Interior designer Marylou Sobel shares her expert advice on how you can instantly makeover your kitchen without a complete renovation.
“We’ve probably all been there; tired of the look and feel of our kitchen but unable to take on a full renovation either because of time or money, or both! The good news is that there are a myriad of ways to update your kitchen without tackling a complete overhaul and most can be done in a single weekend! I’ve listed my 10 favourite ways to give you some inspiration.
You can do any or all of these – but be warned, once you start, there is often a domino effect! What you don’t touch, might all of a sudden be screaming for attention when everything else is looking fresh and new.
1. Start at the start
Often just a fresh coat of paint is all that is needed to freshen up a tired kitchen – especially if it is a new paint colour.
2. Update your cabinetry
Keep the carcasses (internal structure of the cupboards) as they are, but remove and either repaint, refinish or replace the doors and knobs. You will be amazed at the difference this can make. On a recent project, I added two new doors to a pantry cupboard and put mesh in the doors providing a glimpse inside the cupboard as well as ventilation for the veggies, and the effect was spectacular – as well as functional.
3. Update your benchtops
If your benchtops are tile, timber or laminate, in some cases you can paint them, which can completely rejuvenate both the benchtop and the kitchen. If they are outdated marble or granite (yes, there was a time when dark green was the all the rage) it is best to replace them, but it may be possible to put a new surface on your old benchtops, which really save on costs.
4. Change the lighting
You can add more or less task lighting (ie, down lights or spot lights), introduce decorative yet functional lighting via pendant lights, or install a skylight. Each of these things can completely change the look and feel of a kitchen, making it more visually appealing but also increasing its workability.
5. Change your splashback
Much like the cupboard doors, changing the colour or material of your splashback can have an incredible lifting effect on the whole kitchen, especially if it has a prominent place in the kitchen.
6. Update your appliances
This one is extra fun, because you also get that boost of efficiency that comes with new appliances. If you are replacing large appliances such as your refrigerator, oven, dishwasher, etc, keep to the same dimensions to keep costs down. Integrating appliances brings a minimal, clean look to a kitchen, but the joinery that is needed will add to your costs.
7. Replace your tapware
You would be surprised how easy it is to replace the tapware in your kitchen – or even your sink – and possibly even more surprised by the impact it can have on the visual appeal of the space. Some taps today are almost works of art!
8. Update your flooring
You can sand and restain or paint existing timber boards, or cover your existing floor with new tiles or timber boards. Just pay attention to whether a slightly raised floor will interfere with doorways.
9. Install some open shelving
A big issue many of us have with our kitchen is not enough counter or shelf space. If you have an empty wall, inexpensive floating or bracketed shelving can solve the problem, and with the careful use of books, plants, and attractive cookware, it can also introduce a lovely decorative element to the kitchen.
10. Update your window
To completely change the look of your kitchen, paint or replace window frames and window treatments. Just make sure you keep them to the same size for ease.
Bonus tip: This takes it to the next level, but if you have time, money and the room, consider raising the ceiling height to create a greater sense of space. Alternatively, lower a section of the ceiling and use back lighting which creates the most gorgeous glow of light to create mood in the room. Depending on the style of the kitchen, you can also add timber slats or beams which enhance a space both visually and acoustically.”
For more information, visit http://www.marylousobel.