Reviving an Outdated Kitchen: 7 Strategies for a Modern Makeover

If the last time you renovated your kitchen was in the 1990s, or if you’ve bought a home with an outdated kitchen, it’s time for a modern makeover with a full renovation to bring your kitchen up to date (and which is more efficient over piecemeal updates in the long run).

Here are some strategies for reviving an outdated kitchen in your Hudson Valley home.

1 – Rethink the kitchen layout


white oak cabinets

A well-laid-out kitchen minimizes the physical steps you must take to prepare a meal. Your kitchen remodel might include reconfiguring the whole space and relocating appliances (or replacing old ones with more energy-efficient models) to close the distance between the pantry, refrigerator, sink, and stove.

If your kitchen has a breakfast nook, consider widening or removing the wall to open up the room and give you more flexibility about where to cook and where to eat (as you might want to swap the spaces as part of the renovation).

For home cooks who love to entertain, adding an island provides additional prep space and a buffet area for informal parties—and serves as a bridge between cooking and living spaces. An island also provides the perfect opportunity to get rid of the outdated appliance garage from a few decades ago. Instead, install small appliances in built-in spaces underneath the new island . . . and give your kitchen countertops an uncluttered, fresh look.

2 – Consider how the kitchen space is used

Kitchen desks were once all the rage, but are you paying bills, reading cookbooks, and taking notes from phone calls there today? Do the kids do homework at the desk while you prep dinner? Or has it become a catch-all for items that can be stored elsewhere?

Consider converting this outdated “kitchen office” into a coffee/tea bar or wet bar with a wine cooler below. If you enjoy watching TV while cooking or looking up recipes online, turn it into a workstation that accommodates (and stores) mobile devices and small electronics. Installing a pantry or storage closet is another great way to repurpose the space.

Also, modern kitchens are more than places to prepare meals; they’ve become communal gathering spaces . . . the heart of the home. If possible, add seating such as window seats (which can also be used for storage) or “bar” seating at your new island.

3 – Update your metals

Giving your Hudson Valley kitchen a makeover can be as simple as updating the cabinet hardware, lighting, and sink fixtures.

  • Replace outdated ornate metals with more minimalist drawer pulls and knobs in brushed or matte metals on cabinets.
  • Say goodbye to those bulky, old-school lighting fixtures! Introduce more practicality and versatility instead. Try a combination of recessed lighting (with a dimmer switch), undercabinet task lighting in work areas, and a statement fixture of pendant lighting over the island or dining table.
  • Consider adding a wall-mounted pot filler.
  • Upgrade old appliances for an instant facelift. Panel-ready refrigerators and dishwashers allow you to conceal them for a clean, modern look. Our team can also show you kitchen designs with flush-inset wall ovens and microwaves built into your cabinets.

And speaking of cabinets . . .

4 – Change out your outdated kitchen cabinetry

At Affordable Granite & Cabinetry, we carry a range of stock and custom cabinet lines that match any décor style and budget—and will modernize your kitchen’s look.

    • We recommend removing cabinets with standard overlay door and drawer front for the more refined options available today. These include full overlay framed, frameless, and inset door styles. Our design team will be happy to explain the benefits of each to you.
    • Time for a color check! Out with the old bold stains or stark white and grey cabinets. For a new look, we recommend:
  • Stains in organic tones that bring forth the wood’s natural beauty.
  • Softer paint palettes in warm neutrals, mid-tone pastels, and deeper tones.

5 – Install new countertops

That 1990s laminate isn’t cutting it anymore in the 2020s. Brighten up your kitchen with new natural or engineered stone countertops. Timeless options are granite, dolomite, marble, quartzite, soapstone, and engineered quartz. Another surface that always looks beautiful is porcelain. Whites and neutrals in warm tones are popular choices today.

To keep your kitchen remodel looking fresh for many years to come, avoid trendy surfaces that will quickly look dated or turn out to be impractical (looks good, performs terribly, needs a lot of maintenance).

6 – Install new flooring

Whether you prefer porcelain tile, stone, wood, vinyl, or laminate, there are so many choices now. We carry flooring from the best manufacturers and our kitchen designers will help you select something new to rejuvenate your old kitchen—with durability for years to come.

  • For wood (or wood-look) flooring, go for wider planks in engineered hardwood or luxury vinyl planks to refresh your kitchen; these options stand up well to heavy traffic and use.
  • Natural stone tile or porcelain with a natural stone look are also excellent choices for a kitchen remodel. They are classic, timeless materials that will rejuvenate your kitchen’s look.

Whichever material you choose, consider that these can be extended into other areas of your home—so if your renovation is going beyond the kitchen, you’ll have already updated your flooring in other spaces without an expensive upgrade in the future.

7 – Contact Affordable Granite & Cabinetry for your kitchen makeover

If you need ideas on how to modernize your Hudson Valley kitchen, the design team at Affordable Granite & Cabinetry can help. We invite you to visit our showroom at 38 Route 9 in Fishkill to see the latest in cabinets, countertops, and flooring, or call (845) 564-0500 for a kitchen design appointment. As a full-service home improvement center, we serve homeowners in towns throughout Dutchess, Orange, and Ulster counties for all their kitchen and bath renovation needs.