7 Ways to Refresh Your Kitchen (for Under $30!), According to Interior Designers

published Jan 7, 2024
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Credit: Brooke Fitts

New year, new kitchen? With the holidays behind us and the possibilities for a new chapter ahead, you may be looking to change things up a little — especially in your kitchen. There are so many kitchen design trends to have on your radar for 2024, like curvy cabinets, double kitchen islands, and bright wooden flooring. But we’re here to say that you don’t need to upgrade your entire kitchen for that refresh you may be craving in the new year.

We asked some interior designers for their best tips on how to revamp your kitchen this year — without breaking the bank. In fact, each of these ideas can cost less than $30 — and you don’t have to completely gut your kitchen. Happy decorating!

1. Add pops of color.

Incorporating color throughout your kitchen space will revitalize the room without a total splurge. Meredith Huck, principal designer of House of Huck, suggests finding budget-friendly linens and accessories to give your kitchen some new life. “Opt for a vibrant yellow or red teapot displayed on your stove for both functionality and a stylish focal point, rather than tucked away in a cabinet,” suggests Huck. “Consider placing candies in clear glass jars on the countertops or a bowl filled with limes and lemons for some additional color in your space.” Here’s more countertop decor inspo for the new year.

2. Upgrade your dish towels.

Swapping out something small can make a big difference when it comes to giving your space a refresh. An easy exchange would be dish towels, as they add an element of design to the room without being the focal point. “I hang them on the oven handle and the dishwasher handle and I am always picking up cute new colors and patterns,” says Amy Peltier, founder of Peltier Interiors. They can really add a subtle pop of color as the seasons change. Swap them out for plaids at the holidays or fun adventurous colors like pink in the spring.”

3. Utilize peel-and-stick backsplashes.

We’ve already relished in the purely ingenious idea of using contact paper to refurbish your kitchen counters, but Elizabeth Vergara, founder and lead designer of Vergara Homes, suggests using peel-and-stick backsplashes to give your kitchen a new look without completely gutting the room. “You can choose from backsplash subway tiles to chic stone patterns, or make an ultra splash with these beautiful green Morocco Sefrou tiles by Smart Tiles,” advises Vergara. “It’s an easy and affordable way to give your kitchen a fresh, trendy revamp without breaking the bank, and instantly injects style into your space.”

4. Exchange your hardware.

“Another simple, affordable kitchen refresh is new hardware,” Vergara proposes. “Swap old handles with new modern pieces like brushed nickel or matte black knobs.” Changing something as simple as knobs or handles may seem like a small feat, but will certainly change the whole style and design of your space.

5. Incorporate potted herbs.

A few additional plants will certainly make your space feel brighter, cozier, and just add a little something extra. “Fresh greens always spruce up a space,” says Jeanne K Chung, designer and principal of Cozy Stylish Chic. “Not only do herbs look good, but they also smell nice and can be used for cooking, too!” Opt for plants like basil, mint, or rosemary that are more versatile, so you can use them in various dishes. For a more elevated look — in case you’re short on counter space — opt for this chic windowsill herb garden

6. Switch up the lighting.

Fine-tuning lights to an alternative color temperature can really change the ambiance of a room and your mood. “Sometimes people make the mistake of putting in the brightest 5000K bulb, but I usually put a 3000K temperature bulb in the kitchen,” says Chung. “I find that 3000K is bright, but it isn’t glaring blue, which can tend to make a room feel too cold. The slightly warm temperature makes the space feel cozy and inviting.”

7. Update the little things.

For a quick refresh, Tara Miller, owner of The Heartland Interior Design, upgraded their measuring spoons and kitchen soap, and even purchased a new cookbook. “I went with this six-piece stainless steel set from Target for $8. It instantly made my kitchen drawer feel more organized and more beautiful,” says Miller. “Next, fresh ideas and stunning new recipes are sure to transform your kitchen experience. I’m loving this book, The Home Cafe. Last, but certainly not least, ditch the kitchen sponge or plastic scrubby brush and use a natural fiber one instead. Then, add in a marble bowl to place it in. This marble bowl from Provence, France, instantly elevates your kitchen for only $29. Those three small changes can make your kitchen feel rejuvenated and ready for the new year!”