9 Simple Kitchen Style Updates to Try Now

Kitchen Decor Ideas

We’ve all been there at one stage or another. Whether you’ve just purchased a doer-upper, or have moved into a newly rented apartment, many of us have had to put up with a tired and less than inspiring kitchen. However, simple kitchen style updates could be the answer…

The kitchen should enhance your lifestyle, providing an enjoyable space to cook, socialise, sing along to the radio – whatever it is you do in the kitchen, you should feel free to do it. Unfortunately, a tired kitchen is a room that few of us want to spend much time in, meaning we cook, get out, and go back in to wash up as quickly as possible. The kitchen is considered to be the heart of the home. So, if you’ve ended up with one that is lacking in style but you haven’t got the budget to do it up, what are the options?

There are a few easy style hacks that you can do to update your kitchen. Whether you are renting or you want to style up your doer-upper for now, it is possible to restyle a kitchen on a budget. Read on to discover nine simple kitchen style updates to do now, including time frames and budgets…

1. Open shelving


Kitchen Accessories

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Open shelving is really on trend at the moment, but it’s actually also really practical. Not so long ago it was all about wall units and creating as much storage space as possible. But today it’s all about opening the space up while retaining space to stack dishes and more.

Open shelving over wall units will instantly make your kitchen feel bigger, brighter and more stylish, and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to do either. If you decide to commit to creating open shelving, the first step is to clear out all your cupboards and take down the wall units. It’s likely that you will need to smooth over and fill the wall behind the units, followed by a fresh lick of paint.

Choose shelving that compliments the current kitchen, or try to brighten dark and dingy kitchens with pale wood or white shelving. Choose your brackets carefully too – try a contrasting look such as black brackets with white shelves, or add an industrial vibe with copper brackets.

Mount shelves at least 30cm apart, to allow storage room. Shelves can be practical as well as stylish, used to house kitchen crockery as well as accessories to add that styled up look. The most important thing when it comes to shelf styling is to use varying heights – try one tall stack of plates and bowels alongside a shorter one. Place a tall framed print on the upper shelf and a short stack of cookbooks, as well as house plants and accessories. Where possible stick to one colour mixed with neutrals for a coherent scheme.

Time: 1 day

Budget: £100-£200

2. A lick of paint

Pink Kitchen

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Whether on the walls, on the kitchen units or even both, a fresh lick of paint can go a long way to transforming a tired kitchen. Just updating the walls from magnolia to white, or adding a feature wall can add that much-needed touch of personality.

For 2018 try adding a Scandi vibe by painting the walls white, or opt for a pale grey. If you’re lucky enough to have a large kitchen with a wall free from units, try creating a feature wall with a pop of colour before installing a breakfast bar with a statement piece of artwork above. If you’d prefer to make less permanent changes, try a freestanding breakfast bar or narrow table.

It’s pretty straightforward to paint kitchen cupboards too. Simply wash down with sugar soap. Lightly sand when dry, then fill any imperfections with a ready mixed filler, then prime with a wood primer and paint with a water-based paint. Brighten up a dark kitchen and go for white units, or create contrast with a deep charcoal or a pop of colour in teal.

Time: 2 days

Budget: £60-£100


3. Monochrome accessories

Monochrome Decor

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Monochrome is set to be huge for 2018. This beautifully sophisticated scheme is sharp and edgy, allowing you to create a refined look with black, white and grey. If you want to avoid making any alterations to your kitchen for now, updating your accessories is a great way to add a stylish update.

Stick to black, white and grey only, and update all of your accessories if you can. Try chopping boards in black wood and white marble stacked on the worktops, black and white prints in black frames, a white kettle and toaster, plants in geometric print monochrome pots and ceramic black storage jars. Replacing small things such as the kitchen tap and lighting, opting for black or white alternatives will really help pull this look together.

Time: An afternoon

Budget: £100


4. Urban jungle

Kitchen House Plants

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A fantastic way to breathe new life into a room is to introduce lots of houseplants in stylish pots. You can even strategically place plants to hide any particularly offensive areas until you’re able to tackle them to improve. Try buying a variety of plants at varying heights, placing a few on window ledges, on the worktops, and on open shelving. Stand plants by themselves, or group in threes.

If you have the floor space, try introducing a large floor standing plant, and hanging planters from the ceiling and shelving. Create a uniform look by styling in pots in a single colour – you can add interest by choosing different materials, such as rough concrete or polished ceramic pots. Read more about houseplant styling and care here

Time: An afternoon

Budget: £40-£100


5. On-trend tiles

Kitchen Tiles

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Updating your tiles can make a huge difference to both the look and feel of your kitchen. Tiles can date quite quickly. In some cases, you might take on a kitchen that feels horrifically unstylish and feel the need to rip everything out and start again, but simply updating the tiles can make the whole room feel a whole lot better.

There are some fantastic tile trends for the year ahead, many of which are subtle updates on long standing trends such as the metro tile. Discover the latest tile trends for 2019 here.

Time: 1-2 days – you may wish to hire a professional to create the perfect finish.

Budget: £250-400


6. Get creative with door knobs


It’s amazing how much old and worn door knobs can date a kitchen, and they are so simple to update. Simply unscrew old door knobs and add the new ones – you might need a wrench to fit the new ones securely.

Try adding industrial copper knobs to add a raw and warm edge, or try mixing and matching vintage door knobs for an electric feel.

Time: An afternoon

Budget: £50


7. Experiment with industrial materials

Industrial Kitchen Design

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The industrial trend isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. With the development of old warehouses and factories into residential properties continuing, industrial elements are only set to rise.

Try introducing industrial metals in the form of lighting, shelf brackets and accessories into your kitchen. Opt for unpolished brass, copper, and nickel to add a contemporary industrial edge. Try pendant lighting, brackets and accessories all in the same metal to tie the look together and keep things uniform. This will create a well-styled finish.

Time: One day

Budget: £200-300


8. Invest in luxe worktops

Kitchen Decor Ideas

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One of the easiest ways to add a more expensive feel to your kitchen is to replace the worktops. This can work well if you want to avoid completely redoing the kitchen, or if the units are good but the laminate worktops are worn.

If you’re going to splash out on anything in the kitchen it should be the worktops. Try on-trend marble, quartz or granite. Choose a worktop that compliments the rest of the kitchen. If you’ve got your heart set on a particular worktop that doesn’t work with the units, try painting the units to make the look work.

Time: Two days

Budget: £1,000-£2,500


9. Get playful with appliances

A neutral kitchen doesn’t have to mean a boring kitchen. If your kitchen uses mostly whites, greys, and blacks this is actually the best place to start. Particularly so if you want to add a little personality but don’t have the budget to redo the whole kitchen.

Try adding a pop of colour with playful appliances. Opt for one shade and enhance with metals. Try mint green with unpolished brass or gold, peacock blue with copper or blush pink with silver. Alternatively, create a monochrome look with black appliances.

Time: One day

Budget £300-500

Creating your ideal kitchen style is possible, even if you have a small budget. Be creative with your updates to make the most of your space.

What are your kitchen style tips? Share them here to inspire others.

If you’ve recently updated your kitchen and would like to be featured on That Luxe Life, submit your photos here.

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