How to Give Your Traditional Kitchen a Modern Spin

If you envy those modern kitchens, but don’t exactly have the budget to remodel your entire kitchen, don’t worry. There are actually lots of ways you can give your traditional kitchen a modern spin. Most of these projects you can take on yourself and they are affordable ways to update your kitchen and give it a whole new look.

Before you start updating your kitchen, try to envision what you want it to look like when you are done. Do you want a completely updated kitchen with all new, modern features? Or do you just want to update a few things? Knowing from the beginning what you want to accomplish can help you be more successful and understand exactly how you should approach the project.

Redo the Flooring

The floor in your kitchen makes an enormous impact on the overall look of the room. There are several ways you can update your floor, and the style you choose will depend on the look you are trying to achieve.

Tile floors can have a modern look if you choose modern colours and designs. Wood floors are clean and sleek, so also have a modern feel to them. Both of these types of floors are easy to install, and you can even take this project on yourself.

Concrete floors are very common in modern kitchens, so if you want to make a major statement, opt for this style. You can refinish concrete to make it shiny and smooth and you can even add colour to it to make it look more finished.

You can make these floors softer, or add a modern element to an existing floor, by adding rugs to your kitchen. Choose rugs with modern, geometrical patterns or in solid colours to maintain a clean design. This approach is also a great way to define different spaces in your kitchen. For example, by adding a large rug under your table you can create a breakfast nook or dining area within your kitchen.

No matter what kind of floor you choose, hire the proper equipment, like a floor scrubber or polisher, frequently to keep it looking clean and new. (Hire a floor scrubber / polisher here: .)

Update the Cabinets

Traditional cabinets don’t fit in a modern kitchen, and since the cabinets are one of the first things you see when you walk into a kitchen, it’s important that they are updated and look modern.

You can remove the cabinet doors and then sand them. A random orbital sander is the right tool for the job, and you can easily hire one here! Refinish them with a fresh coat of paint. Bold colours like blacks, greys, blues, reds and even yellows can make a design statement and add a touch of modern style to the room.

But, you don’t have to stop with just a new coat of paint. Install new, modern hardware to complete the look and consider making more major changes to your cabinets. You can leave some cabinet doors off for open shelving, or you can cut the centres out of some doors and replace them with glass to give your cabinets an entirely new look.

Install New Light Fixtures

If the light fixtures aren’t doing your new, modern theme any favours, take heart, they are easy to replace. Traditional light fixtures can distract from the modern look in your new kitchen, and installing additional lights can make a big difference in how your kitchen looks.

Clean, simple light fixtures are the way to go, and you can get them in painted finishes or sleek, metal finishes. Both of these will fit a modern theme, so choose styles that fit the other pieces in your kitchen.

Go with a hanging light above your kitchen table or island and install spotlights under your cabinets to light up the counters. This one simple update can take your kitchen from old and boring to new and modern.

Add Modern, Sleek Furniture

Adding modern, sleek furniture to you kitchen will instantly bring it to modern times. Tables, chairs and stools that have clean lines, simple shapes and modern finishes will make all the difference in your kitchen.

If you don’t want to replace all the furniture in you kitchen, you can start with just a few pieces that add a touch of modern style to the space. You can also give old furniture a makeover with a coat of paint in a modern colour that complements the kitchen’s design.

Decorate with Art

Art has a way of contributing to a room’s style and you can say a lot with just a few pieces. Sometimes we neglect the walls in our kitchen, but by adding artwork above the table, next to the doors, near the counters and in other places throughout the kitchen, you can make your traditional kitchen more modern.

Go with modern art in bold, bright colours for a classy look. Another way to use art in a modern way is to frame vintage advertisements, restaurant posters or menus. Although these may seem like relics from the past, they are making a comeback as pieces of art. Choose retro pieces that are clean and simple and that have colours and shapes that match the style you are trying to achieve in your kitchen.

Use Decorative Organisation Units

A common element in modern kitchens is open storage that creates a sort of design statement or conversation piece. Open shelves with canisters, pegboards to hang gadgets on, hanging pot racks, jars for wooden spoons and other organisation units are not only functional, but can make your kitchen look more modern.

The trick to making this work is to make sure you are maintaining organisation and not just creating visible clutter. Use these units with purpose and make sure things look neat and tidy, even if they are out in the open.

You can create these kinds of systems yourself with some creativity and the right tools. Find an open space in your kitchen that is convenient and near things like your counters and stove and then choose the best way to keep things organised but also artfully displayed.

These projects make it possible for you to transform your tired-looking, boring kitchen into a modern space that is functional and fun to be in. Decide what you want to change in your kitchen, hire the right tools and get started!

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About the Author

Lauren King

Lauren works in our Ecommerce Team, with over 6 years of experience at HSS. She brings product knowledge and is able to give her advice on the right tool for the job no matter how big or small.

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