5 Subtle Kitchen Renovations that Make a World of Difference

There are a few reasons why you may only want to do a more subtle renovation of your kitchen. Maybe you like the overall layout and feel of the room and don’t want to completely redo the floor plan, for example. Regardless of the reason why, there are a number of ways to make a big difference in the look and feel of your kitchen without doing anything overly dramatic. Here are five renovations you can make to your kitchen that are subtle but effective.

Change of Color

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Let’s start with the simplest change you can make — color. This doesn’t mean just slapping a new coat of paint on the walls, it’s a bit more involved than that. There are a few ways you can use color to really liven up your kitchen and put your own signature mark on its styling.

  • Paint the walls — we said it wasn’t just painting the wall, but it’s still a good idea
  • Accents — if the main color scheme of your kitchen is white, feature accent colors in light fixtures and trims, and leave out bowls of fruit or vases of flowers for good measure
  • Cabinets and counters — you can keep the same layout and style but switch up the color of the counter surface and cabinets

One thing to experiment with is using a dual-tone color scheme. You can play around with white and black, bold and soft, or two complementary colors that you like. You can split the tones between bottom and top cabinets, or between cabinets and counters, and so on. When done right it can create a very contemporary look and can help highlight your favorite parts of the kitchen. It looks more original than single tone kitchens and helps you put your personal stamp on your kitchen’s style.

Go Minimalistic

Another renovation you can make that has a subtle but strong effect on your kitchen is by switching to a minimalistic style. Your cabinets, your counter space, your appliances, your floor and wall tiles, and your light fixtures can be replaced with something that is very simple in their design and the space they take up. This means little to no ornamentation, no handles or knobs, and so on.

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If you’re someone whose comfort zone is somewhere that’s calm, simple and doesn’t have a lot going on, this can be your dream kitchen. So any kitchen furniture, cabinets, appliances or accessories that don’t need to be there can be removed, thrown away, or stored out of sight.

It not only looks nice and clean, but it also makes your kitchen look more spacious and it’s less likely you’ll trip over or walk into something by accident because there are too many things in the way. You can also change up the look of your kitchen with a neutral color scheme that uses metal accents to create an extremely clean and modern look.

Create More Light

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If your kitchen seems like a dull place to be, you can turn that around significantly by just improving the lighting. There are two ways to accomplish this, and we’ll start with your light fixtures. Place light fixtures aiming warm, bright LED lights at your appliances, all along your counter surfaces, in your cabinet doors, and over any table. You can hide the lights underneath a cabinet to aim at the counter space to be more minimalistic, or add more ornate light fixtures hanging from the ceiling above your eating area.

The other thing you can do is expand and add more windows if any of the walls face outside to let in natural sunlight during the day. Natural light helps improve people’s mood much better than artificial light. Adding more light fixtures and more natural light serves a functional purpose — being able to clearly see everything you’re doing — but also helps the kitchen look and feel more pleasant. Businesses have known for a while that more or better lighting helps improve people’s moods and productivity, so why not do the same in your kitchen?

Subtle Backsplashes

One part of the kitchen that often gets overlooked in favor of counters, cabinets, and other parts of the kitchen is the backsplash. These are the panels behind your sink and stove, and potentially around other parts of your kitchen wall where your counters and cabinets are. They’re usually made of tile to make them easy to clean, but you can add some subtle aesthetic changes to them and your whole kitchen based on what designs you pick.

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For example, you can go with a simple square tile design, or a classic look such as subway tiles that look great and are also more affordable. Or you can add a bit more flourish with geometric-shaped tiles. You can also choose different colors that help tie your whole kitchen together. Because it tends to be overlooked, any changes you make to the backsplash can make a small and subtle, but effective change.

New Cabinet Doors & Drawers

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You don’t need to completely replace your cabinets to change their style and function. You can keep the rough structures and layouts, but replace the drawer fronts and cabinet doors with something new. You can change the color, as was touched on above, but you can also make changes to things like the knobs and trim of the cabinet drawers. These are small changes to make, and the style you choose can help serve as an accent or little stylistic flair.

A change of configuration is another subtle shift in the look and feel of your kitchen. If you want something more minimalistic, switch to single cabinet drawers with no visible knobs. You can also change how the drawers are arranged or how they open.

If you want to help organize your kitchen better, add more small drawers of different shapes and sizes according to the different items you store. As an example, for your long and tall cutting boards, serving trays, or cookie sheets you can have a tall vertical drawer that pulls straight out instead of a standard cupboard door that swings out and has basic shelves for everything, regardless of size or shape, to be stacked.

This is a guest post courtesy of Matt Doyle, the Vice President and Co-founder of Excel Builders.

About the Author:

Matt Doyle is the Vice-President and Co-Founder of Excel Builders, a custom home building company serving Delaware and Maryland. The company specializes in ICF and custom-built, energy efficient homes. Matt grew up in the construction industry and he has a Bachelor of Science degree in Entrepreneurship from the University of Alabama. He also has an extensive background in internet marketing and has worked with some well-known international companies such as Best Western, McGraw Hill Construction, Sharp, and Canon.

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