How to update your kitchen for 2023

a modern kitchen with three black pendant lights over a wooden kitchen island, illustrating how to update your kitchen

How to update your kitchen? Just follow our five handy tips to refresh the most used room of the home.

The new year is just around the corner, so you might want to know how to update your kitchen for 2023. You’re in luck: Mike Head, Director at Atlas Ceramics has shared five easy ways to refresh the heart of the home.

Paint your cupboards

“Painting your cupboards is a simple hack to instantly transform a tired kitchen,” says Mike. “To do this well, preparation is key. You’ll want to start by giving them a good clean, using a specialist degreaser. 

“Then lightly sand them down with grit paper to get an even, matte finish. Wipe the dust off and let them dry before you paint. Make sure to use masking tape to protect edges, and cover your floor with a dust sheet. 

“Lastly, remove the handles and that’s your prep done! You should initially paint with a brush to get into the nooks and crannies, before using a roller to cover the remaining area. Take your time, and wait for each layer to fully dry to ensure an even finish.

“If you’re wondering which colours to go for, soft pinks and sage greens will pair gorgeously with white countertops. If you’re looking to be more experimental, try a sleek black or earthy terracotta.”

a person trying to update a kitchen by painting Shaker kitchen cupboards in white paint
How to update your kitchen: paint your cupboards a different colour. Photography: iStock / dlinca.

Splash out on a splashback

“A new splashback is a great way to add personality to your kitchen. You’ll be able to tile this small area yourself with the right equipment. 

“You’ll need adhesive, tile spacers, a cutter, spirit level, a trowel and safety goggles. The splashback is an ideal space to go bold – so don’t be afraid to experiment with colour or shapes! 

“For a small kitchen, try mosaic tiles or bold-coloured geometric tiles to give the illusion of dimension and space. A splashback can become a fabulous focal point for the kitchen. So make sure your splashback coordinates with your kitchen interior. 

“You’ll also want to think about grout. Light grout paired with darker coloured tiles can really highlight the finish. However, if you’re tiling above a hob, it might be better to choose a darker grout. This is because it’s easier to maintain when at risk of food splatters.”

a kitchen update of an aqua frosted glass splashback under white cabinetry with a glass of lilies on the white kitchen island
How to update your kitchen: splash out on a gorgeous new splashback. Photography: iStock / jodiejohnson.

How to update your kitchen: Use vinyl

“Vinyl has become more popular recently, with #kitchenvinylwrap achieving more than 5.4 million TikTok views. Vinyl is an easy, cost-effective way to update worktops. However, you can also use it on drawers, cupboards and tiles. 

“You can purchase vinyl from any DIY retailer or home store in a range of patterns and colours. There’s everything from mosaics and marble to terrazzo. It’s a great way to try a new design you may be considering for a renovation later down the line. 

“All you need to apply the vinyl is something to smooth the sheet down with, such as a smoothing tool. And also some silicone to seal your edges. It’s a full kitchen makeover you could do in less than a week!”

a modern black and white kitchen update with vinyl wrap around a black kitchen island, with two black bar stools with backs and a white dining table with white chairs
Update your kitchen using vinyl. Photography: iStock / Pavlo Tovtyn.

How to update your kitchen: Buy a statement tap

“A statement tap is an easy way to make a kitchen look more luxurious. You could opt for a sleek black matte or a classic chrome U shape, and you don’t need to spend a fortune. There are plenty of modern options you can find for around £30. 

“Royalcore has been making a comeback lately, and gold taps are another great way to add opulence and create a sleek look. The tap trends of this year so far highlight the importance of coordination and unity. Therefore make sure your tap colour coordinates with the rest of your kitchen.  

You’ll also have to think practically about what works for you. If you’re short on space, you might want to consider swapping your kettle for a boiling water tap. You can also use your kettle to make a statement too by considering a bright colour, such as red or yellow. It’s always a good idea to ensure the metal of your tap matches other metal finishes in your kitchen. If not, you can easily replace cupboard handles and cutlery to match!”

Close-up image of a modern kitchen with navy, wood grain effect wall and floor cabinets, drawers with gold tone handles, white marble kitchen counter inset with rectangular, gold sink with a single lever brass monobloc tap and under cupboard lighting
How to update your kitchen: add a statement tap. Photography: iStock / mtreasure.

How to update your kitchen: Get creative with lighting

“Get creative with lighting! Adhesive strip LED lights are perfect for creating a sophisticated atmosphere in your kitchen when you’re hosting. You can place them above your hob, or under your cupboards for an affordable alternative to installing downlighters.

“Don’t be scared to get creative with statement lighting either. Consider pendant lighting hanging over a breakfast bar or kitchen dining table. If you have a darker interior, you could also use a soft glow lamp to lighten a dark corner.

“If you have a small kitchen, we’d recommend glass cupboards rather than closed cupboards. Glass cupboards can maximise the natural flow light of in your kitchen. In addition, they add depth and dimension to add space to a smaller room.

“There are many budget-friendly and easy, effective ways to revamp your kitchen from simple tap colours and strategic tiling to a splash of paint. However, remember to coordinate your kitchen interior for maximum impact and always think of suitability first!” 

a kitchen update to a matt black kitchen with LED strips above the splashback and lights built into the black kitchen island
Use lighting creatively to elevate your space. Photography: iStock / piovesempre.

So, did you enjoy this feature? If you’re after even more ideas, then here’s Stef’s piece on how to update your kitchen without replacing it.

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