1. Install a dish-drying rack
Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a dishwasher. And if you’re sick of leaving handwashed dishes in a wet pile on the counter (or staring down that ugly plastic drying rack you’ve had for years), then it might be the perfect time for an upgrade.
“Installing a dish-drying rack is both decorative and functional,” explains interior designer Michael Helwig. “Installing one above the sink allows dishes to air and drip-dry, and the decorative aspect makes dishes look neat and orderly. It also makes dishes more easily accessible for daily use, [and] depending on the dishes themselves, can add more color and pattern to the space.”
Check out this video to get started.
2. Try a different window treatment (or none at all)
Home decor trends are getting farther and farther away from curtains and window coverings—so unless you have a real attachment to yours, now’s a great time to ditch them for a more modern look.
“If you have beautiful architectural windows and trim, let your windows be the focal point in the kitchen,” suggests Amanda Amato-Scotto of AMA Designs & Interiors. “Rather than hiding the details with a valance or minicurtain, opt for openness—as long as the sun isn’t an issue.”
Not quite ready to let go of a window treatment altogether? Try a modern shade for a crisp look.
If you want to add even more interest, select a fabric shade in a pattern or alternatively, a natural, woven shade, for a textural look that allows light to filter in.
3. Install new pendant lights
Overhead lights can be unflattering, so if you’re looking for an easy project that will really make your kitchen—and you—shine, you’ll definitely want to install a new set of chic pendant lights.
“Pendant lights add a focal point and can highlight the kitchen island or just add overall interest to the space,” Helwig says. “They’re also very functional, and add some directional light for an area like a prep space or an island.”
Keep it sleek with a clear glass pendant, which won’t add any unnecessary visual heaviness, Helwig suggests.
4. Remake the cabinet doors
Want to make your kitchen look instantly as if it belongs in Architectural Digest? Swap out your tired cabinet doors for ones with glass facing.
“Adding glass panes to cabinets allows you to merchandize the glassware and dishes,” Helwig says. “This concept works because it adds visual openness to the space, and it also provides a layered effect.”
5. Repaint your kitchen island to make it pop
Painting your cabinetry will easily get you a fresh look in the kitchen. But if you don’t have the fortitude to paint a whole room, why not just paint the island?
“If you have the patience and time, change the look and feel of your kitchen by painting your island a contrasting color,” Amato-Scotto says.
When selecting a color, keep in mind the color of the countertops and other surfaces in the kitchen. And before you commit to a shade, always view the test sample by standing it upright instead of looking down at the color, since that’s the way you would view it on your island..
6. Show off your coffee mugs
Dylan Murray, who is housebound in New York, recently started tackling some small projects in his kitchen, to stay busy. One of his favorites? Adding under-the-cabinet hooks for coffee mugs.
It’s an easy upgrade that will clear space in your cabinets (to store all those dry goods you stocked up on!) and add personality to your kitchen.
“It’s super simple, but we love how they look,” he says.
7. Organize your pantry in style
Chances are that your pantry has seen a lot of extra traffic in these past few weeks, so why not take the time to give it a makeover?
To get started, clear out your pantry and start sorting like items together. Then comes the fun part—choosing how you’d like to organize it all.
“You can use woven baskets, clear bins, or a combination of both,” Amato-Scotto says. “Baskets are great for snacks and chips, as those items can’t stack or stand upright on a shelf. Clear bins and containers are good for items that you use frequently, so you can view at glance how much is left.”