If a full kitchen renovation isn’t on your calendar for the near future, the next best thing is to find simple ways to refresh your cooking space. Believe it or not, achieving an entirely new look doesn’t have to mean knocking down all of your walls. If you settle on the right mix of accessories, whether it’s a stylish set of stools, lighting, or artwork, and even chic cabinet hardware, you can pull off a noticeable transformation that’ll make you love your kitchen even more.
Browse some of our favorite expert-approved kitchen decor ideas that are sure to boost your space’s visual appeal. Plus, go ahead and consider our top paint ideas — yet another easy way to bring more style to your kitchen.
Top designers swear by banquette seating to create a cozy kitchen. Boost its visual interest with an assortment of throw pillows and high shelves, which can be used to display a collection.
SHOP THROW PILLOWS
From the watery blue backsplash to the teal rug and floating shelves, there’s so much to love about designer Erika Ward’s bright kitchen.
SHOP BLUE TILES
Built-in seating is a no-fail option to make the most of a kitchen nook. Add patterned throw pillows as a finishing touch.
SHOP WHITE TABLE
Instantly transform your room with chairs (or stools!) in a vibrant hue. You can match them to your favorite kitchen accessories, as seen here.
SHOP METAL STOOLS
For a rustic look, elevate a white kitchen with wood accents in varied shades. Introduce a few brass details, like a pair of pendants, to complete the design scheme.
SHOP WOOD COUNTER STOOLS
Bring personality to your space — and delight the kids in your family — by adding a chalkboard panel to the side of your refrigerator. It’s a great spot to jot down your weekly grocery list.
Open shelves present the opportunity to show off your styling skills. Fill them with everything you love for organizing and preparing meals—think glass canisters, white platters, and more.
SHOP SERVING DISHES
“Add warmth to a kitchen with a versatile paint color like Benjamin Moore’s Sag Harbor Gray, which takes on a different tone as lighting changes in your home throughout the day,” says interior designer Kevin Dumais.
Any room needs one statement piece that takes it to the next level, and an oversized pendant is the perfect choice.
SHOP OVERSIZED LIGHTING
Whether you collect white porcelain mugs or blue and white patterned serving dishes, putting them on full display can add character to your kitchen.
SHOP WHITE MUGS
Like you would in a cozy bedroom, pile on prints to your heart’s desire, starting with an accent wall covered in one pattern, and a colorful rug in another.
Because you can never have too much storage, stash bulky appliances, like stand mixers behind a sliding cabinet door. Or for a faster solution, turn to good ol’ baskets to hold and conceal seasonal goods like holiday cookie cutters or sprinkles.
Replace upper cabinets with floating shelves to make a kitchen feel bigger and brighter. blog cofounder Elsie Larson stores less-used items toward the top.
Black adds a hit of posh style to any cooking space. For a less stark, but equally chic option, consider “almost black” colors that are rich and warm, like deep blues and cozy maroons.
Go modern with lacquer — the sleek material comes in plenty of bold colors, is super durable, and can transform a traditional kitchen into a contemporary one.
Incorporate multiple kinds of natural stone, different shades of wood, and both matte and glossy surfaces for a custom look that’s not too matchy.
SHOP KITCHEN ISLAND
Take a cue from design team Studio McGee by updating your hardware or showing off items you have hidden in cabinets to update your existing kitchen in a single afternoon.
Think of pendants as jewelry for your kitchen — the right ones can tie the whole room together or stand out to make a statement. Here, Massucco Warner Miller uses a surprising pop of yellow to draw the eye upward.
SHOP PENDANT LIGHTS
For a cheery vibe, start with the two c’s: color and chalkboard! Stools in primary colors along with a memo board to leave notes make a simple white kitchen feel fun.
Have fun! A playful pattern adds major “wow” factor to a backsplash or statement floor.
Of all the kitchen paint trends, this is our favorite. Grab some painter’s tape plus some pretty colors and say goodbye to boring floors forever!
Floating shelves may be all the rage, but here Uma Stewart makes the case for mixing both open shelves and traditional upper cabinets. Try placing shelves around a kitchen window to allow more light to filter in.
Want a bigger island without having to renovate? Designer Jenn Feldman doubled a family’s island in one fell swoop by placing a light dining table right up next to it. Genius!
SHOP DINING TABLES
Chef Katie Lee’s Hamptons kitchen embraces the light, with crisp white cabinetry and a soft blue tile backsplash to compliment the room’s sunny view.
House-flipping pros Harper Home Company have the winning kitchen design formula down to a science by incorporating both modern and traditional elements into their upstate New York kitchen.
Paint is the quickest and most effective way to transform your kitchen. Take it to the next level by covering the ceiling. Just be sure to keep a few pieces of wall white to strike an even balance of color.
Take your backsplash all the way to the ceiling for a modern and clean look.
SHOP KITCHEN TOWELS
When in doubt, Traci Zeller opts for the classics, like bistro chairs and subway tile, that always stands the test of time. Pretty hydrangeas on the counter don’t hurt, either!
SHOP BISTRO CHAIRS
Let a rustic dining table double as a comfy prep station for big family meals this summer.
A Napa Valley farmhouse relies on scratch-resistant Caesarstone (a Good Housekeeping Seal-holder!) for easy cleaning. A striped rug adds comfort underfoot.