Kitchen ideas, above all else, have to be practical. They have to work around your life and how you use your space, but, obviously, we think it is equally important that they look super stylish too.
Now, we would like to think we know a thing or two about kitchen design, we are home to many a kitchen decor expert and do tend to spend a fair amount of time staring at pictures of stunning kitchens. So, we have put all our know-how into one place, into this marvellous gallery of inspiring ideas for your kitchen.
Here you will find everything from small DIY jobs you can tackle in a day, to bigger looks to create if you're starting your kitchen design from scratch. Or maybe you just want to look at some nice kitchen ideas? So keep scrolling for all our ideas, advice and gorgeous inspiration to take your kitchen look, to the next level.
1. Update your kitchen cabinets with paint
If you like the current layout of your kitchen and the 'bones' of your cabinets are perfectly fine, but you just aren't keen on the colour or finish, painting them is the answer. Painting kitchen cabinets is honestly the quickest and cheapest way to make an old kitchen feel like a totally new space. You can do it yourself too – just follow our guide to painting kitchen cabinets. Make sure you use the best paint for kitchen cupboards too.
2. Add colour and texture with a tiled wall
Something else you can do to your current kitchen, or plan into your new kitchen design, is a completely tiled wall. Really practical in a kitchen, tiled walls are easy to clean and perfect for areas that get splashed a lot or get splattered while you're cooking, but they also can add so much interest and texture to a kitchen. See them as feature walls – to bring colour and even pattern into the room.
3. Retile a splashback for a pop of colour
If a whole tiled wall doesn't take your fancy, why not just make a change by retiling your splashbacK? Again it's a job you can do yourself too if you want to keep costs down, and will only take an afternoon. Just check out our guide to how to tile a splashback for practical steps – and see our splashback ideas for design inspiration.
Since a splashback is usually such a small area you could be bold with your choice of tiles too. Choose a colour or a pattern that could start a whole new colour scheme in your kitchen. We love how this blush pink works with the sage green – a colour combo we will definitely be trying out ourselves.
4. Create an exposed brick wall in your kitchen
Now if you are lucky, you will find beautiful bricks under your plaster and it can be a straightforward, if not slightly messy, DIY project to expose. We have a guide to how to create an exposed brick wall if you want a step by step, but it basically goes like this: strip back layers of plaster until your get to the original brick; once you've got to that and it's in good condition you can do what you like with it; leave it bare (but coat it with a suitable clear finish to stop it shedding), paint it, hang shelves on it.
5. Paint your kitchen walls for a fresh new look
Want a less messy kitchen idea? Just paint your kitchen walls with a new fresh coat. Pick a different colour to your current walls to make the space feel new and add some hints of the new colour to the rest of the room to create a whole new feel. If you are after more kitchen paint ideas, we have a whole gallery to get you inspired.
6. Hang wallpaper to add pattern and texture
Wallpaper is a great idea for a kitchen if you want some pattern and don't want to spend too much money. Chances are in a kitchen you won't want to cover all your walls with wallpaper, as most walls will be covered in cabinets anyway. That means you could just add a feature wall, treat yourself to a couple of rolls of your dream wallpaper and hang it yourself. An update for under £100!
7. Mix traditional wallpaper into a contemporary kitchen
When your kitchen is predominantly white and sleek to boot, choosing a wallpaper is actually a dream. Why? Because a white kitchen is a blank canvas and therefore pretty much anything goes. What we love about this kitchen is that the chosen wallpaper – Gable by Farrow & Ball– shows village and farmhouse scenes which at first thought may not match due to being quite trad, yet the stylised design works really well in this modern kitchen.
8. Throw down a kitchen rug
Kitchen floors looking tired? A rug can cover many a sticky lino sin. And before you go thinking rugs aren't practical in a kitchen, they can be, you just have to choose the right fabric, colour and pattern. Top choice for us would be a hardwearing jute rug that will hide scuffs and stains. You could also go for a rug that's already 'worn' – you know the ones that already look they have been in someon's home for decades. Check out Wayfair for loads of affordable options.
