12 Reno-Free Ways to Style Up Your Kitchen

New kitchen, no contractor! HGTV Magazine has some seriously simple ways to style up your cook space.

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October 12, 2020

The Inspo

Boost the character of an island by nailing on paneling. (Room design by Darlene Molnar)

Photo by: STACY ZARIN GOLDBERG

STACY ZARIN GOLDBERG

Boost the character of an island by nailing on paneling. (Room design by Darlene Molnar)

The Ideas

1. Add a Peel-and-Stick Backsplash

These days, faux tile you stick right on the wall looks like the real deal! Take it all the way to the ceiling for a wall of wow. Some good places to shop for peel-and-stick tile are Quadrostyle, Mirth Studio and Smart Tiles.

2. Get Really Glam Barstools

A new row of seats can make a big impact, especially when they’re metallic and have cool legs.

3. Paint Your Island

Got all-white cabinets? The contrast of dark gray painted on an island creates drama — the good kind.

Get the Look

The Inspo

Hardwood? Nope! It’s wood-look laminate flooring you can install yourself. Check out Floor & Decor for similar styles. (Room design by House on a Sugar Hill)

Photo by: minette hand

minette hand

Hardwood? Nope! It’s wood-look laminate flooring you can install yourself. Check out Floor & Decor for similar styles. (Room design by House on a Sugar Hill)

The Ideas

4. Give Cabinets a Paintover

These cabinets may look brand-new, but they’re actually from the ’80s. Their dark wood finish quickly became a distant memory after a fresh paint job — crisp white on top and golden yellow below. For the smoothest result, always sand cabinets before painting. (Two words: detail sander!)

5. Put Up Open Shelves

They make empty wall space functional. Style them with brackets (Signature Hardware and Anthropologie have good options) and use a diamond drill bit if you’re mounting shelves on a backsplash.

6. Change Your Faucet

It’s one of those things people live with forever, yet a swap helps take years off a kitchen. A kind with a repositionable spout makes doing dishes a little bit easier.

Get the Look

The Inspo

The wood floors are painted! A checkerboard pattern looks retro, but tone-on-tone neutral colors give it a modern spin. (Room design by Kevin Isbell Interiors)

Photo by: JULIA LYNN

JULIA LYNN

The wood floors are painted! A checkerboard pattern looks retro, but tone-on-tone neutral colors give it a modern spin. (Room design by Kevin Isbell Interiors)

The Ideas

7. Switch Out Your Stove

It’s not hard, as long as the one you want fits the same spot as the old stove. Suddenly your kitchen has a new centerpiece!

8. Hang a Pendant

A pendant in a natural material looks pretty in any style of kitchen. It’s a real game changer if your current light is made of an entirely different material, such as glass or metal.

9. Bring In an Island

Score extra counter and seating space personality, too, when it’s a bright color. Find other movable islands at Ikea and Vintage Mill Werks.

Get the Look

The Inspo

Green paint makes the gorgeous details stand out. (Room design by Alexander Interiors)

Photo by: Leslee Mitchell

Leslee Mitchell

Green paint makes the gorgeous details stand out. (Room design by Alexander Interiors)

The Ideas

10. Upgrade Your Cabinet Knobs and Pulls

Knobs are easiest because one size fits all. When changing pulls, simplify things by getting newbies that are the same width as the old ones to avoid a patch-and-drill job. Find lots of options for both at Rejuvenation, CB2 and Lowe's.

11. Try a Totally New Shape of Light

When you have only one ceiling light box for a fixture, a wide style like this delivers four times the light — and the chicness! Great spots to shop include Ballard Designs, Lumens and Shades of Light.

12. Dress Up a Window With a Punchy Shade

If you have basic blinds, replace them with a Roman shade. You can have it made in a cool pattern. Companies like The Shade Store, Smith & Noble or Calico make customizing easy.

Get the Look

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