4 design ideas to transform an ugly kitchen

Sarah Tolle – Homify Canada Sarah Tolle – Homify Canada
Loading admin actions …

Anyone who's ever been to a family get-together knows that kitchens are where all the action happens. From heartwarming conversations with close friends and relatives and messy craft projects to the creation of culinary delights, your kitchen offers a space of inspiration, creativity, and community. However, the sad truth is that not all kitchens are born equal – some need an extra dose of imagination and ingenuity in order to lift them to their true potential. The following kitchens – beginning as dark, cramped, or downright unappealing spaces – have been transformed into inspiring, inviting spaces sure to whet any appetite! 

Before: Linear and Uninviting

This common linear kitchen layout can be found in many single-bedroom city apartments, due to its ability to to fit the big three (fridge, stove, and dishwasher) into a narrow space the size of a hallway. However, this space-saving layout can often result in a rather cold, uninviting kitchen, as all of the appliances are clustered along the same side of the room. This kitchen is great for your basic utilitarian needs, but it's lacking the kind of appeal that would encourage a few guests to linger beside you as you whip up your famous family recipe lasagna. 

After: Inviting and Cheerful

Aside from the obvious positive effects of a good paint job (the colour yellow is a common choice for kitchens as it is supposed to have a metabolism-activating effect), this renovated kitchen has benefited from the addition of a small counter and chairs opposite the row of appliances. This creates a more circular, social space where a kitchen guest is not left desperately leaning against the garbage can in the corner.

Before: Run-Of-The-Mill

This is a great example of a kitchen that could use a little edge. The layout is convenient and appealing, but this space is simply lackluster. The combination of white and wooden cabinets rules this kitchen; it's not appalling, but it certainly lacks verve. For someone who is looking for a kitchen that goes beyond charming, this type of layout provides great infrastructure for making some minor tweaks in materials and finishes that can gives this space some zest.

After: Modern and Sleek

Small changes have made a big difference here: a glossy white finish has now taken over the kitchen, punctuated by smart and contemporary chrome appliances. Out with the wooden cabinets, in with a simple, even wall of smooth white cabinets. Slick silver detailing on the drawers, replacing the run-of-the-mill handles, carries on the modern metallic theme.

A surface renovation like this one is manageable with your own effort and planning; other renovations will require a kitchen planner. homify is proud to be host to a vibrant community of kitchen planners from all around the world!

Before: A Mis-Matched Mess

This kitchen lacks continuity in its style – wooden shutter-style cabinets clash with the unfinished sink and its off-white cabinets. The white tile wall creates the feeling of either being inside of a large public restroom or an industrial-style school kitchen – you decide. What is needed here is a sense of continuity and intimacy, a sense of harmony among the various appliances and textures.

After: Intimate and Harmonious

Sharp angles, straight lines, and a simple black-and-white color scheme have tied this kitchen together nicely. With the added warmth of a earth-toned backsplash, this kitchen has evolved from the famous kitchen scene of Jurassic Park into a cozy and well-composed space. Although small, this renovated kitchen maintains a sense of space with the obtuse angle connecting the counters. If you're looking to improve a small kitchen like this one, but you're not ready for a full-out kitchen renovation, this ideabook offers some great pointers for maximizing your decorative powers in a small kitchen.

Before: Cheerful, but Childlike

scandinavian Kitchen by Parisdinterieur
Parisdinterieur

Cuisine avant rénovation

Parisdinterieur

There's nothing wrong with this kitchen – if you're 12. For someone seeking to add a playful element to their kitchen, a multi-colored striped cabinet is sure to do the trick. However, it certainly adds a childlike and unsophisticated feel to the space. In addition, in this design, the natural light coming through the large window is being overshadowed by these intrusive colours, drawing attention  (all of it!) to the stripes on the cabinets.

After: Balanced and Sophisticated

scandinavian Kitchen by Parisdinterieur
Parisdinterieur

Cuisine bleu acier vintage carreaux de ciment

Parisdinterieur

Here, the kitchen still displays bright colors, but in a more subtle and sophisticated manner. This design draws attention to the beautiful views from the window, and natural blue hues create a calm atmosphere for sipping tea at the stylish counter. For a playful element, a bright purple flower springs up on the window sill. 

Here, the various elements of the kitchen interact well with one another, as opposed to dominating the space like in the previous example.Not planning a big, expensive kitchen reno, check out this ideabook to revamp your kitchen on a shoestring budget.

What do you want in a dream kitchen? Tell us in the comments.
modern Houses by Casas inHAUS

Need help with your home project? Get in touch!

Request free consultation

Discover home inspiration!