9. Put up prints for a quick kitchen makeover
Even the small things can make a big difference. Hanging up some prints in your kitchen will bring in colour and pattern plus fill a blank space that's just going unused. Depending on your space you could have just one large prints – this always looks very cool in a small kitchen when you don't want too much fuss – or you could create a gallery wall.
How you curate your prints is totally down to personal style, but if you're not quite sure where to start check out our gallery wall ideas.
10. Create simple displays using your kitchen utensils
You all have utensils right? Well then you have decoration. You see this in lots of Scandinavian kitchens, mostly because it's practical, but it's a bonus this display looks cute too. All you need is a peg rail to hang your nicest spoons, pans and very stylish string shopping bags from and there you have it – a quick Scandi-style update.
Take a tour of the rest of this Victorian country cottage for more ideas, it has loads of lovely Scandi elements.
10. Or go overboard on the displays to create a country feel
Be sure to fill up shelves with lots of lovely knick knacks – crockery, cookware, jugs, flowers, plants, prints, anything and everything that looks pretty. It's these kinds of eclectic displays that will instantly add a rustic kitchen feel. Again, look our for decor in charity shops – our go-to place for weird but wonderful things to decorate your open shelves with.
11. Mix in plenty of textures for a kitchen filled with personality
How glorious is this rustic kitchen?! And you can get a similar look in your kitchen – the key is textures! Adding baskets is a really simple way to do that, plus they mean extra storage too. If you can find them second hand on Ebay or Etsy you'll get the most rustic look, but Amazon sell some cute baskets too for fab prices.
12. Got spare floor space? Add a pantry for plenty of extra storage
Adding a pantry into your existing kitchen or your new kitchen design is great if you have the space. Not only do pantries look lovely, but they are also really practical if you need plenty of storage and your kitchen cupboards just can't hack the amount of stuff you have.
You don't need totally start from scratch to a pantry either, just see if there is anywhere in your current layout you could put up a stud wall or maybe you have a laundry room or garage that could double up as a pantry. You could also invest in a pantry cupboard so no building work would be needed – just check out the Cotswold Company for plenty of lovely options.
If you are more pantry storage ideas, head over to our gallery.
13. Incorporate an island to add surface space and seating
A kitchen island is another great kitchen idea, and again you don't have to be buying a whole new kitchen to add one to your current space. You can buy a kitchen island separately or even pick up something like a butcher's block secondhand for a similar effect. We have loads of kitchen island ideas over in our gallery to suit all styles and budgets, so check that out if you want more advice.
14. Or add an instant DIY kitchen island
In case you didn't already notice, this isn't an island. Surprise! It's actually just a vintage find, a table or a desk, that has been popped in the middle of the kitchen, giving an instant island. Very clever!
Kitchen islands are really practical addition, but there's no denying they can be expensive, and sometimes you even need a kitchen fitter to install one. However, buying a cute second-hand piece of furniture and positioning it correctly, can give you a very similar effect. Have a look out on eBay for a bargain buy that will add style and plenty of extra storage and surface space to your kitchen.
15. Tile your island to add pattern and texture
You can make a kitchen island even more of a feature in your space by simply tiling it. It's an easy DIY job, but can make an amazing difference. You could make this even easier (and cheaper) by using tile stickers. Check out all the options of Etsy, they even have this exact pattern...
16. Add interest with open shelving
We love open shelving as a kitchen idea. They add texture and interest and personality to a space that can otherwise be quite void of stuff that isn't, well... kitchen-related. Use open shelves to display your nicest crockery, but add prints and photos and house plants too. Maybe pick a few key colours and use them to start a new colour scheme in your kitchen – it could be all your kitchen needs to feel refreshed.
Check out more shelving ideas in our gallery.
