21 Quick and Easy Kitchen Updates You Can Accomplish This Weekend

gray kitchen with tile and white open shelving
Photo: Greg Scheidemann

The kitchen may be the hardest-working room in the house, so it runs the risk of looking overworked. Give your kitchen fresh appeal with these quick and easy updates, including solutions for your windows, floor, pantry, and more!

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Open Up Cabinets

Cottage Cabinets

Remove upper cabinet doors to give a narrow kitchen a sense of openness. Then set off the revealed shelves with a decorative treatment. To do so, remove cabinet doors and fill in holes with wood filler. Sand until smooth, and paint or stain as desired. Apply your desired treatment to the inside after priming the interior walls.

02 of 21

Replace a Faucet

hands-free kitchen faucet and sink
Jay Wilde

The sink area is one of the most hardworking kitchen spaces, and faucets get daily use. Because of its constant use, an updated faucet would provide an immediately noticeable kitchen improvement. In addition to being practical, kitchen fixtures add style and enhance the overall design.

03 of 21

Swap Out Seat Cushions

banquette nook with blue and yellow pillows
Laurie Black

Have a banquette in your kitchen? Island bar stools? Either arrangement can be quickly updated with a swatch of fresh fabric. Try seasonal slipcovers on a window cushion and dining chairs in an open kitchen. Use pretty pattern fabric or linens to update cushions on island seating.

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Hang Floating Shelves

gray kitchen with tile and white open shelving
Greg Scheidemann

Add open storage in your kitchen by hanging floating shelves. Not only do shelves provide easy-access open storage, but they also create display space for cookbooks and decorative kitchen items. Install a sconce above your floating shelves for bonus task lighting.

05 of 21

Add Hanging Storage

food and various utensils in kitchen at home
Carson Downing

Brass push plates with knobs provide accessible undercabinet storage for your most-used utensils. Mark the knob locations on the brass plates while the protective film is still on, drill screw holes, then remove the film. Install them under your cabinets starting in the center of the wall so cuts will be on the outside edges (use tin snips to make cuts). Add knobs using hanger bolts.

06 of 21

Replace Window Treatments

low-contrast gray kitchen with pops of yellow
Emily Followill

The right window treatment can transform a flawed kitchen space into a place that reflects your style and your sense of beauty. Highlight your kitchen's best qualities with a fresh window treatment. Because kitchen curtains need to be replaced more often than those in other rooms of your home, opt for blinds or curtains that are easy to remove.

07 of 21

Install or Update Pendant Lights

white kitchen green floral patterned chairs
Jessica Delaney

Whether you prefer vintage glass shades or tiny modern bulbs, pendant lights are a popular ceiling fixture for the kitchen. Place the lights over an island or countertop where low-hanging fixtures won't interfere with traffic flow. Don't be afraid to go bold—these unique industrial lights add interest to an otherwise casual kitchen.

08 of 21

Add a Shiplap Accent Wall

White kitchen wood floor trays on wall
Brie Williams

Add some oomph to a blank kitchen wall with shiplap planks. Measure your area before cutting planks to length. Install using a spacer create a small gap between each piece of wood. The final result will add texture and modern-farmhouse style to your kitchen.

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Paint Island Seating

white kitchen bar with yellow stools
Brie Williams

Give kitchen island seating a boost of bright color with paint. Metal island bar stools can easily be updated with spray paint. Be sure to wash, lightly sand, and prime before spraying with at least two coats of paint.

10 of 21

Update Cabinet Hardware

gray and white kitchen with glass cabinet fronts
Edmund Barr

Think of hardware as kitchen jewelry—add new metal or glass knobs for an easy kitchen cabinet update. If you're using metal hardware, choose one finish for the scheme. Be sure to count the number of doorknobs, handles, or drawer pulls before heading out to stores, garage sales, or flea markets. And if the new hardware doesn't fit the old holes, simply buy some backplates to cover the gaps and then drill new holes.

11 of 21

Paint Select Cabinets

kitchen cabinets

A new coat of paint is a cost-effective way to make your kitchen feel more expansive and imbue it with freshness and cleanliness. If you don't want to paint the entire room, consider painting just a section of cabinets. For instance, painting three or four cabinets on a short run will create the illusion of a built-in hutch. Or create variation by painting the lower and upper cabinets contrasting colors.

12 of 21

Make a Memo Board

kitchen

Greet guests, make a menu, or jot down a grocery list with a DIY chalkboard. Simply prime a piece of fiberboard before coating with chalkboard paint. For a fancy finish, place the board in a large photo frame. Update with the seasons and for special occasions.

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Increase Storage

blue island

Make the most of a refurbished dresser or sofa table by converting it into a storage-friendly island. Remove the drawers and paint the piece a splashy color before filling with baskets and various utensils. Casters allow the island to be moved around the kitchen as needed. Get the full instructions for this project.

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Create a Wall Display

dining room

Open kitchen wall space provides wonderful opportunities to bring in personalized elements, such as collections, photographs, and favorite artwork. Here, children's drawings paired with an antique clock creates an interesting display wall in a breakfast nook. Mix and match photographs, paintings, and mixed media for a one-of-a-kind kitchen gallery wall.

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Add Bold Color

green kitchen

Even the most lackluster space can be energized with vibrant color. Paint the walls, cabinets, or island a lively hue, like this fun shade of chartreuse. Reupholster chairs or stools with a fabric featuring a bright pattern. Hang new curtains in a can't-miss-it shade and print.

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Enhance Architecture

dining

Add architectural interest to your walls with molding, beadboard, or wainscoting. For wainscoting, add an extra-deep baseboard or beef up the existing baseboard so it's at least 3/4-inch thick at the top. Then nail 1x3 boards vertically around the room, spaced 8 inches on center and butting the baseboard. Top the vertical 1x3 boards with a new piece of molding.

17 of 21

Designate a Snack Station

kitchen chalkboard drawer facades

If your base cabinets double as drawers for treats and drinks, fashion the area into a snack station. Chalkboard paint on cabinet doors helps guests determine the drawer's contents, while a tray on the countertop above holds napkins, straws, and other dining accessories. Use plastic baskets and bins to organize snacks within deep drawers.

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Add Furniture Details

Storage-Savvy Island

Give cabinetry a furniture look with purchased bun feet. You can find a big selection of feet about 4 inches tall at most home improvement stores. This once-ordinary kitchen island was transformed with corbels, beaded-board paneling, turned legs, and a fresh coat of country-blue paint.

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Paint the Floor

painted floor in kitchen

A painted design is perfect for a wood floor that isn't in great condition. It helps hide faults, turning a rough, inconsistent plane into a surface rich with color. A painted floor graphic also defines an area, turning it into a focal point.

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Maximize Pantry Space

Small pantry

Turn a kitchen closet into a pantry by removing the door and painting the interior. This closet is loaded with shelves of varying heights to accommodate tall cereal boxes and canned goods. Hang pantry doors and add pegs, hooks, and corkboard on the backs of the doors to hold shopping lists or coupons.

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Soften Cabinets with Fabric

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Fabric helps soften a kitchen's lines, adding a cozy touch that harder surfaces can't offer. Fabric panels behind glass-front upper cabinets add personality and hide clutter. Cloth skirts attached to a countertop are a fast, easy way to conceal unattractive lower cabinets.

Here, a gauzy off-white fabric skirts the built-in buffet, suggesting cottage flair while keeping kitchen items out of sight. To achieve this look, simply remove lower cabinet doors, gather fabric on a tension rod, and mount the rod to the cabinet frame.

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