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Smart Tricks to Improve Your Old Kitchen



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Whether your kitchen is in desperate need of a remodel or you’ve simply had enough of your once-trendy laminate countertop and wall color, it’s high time you had it all modernized and improved.

With new design trends popping up almost on a daily basis, there’s a wide choice of modern appliances, creative uses of colors, and functional design that can help you bring your old kitchen into the present day.

Here are some smart tricks and ideas to help you transform your dated kitchen into a cooking haven.

Upgrade hardware

When you make your kitchen using only currently stylish materials, they are bound to lose their sparkle in a decade or two, and that includes hardware. With manufacturers launching innovative materials and design trends to match, you should consider rethinking the metal in your kitchen. Swapping old hardware with new modern ones such as matte aluminum, stainless steel, copper or brushed gold can brighten up your cabinetry and if you add new pendant lighting and a matching range hood, your kitchen will seem as it can straight out of the latest catalog!

Reconsider upper cabinetry

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If your budget currently doesn’t allow brand new cabinets, think about repainting them. This is an excellent budget-friendly option that can entirely transform your kitchen. Go with a vibrant and bold color such as blue, or opt for a dark, modern finish to cover up outdated wood and old stains. Consider using a different or contrasting color to your lower cabinets to add more contrast and style.

You could also consider the option of removing your upper cabinetry entirely, particularly if they go all the way to the ceiling and appear to consume the space. If you want to open up the space but can’t add on more footage, remove the cabinets and install open shelving. This move will free up the wall and allow you to use the shelves as a decorative element where you can stylishly display your dishware.


Modernize countertops

Countertops take up a large portion of space in your kitchen and if it’s still that dated tile-and-grout style or cheap vinyl, it will make your kitchen look ancient. The switch is easy and today, the range of countertop options is practically endless. You can opt for solid surfacing consisting of resin and polymers to natural stone varieties such as granite or marble, or you can even do polished concrete. The options are limitless and there’s something for everyone’s taste and budget.

Upgrade appliances

As we’re all becoming increasingly aware of the importance of reducing our environmental impact, the best way to start is in your own home and kitchen – focus on your appliances. Get rid of the old stuff and upgrade to energy-efficient electrical appliances that will modernize your kitchen but also save water and electricity. While at it, consider replacing plumbing fixtures and installing low-flow kitchen faucets. This type of upgrade is not only about aesthetics, it’s also a responsible choice that helps save you money and the Earth’s resources.

Install new lighting

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When you’re updating the major components of your kitchen, it’s easy to neglect the lighting! Don’t leave it as an afterthought as lighting is essential for many things – safety, pleasant ambiance, and functionality of your kitchen.

If there’s only one overhead ambient lighting fixture in your kitchen, consider adding more light sources such as recessed lighting, pendant lights over the kitchen island and under cabinet light strips to illuminate the countertops. You can also add a chandelier over your eating area where you can opt for a contemporary style or go for a vintage piece to add some contrast.


It may not be obvious at first, but the kitchen is a great place to decorate and add your personal touch as well. Think in terms of plants on top of shelves, decorative vases and dishes, cookbooks, family heirloom and even artwork.

Adding artwork will elevate your kitchen and fear not big bold pieces! They will not only make a statement but also give the illusion of a bigger space. If you’re a renter, art is a great way to bring in color and change. You can also dress up bare windows, add some colorful cushion and a floral centerpiece to your kitchen island or breakfast nook.


From updating materials and finishes to introducing color, light, and artwork – there are plentiful options to update your old kitchen. Whereas you may not embrace all of these ideas, hopefully, you will find some that will match your lifestyle, budget, and family needs.

Derek Lotts is a Sydney based writer and researcher, a regular contributor at Smooth Decorator blog. He writes about décor, gardening, recycling, ecology and business. He thinks all of these topics fall under the self-improvement category. He believes in the power of sharing ideas and communicating via the internet to achieve betterment.

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