8 Ways to Refresh Your Kitchen Without a Renovation

Here’s the thing about kitchen renovations: they take time and money - and a lot of it, too.

Sometimes it’s not possible to do a big, blowout renovation on your kitchen, simply because of time, budget, or even rental constraints.

But that doesn’t mean that you have to live with your kitchen as is. There are ways to give it a quick refresh without having to undergo a huge renovation, and most of these tips are landlord-approved, too. Here are eight of our favorites. 

8 ways to refresh your kitchen without a renovation

1. Get out the paint

We’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times. If you want to refresh any room without going in for a big renovation, all you need is a lick of paint. Changing the paint color of your kitchen will change the look and feel of it instantly, whether you paint the walls, the ceiling or even just go for a bright pop of color on the cupboards. 

If you’re renting, make sure that you check with your landlord before painting. If you own your place, the world is your oyster. We want to take a leaf out of Dakota Johnson’s book, who painted the kitchen cabinets in her Los Angeles mid-century modern pad a delicious, rich green color. Nothing says ‘refresh’ like the color green. 

2. Change the handles

Where there are kitchens, there are cabinets, and where there are cabinets, there are handles. If you want to refresh your kitchen space, you can do so very easily by switching out the tired old handles for some new sets. (This is a great tip for changing up your bathroom, too.) 

Etsy has a lot of great options for those on a budget, including beautiful numbers using reclaimed tiles, or gorgeous, heavy brass ones for pull out drawers. Just remember: if you’re renting, keep hold of the old handles in case you need to put them back when you leave. 

3. Hang some art 

Bring a bit of soothing artistic energy by hanging a print or a photograph in your kitchen. Sure, you might not want to hang up your best, most expensive artwork where it could be splashed by pasta sauce, but if you have some photographs from holidays that you’ve got framed, or colorful, affordable prints this could be the place to hang them, especially if they’re food or travel themes. We love having prints of far away places and delicious meals on display in our kitchen, to keep us inspired and engaged while we cook.

Check out some of the available artworks from Bed Threads’ collaborations with artists.

4. Get decanting 

You can give your kitchen a bougie feel by decanting pantry staples into specialty tins and receptacles. Amber-colored bottles and jars are always a winner, and you give everything an Aesop-inspired hint of luxury.

But we’re also fans of vintage tins and pots picked up from secondhand stores in retro materials like bakelite or jadeite. They’re perfect for storing all those tea bags that you want to keep on the counter for whenever you need to make yourself a restorative cuppa and they look fabulous, too.

5. Let there be light 

Another way to easily refresh your kitchen is to give the light fixtures an update. Sometimes it’s as easy as switching out your shade we can’t get enough of those concertina Japanese-inspired shades, which are perfect for kitchens with a single light fixture and plenty of natural sunlight from big windows.

Think about the mood you’re trying to create in your kitchen and go from there.

6. Take off the cabinet doors 

Want to put some items on display in your kitchen, but aren’t able to get glass-fronted cabinets? You could take off the doors of one of your higher-up cabinets and use it as an open-fronted display shelf. This is one of the easiest ways to create visual interest and intrigue in your kitchen, and all you need is a screwdriver. 

Once the door is off, you can get styling. We love using an open-fronted display shelf to house colorful bowls, vases, collectibles, and dinner sets. (Again, say it with us: If you’re renting, hold onto those doors in case you have to put them back.) 

7. Play with textures

There is a tendency for kitchens to be less cozy than other corners of the house. Steel appliances, clean surfaces - they don’t make for warm and soothing vibes, right?

You can add texture to your kitchen by adding some soft furnishings, though, which will help usher in the cozy vibes. For example, would you try a rug on the kitchen floor? Something that you don’t mind trashing a little the more worn-in, the better? Would you consider putting in some pegs, upon which you could hang aprons, hats, towels and other fabric items that can soften up the edges of your kitchen?

Think about varying the textures in your kitchen, and bringing in the cosy fabrics to help keep things relaxed.

Now for your bathroom. Here are 8 landlord-approved hacks to update your rental bathroom on a budget. 

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