25 Ways to Add Style to Your Kitchen in One Weekend

Designers offer quick, easy and affordable suggestions to give your kitchen a new look in two days.

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September 28, 2016
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Photo By: Terracotta Design Build

Photo By: Terracotta Design Build

Photo By: Terracotta Design Build

Photo By: Susan Sully

Photo By: NKBA/Greg Riegler

Photo By: Marc Mauldin/Rooms Revamped Interior Design

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Photo By: Susan Sully

Photo By: Susan Sully

Photo By: Susan Sully

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Photo By: Susan Sully

Photo By: Lennar

Photo By: Susan Sully

Photo By: Susan Sully

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Photo By: NKBA/Roger Turk

Photo By: NKBA/Roger Turk

Photo By: Lennar

Photo By: Lennar

Go Bold With Color

In this custom kitchen by Atlanta’s Terracotta Design Build, the red stools were not budget-busters but gave the space an Americana style when paired with the blue island. “If you take out those stools and paint the island white, it would be a totally different kitchen,” says Ili Hidalgo-Nilsson, architect and designer.

Streamline Your Style

If it’s time to swap out lighting and accessories, such as a clock, go for simple and clean fixtures, which tend to be more affordable than ornate pieces. These days, they offer an array of styles to fit any budget. In this kitchen, Terracotta Design Build creates a streamlined style with a lone clock on the wall and two small fixtures over the sink.  

Pilfer Your Pantry

Even grains can be gorgeous. Terracotta Design Build designed this modern black and white kitchen, and used glass containers to add texture in an unexpected way. By simply filling this glass jar with rice, they not only display an oft-used ingredient but also inject subtle color and texture in the sleek, white space.

Use Fabric

For a dash of delightful design, adorn doors that lead into a pantry or mudroom with colorful fabric. For her curtained glass doors, Alabama interior designer Mary Finch used a textile with a bit of a vintage motif.

Dress Up a Window

Switching out the window treatments in your kitchen can be a super quick and easy way to change up your decor. Have a decoration you’ve always loved, but the color just didn't go with the rest of your kitchen? Find a window treatment that brings that color in, or try something in your same kitchen colors with a new pattern. In this 2016 National Kitchen + Bath Association winner, Florida designer Cheryl Kees Clendenon installed a floral shade with grays and yellows to match the tile work and dishes already on display.  

Get Crafty

Take your pick, or do all of these things in one weekend. Add comfort and style to plain metal or wooden bar stools by crafting cushions, like these in a beachy blue. Then, attach them using double-sided Velcro, says Atlanta designer Robin LaMonte. For the island top, she purchased a wood trough at a discount home store and filled it with decorative balls from a craft store. You also could wrap styrofoam balls in assorted textiles, securing the fabric with a glue gun.

Quick Tabletop Redo

Add a tablecloth and centerpiece to your breakfast area. Judith Wright Sentz, a Seattle designer, dressed up the homeowner’s original table with a tablecloth and florals to coordinate with the cushions she put on the banquette in this 2016 National Kitchen + Bath Association winner. Acrylic chairs add glam without hindering the view of the banquette.

Bring in Nature

For inexpensive wintery decor, Utah interior and textile designer Jennifer Stagg created the fragrant pine canopy by assembling free branches and twine she already owned. She also crafted the candelabra from brass plumbing pieces she found at a hardware store. Thrift stores are also great places to find dishes for cheap, like these she found for a dollar a piece.

Accent With Copper

No matter your home’s age or interior style, a display of copper cookware always lends a sense of history in the kitchen. Atlanta interior designer Devon Garner pulled together her client’s copper pot collection to complement the colors in the slate tile hood and create a rich, Old World effect. But you don’t have to be a copper connoisseur to achieve the same result. Rummage through pots and pans at flea markets and antiques shops to find dull bargains that may shine again with a bit of polishing.

Decorate the Pantry

Store small decorative objects on the same shelves as your china and glassware to add interest and detail to an otherwise utilitarian space. Then, when you’re ready to set a table for a dinner party, the pieces will also be on hand for a darling tablescape, suggests author Susan Sully.

Showcase Collections

Install simple cup hooks to store your lovely teacups, instead of stacking them. Hooks not only keep delicate china out of harm’s way, but they are an easy way to add another dimension to your kitchen decor. In this butler’s pantry in Susan Sully’s book, Past Present: Living with Heirlooms and Antiques, the hooks allow you to see the decorative details inside each cup that would have otherwise been hidden.

