How To Modernise An Older Kitchen

March 23, 2023 - 5 min read

If you’re tired of the way your old kitchen looks, you’re in luck because a modern kitchen is only a few quick steps away. Read on for a few easy updates you can take on, such as adding a new coat of paint to kitchen cupboards, upgrading to the latest appliances, all the way through to installing a new benchtop within a different kitchen layout. It’s easy to take on an old home kitchen renovation and turn it into your dream kitchen.

A white modern kitchen with timber accents.

5 Tips To Make Your Kitchen Look Modern Without A Full Renovation

Now that you’ve decided to upgrade, update, renovate or modernise your kitchen, it’s hard to know where to start. We’ll share our five favourite tips that can help you get closer to your new kitchen.

A dual-toned kitchen with black upper cabinets and white lower cabinets.

1. Paint Benchtops And Cupboards

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to update your kitchen, you can paint benchtops and cupboards a new colour. You’ll be amazed at the difference a fresh coat and a fabulous new colour can make. When deciding on which colour to use, consider one that will flatter your existing appliances. For example, if you have black appliances, you wouldn’t want to choose a dark brown or deep grey.

Repainting walls and ceilings in a modern neutral tone can also give your kitchen a fresh new feel. For something bold, a feature wall in your kitchen is more than just great looks and artistic flair. It can help to define your kitchen and eating spaces. A good tip is to avoid choosing a cluttered wall as a feature wall. With loads of shelving and hangings, the extra colour can become too overwhelming.

“An all-white kitchen with black appliances looks straight out of the renovation TV shows. Add subway tiles as the splashback for a New York loft look.”

2. Update Appliances

At The Good Guys, we believe that you should go with an ‘Appliance First’ approach when creating a new kitchen. This is because getting it wrong could cost you extra time and money down the track. The latest double fridges, oven banks and steam ovens could be amazing additions, but only if you have the space for them.

You should also consider the location of your utilities in the kitchen. Planning around where your gas, water and electricity connections are can make your renovation a lot easier.

Black appliances

Black appliances are the hottest design trend when it comes to kitchen appliances, and they are simply stunning in a new kitchen. From sleek gloss black to black stainless steel and matte black, The Good Guys have a range of black appliances to help you make a serious statement in the kitchen.

An updated modern kitchen.

Stainless Steel Appliances

Stainless steel appliances can really update an older kitchen. They are a timeless finish choice and easy to care for because as the name suggests, can’t be stained. This means they will keep their sleek and shiny look for years to come. Best of all, stainless steel appliances are durable and can handle (nearly) everything your family can throw at it.

You could also try to add stainless steel surfaces such as in your cabinetry, pendant lighting and with this Westinghouse 90cm Canopy Rangehood to really complete the look in your kitchen.

Kitchen Appliances Packages

After settling on the appliance colour and finish that you love, you can make your new kitchen update even easier by choosing a kitchen package that contains an oven, cooktop and a rangehood. Like matching luggage, they will look perfect together and could even become a highlight in your new kitchen. Whether you opt for sleek black appliances or modern stainless steel ones, you can be sure that they will look great together.

A grey kitchen with updated modern appliances.

3. Choose A Modern Sink And Tapware

When doing a renovation (or new kitchen build), you must think of everything including the kitchen sink. You’d be surprised how much time you spend at the sink over the course of a week. So, it’s important to get your sink and tapware choices right.

When thinking about sink materials, we recommend considering all the options such as stainless steel, composite materials such as Fragranite or Tectonite, or classic. The Oliveri Santorini Double Bowl Topmount Black Granite Sink is always a great choice. Whichever you choose, it should match the style and design of your whole kitchen layout. And if you really want to make a splash, consider a stunning coloured sink in your new kitchen, such as black or gold.

When it comes to tapware, a new tap can really update a kitchen.


Here’s our top tips for taps:

  • Right angle mixer taps help you to create a minimalist look with clean lines and refined finishes;
  • Gooseneck taps are incredibly popular and come in a huge range of sizes, materials and colours;
  • Single lever mixer taps let you control it all with a minimum of fuss;
  • Pull out mixer taps can stretch out to cover wherever you need them;
  • Swivel taps can rotate in all directions of your kitchen in a neat, yet stylish package.
A white modern kitchen with blonde oak cabinets.

4. Add Extra Lighting

Lighting is an important feature of any kitchen and new pendants or spotlights can really add to the update. The three types of lighting that you should consider in your new kitchen are ambient, task and accent lighting.

Ambient lighting is the main source of light in your kitchen and helps you to set the tone. It should be soft and dimmable. Task lighting provides a higher concentration of light and helps you perform tasks like preparing food and washing up without the shadows. Whereas accent lighting allows you to highlight the favourite features in your kitchen. A mixture of these three lighting styles will help you to create the perfect kitchen.

5. Add A Pop Of Colour

There are a few ways that you can ignite your senses in the kitchen by adding pops of colour or texture. One way is by updating your kitchen splashback. Whether it’s made from glass, tiles or stainless steel, you’d be surprised at how affordable it is to create a statement. Another option is to replace your tired bench top. This may cost a little more, but can really add value to your home and certainly will provide a modern fresh look to an older kitchen.

If you want to do something a little less permanent, a well-placed brightly coloured benchtop kitchen appliance, such as a new mixer, blender, kettle and toaster can brighten things up for an on-trend, and inexpensive, seasonal update. Even a gorgeous retro-style coffee machine can elevate an older kitchen.

A stylishly designed white and black kitchen opposite a deep blue wall.

Renovate Your Entire Kitchen

While a change is as good as a holiday, Switching the configuration of your kitchen might be even better! To make your kitchen look modern, three of the more popular styles are;

  • Galley kitchen; this is perfect for small spaces. It features a long narrow walkway with cabinetry and appliances on either side. A good tip to make this style work is think vertically – use all of that space up high for maximum effect.
  • Straight-Line kitchen; ideal for apartment living, the trick here is to opt for slim-line appliances and cabinetry. Less is more in this style to help you pack more into a small space.
  • Kitchen island; the entertainer’s kitchen. More than just a freestanding cabinet in the middle of your kitchen, it can hold appliances, sinks and is the place where friends and family come together to share good food and conversation.

Update And Modernise Your Kitchen With The Good Guys

If you’re taking on an old home kitchen renovation, your local The Good Guys is here to help. They can take you through the whole journey of planning, designing and even installing your new kitchen as well as finding the perfect appliances to match.

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