Quick Kitchen Fixes

11 Easy Ways to Update Your Kitchen Without Renovating

Completely renovating your kitchen is a huge undertaking, but if you want to update your kitchen, there are plenty of ways to create a new look without a full renovation. You don't have to tick everything off this list, it's all about little fixes that will impact your kitchen positively - either aesthetically or functionally. Whether you've just bought your first home and want to make it feel like your own, or it's just time for a facelift, here are 11 ways to give your outdated kitchen a new lease on life.

1. Paint Your Kitchen Cabinets

Cupboards take up a lot of space in your kitchen, so giving them an update will make a huge impression on your kitchen as a whole. If your kitchen is small and dark consider going white and bright to make the space feel larger.

If you have lots of space you can play around with bolder colours. If you're a fan of darker colours but only have a small kitchen, consider tuxedo style cabinets. For this modern paint trend, choose two paint colours - a darker colour (black, grey, green or blue work well) for cupboards below your benchtop, then paint your above-counter cabinets white for a lighter feel around your head.

If you want to add some colour but don't want to commit to painting your wall, play around with some colourful kitchen appliances.

2. Update Your Cabinetry Hardware

Fast. Cheap. Easy. Swapping out the handles on your cabinets ticks a lot of boxes if you want to upgrade your kitchen without renovating. All you need is a screwdriver to take off the old handles and add in some new ones. If your old kitchen cabinets had two screws and your new ones only have one, don't forget to fill the hole, give it a quick sand and paint over it.

You'll be amazed at how different your kitchen can look by combining new cupboard handles with a fresh coat of paint.

There are lots of trends to choose from, including modern matte black - so why not find appliances to match.

3. Install Open Shelving

A popular kitchen trend is open shelving. Not only will open shelving make your kitchen feel larger and more modern but, for most people, it's also incredibly easy! By removing the doors from the cabinets, your kitchen will immediately feel bigger and depending on where your windows are, you may be surprised by how much extra natural light you have.

If you're not 100% sure, try removing your cabinet doors for a few days or weeks. Once you've decided you like them, remove the hinges completely and touch up any chips with paint. Depending on your existing cupboards, you can create open shelving in an hour or two and all you need is a screwdriver.

Open shelving is ideal for displaying collectibles, colourful plates and bowls, or even kitchen appliances.

4. Under Cabinet Lighting

Another way to make your kitchen feel lighter and brighter is to eliminate dark corners with under cabinetry lighting. If you're retrofitting under cabinet lighting then a strip light will be easier to install compared to downlights.

If you don't want to worry about re-wiring, the Philips Hue Lightstrip just plugs into a normal power point and attaches with double-sided tape. To access full control of the Philips Hue Lightstrip, add a Hue Bridge to your home set up for strip lighting with thousands of colours and shades.

5. Paint the Walls

There's no point having stunning updated cabinets if the walls let the whole room down. A new wall colour will give the room a fresh feel and you can paint as much or as little of the room as you like.

If you've got a wall with minimal cabinetry, why not try a bold colour as a feature wall, or just go all white for a crisp clean look. Whatever you decide, have fun and remember to choose a colour that works with your cabinets and appliances.

If you want to add a pop of colour, but don't want to commit to a whole wall, colourful benchtop appliances can add a pop of colour that can be easily moved or removed if you change your mind in a year or two.

6. Colourful Kitchen Appliances

Colourful kitchen appliances are a great way to create a kitchen that's full of personality.

If you're certain that a bold colour is right for you, larger kitchen appliances are also available in a range of colours, including Smeg's Portofino range with bright and bold ovens and rangehoods.

Like the idea of colour in the kitchen but don't want to commit to a red oven just yet? Why not try playing around with pops of colour with colourful kitchen appliances.

Small benchtop appliances like kettles, toasters and mixers come in plenty of colours that let you show off your style and add pops of personality in your kitchen. Whether you're after trending matte black mixers, or bold red toasters, you'll find a fun kitchen appliance that will stand out.

7. Update Your Benchtops

Not a fan of those aging yellow lino benchtops? Resurfacing your benchtops is probably easier, quicker and, most importantly, cheaper than you think.

Your local hardware store will have all you need. Look for specialist benchtop or laminate paints and then just choose the colour you want. The key to a flawless finish is to prepare your existing benchtops; fill in any cracks and chips, use tape to protect areas you don't want to paint and sand back your existing benchtop so the new surface has something to grip to.

Once your benchtops are looking luxe, you'll want to make sure your benchtop appliances are looking just as good. Maybe it's time to update that toaster?

8. Functional Sinks & Taps

Sinks and taps are often an after-thought when designing your ideal kitchen but there's probably more designs to choose from than you thought. If you currently have an undermount sink (where the sink sits below the bench) then a new sink will need to be the same size. If you have top mount sink then, depending on your benchtop type, you might be able to go a little bigger (if you are happy to cut out a bit of your bench and the cabinetry below the sink can accommodate it).

Sinks don't have to be stainless steel - black sinks can almost disappear against a black kitchen bench for a seamless look, or create a stunning contrast on white benchtops. There are also white sinks or stone sinks which not only look and feel luxurious but are also quieter than stainless steel when the tap is running.

Taps are another easy way to add a modern touch to your kitchen. Pullout taps look modern, industrial and they're so functional you'll wonder how you ever cleaned that big roasting dish without it.

9. Can You Fit a French Door Fridge?

Some of us dream of owning fancy cars, others just want a French door fridge. If you've always thought you'll need a huge kitchen with a large fridge cavity to purchase that dream fridge then maybe it's time to think again.

There are plenty of French door fridges that are less than 800mm wide and under 1750mm tall. They might not be small, but they might just fit in your fridge cabinetry.

Despite being on the larger side compared to some other fridges, French door fridges are particularly useful in slim kitchens. The half-width doors that don't swing out as far, making it easier to walk through your kitchen.

10. Switch Out Your Oven

This one is a bit of a splurge, but it doesn't have to be a huge one and if you're someone who enjoys cooking up feasts then a new oven is worth it.

Goodbye mission brown oven from the 50s, hello gleaming stainless steel and black glass. If you're upgrading your kitchen from something that's over 50 or 60 years old, you'll most likely see a difference in performance even with a more affordable new oven.

11. Organise Your Pantry with Coordinated Containers

Your perfect walk-in pantry may still be the stuff of dreams, but that doesn't mean you can't start planning now. Buying a set of matching containers will immediately make your pantry feel more organised and less cluttered.

Clear containers are a great choice because it makes it easier to find what you're after.

Another great tip is to use ingredients you always use together in a large pan or tray, that way next time you make your famous butter chicken curry you can pull out all the spices at once, rather than going digging through the cupboards in search of that elusive jar of garam masala.