to a room is a tried and true process that ensures your kitchen is visually updated while remaining aesthetically cohesive.
The first color in the three-color palette is a color you cannot change. This could be the color of your countertops, cabinets, or any other feature you will not be changing. It is important to take this color into account and ensure all the new colors you add compliment this existing color.
The second color should be a neutral that pairs well with the first color and the neutral will serve as a backdrop for bolder colors. Backsplashes and wall color are good places to use a neutral color.
The third and final color is what makes your kitchen unique. This color is often bold and bright but still fits with the other colors. Use this color to make a statement and bring attention to a specific part of your kitchen. You can add accessories like furniture, utensils, or towels in this third color to instantly create visual interest. An accent wall is also common to use the third color, as painting a single wall is inexpensive and easy to do yourself.
When shopping for paints, look for organic pigments and ingredients. Natural paints tend to have lower levels of volatile organic compounds, or VOCs, which are partially responsible for the toxic fumes paint produce.
Create a Focal Point
Try to look at your kitchen how a guest would and take note of what features stand out. Do you like the first thing your eye darts to or would you rather your attention be drawn to a different part of the room? Or does your kitchen lack a focal point entirely?
You can easily create a focal point by using the bold color from a three-color palette on an accent wall or by hanging a large piece of art on an empty wall. Don’t be afraid of going big when creating a focal point, as you want it to draw attention.
Upgrade the Lighting
Poor lighting can greatly affect a space and make a room appear more dreary than it truly is. It is worth investing in higher quality lighting so your kitchen’s features shine to their fullest potential. Replace old incandescent light bulbs with CFL or LED bulbs. CFL and LED bulbs shine brighter, last longer, and use less energy than incandescent bulbs making them worth the investment. Some brands also sell smart LED light bulbs that can connect to smart home or IoT devices.
Show Off Your Collection
Kitchens serve many purposes. A kitchen needs to be a place where you can cook, but you also need storage in your kitchen. Cabinets are the conventional way homeowners store their plates, bowls, and glasses, but most cabinets are fully opaque leaving your dish collection unseen. Consider replacing the front panels of your cabinets with glass so you can see inside your cabinets. You can also display the best of your collection on floating shelves or a free-standing cabinet, baker’s rack, or bookcase.
It’s also great to grow your feastware collection, which includes unique and fun pieces that you can display in plain view. For example, medieval-style kitchenware would be fun to collect, especially if you’re into medieval-fantasy themes and LARPing. Instead of hiding them in your room or your man cave, you can put them in your kitchen. If your kitchen’s aesthetic is a little outdated, why not embrace its classic old vibe in style?
You do not need to shell out massive amounts of money to update your kitchen. By changing simple visual elements, you can refresh your kitchen. Use the three-color palette to use the colors already present in your kitchen while bringing in new colors to create a new look. A focal point will help guide your eye to the most interesting part of your kitchen; use large art or bright colors to attract attention to your focal point. Show off your dish collection by using glass-front cabinets or shelves.