How To Upgrade Your Kitchen Without Remodeling

Remodeling an entire kitchen area can be a big, extensive and expensive undertaking. Most kitchen renovations or remodels can take months to complete, which often involves budget overruns and harried nerves. So, if you don’t have the time, budget or energy for a full-blown remodel, there are a number of ways to upgrade your kitchen without the expense and hassle of it all. Upgrading a kitchen and renewing the looks of it can be a whole lot easier and less expensive, and here are a few ways to do it.

Cabinet Refacing

With most cabinets being the focal point of a kitchen, refacing them can be one way to change and update them. With refacing, cabinet doors and drawers, along with decorative hardware, can be completely altered and give cabinets a totally different appearance.

Refacing consists of removing cabinet doors and recovering them with an exterior coating. Laminates, wood grains, stains, textured paints, and other coverings that simulate wood or produce a colorful high gloss or matte look can all be considered a part of refacing. Painting cabinets is a less involved and more affordable way to change the look of cabinet and drawer fronts and there are hundreds of options through different paint mediums such as washes, chalk paints and antiquing that are totally capable of changing the environment of a kitchen.

Whether you want a more traditional, modern, country, cottage or coastal look, exterior cabinet doors can be easily changed to reflect most any taste. Depending on the size of a kitchen and any materials used, costs can vary, but refacing and painting are both less expensive ways to transform the appearance of a kitchen space without tearing out cabinets and installing entirely new ones. If you are determined to do it yourself, you can, but the process is labor intensive and does takes time that you may not have.

Decorative Hardware

One important thing to remember with cabinet refacing is that hardware in knobs and pulls can really change the look of a refaced or painted cabinet front. The endless selections of door and drawer hardware in metals, ceramics and other materials can give both a fresh and modern look that makes for a simple yet effective upgrade that is less costly and certainly easier to accomplish.

Shelving and Racks

One alternative to total cabinet refacing or repainting is simply removing cabinet doors and creating the look of open shelving. If cabinets are easily adaptable to such a change, dishes and serving pieces can easily be displayed without going through a lot of cabinet transformation, plus dishes and other pieces can be accessed for everyday use.

Kitchen utility racks are another way to display attractive cookware as well as cover blank spaces in a kitchen. Wrought iron or metal racks can hold attractive kitchen cookware and utensils, which leaves more cabinet space for larger and bulkier kitchen items that can’t be openly displayed.

Open or floating shelves are also convenient ways to add to the look of a kitchen that may have limited upper cabinets, or requires a different level of storage to create focal points and display possibilities. Anchoring these types of shelves is important before placing large and heavy pieces on them, as that precautionary measure should not be taken lightly.


Most any kitchen can be enhanced with a decorative and easy to maintain backsplash. With the current crop of backsplash materials available, there is no shortage of companion styles that will coordinate with either current cabinets or new ones. Materials like subway tiles, other ceramic tiles, mosaic pieces, bead board, ship lap, washable wallpapers and other selections can completely turnaround the look of a kitchen without a lot of expense and time spent. An important aspect to remember is coordinating backsplash choices with current cabinetry. Mixing styles and designs can be tricky, so choose a backsplash that will best fit your current kitchen arrangement.

Countertops and Islands

Installing new countertops, or adding an island are two ways of transforming the look of a kitchen space. Countertops can enrich a kitchen area and an island can add extra room for food preparation, serving and eating. Less expensive countertop materials can be found in granite tiles and lower end granite as well as formica, and there are laminates made today that simulate natural stone materials, wood, concrete and almost any other material with textural aspects.

Island use can also free up limited counter and cabinet space. Many islands have additional shelving and storage space below their surface area, which allows for other kitchen related small appliances and decorative items to be displayed on regular countertops. In thinking of island surfaces, stainless steel is a good material for any sink or work area as upkeep is simple and almost maintenance free.


Putting a little light on the subject, your kitchen, is one effective way to change the feeling of a kitchen area. The abundance of lighting fixture choices today can help you rid your kitchen space of stark fluorescent lighting and replace it with more natural light selections. Under cabinet lighting, small lamps as well as specialized over the sink or island lighting in pendants, and even canned or recessed lighting can bring a natural glow to a kitchen space.

Appliances and Fixtures

No kitchen update would be complete without at least some appliance upgrade. Stainless steel or even black appliances can bring a modern touch to a dated kitchen. Both refaced cabinets and new appliances are good starting points in the update process, and new fixtures, like faucets, sinks and other built-in features can go a long way in generating a whole new look to a kitchen.

If you are not sure how to approach a kitchen upgrade, and are not able to go with a full renovation, complete the online form and an expert in kitchen enhancement will get back to you with the answers you need to either make simple upgrades or move forward with more involved designs.