How to Update Your Kitchen Without Remodeling

Spending time in the kitchen is something every homeowner experiences. Whether you’re preparing meals with family or trying out a new recipe, providing the best space for these events can make a difference when selling your home.

When renovating, it’s no secret that an updated kitchen is attractive to buyers, but remodeling can be expensive, especially when you aren’t guaranteed your money back. Projects like replacing flooring and faucets shouldn’t be dismissed, and there are many other alterations you can make to increase your chances of selling. Listed below are five easy ways to update your kitchen.

Cleaning is always step one

Update Your Kitchen Without Remodeling

Before starting any project, you should make sure you do a deep scrub and clean everything from top to bottom. Top realtors say cleaning is their highest priority and allows you to see problem areas you wouldn’t have seen before. Of all of the DIY solutions, this one is the cheapest and should be put first on the list.

Fresh paint, fresh light, fresh look

Strip the outdated wallpaper and brighten your interior with a coat of warm white for a more clean, spacious aesthetic. Professional stagers recommend a fresh paint job as an essential and affordable upgrade before selling. 

how to update an old kitchen on a budget

Lighting is often overlooked, but dim yellow lighting and certain tones can illuminate grease stains and darken corners, making the space appear smaller than it has to be. Upgrade your room with warm white tones using simple pendants or a modern chandelier.

Brighten cabinet and counter surfaces

Update your cabinets with simple replacements such as pulls for drawers or circle knobs to keep your kitchen looking pristine. Matching pieces such as light fixtures and pulls can tie the room together into a cohesive look. If you aren’t able to replace your cabinets due to budget, don’t stress. Most cabinets are in reasonable shape, and sanding and painting over them can be a cheaper option with noticeable results.

how to update a kitchen without renovating

Don’t let grimy countertops be the reason someone walks away from your home. Give them a good clean or if your budget allows, consider granite countertops to appear more modern. Many people forget about the sink when replacing countertops, but upgrading your sink or faucet is a must. Match your new faucet to your drawer pulls and light fixtures, and your kitchen will look immaculate.

Staging matters

How you stage your home seems less important than other projects when renovating, but presentation matters. 65% of real estate agents say they are most likely to recommend the kitchen over other areas for staging.

updating a kitchen without replacing cabinets

Stick to four or five items on counters depending on the space. Any more than five items can make a room appear cluttered and messy. Simple additions like kitchen runners, flowers, and plants can add color and comfort to your kitchen. These focal points allow for that ‘homey’ feel in addition to the chic design elements. 


If you are willing to pay the expense, switching out old appliances can be an effective way to get a return on your investment and upscale your kitchen. Stainless steel appliances with white cabinets and granite countertops can transform your room and peak buyers’ interest. 

updating kitchen before and after

If you decide to keep your old appliances, create focal points with cookbooks, glass jars, and centerpieces to divert viewers’ attention from the outdated appliances.


So how much is your home worth?

If you are considering selling your home and want to know its value within seconds, you can access a fast and free appraisal. There are pros and cons to this option and it’s important to do your research before moving forward. 

small kitchen makeovers on a budget

Home appraisals have certainly shifted in the direction of automated valuation models (AVMs). Algorithms currently dictate search results, social media feeds, and can now estimate values for properties. Although this technology will get more accurate with time, AVMs are not considered official appraisals. It isn’t a definitive value when pricing your home, but that doesn’t diminish the tool’s effective purpose. Getting a quick estimate of how much your home is worth can be an accessible and affordable starting point to the home-selling process.

Consider all of your options

Updated kitchens aren’t always deal-breakers for buyers, but with easy ways to make your kitchen appear clean and sophisticated, you should always consider making small improvements before selling. A simple paint job or proper staging can leave a buyer interested, but cabinet, counter, and appliance renovations can make the necessary difference and add value to your home.