10 Top Tips for Refreshing your Kitchen

Give your heart of the home a new lease of life this season

Words by Laurie Davidson, Homes Editor, Style at Home magazine

Many of us long for the kitchen of our dreams, but as it's an expensive room to kit out from scratch, it's worth considering what you can do to refresh your current design. Read on for 10 easy and budget-conscious ways to give your scheme a brand new look… 

1. Update your cabinets

If you don't have money to invest in new cabinetry, why not paint your current design instead? It's one of the cheapest and easiest ways to transform your room, and there are lots of paints available. Grey is a popular colour for kitchens this season, and we love Farrow & Ball's Mole's Breath Estate Eggshell; Neptune also has a wide range of shades. Alternatively, keep the carcass and get new doors – the Kitchen Restoration Company can build doors to your exact requirements.

2. Fit new worktops

They take a lot of punishment, but a beautiful kitchen can be let down by damaged worktops. Invest in a smart new surface and you'll be surprised how much it can completely transform the overall look. Ikea sells everything from stone to acrylic, with laminate the most cost-effective option. If you have the budget, consider extras, such as a built-in draining board.

3. Transform the floor

If your current kitchen floor is letting the side down, it's time to replace it. If you decide to go with tiles, consider what material would best suit your scheme. Large-format porcelain tiles, for example, are hardwearing and durable, whereas stone adds character that's perfect for country-style kitchens. Why not be adventurous with a statement floor – these Francisco Segarra tiles are from Topps Tiles.

4. Change cabinet door handles

One of the easiest ways to give cabinetry a new look, a new handle is a great way to update a kitchen. Go for sleek chrome bars for a modern look, glass knobs for a touch of glamour, or a wooden design for a rustic feel.

5. Liven up with accessories

If you're looking for a more budget-conscious update then you can't beat adding a few affordable accessories. Choose matching canisters, a new tea towel and a few small appliances to give an instant colour boost, and display your favourite pieces on a shelf or dresser. This season, two of the latest looks are ‘Botanicals' and ‘Jungle Fever', so why not add leaf-print crockery or a tropical-inspired artwork for an on-trend hit? To shop the latest accessories, visit

6. Revamp with fabric

You may want to try your hand at creating new seat cushions for old chairs, or a pretty blind or tablecloth. Fabrics don't have to be expensive and John Lewis has a huge variety to suit every colour scheme and budget. Oilcloth cut to size is also a good way of hiding a tired kitchen table – try Dunelm's Dotty PVC fabric for a fun splash of colour.

7. Install new appliances

A sleek new oven or American-style fridge freezer can do wonders for your kitchen's va-va-voom. You don't have to change your cabinetry, but you will need to ensure your new model fits into the space left by your existing appliance. Freestanding models are obviously easier to replace. Why not try a different colour – go for black gloss to give an all-white kitchen a smart monochrome look, or choose bright retro-style designs to up the fun factor.

8. Add extra lighting

Many kitchens are poorly lit, but ideally you want a few different types of lighting – task lights over the worktop so you can see what you're chopping, overhead lighting, such as spotlights or pendants, and mood lighting to set the scene. Pendant lights in copper and brass are popular this season, or for a modern look, why not fit LED strip lighting to your kickplates or above cabinets for a colourful glow?

9. Refresh your splashback

Whether you want a simple panel on the wall behind the hob or an entire run along the cabinetry, a splashback is a great way to revamp a tired kitchen. Glass designs are idea for small spaces as they help to bounce light around the room, or you could go for stainless-steel for a more industrial feel. A tiled splashback is a much more affordable option than tiling an entire room and you can use them to add colour or make a feature with bold patterns, or go for glamour and sparkle with metallic mosaics. Metro-style designs are also right on trend and make a change from the usual square-shaped tile. Alternatively, why not go for some typographic tiles and spell out popular herb and spice names? 

10. Get rid of clutter

It's a small thing, but bits and bobs that we accumulate on our worktops can really bring a scheme down and make it look messy and give the impression of a much smaller space. Invest in some clever storage options to go inside cabinetry, and put up some handy shelves to keep clutter neat and tidy.

For more ways to update your kitchen, visit


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