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Updating modern kitchen details: make a big impact with small changes

By changing a few design details, you can instantly refresh or even transform your kitchen, whatever your time and budget.

When designing a modern kitchen, updating small details can make all the difference. Get inspired with these straightforward but effective ideas.

Opt for stand-out materials

Introducing a different material is another straightforward way to give your kitchen a modern edge.

  • Hard-wearing hot-rolled steel looks particularly impressive curved seamlessly over the top and down the side of a food preparation area, or used as a veneer to cover cupboard doors. Its thin, almost fragile appearance offers a subtle, stylish nod to the industrial trend.
  • Stainless steel splashbacks also works well, or try using mirrored glass cut to size to bounce light around the room. A backsplash is the perfect place to introduce less conventional colours and textures, too. Back painted glass works well, or you could mount patterned fabric or wallpaper behind protective glass for a truly individual look.

Updating kitchen doors and modern kitchen cabinet details

Internal doors are central to every kitchen, and there are certainly plenty of designs to choose from to achieve an individual look.

If you would like to make a quick, simple update, swapping your handles for a sleek new set can make a remarkable difference. Go for slim, linear styles in brushed metal which can be hung vertically or horizontally to bring your cupboards up to date in a matter of minutes.

Where cupboard exteriors have suffered significant wear and tear but the interiors remain intact, you will only need to replace the doors. This is a fast, effective way to update the look of your kitchen.

Make subtle colour changes

If you just want to update or refresh the colour of your units, your local builder may offer a re-spraying or painting service. Make sure the plinth under the cabinet doors gets the same treatment, and consider installing a plinth drawer to make the most of all your storage space.

Do not forget to refresh your other paint work, from walls to window frames, to create a crisp backdrop.

Add an island unit

Structurally, one of the best investments you can make is the installation of a modern island unit. It can double the area you have available for food preparation and be a useful place to house appliances such as dishwashers or washing machines, as long as the necessary plumbing and electrics are in place.

If you are short on space, kitchen islands often prove to be more versatile than a dining table, so you could consider replacing yours with one. Recent designs include overlapping tables, which extend out over the end of the island, offering the best of both worlds.

Modernise your lighting

In addition to practical tricks such as fitting lighting under wall cabinets to illuminate a worktop, or hanging a pendant light over the dining area to define it as a separate zone, it is easy to add depth and drama with lighting effects.

Use downlights to reveal the beautiful grain of wooden cabinets and highlight the top of wall cupboards to generate an impressive halo effect, or install LED lights in a plinth or under cabinets to create the illusion of cabinets “floating”.

Be individual

Whatever transformations take place in your kitchen, the most important thing is to make sure your choices suit your lifestyle and reflect your personality. After all, it is individuality that gives the heart of the home its soul.