17. Or hang a wall unit to display crockery
See how much colour this shelving unit adds to this space? For such a quick and cheap kitchen idea, it can really give your space a good revamp. We love the light, industrial feel of this wall unit, and, you can find really similar designs at Cox and Cox , while Etsy has some nice options too.
Check out more of this lovely, colourful family home.
18. Add an industrial edge (and save space) with butcher's hooks
Suspending a rail above your worktop is a fast, easy and cost effective kitchen storage idea. This is the perfect way to hang those awkward pots, pans, measuring cups and sieves that often clutter up your cupboards. The slated shelves in this kitchen have butchers hooks hanging from them, doubling up the storage. It frees up the kitchen drawers and makes a feature of practical items. Nifty!
19. Add plenty of quirky displays for a rustic retro look
Fill up shelves with lots of lovely knick knacks – crockery, cookware, jugs, flowers, plants, prints, anything and everything that looks pretty. It's these kinds of ramshackle displays that will instantly add a rustic country kitchen feel. Loving the slightly retro feel of this colour scheme too.
20. Swap kitchen doors for curtains
Love Scandi interiors? This a kitchen idea for you. The Scandinavians are really clever at balancing the hard surfaces in their homes (think wood flooring) by adding layers of fabrics. In a Scandi kitchen, it's typical – and rather lovely – to have cushions on dining chairs and curtains instead of base cabinet doors.
It's a easy update too and you can make curtains for your kitchen doors yourself. Simply pick out a fabric, measure it to fit your cabinet, allowing for a bit extra so it pleats and hangs nicely and then sew a fold at the top of the piece. Thread through a curtain wire and there you go.
21. Use slimline units to maximise space
If an extra run of units down one side of your kitchen would leave you with barely enough room to squeeze through, Jo at @cloud_nine_interiors has a clever trick for you: reduce the depth of the cabinets down one side of the room. You'll keep a decent amount of floor space while gaining extra worktop and storage space – it's a win win.
22. Choose freestanding furniture for a flexible kitchen
We all love the look of freestanding kitchens – they are so lovely and personal. They are also relatively cheap to create, too, so if you are doing up a kitchen on a budget it could be a good option. You can find lots of pieces secondhand in reclamation yards, charity shops, and Ebay. You could also add freestanding elements to your current kitchen with dressers, islands and shelving units.
For more freestanding kitchen ideas, head to our guide.
23. Mix and match your freestanding kitchen units
Because a freestanding kitchen does away with the ‘matchy matchy’ element, you can invest in beautiful bespoke pieces that will fit into those awkward spaces that normal sized units won’t. It’s worth checking out specialist companies as they will happily create a masterpiece like this stunning dresser to complement the rest of your kitchen design – and we love how it matches the range cooker!
24. Add a butler sink for an instant rustic feel
Another update for your current kitchen, or to consider in your new kitchen design, is switching up the sink. A new sink style, plus a few decorating tweaks, can totally change the feel of a kitchen. Butler sinks are popular at the moment for adding a rustic country feel to a space, so have a look and see if you could replace your current sink with one – they are quite deep so you may need to replace that entire unit to make it work.
If you want more advice on how to choose a kitchen sink, head over to our advice page next.
25. Pick handle-less cabinets for a contemporary look
If you are after kitchen ideas that will create a clean, contemporary feel, choosing handless cabinets is a guaranteed way to get that look. If you aren't buying a new kitchen, you can switch out your cabinet doors for something more modern. A lot of sizes are standard so you could easily find replacements. Also, check out companies who make door fronts like Plykea and Naked Doors.
26. Or change up your current hardware
Replace all the knobs and handles, easy peasy. You would be surprised how much of a difference it can make; if you are after a more modern look, pick out simple T-bar handles (black is super on trend right now) and for a more traditional vibe switch your handles to a cupped style. We love John Lewis and Anthropologie for hardware, and just think, new handles are way cheaper than a new kitchen – so, go on, treat yourself to handles you really love.
