Are your clients feeling blah about their kitchen? Does it no longer inspire them? Is it draining their creative energy? As the place that so many family members congregate in, a kitchen is a space in the home that should reflect a happy, lively ambiance. And since cooking is an everyday task, your client’s kitchen should be both functional and inspiring to the senses.

No matter who likes to take on cooking duties in your client’s household, these design tips will help you turn a kitchen your client loathes into the heart of good food and good cheer!

1. Clear out clutter with storage


Make cleaning up easy with ample ways to store your client’s stuff. Does your client still treasure an ice-cream maker even if they only break it out a few times a year? You don’t have to force your client to part with it just yet!

Think about including a new island. Use pot racks to clear up drawer space. Go through pantry space and throw out those forgotten food items that are way past their expiration date. Limit your client to one junk drawer. Eliminate excess clutter to make a kitchen look inviting once again.

2. Beautify cabinetry

Cabinets need not be bland any longer! There are plenty of ways to update kitchen cabinets if replacing them isn’t in your client’s design budget.

A coat of fresh white paint will instantly liven up a space. If white is a little too predictable, go with another bright color. Creams or pale yellows (or something brighter!) can help give the kitchen a light, airy feel.

Think outside the box: take off doors, paint accent walls in the back of cabinets, update hardware, and install under-cabinet lighting.

3. Incorporate a window nook


Extra breakfast seating is always a demand in contemporary kitchens. Design a window nook for an exceptionally cozy space where your client will enjoy their morning coffee.

Consult with a carpenter to have custom seating built. Otherwise, work with a pre-fabricated seating bench. If space is a concern, a lovely bistro set is an option. Tie it all together with comfy cushions and window treatment.

4. Create a bold backsplash

Is your client’s kitchen missing a backsplash? Or do they hate their current one? Luckily we currently live in the era of inexpensive backsplash solutions! Head over to your local hardware store and prepare to be amazed by the wide selection of stick-on backsplash panels. From mosaics to metallics to subway tile, you’re sure to find an easy-to-install backsplash to suit your client’s taste.

Check out some of these peel-and-stick backsplash tiles from Wayfair to get your creative juices flowing. Of course, tile always promises a stunning finish. You can also push past the ordinary and create a beautiful mosaic with your client’s chosen tile instead.

5. Show off shelving


Open shelving can be a spectacular way to showcase pretty or unusual dishes. Do your clients have a penchant for fine china but don’t use it on a daily basis? Or maybe they have an impressive collection of professional pots and pans. Make them a part of your design décor.

Alternatively, mason jars are a charming way of storing utensils! Tidy up your client’s spice rack, and pretty soon you will discover other places you can maximize space by incorporating new shelving.

6. Cheer up with new textiles

New kitchen textiles are a simple and super budget-friendly way of making your client’s kitchen more stylish. Go shopping for seat pads, placemats, table runners, and tea towels. Update any drapery if you can.

Prints don’t have to be matchy-matchy, but make the look whimsy-chic rather than messy by pulling them all together—either with a common shade or tone. Don’t forget to store your decade old silicon oven mitts in the extra storage space you just created!

7. Freshen up with accessories


Bring in fresh fruit and flowers. Fragrant items will inspire your clients to cook with their senses. Give your clients suggestions for picking up the most dazzlingly colorful fruit they can find at their grocer, and fill up a decorative bowl with bold color.

Framed artwork is a tidy answer to sticking up a thousand magnets on the fridge—although maybe this season’s favorites can still find a home there…

8. Customize furniture

Modern kitchens don’t need to be staged with already-styled furniture arrangements. Mix and match different pieces to let your client’s personal flair shine through. For example, live edge farm tables are incredibly in fashion right now.

Pair that rustic finish with different chairs — uniform seating not required! Adventurous enough to search for flea-market finds? Blend different chairs with a fresh coat of paint and matching seat pads. Just make sure the overall style is consistent.

9. Try out DIY updates


If your client is handy (and yes, that’s a big IF), try some DIY fixes. Purchase specialty paint for old countertops and have your clients give them a fresh coat. Different sponging techniques will provide different finishes. Some countertops can even be re-laminated for a reasonable price.

Stainless steel are appliances are expensive, so look into appliance panels instead. Set aside some of the budget for new sink basins and faucets. As a design professional, you know there are really no right or wrong ways to update a tired space. Just be creative and resourceful!

10. Brighten up with new lighting fixtures

Has your client suddenly come to the realization that they must have a crystal chandelier? Again—go with what your clients are drawn to and plan your décor accordingly.

New lighting fixtures are a stylish way of making a kitchen one-of-a-kind! Plus, a little extra lighting is always handy when it comes to trying a tricky new recipe.

Interested in other creative ways you can help your clients revamp their home? Check out QC’s guide to DIY décor that’s actually doable!

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