6 Easy Ways to Update Your Kitchen Without Starting from Scratch
October 25, 2016
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Working your way towards a dream kitchen doesn't have to mean a full blown demolish and rebuild of your existing space. Sometimes it's as easy as reworking what you've got, adding a new countertop and accessorizing accordingly. Kendall Simmons is a mastermind of stunning interiors and her latest kitchen is proving you don't have to start from scratch. Read up on her 6 tips for crafting a gorgeous kitchen on a less than total rebuild budget. Plus tour even more of this pretty kitchen shot by Alyssa Rosenheck here.
Sometimes there’s no other option than to totally tear out your kitchen and start fresh. But more often than not the bones are great, they just need to be reimagined in a different way! As little as one small change can make the difference between hating your kitchen and loving it. By adopting some of the following ideas, you can breath new life into your kitchen!

 Change Out Your Countertops


This home is only about 8 years old, but because it was originally built as a spec house the Kitchen finishes were basic builder grade (read: speckled brown granite and tumbled travertine tile). Our first order of business was to pull out all of the old countertops and backsplash. Habitat for Humanity was thrilled to receive the donation of all of this pristine granite! I replaced the brown granite countertops and travertine backsplash with a combination of polished Calacutta Lincoln marble and solid white quartz.
Instead of using tile for the backsplash, I used full slabs of the same marble as the island countertop for a continuous look. Think outside the box with your countertops! You can add an interesting edge detail, or even a waterfall island like this one! Designer Tip: If you’re nervous about fully committing to marble countertops throughout your entire kitchen, consider using it on your island only. Then you can use a more durable quartz or granite near your range where the wear and tear is heavier.

Add New Decorative Lighting


If your kitchen doesn't have any decorative lighting, add some! Especially over an island. In most cases, it’s easier than you think for your electrician to add them onto an existing switch. Designer Tip: When in doubt, scale your kitchen lighting up! Bigger is almost always better over a kitchen island, just keep the fixtures relatively ‘open’ so that they don't obstruct your line of site through the room.

Swap Your Standard Counter Stools for Something Cozier


Replace your hard, uncomfortable counter stools with ones that feel like real furniture. Swap out hard wood or metal for comfy upholstered seats with backs. If you’re concerned about stains, consider your most durable options. For this kitchen, the bench counter stool has a washable velvet slipcover that can be laundered as needed or replaced if anything horrible happens to it! The individual stools are upholstered in hair-on cowhide which is inherently stain resistant. Leather is another great option.

Refinish Your Existing Cabinetry


If you love the existing layout of your kitchen, and especially if you’re keeping your existing appliances, I recommend repainting or refinishing the cabinetry that you have. It’s the change that will give you the most bang for your buck. But, unless you’re a seriously good painter, I wouldn’t recommend doing it yourself. Hire a professional who can spray the doors and drawers to get a perfect finish. I promise it’s worth every penny! The existing cabinetry in this Kitchen was cream with a brown glaze that was seriously dating the room. I had the cabinets painted Sherwin Williams Dorian Gray and it completely reinvented the room!

Exchange Your Cabinet Hardware For Some Bling


Think of your cabinet hardware like jewelry. Replace your boring old knobs and pulls with a more sophisticated style. Consider something colorful or with an interesting inlay. Or, glass knobs are a great way to incorporate some sparkle without going too far over the top.

Paint a Chalkboard Wall


Do something fun! Consider adding a chalkboard or magnetic wall. Your kids and guests can leave messages for you, or you can do what I did and bring in a chalk artist to design artwork for special occasions! Either way, it adds a fun and interactive element to your room!
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Vendor Credits
Island Countertop & Backsplash, Interior Design, Vintage Rug
Calcutta Lincoln Marble
Leather Pouf
Wayfair
Seating Area Chairs + Pillows, Seating Area Chairs + Pillows
West Elm