27. Choose a classic all white kitchen that'll never date
Let's talk about kitchen colours. As we said earlier, you can change the colour of your kitchen cupboards using just paint, but do put some thought into the overall feel and look you want to go for. What is the natural light like in your kitchen? What is the colour of your existing furniture and decorations?
All white kitchens are bang on trend at the moment and they are classic, they won't date and they give you a nice blank canvas to change up the overall look as styles come and go. If you are the kind of person who likes to change their home often with the trends, a white kitchen would be the way to go.
28. Pick a grey kitchen for a classic look
Grey is of course always a popular kitchen colour choice and is definitely more practical than white – something you might want to consider if you have young children or pets. They are also so many hues and shades of grey you could go for, from light cool tones to really dark and dramatic colours.
Like white, grey is great backdrop colour that you can easily pair with other colours to create new looks. We have a whole gallery of grey kitchen ideas if you want more inspiration and to see how different grey tones look in a space.
29. Or go for bang on trend dark kitchen ideas
If you want kitchen ideas that will add some drama, choose a dark colour for your cabinets would do that instantly. When we first saw dark kitchens increasing in popularity, we were sure they would date within a year, but they have been going strong for years now. A dark blue kitchen is as popular as a grey kitchen nowadays.
We have a gallery of dark kitchens if you want to see more of this look.
30. Be bold and choose a colourful kitchen
And at the other end of the spectrum, choose bright kitchen cabinets! Best thing about being able to paint kitchen cabinets is that if you tire of a colour you can always paint over it. We love this bright sunny yellow, but we've been seeing green kitchens popping up on Instagram more frequently and even pink ones! Check out more colourful kitchens in our gallery.
31. Mix and match your kitchen cabinets
Can't decide on one colour or finish for your kitchen cabinets? Just mix and match! Bare wooden cabinets look lovely combined with painted ones, and different colours work well too. If you do go for the two-tone look, just take some inspiration from this kitchen idea and keep the rest of the room quite simple and minimal – let the cabinets be the focus.
32. Keep walls free of cabinetry
This is where practicality and design clash a little... but IF you can do without all that extra wall space, it's worth the sacrifice because it will make your room look wider and larger and lighter. Can't do without wall storage? Pick cabinets with glass fronts to create an impression of depth, and display your nicest looking kitchenware in them – we're talking glasses, plates, crockery. Think you're a neat-freak? Open shelving with an artful display of kitchen must-haves can open the room out even more. See more of this renovated Victorian terrace in our feature.
33. Create a cottage kitchen feel with wooden features
Cottage kitchens always look lovely. There's something just irresistibly cosy and homely about them. If you have been blessed with an abundance of original features in your kitchen you won't have to do much to create that rustic feel. If you live in a modern home and still want that cottage look, we think the easy way is to add plenty of texture and wooden accents. Choose a wooden farmhouse table, put up wooden shelves and decorate with nice traditional pieces, such as vintage crockery and cookware.
34. Choose a Shaker kitchen for a timeless style
If you are after kitchen ideas that are never going to date, a Shaker design is just that. Simple, chic and really adaptable a Shaker kitchen will work in modern or traditional homes and because they are so plain, you can really add your own style and personality.
35. Use design tricks to make a small kitchen feel bigger
After small kitchen ideas? Well we have plenty over in our small kitchen gallery, but our top tip would be to keep things light and airy. We know it's nothing groundbreaking, but paler colours do make a small space feel bigger – it's interior design 101. You can add colour with decoration but keep the bones of the kitchen nice and neutral. Opting for pale flooring and walls will, of course, help too.
