Kitchen & Cooking

How to spruce up your kitchen without a major renovation

A little work can go a long way

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Of all the rooms in your home, you probably spend the most time in your kitchen. Being such a central room in your house can make a renovation feel like a gargantuan task. There are a lot of things to consider from budgets to permits to landlords and HOAs—all of which can cause major headaches.

So before you send in the sledgehammers, here are a few tips for sprucing up your kitchen without tearing down the walls.

1. Clean your space inside and out

Giving your kitchen a deep clean can give it new life.

This tip might sound silly at first, but we forget that grime accumulates slowly. Our opinion of a space is as much dictated by the smell and how surfaces feel as much the way it looks.

It’s hard to recall the last time you wiped down your cabinets or cleaned the inside of your appliances. Did you know that there are special tablets designed to freshen up the inside of your dishwasher?

With that in mind, we think the first thing you should do is to clean your kitchen from top to bottom. This includes cleaning your dishware and utensils. You may find a new love for your oven after you’ve wiped it down.

Get Affresh Dishwasher Tablets at Abt for $5.39

2. Consider the lighting

Hue light strip
Credit: Philips

A well-placed light strip can transform the feel of a kitchen.

We do a lot of product photography at Reviewed. One of the most important things about making a product look good is flattering lighting. Backlighting can make objects look bold. Soft lighting makes spaces look warm and inviting.

That’s why we suggest getting some strip lights to place under cabinets and countertops. Specially, we recommend Philips Hue lights because they have the ability to display millions of different colors. Sometimes you want a calming blue or a classic white and Hue lights can accommodate. Strip lights are a simple way to add a modern touch to any kitchen.

Get Philips Hue Lightstrip at Abt for $89.99

3. Accent the space with colorful appliances

KitchenAid Artisan
Credit: Reviewed.com / Kyle Looney

Small appliances can add a touch of color.

What’s on your countertops can be just as eye-catching as the countertops themselves. Instead of spending thousands on swapping out your granite counter for one made of quartz, consider spending a few hundred on a classy-looking stand mixer.

You kitchen is a workspace, not a museum exhibit, so you should also choose a stand mixer that is as functional as it is beautiful. Luckily for you, we’ve tested some of the best-selling models and found that the KitchenAid Artisan fits the bill.

During testing, we found that the attachments are easy to remove and clean. Also, the motor is one of the quietest we’ve ever tested. The cherry on top is that the 5-quart model is available in a number of colors, ranging from sea green to pearl silver.

Get the KitchenAid Artisan Stand Mixer at Abt for $379

4. Get organized with containers

OXO Good Grips
Credit: OXO

OXO good grips are a fine glass container that resists shattering and chipping.

It’s amazing how much space you actually have in your kitchen when you get organized. That’s basically the ethos of people living in tiny homes.

When we tested food storage containers, OXO Good Grips finished at the front of the pack. Anyone who does a lot of meal-prepping, needs to move containers from the freezer to the oven, or just wants to keep chips crispy longer, should check them out. These glass containers even survived a drop from countertop height with no chips or scratches.

Get OXO Good Grips 8-piece set at Abt for $29.95

5. Purchase new cookware

Best Ovverall - new
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

Changing out your cookware can improve your feelings about your kitchen.

Some people get the idea that a new fridge or stove will prompt them to make wonderful meals for their families. Before you go off designing new cutouts and researching dual-fuel options, try investing in a new set of cookware. You may find that you’re not sick of your stove, but your frying pan.

We tried out a dozen of the top-selling pre-packaged cookware sets and recommend Cuisinart’s stainless steel sets. A set of new stainless steel cookware will add a touch of freshness to your kitchen, especially if you hang your pans.

Get the Cuisinart 7-Piece Stainless Steel Set at Abt for $99.95

6. Use functional floor accents

Wellnessmats
Credit: Wellnessmats

Wellnessmats offer stylish floorcoverings that also help keep you on your feet.

Getting new floors in is expensive and cumbersome. Floor mats can kill two birds with one stone. WellnessMats makes anti-fatigue mats that are stylish and help your feet while you’re slaving over a hot stove. They come in a variety of sizes and prints so you’ll find one that perfectly covers that stain of unknown origin.

Get a WellnessMats slate mat at Abt for $139.95

7. Display fancy snacks

Snacks make every kitchen better.

OK, this one may seem a little out of left field, but hear us out. Snacks make everything better. That’s the length and breath of our argument.

Get the Stonewall Ultimate Bar Mix at Abt for $10.95

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