Create a Rainbow of Color

Achieve a stained glass effect without changing your windows. A kitchen or pantry window is a great place to install shelves to store colored glassware, says Susan Sully. “The light just comes right through it and really shows them off,” she says.

Label Lovingly

An organized pantry doesn’t have to be boring. Be smart and snazzy by labeling shelves in your pantry. Here, DIY blogger Melaine Thompson installed simple brass label holders that she purchased on Etsy and divided items by use, such as baking.

Pick Out a Palette

Making changes to your kitchen’s style can be as easy as setting the table. When choosing table decor, it’s OK to use an assortment of plates and glasses purchased new and picked up at antique sales, as long as they’re in the same color palette. “Choose one color range and use it,” says Susan Sully, author of Past Present: Living with Heirlooms and Antiques. “Add flower and fruit displays that have the same color.”

Use Bright Fruit

Clear your island and use simple, inexpensive items to reset your kitchen style. In this kitchen, designers with homebuilder Lennar add a few pops of color by piling bright red apples on a three-tiered tray from a discount home decor store. The red apples contrast with the arrangement of green succulents nearby.

Upcycle Old Items

Find a new use for old and unused items. In this kitchen featured in Susan Sully’s book Past Present: Living with Heirlooms and Antiques, a vintage step stool, repurposed as a table that now holds a bowl of lemons, fills an empty space leading into the pantry. To complete the retro aesthetic, the walls are painted a light shade of green, and subway tile is used as the backsplash.

Reuse Vintage Textiles

The red-striped pillow on this kitchen banquette was made from an antique French flour sack, but you can create a similar look using vintage dish towels, says author Susan Sully. For a weekend craft, make no-sew accent pillows with the dish towels or another fabric of your choosing to add color to your kitchen.

Make Function Fashionable

Borrow a couple of quick and easy ways to infuse style from this high-end designer kitchen in Florida’s Alys Beach community. Create your own cruet set with oils, salt and pepper and other often-used ingredients using pretty bottles and jars, and display them within arm’s reach on a beautiful cutting board. Then, fill an otherwise unused corner with a favorite painting or small photograph.

Make a Match

Some design choices can make large-scale items, such as light fixtures, pop even more. It can be as easy as adding a coat of paint over a weekend. In the kitchen and living room of this lake home, metro Atlanta designer Beth Johnson painted the wood paneling, which had been a pickled oak color, a more appealing white. Then she matched the artwork frame for a seamless look.

Add a Small Rug

Don’t forget the floor. In this kitchen, a black-and-white carpet runner matches the plates and dishes on display in the cabinets above. A small area rug with a pattern or palette that matches your dinnerware is a simple and easy way to create a cohesive look in your kitchen. Designer Michelle Mentzer says another go-to styling choice is to add a plant or flowers for a bit of greenery.

Decorate With Molding

Updating your kitchen doesn’t always have to cost a fortune or involve weeks of construction. In some cases, it’s the small changes that make the biggest impact. Let this well-designed model home serve as an inspiration for a weekend cabinet redo. You can add decorative molding to your existing cabinets, by following this tutorial by HGTV designer Brian Patrick Flynn.

Get a Bang With a Backsplash

Using mesh-mounted tiles, sold at home improvement stores, makes installing a backsplash a significantly easier weekend project. This kitchen was designed by Diane Foreman of Neil Kelly Co., in Oregon and Washington, and was a 2016 National Kitchen + Bath Association winner.

From: Diane Foreman

Plan a Cohesive Look

Use recurring patterns and materials for a cohesive style throughout the kitchen. Northwest designer Diane Foreman used a mix of stainless steel and colored tiles for the backsplash of this 2016 National Kitchen + Bath Association winner. The tile echoes the stainless steel in the sink and cooktop, and Foreman repeated a circular pattern throughout the room, a technique she says adds professional flair to the space.
From: Diane Foreman

Bring in an Earthy Element

Adding a small tabletop atrium to your kitchen can give it an organic, earthy feel. In this kitchen, designers with homebuilder Lennar carry the vibe through the room with a textured tray on the console and earth-toned pastas in glass containers on the back counter.

Repeat Dominant Colors

Add napkins and a few choice decor pieces, like a bowl, that match your dining area chairs. An aqua candle in the table luminary ties in with the decor in this new construction kitchen, and the contrasting yellow along the counter in the lemons and pasta creates balance. 

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