Modern Kitchen Ideas

7 smart and simple ideas to upgrade your kitchen

Want to breathe new life into your kitchen? These seven savvy ideas will make your kitchen dreams come true.
Photographer: Derek Swalwell

For most of us, the kitchen is the heart and social hub of the home – it’s where we cook our favourite meals, share nibbles with family and friends, and unwind with a glass of vino at the end of a long working week.

All of which is to say: a beautiful kitchen goes a long way to making a beautiful home. In order to get your dream kitchen, you don’t need to rip everything out and start fresh. Here we share some simple and savvy ideas to take your kitchen to the next level – without breaking the bank.

In The Series

Home Beautiful has teamed up with Bunnings to inspire your next renovation, including kitchen transformations. Discover more exciting tips and tricks in our DIY series:

Photography: Chris Warnes /

1. Upgrade your hardware

Replacing door knobs and drawer handles is a quick, cheap way of giving your kitchen a fresh new look. If your benchtop is looking dated and your cabinets are in need of a makeover, don’t get rid of them – upcycle them! Use tile paint to paint over old tiles, and laminate paint for cabinets (you could also paint the upper cabinets only, for a contrast look).

If you’re in a rental, you can even use adhesive decals to update your cabinet doors (temporary wallpaper works well for this). You can cover your old appliances with stainless steel contact paper, too – it takes about half an hour and costs around $10.

You can resurface an existing benchtop – there are DIY kits that come in plenty of stone lookalike tones. You can even spray paint your old taps – go for a brushed copper look.

2. Add an island

Free-standing kitchen islands can be expensive, but not if you think outside the box. Instead of a traditional island, why not use a trestle table or floating drawers? There’s an abundance of kitchen work islands that can easily be rolled around the kitchen as needed; opt for a stainless-steel option to make maintenance a breeze.

Photography: Bunnings

3. Transform your splashback

The kitchen splashback not only protects your wall from splatters and stains, but it also creates a striking visual statement. If your splashback is looking a little worse for wear, it’s never been easier to replace it.

In this charming country kitchen, a white mosaic tile background brings a calming look and feel to the space. To save time and improve precision, use mosaic sheets rather than individual tiles.

This DIY project was achieved by the team from Bunnings for the Make It Happen series, which gives DIY novices tips and tricks to transform their homes. To discover more great advice and makeover inspiration, watch the full series here.


4. Invest in lighting

Deluxe, well-considered task kitchen lighting, such as pendant lights over the benchtop or island, can elevate any kitchen style. They’re also incredibly functional – more light is always a good idea to brighten preparation and cooking spaces.

If you can’t install new pendant lights, upgrade your existing lightbulbs to LED for a bright daylight look. Or add under-cabinet lighting – this DIY design hack adds a touch of glamour to your kitchen.

Design: Siobhan Rothwell |Styling: Alexandra Gordon with assistance by Georgia Harrington and Lucy Francis | Photography: Maree Homer.

5. Freshen up the floor

Yes, you can paint your floor! Timber floors that have seen better days can be rejuvenated with a coat of paint. Choose a shade of soft white, pale blue or dove grey. Similarly, paint floor tiles with tile paint. And if you’ve got one or two cracked tiles, cover them with a rug instead of pulling up the whole floor.

6. Repaint your cabinetry

Just like your flooring, cabinetry can also be transformed with paint. If the bones of your cupboards are still in fantastic shape, a major style change can be achieved by simply replacing the doors rather than the entire cupboard. Dramatic black doors can evoke an industrial scheme or choose navy blue to nail the modern Hamptons look. Mix it up and incorporate open shelving in your upper cabinets – this creates a beautiful, spacious look.

Photography: Martina Gemmola.


When in doubt, why not add a sculptural vase or decorative object to your open shelving? Wall art and other decorative accents such as family photographs or cookbooks can also go a long way to inject personality and character, making the space your own. Vibrant plants and bunches of flowers or foliage are the quickest way to add texture and character to your kitchen.

Brought to you by Bunnings.

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