We all want a stylish kitchen space, but a full renovation costs a pretty penny. To make the space look fresh, you just need to get creative within your means.
Here are some quick and easy ways to give your kitchen a modern uplift, without having to pick up a sledgehammer.
1. Opt for stylish benchtop appliances
While your bigger appliances can be expensive to replace on a whim (if it ain’t broke, why spend $3000 replacing it?), you can invest in some smaller items to make your benchtops look smart.
Kettles and toasters have come a long way from the old, white plastic models of yore. Consider how a sleek matte black series, like The New Black Classics Collection by Sunbeam, might jazz up your kitchen.
Sleek black appliances, like The New Black Classics Collection by Sunbeam will instantly elevate your kitchen and give it a modern feel. Picture: Sunbeam
“You can have these items on your bench and make them a feature,” Penny Middlemiss, interior designer and co-founder of Anju Designs, says.
“They’re eye-catching and really beautiful.”
2. Splurge on tapware
Slightly embellished tapware is all the rage in modern kitchens. There are hose taps and taps with curved necks, matte black taps, ornate taps, discreet taps – there is no shortage of variety if you’re willing to splurge a little.
Anju Designs co-founder Rebecca Reiken says the right tap style depends on the existing style of your kitchen. However, a popular choice for modern kitchens could be a gooseneck tap with a pull-out rinser hose.
3. Consider how to use colour
“People still love neutral because it’s never going to date, but there is a bit more colour happening in kitchens,” Rebecca says. “We’ve just [completed] two kitchens where we’ve done different blues in the cabinetry.”
Find colours that complement your kitchen features, including the tapware. Picture: Supplied/Anju Designs
Think of ways to complement the existing features and then changing the colour scheme with aesthetic touches, such as painting cabinet doors, painting the walls, adding a colour splash-back or having coloured bar stools.
4. Declutter and organise
A modern and stylish kitchen is typically very minimal, which means excess stuff lying around is a no-no.
“Declutter your benches and have only a few nice objects,” Rebecca advises. “Make sure everything has a space. For instance, if you have salt and pepper out on your bench, pop them on a little tray.”
If you’re looking for a larger project, organise your pantry into labelled containers or shuffle your contents around into drawer organisers.
5. Change your cabinet doors
Modern style involves a lot of minimal, streamlined finishes. One way to achieve this look without a full renovation is to swap your cabinet doors or do a little DIY adjusting.
It can be fairly easy to replace your cabinet doors without ripping out your whole kitchen. Picture: Pexels
For instance, many modern kitchens don’t have door handles and instead are ‘touch-to-open’. If you have a fairly standard kitchen set-up with white cabinets, these could be easy to install. Just remember to take measurements and get a consultation.
Alternatively, you can remove your cabinet doors, do a little DIY painting, change the cabinet handles and pop them back on for a fresh look!
6. Pick the right metals
Don’t overlook the importance of selecting the right metallic finishes. The Anju Designs team finds brushed nickel to be a popular choice.
“People are loving that ‘aged’ look that’s really on trend, like nickel or brass,” Penny shares. “But we’ve got so much selection out there at the moment and everyone is different.”
Just make sure you don’t mix too many metals in the one space. Between tapware, door handles, appliances and range hoods there are a lot of metallic items to coordinate!
7. Update your benchtops
If you have some ‘daggy’ kitchen fundamentals – like old benchtops and flooring – it can be hard to imagine ways around this. While you may not be able to do too much with your flooring, Penny says it might easier than you think to switch out your benchtop.
“Most benchtops these days are silicone bonded and they come off really easy,” she says. “You can certainly get situations where that’s not the case, but usually an old benchtop comes off fairly easily.”
Stone or stone-look benchtops will help you achieve the modern look. While genuine stone costs more, there are plenty of laminate or engineered stone options for the more budget conscious.