12 Quick Kitchen Updates You Can Do in a Weekend

You don’t notice just how badly your kitchen needs an update until you have guests coming for the holidays. It’s too late to start a full kitchen remodel but there is something you can do to give your kitchen a quick refresh.

Whether it’s a cosmetic update or something to make your guests more comfortable, a little effort can go a long way. Here are 12 ideas for quick kitchen updates you can do in a weekend.

#1 Add a Rug

A brightly colored or boldly patterned rug of any size in the kitchen can make the space feel like new. A small rug in front of the sink or a larger rug spread across the kitchen, both will breathe life into the design. Select an easy-to-clean material that can stand up to the rigors of the kitchen.

#2 Restyle Open Shelves

Open shelves are a top trend that your kitchen shouldn’t be without. If you don’t have open shelves, you can easily create them by removing the doors on some of your cabinets.

Restyle open shelves by changing up the vignettes or adding a new collectible to the mix. A little rearranging can make the same items look fresh.

#3 Carve Out Space for Guests

Set aside a space in the kitchen for the comfort of your guests. Make a coffee or breakfast bar that has all the necessary ingredients to get the morning started off right. Your guests won’t have to worry about rummaging through your cabinets to find what they need and you won’t have to get up early to make breakfast for them.

Transform your island into a center of socialization. Get new, inviting bar stools, new wine glasses, and invite your friends and family into the kitchen with you while you prepare holiday meals.

Gray and white kitchen with statement pendant lights over the island.
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#4 Paint the Kitchen with Color

Adding color to the kitchen is the perfect way to make it pop. Achieve it by painting an accent wall, getting new colorful towels, or adding a bowl of lemons or apples to the counter.

Consider painting some of your cabinets or adding new colored cabinets. The island is a great place to add colored cabinets. It already stands apart from the rest of the kitchen and adding color only makes it more so. When you’re done, you’ll think you have a whole new kitchen.

#5 Get New Statement Lighting

Installing a new pendant light (or two or three) over the island, sink, or breakfast nook draws attention to the space in a whole new way.

Use this opportunity to add some metallic sheen or even color to make the lighting the visual center of the room whether the lights are on or not. Even an opulent chandelier can be at home in the kitchen if you back it up with the right details.

#6 Go High Contrast

One of the most simple yet impressive changes you can make to the kitchen is to turn your color palette high contrast. The dichotomy between light and dark will make it look like you changed more than you did.

The easiest way to do this is to add white to a dark kitchen and black to a light kitchen. This addition keeps your colors neutral but completely changes the feel of the space.

White kitchen with gold faucet at the kitchen sink.
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#7 Get Organized

Give your kitchen a functionality boost with some drawer and cabinet organizers. Simple tray organizers inserted into a drawer, spice and knife organizers, and pull-out racks in the cabinets all make the kitchen work smarter.

Door-mounted racks increase your storage space and make things more accessible. A pull-out rack for the waste container makes it easy to access then stow the trash.

#8 Add Art

Introduce some art to the kitchen walls and change the focus of the space. Still life of fruit keeps with the theme of the kitchen, but a large abstract piece is just as comfortable in the space.

Remember that the kitchen carries risk of splatters, spills, and other hazards to art. Select prints that can be replaced should there be an accident. Or, cover art with glass to protect it.

#9 Get a New Faucet

A quick project that makes a big difference is a change of kitchen faucet. This one thing can influence the entire design of the kitchen. Metallics are powerful in design and the easiest place to add metallic is with the hardware in the kitchen.

Consider coordinating all your metallics (light fixtures, cabinet knobs, and faucets) for a bigger impact. Or mix and match for a more eclectic vibe.

White and gold kitchen with new drawer pulls and open shelving.
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#10 Update Hardware

Knobs, pulls and other hardware in the kitchen is easily replaced. It freshens up the look and gives the kitchen a sense of new purpose. Your hardware stands out because it is generally a metallic color so it can set the tone for your design.

Angular pulls give a more modern look and curved, scrolls a more traditional feel. Simple round knobs blend-in to the cabinets and square or other shapes stand out.

#11 Install a New Backsplash

It may seem like a big project, but the backsplash can be done in a couple days. You can even do it yourself. It’s a project that can make it feel like you’ve undergone a renovation without all the hassle of a complete renovation.

There are many options for the backsplash: tile, stone, mosaic, wallpaper, even shiplap. Consider taking the backsplash all the way up the wall for an even bigger impact.

#12 Treat the Windows

There aren’t many textiles in your kitchen but they are a great opportunity to introduce pattern and color in a totally different way. Start with your window treatments.

Consider going with a different type of treatment than you had before to make a difference in the feel of the design. Trade out cafe curtains for a valance. Or puddle the drapes at the floor instead of the valance.

If you need some quick kitchen updates to get you through the holiday season, try one (or several) of these and enjoy the benefits all year long! When you’re ready to start thinking about a full remodel, here are a few things to consider.

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