Your kitchen should be the heart of your home – a place where you love to cook and hang out with family and friends. However, if your kitchen is outdated in style or appliances or poorly laid out, you may start to dread spending time there. 

You deserve to have a kitchen you love, and renovating it can help you create a space you’re proud to show off and a space you’ll love spending time in again. In a recent survey, homeowners said renovating their kitchen has enabled them to eat healthier, entertain more, and enjoy more quality time with their loved ones. Updating your kitchen can even increase your home’s value, so it’s worth doing even if you don’t plan to stay in your house forever. Basically, a kitchen remodel is a great investment whether or not you plan to stay in your house long-term; you get a newly reinvigorated sense of enjoyment of being in your kitchen and if/when you leave you can receive up to 150% of your initial investment back from the kitchen renovation.

If you’re ready to embark on a kitchen renovation project, here are nine design ideas to help you get your kitchen remodel started. 


1. Install an Island 

modern kitchen dark color theme with island and bar

Credit: Christa Grover on Pexels

If you don’t have a kitchen island, installing one will improve your cooking workflow and give your family a place to gather or if you already do have one, consider making some upgrades (check out the next paragraph). A large center island with polished granite or marble counters makes a big statement, but smaller islands also work well, especially in tighter kitchens that don’t have as much room to spare. It’s up to you – whatever your needs are and what size island your kitchen can handle comfortably. 

Islands are so versatile and can add many elements to your kitchen space.  For example, when designing your island, consider adding an overhang so you can place stools underneath it to create a breakfast bar. You can also incorporate cabinets for extra storage or a second sink to make prepping veggies easier. Some households are even able to add a hands-free slide out drawer where they can add a trash can and a recycle bin to make cleaning up while cooking more efficient. The possibilities are almost endless for the benefits an island addition can add to your kitchen.


2. Add Lighting 

kitchen remodel renovation modern simple kitchen with light wood details and stainless steel lighting

Credit: Max Vakhbovych

Adding a few well-placed light fixtures to your kitchen will make the space look brighter and more inviting. Plus, it’s a simple project you can do by yourself if you’re on a budget. 

We suggest placing pendants above your island to help highlight it and make it a focal point. Installing LED lights under your cabinets will provide extra task lighting and cast a warm glow on your countertops. You can also put wall-mounted sconces above the sink and prep areas to get more light where you need it. 


3. Replace or Refresh Your Cabinets 

modern updated kitchen with white simple cabinets and wood features

Credit: Max Vakhbovych

Cabinets are one of the first things people notice when they walk into a kitchen. If yours are looking dated and worn, it may be time to replace them with a more up-to-date style like shaker or lacquered cabinets. 

However, ripping out your cabinets and installing new ones can be an expensive undertaking. Cabinets that are partially or fully custom can cost between $13,000 and $30,000If that’s not in your budget, there are lots of affordable ways to update your existing cabinets. Repainting them in modern colors like gray, white, or blue can give them a fresh new look. If your cabinets are too old or damaged to refinish, refacing them is an inexpensive option that can cost as little as $1,000 depending on which materials you choose. 

You could even swap out some of your outdated upper cabinets for these DIY pipe shelves. They’ll give your kitchen a cool industrial vibe and allow you to display your favorite dishes and mugs. 


4. Update the Backsplash

modern kitchen marble backsplash white and grey over stainless steel stovetop

Credit: Max Vakhbovych

Adding a backsplash is a great way to breathe new life into your kitchen without breaking the bank. It only costs around $1,000 to replace your backsplash with something that reflects your style better. 

Neutral backsplashes like white subway tile will make your kitchen look clean, bright, and modern. If you’re a fan of color, mosaic tiles or bright glass tiles may be more up your alley. 


5. Upgrade Your Appliances 

kitchen with stainless steel appliances - refrigerator, dishwasher, and stove

Credit: Alex Qian

Replacing your appliances will lower your energy bills and improve the look of your kitchen. New stainless steel appliances lend a sleek, modern vibe to any space. However, if you don’t like metal, you can purchase appliance panels that match your cabinets to conceal your refrigerator and dishwasher. You can even find appliances in bright hues like yellow or blue to add an unexpected pop of color to your kitchen. 

Don’t have enough room in your budget for brand new appliances? You can save money by purchasing discounted scratch and dent appliances, or simply update the ones you already have. You could also give your appliances new life by painting them with appliance paint or covering them with stainless steel film. You may also be able to buy new doors from the manufacturer who made your appliances at an affordable price. 


6. Install New Flooring 

wood kitchen floor different colors

Credit: Digital Buggu

Your kitchen is one of the highest traffic areas of your home, so the flooring takes a beating over the years. If your floors are looking like they’ve seen better days, it’s a good idea to replace them. 

Tile and hardwoods are both stylish, durable choices that will stand up to heavy use. You can purchase bold patterned tiles to make a statement or go with a more neutral stone like slate or travertine. If you prefer wood, you can opt for natural hardwoods like oak or maple or go with laminate or engineered flooring to save money. 


7. Incorporate Storage 

spice cabinet kitchen storage

Credit: Taryn Elliott

No kitchen is complete without storage for pots, pans, and pantry items. If you don’t have much cabinet space, you can suspend a shelf or rack from the ceiling. You can also add shelving above the stove and windows to make use of all the space in a smaller kitchen. 

If there’s room between your upper cabinets and the ceiling, try putting storage baskets or extra dinnerware on top of them. You can also install pull outs or lazy susans in your cabinets to make them more functional and organized. 


8. Repaint the Room 

paint roller with white paint on a kitchen wall

Credit: Malte Luk

A gallon of paint doesn’t cost a lot, but can completely change the look and feel of your kitchen. Light colors like white and yellow can add an airy, cheery feel to your space. If you like a bit of drama, a bold accent wall or patterned wallpaper will add visual interest and take your kitchen design to the next level.


9. Replace Fixtures 

black basin kitchen sink with running water

Credit: Malte Luk

Another inexpensive way to update your kitchen is to replace the fixtures. Getting new drawer pulls doesn’t cost a lot and can bring older cabinets up to date. Installing a new faucet can also make your sink more modern and functional without breaking the bank. 


Next Step: Hire Kitchen Remodeling Pros

Whether you want to do a few projects around your kitchen or a full-scale remodel, our experienced contractors can help. Brunson Construction has been doing kitchen renovations in the Dallas area since 1969. Contact us today to get your free kitchen remodeling estimate and get one step closer to the kitchen of your dreams.