1 Don’t just change your hardware. This is one of the ideas that almost every kitchen update article will suggest. For good reason – it really does make a big difference. But, think about more than just swapping from wood to metal or from chrome to brass. The shape of your handles and knobs has a transformative effect too. Your kitchen is such a tactile space that moving to a different style of handle or adding a twist knob like Cullum will make a surprisingly big difference to how your kitchen feels. Remember, it’s far more powerful if you update all of your hardware rather than just the handles. And by that I mean, if you change to brass handles, invest that bit extra and update the hinges and catches too or it’ll jar.
2 Open a paint tin. Much like my first fix, repainting your kitchen is the other suggestion that’ll always get a mention. But you don’t have to go as far as that if it feels a bit too daunting. Repainting any element of your kitchen will give it a whole new lease of life. If you have an island, you could just paint that a new shade instead. Or, consider painting a few of your dining chairs if they’re timber – having a mix of painted and unpainted is a good combination because it stops your scheme from being too matchy-matchy. Our care guides and paint pots will give you all the advice you need on sanding, priming and drying times.
3 Add in shelving. Shelving is a quick and easy addition to your kitchen. The ideal update is to introduce a new piece of freestanding furniture, like a dresser, but if you don’t have space to spare and are looking for updates that are less costly, shelving is a worthy alternative. It’s important not to go overboard, but have a look at where there’s a gap that an extra ledge could easily fit in to. Above your stove – would a peg rail shelf be helpful for hanging utensils and the sorts of things you need to have to hand when cooking, like various oils? Or is there space above your doorway to put a high shelf for all those cookbooks you don’t use all that often but would never want to part with?
4 Re-organise your cupboards. This is something that I always feel is left out of the kitchen update talks; it comes up instead when everybody is spring cleaning. ‘Fixing’ your kitchen isn’t all about how it looks. How it feels to use and how it makes life easier is hugely important. When I want to give my kitchen a bit of a boost, I’ll pick a cabinet to focus my efforts on – for me, doing the whole kitchen in one go isn’t something I have time for, so I prefer to break it down. Have a good clear-out (have a read of our decluttering tips for extra motivation) and then reorganise. Buying a number of baskets or wooden boxes like Orford can be really helpful. Group like-things together, and then you can just pull out a box or basket at a time. It makes your cabinet space look more organised too – no more cupboard chaos. Any of our drawer accessories can be added into your kitchen at a later date to help bring order though. The Orford spice rack is a personal favourite!
5 Add a lamp. Thinking of your lighting as a full scheme is a must. Ceiling lights alone will never add the right kind of texture and atmosphere to any room – and your kitchen is no exception. If you’ve got a combination of spotlights and pendants, that’s a great start. Wall lights are always worth thinking about, but they’re more tricky to add in retrospectively. Lamps on the other hand are so simple. They’re the type of light that’s usually most forgotten about in a kitchen, but they’re what really help your kitchen to feel more like a living space. Go for a fabric shade so you’re bringing in a textile to soften your scheme further, and choose a spot where you have a socket to spare. On a shelf is lovely, or at the end (or in a corner) of your kitchen worktop is perfect.