11 Things You Can Do in 10 Minutes (or Less) to Make Your Kitchen More Fun and Functional

updated Jun 9, 2019
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(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)

For many of us, the kitchen is the heart of the home — where you cook meals for your family, gather with friends, and do just about everything from paying bills to finishing up work and everything in between. So when it’s not working, for whatever reason, you really feel it.

While you might not have the means to overhaul the space (if it were that easy, wouldn’t we all have Carrera marble countertops and infinite storage options?), there are a few small changes you can make in order to dramatically improve your space without much effort.

Here are 10 things you can do in 10 minutes or less to improve your kitchen.

(Image credit: Esteban Cortez)

1. Put a hook in the wall.

Do you have a dish towel that’s always draped over the oven door, or a bunch of reusable totes crammed into a drawer? Give these textiles a home of their own with a cute decorative hook. Whether you tack it onto the side of a cabinet, inside a pantry door, or on the wall, a hook will instantly add some storage space and maybe even a nice little decorative touch.

(Image credit: Coco Morante)

2. Line a drawer or two.

You might not be able to change out your backsplash, but you can add some color and pattern inside your drawers! Lining these spaces with a paper that you love can turn the smallest rituals, like setting the table or getting out your cooking utensils, into a little bright spot in your day.

(Image credit: Ana Kamin)

3. Rearrange a cabinet or two.

Do you find yourself running circles around the kitchen as you go about your dinner prep? Then maybe it’s time to rethink what’s where in your cabinets. Just swapping one or two things — like getting your most-used dishes into a spot above the dishwasher, or your oils and spices right next to the stove — can greatly cut down on a daily annoyance.

(Image credit: Minette Hand)

4. Try a tray.

A countertop lined with with a bunch of oil jars and salt and pepper mills can look messy. But if you corral those same items onto a small tray, it looks artful. If you like to leave your most-used tools out within arm’s reach — coffee fixings, dish-cleaning items, and even plants are good candidates — it gives you a chance to turn them into part of the display in your kitchen.

(Image credit: The Kitchn)

5. Hang a fruit bowl.

Fruit bowls have come a long way since your grandma had one! These retro-inspired containers come in all sorts of materials and cool sculptural shapes, and can act like art to create a new focal point in your kitchen. Plus, looking at fresh fruit makes you more likely to eat it, so having it on display is not a bad thing.

Read more: 3 Fresh Takes on the Hanging Fruit Basket

(Image credit: Emma Fiala)

6. Swap out your upper knobs.

Trading out the knobs on all your cabinets — especially if you’re working with pulls that need specific size requirements — can be labor-intensive and expensive. But swapping out just the knobs on the upper cabinets is quick and simple and makes the change where you’ll see it the most. Just be sure your new knobs give a nod back to the existing ones, in shape, color or material, so they looks cohesive.

(Image credit: Brittany Purlee)

7. Plant a windowsill herb garden.

Fresh herbs can give your kitchen a hint of nature, and your cooking extra deliciousness. Whether you use old teacups, coffee cans, or actual pots, the containers can add character to your kitchen while your little plants flourish.

(Image credit: Hayley Kessner)

8. Arrange some flowers.

Flowers, like herbs, really help to spruce up a space! Get a full bouquet from the grocery store or just a few springs of eucalyptus (Trader Joe’s sells the stuff for just $2.99!) and take a few minutes to arrange them in a vase and set them in a place that makes the most sense.

(Image credit: Lisa Freedman)

9. Add some washi tape.

Turns out, most rolls of washi tape are the exact same width as a cabinet shelf. For a fun little pop of color every time you open your cabinets, consider putting a length of tape along the shelf.

(Image credit: Natalie Jeffcott)

10. Hang some art.

It’s no secret that we’re big fans of hanging art in the kitchen. It doesn’t even have to be something that’s food- or cooking-related — you just have to like it (and have some available wall space).

(Image credit: Logan Killen Interiors)

11. Bring in an extra lamp.

Cooking or cleaning in the dark is not ideal! While it would take a lot longer than 10 minutes to rewire some new overhead lights, a table lamp is a quick way to brighten up a room.

Got anything to add to this list? Do it in the comments below!