36. Install practical wooden kitchen flooring
Speaking of flooring, this is also a key part of your kitchen design and something you can do to update your current kitchen. You have to make practical choices in your kitchen – something that is hardwearing and easy to clean. That means hard flooring is the best option – wood flooring, vinyl, tiles, and so on. Herringbone flooring is very on trend at the moment, and it adds a subtle hint of pattern, which we like. If you are looking for a budget-friendly way to get this look, they are loads of really authentic-looking vinyl options our there that will achieve a very similar look.
We have a whole guide to kitchen flooring to help you make some decisions.
37. Add subtle pattern to your kitchen with floor tiles
As we mentioned, tiles are a pretty and practical choice for kitchen flooring. The floor is a great place to add bolder patterns, as they won't overwhelm the room as they might if they were on the walls. There are lots of different types of tiles you could go for, from stone to luxury vinyl, so head to our feature on patterned floor tiles next to see all the options.
38. Change up your kitchen flooring with paint
Got floorboards in your kitchen? Paint them! This was a massive trend last year and looks like it will continue to be into 2020. White is an obvious choice for a sleek, modern look, but you could be brave and go for a dark moody colour or even whack out the stencils. We've put together loads of ideas as well as a step-by-step on how to paint floorboards in our guide, so go and check that out.
39. Change the worktops in your current kitchen for a new look
If your old kitchen worktops have seen better days you can usually replace them without having to rip out your whole kitchen. You could replace with like for like, but we think if you want your kitchen to feel like it's had a proper refresh, choose a different material. We talk you through the pros and cons of all the different types of kitchen worktops in our guide so have a read through that to see what would be best for your space.
40. Switch out your kitchen lighting
A well-lit kitchen can make all the difference, so make sure your kitchen lighting is considered really early on in your design process. You will need different layers of lights and different types for different tasks. Pay attention to how you use each part of the space to decide which kitchen lights you need where. The overall look of your kitchen lighting should complement the kitchen’s style, too obviously.
If you aren't designing your kitchen from scratch, switching out your kitchen lighting to something more statement or even just something more effective could make all the difference.
41. Pick pretty but practical kitchen window dressings
Kitchen window treatments, of course, need to look stylish but firstly they need to be practical. Curtains, for example, just aren't going to work – you need something that doesn't take up too much room, are easy to clean and can cope with the odd splash of water. For that reason, our top choice would be shutters, they obviously look gorgeous too, are long-lasting and, in our opinion, worth the investment.
If, however, you are after a cheaper option, blinds do just as good a job. Check out our kitchen blinds feature for plenty more ideas.
42. Think about the positioning of a kitchen table
If you have, or are planning to have, a kitchen table in your space, think about where it would fit best and plan your design around that. For example, if you have bay window in your kitchen, that would be an obvious choice as it's not somewhere you would be building cabinets anyway. Don't be afraid to push a table up against a wall either: this will save you on space and you can always pull it out if you need to seat more people.
43. Add light to your kitchen with a wall of windows
How gorgeous is this kitchen? And it's made all the more gorgeous by it being so light and airy. That's obviously thanks to the wall of black metal-framed, Crittal-style windows (very stylish) running along the outer side of this space. Speak to your builder to see if this would be a possibility in your current kitchen. While, if you're planning a kitchen extension we would recommended large windows and doors every time.
44. Go bold even in a small kitchen
Looking for kitchen ideas that make an impact even in a small space? We know that we always say that in small spaces you should keep everything white and bright and light, but sometimes contrasting colours can have a similar space-enhancing effect. We love the blue and yellow combo used in this kitchen. And note the rug on the floor, it's tiny but makes the floor space look much bigger than it is.
45. Go for a Scandi look with pale wood and sage green
For the quintessentially Scandi style kitchen, look no further than this beauty from Ikea. It’s part of the METOD system which is really flexible and we love how it is styled with the LISABO/RÖNNINGE table and chairs with their ash veneer/birch finish and the KNIXHULT bamboo pendant. The marble effect splashback looks great with the soft green units and teamed with the wood you get an all round natural feel from this kitchen.
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