Use the holidays as an excuse to replace your appliances, and more.

December 14, 2021

The hardest-working room in the house takes a special hit this time of year with all the entertaining, cooking, and more. Why not show your kitchen how much it means to you with a few upgrades—many even doable in time for the holidays?

Find inspiration and ideas for ways to give your kitchen an easy but meaningful refresh.


Rethink your lighting

A lighting switch-up is a good way to make a big difference both in kitchen fashion and function. Upgrading your light fixtures can change the whole look of the space, eliminate shadows, and highlight benchtops and backsplashes. Adding under-cupboard lighting on upper cabinets will instantly provide better visibility in the kitchen – and glamour. Lamps on benchtop are “having a moment” and can add easy-to-control warmth and ambiance.

Or consider new pendant lights. Replacing decorative light fixtures is a great way to redefine your kitchen design, and we recommend adding dimmer switches if you don’t already have them. Read more, ‘These 9 Kitchen Trends Are Here to Stay.’

These really are a focal point, so look for new lights that speak to you and definitely have a handyman or electrician install them.

Just add art

Install a valuable, elevated piece of art. People often reserve their prized pieces for other living spaces, but most of us spend the majority of our time at home with friends and family in the kitchen. Let that art be a real showstopper and maybe something unexpected. Our favourite kitchen addition is a small-scale oil painting hung right above the pantry door. Read more, ‘How To Add Art With A Pro’s Eye’s.

You don’t need expansive walls to style out the kitchen for a curated and collected look.

Upgrade your small appliances…

Research from home advice site Realm found that upgrading to stainless-steel appliances has a 139% return on investment. But even one or two new small appliances can make a big difference. There’s nothing worse than a small appliance dying at the most inopportune time – such as Christmas with a houseful of guests. Treat yourself to the gold standard of your favourite small appliance, and relax knowing it’s made to last. Read more, ‘Kitchen Design Ideas: Inspiration For The Heart of the House.’

Think about a kettle upgrade or a snazzy new toaster. Even a coffee maker upgrade: these appliances are the ultimate way to treat yourself and your kitchen. It’s one thing to have a fresh cup of tea or coffee in the morning, but it’s a whole different experience to have a fresh latte, cappuccino, or straight shot of espresso ready for you throughout the day. And most of them look nice enough to leave on the benchtop. To go with it, you can get a handheld rechargeable frother. Also, a blender to whip up morning smoothies. It’s a quick and easy way to make your own.

…and your big ones too

We also suggest investing in eye-catching bigger appliances. Whether you invest in a statement range oven, or swap out smaller, more affordable appliances with more design-driven pieces, you can create a new aesthetic in your space that will wow guests and help your kitchen run efficiently.

Invest in better cookware

Updating some of your basic kitchen accouterments is a simple way to easily inject new life into the kitchen. New pots and pans may not sound life changing, but upgrading to some gorgeous copper cookware or well-made steel saucepans will bring daily joy. You can also upgrade your bakeware from utilitarian to decorative. A pretty baking dish can go straight from the oven to the table, but we also think it can enhance your whole cooking experience. We have picked up beautiful roasting pans that make cooking a sheer pleasure. Read more, ‘How To Renovate Your Kitchen and Not End Up In Tears.’

Think about adding a new cast iron French casserole dish by Le Creuset to your arsenal of kitchen tools. The latest matte colours and enamel finishes in cast iron are unbeatable.

Try adding a new piece to your cooking collection each year to inspire yourself into action right before the holidays.

Replace your pulls

A relatively inexpensive way to immediately change the look of your kitchen is to replace or update your hardware—the “kitchen jewellry,” as many designers call it. Changing the hardware on your kitchen cabinets and drawers is a fun way to breathe new life into your kitchen. While they may not be a focal point, they are literally all over your kitchen, so the impact will be huge. This little change will go a long way and can take your aesthetic in a new, refreshing direction. You can find beautiful pulls and knobs everywhere, and replacing them is easy to do yourself.

Bring in something special

Simple luxuries can go a long way. Carving out space for a coffee bar with a luxury espresso and coffee machine is a great way to elevate your morning experience. Create a whole coffee service station using a tray that holds sugar, milk jug, and cups for a kitchen that feels like one you might find in a five-star boutique hotel. Read more, ‘Inside Some of the Worlds’ Best Kitchens And Everything To Steal Their Style.’

You can even install a coffee maker plumbed directly to your water line, eliminating the need to ever refill the water reservoir. Wine-lovers you might even install a wine station—a temperature-controlled, four-bottle wine dispensing and preservation system. You can choose just the right amount—a sip or a full glass with the touch of a finger, and the wine stays fresh for up to 60 days. Happy Holidays! *Lead image

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