How to Modernise an Older Kitchen

February 18th, 2021 - 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.

Back to School | The Good Guys

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.

Back to School | The Good Guys

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.”

Back to School | The Good Guys

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.

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 in your cabinetry, pendant lighting and your 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.

Back to School | The Good Guys

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, classic chrome or classy moulded granite. 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.
Back to School | The Good Guys

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.

Back to School | The Good Guys

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.

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.

Trends In Kitchens & Cooking

Newest Helper In The Kitchen

Learn how a convection microwave oven can help elevate your cooking.

Keep Your Cool With An LG Fridge

Discover our top hacks to bring out the best in your refrigerator.

Planning A Reno?

Don't do anything untill you've checked out Kinsman's stunning designs.

The Perfect U-Shaped Kitchen

Everything you need to know from layout tips to finding the right appliances.

Kitchen Appliances For You

Let us help you find the right kitchen appliances to make your life easier.

L Shaped Kitchens

Let us help you find the right kitchen appliances to make your life easier.

Bring Your Dream Kitchen To Life

All of the incredible kitchen appliances to help turn your dream kitchen into a reality.

Big Impact With A Smaller Kitchen

Clever design choices and the latest appliances for smaller kitchens.

Which Is The Best Coffee Machine?

From manual to automatic, check out our guide to finding the right one for you.

The Perfect Wine Fridge

These six tips will show you how to get the most out of your wine fridge.

Kitchen Trends In 2022

See the five biggest kitchen trends that will emerge in 2022.

An Oven That Cleans Itself

Everything you need to know about pyrolytic ovens including how they work.

Kitchen Floorplans

Our top 5 tips to consider when it comes to creating the perfect kitchen floorplan.

Fridges For The Party Host

Everything you need to know about buying a fridge when you just love to entertain.

Industrial Kitchens

Discover how to design your kitchen in its most raw and authentic form.

Designing A Straight Line Kitchen

Everything you need to know about perfecting your straight line kitchen design.

Charming Country Kitchens

Enjoy the simplicity, rawness and pared-back beauty of a country kitchen.

Find Your Perfect Black Kitchen

Capture the true essence of a dark kitchen with these sophisticated black appliances.

The Perfect Modern Kitchen

Create a kitchen that will function as the centre of your home.

Induction Vs Gas Cooktops

The great kitchen debate. All the tech and advantages of both styles explained.

Flat Pack Kitchens

Looking for an easy upgrade to your existing kitchen?


Best Kitchen Sinks

Everything you need to consider when choosing the perfect kitchen sink.

Wall Vs Freestanding Ovens

Let us help you find the perfect oven to suit your needs as well as kitchen style.

Best Quality Kitchen Taps

Check out the best kitchen taps and make a statement in your kitchen.

Modernise An Older Kitchen

Find out how you can upgrade your kitchen without having to do a full reno.

Upgrade To A Steam Oven

Discover all the ways a steam oven will become your best friend in the kitchen.

Renovating Your Kitchen

Check out our top 10 ideas on how to make the most of your kitchen renovation.

The Latest Dishwasher Technology

Here's the low down on the latest dishwasher tech and everything you need to know.

Best Freestanding Ovens

If you’re looking to upgrade your oven – let us help find the right one for you.

Best Toaster For Your Kitchen

Finish off the look to your kitchen with a stylish toaster.


An Oven That Cleans Itself

Everything you need to know about pyrolytic ovens including how they work.

Appliance First Kitchen Design

Bring your dream kitchen to life and avoid making a common mistake ...

Kitchen Floorplans

Our top 5 tips to consider when it comes to creating the perfect kitchen floorplan.

Kitchen Appliances For You

Let us help you find the right kitchen appliances to make your life easier.

Air Fryers

Everything you need to know about air fryers including health benefits and our top tips.

Chef's Cooking Range

Your guide to Chef's cooking appliances that make life easy.

Keeping Your Kitchen Air Healthy

View our 5 top tips to help keep your kitchen air clean and healthy in your home.

Kitchen Design 101

Layouts, styles and ranges decoded so you can create the kitchen of your dreams.