How to Update Your Kitchen Without Remodeling: 6 Inspiring Ideas

Let’s be real: Remodeling your kitchen is a major project. And while there are so many benefits to a complete kitchen overhaul, it’s not attainable for everyone. And that’s OK, because it’s possible to give your kitchen a refresh without starting from scratch. But how do you update your kitchen without remodeling?

When you decide to update your kitchen without remodeling it, you’re sticking with the current layout and design. You’re not going to change anything major, like plumbing or electrical. But you are going to add some cosmetic changes that make your kitchen feel brand new.

So, what cosmetic updates should you consider? Here are a few ideas.

6 Ways to Update Your Kitchen without Remodeling

Reface the Cabinets

how to update your kitchen without remodeling

HomeAdvisor says that cabinet refacing is about a 30% to 50% lower cost than replacing custom or semi-custom cabinets. And doing this can give your outdated kitchen an entirely new look. For example — refacing your oak cabinets with a white cabinet will brighten up the space and give it a modern touch. Also, adding modern hardware can complete the refresh.

Another reason to choose kitchen refacing is the length of time the project will take. Instead of totally demolishing your existing kitchen cabinets, refacing only involves replacing the cabinet doors and drawers, adding veneer to the cabinet boxes, and updating hardware. This takes significantly less time to complete.

Add a Custom Backsplash

custom backsplash kitchen redesign ideas

Is your current kitchen missing something? Maybe it needs a backsplash. Updating your kitchen backsplash adds interest or texture to elevate your kitchen’s look and protects your wall from water and food splatters. From brick to stone, ceramic to stainless steel — the options are endless when it comes to custom kitchen backsplash ideas.

Bonus: This cosmetic update is relatively affordable — HomeAdvisor says the average cost for a kitchen backsplash is about $400 to $600 per 16 square foot, excluding labor.

Install Floating Shelves

update your kitchen shelves

If you have some empty wall space in your kitchen, install floating shelves. To make the update look modern and stylish, keep clutter to a minimum and add decor that accents the color scheme of the rest of the kitchen. Use the shelves as a decorative feature rather than a place for storage.

Upgrade Your Appliances

upgrade and update your appliances

Sometimes all a kitchen needs for a more modern look is new appliances. Kitchen appliance upgrades not only elevate the design of your kitchen but can also help you realize your full cooking potential by providing new, innovative features.

If your current kitchen has old appliances that don’t match the style or color scheme, it’s time to upgrade. Stainless steel appliances are always a win if you’re going for a contemporary, sleek look. Black appliances are another option if they match the rest of your kitchen’s color scheme. Whatever you choose, make sure all of the appliances match.

Ditch the Oak

update kitchen cabinets without remodeling

Oak, oak, everywhere? If your kitchen is stuck in the ‘90s, it’s time to bring it into this millennium. Oak is a builder’s-grade material used in tons of houses over the years, but it’s definitely not modern or up-to-date. You can replace oak cabinets, trim, or flooring with new and give your kitchen an entirely fresh look. And remember — getting rid of oak cabinets doesn’t mean you have to buy custom cabinets. You can reface them for a much lower cost and still get the modern look you’re envisioning. And painting oak trim is an affordable project you can easily do over the span of a few days.

Add Crown Molding

crown molding update for kitchen

Speaking of builder-grade cabinets, you can easily and affordably add crown molding to give them more flair. This small addition will make your cabinets look brand new with a much lower price tag than actually installing custom cabinets. Adding fine details like this is a fast, simple way to make your kitchen look more expensive and stylish.

A full kitchen renovation sounds like a dream, right? You can still refresh your kitchen to look more modern and up-to-date with small, affordable tweaks. All of the fine details add up.

Discover More Kitchen Redesign Solutions

Every home deserves a kitchen that’s beautiful, welcoming, and functional — designed for the way you live. Established by two long-time central Ohio homebuilders and craftsmen, The Creative Kitchen Co. offers customized kitchen remodeling and redesign solutions. Get in touch to learn more!