A 2021 Kitchen Upgrade Checklist

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Some kitchen qualities never go out of style. You need your kitchen to be clean, comfortable, inviting, and easy-to-use.

Maybe you’ve been thinking about making some updates to your kitchen for a while, and now is the time! Perhaps you want to plunge into a full kitchen remodel. Or maybe you just want to add a few small kitchen upgrades to make the kitchen more up-to-date and functional.

Our kitchen remodel checklist

We’ve got you covered for all the best ways to upgrade your kitchen spaces this year. Here is our list in order of priorities.

  1. Upgrade anything in the kitchen that is a safety or structural issue first.
  2. Repair or replace broken things.
  3. Upgrade things that will save you money next like replacing old windows, lightbulbs, and appliances with energy-efficient ones.
  4. Improve your kitchen workspace and add storage space.
  5. Improve your kitchen aesthetics.
Exotic hardwood kitchen floor

Let’s get into all the juicy details about possible upgrades for your kitchen this year.

Kitchen flooring

We love the warmth of the interior design above including exotic hardwood floors in the kitchen. Modern kitchen flooring is nothing like the old sheets of linoleum or vinyl of yesteryear.  Some of our favorite kitchen remodel ideas for 2021 include stunning kitchen flooring options.

Kitchen floor ideas

We love kitchen floor tiles for their easy-cleaning style. This year, consider looking at bold colors or patterned tile to bring some serious personality to your kitchen space.

Another big trend for 2021 is a brick floor in the kitchen. The rough texture is a bit rustic and can sure take a beating. Even with pets in the home! It’s perfect for farmhouse-style home decor or for an industrial style kitchen. If you like the look, but want something a bit smoother, choose tiles that look like brick, instead.

If you are thinking of vinyl kitchen flooring, we would recommend luxury vinyl plank flooring for kitchens. They are waterproof just like vinyl sheet flooring, but the quality and underlayment are much higher quality which make them a joy to walk and stand on. They come in styles that look just like almost any kind of hardwood flooring or tile that you can imagine.

Remember that the best flooring for the kitchen is generally waterproof and easy-to-clean.

Solid black kitchen countertop with white cabinets

New kitchen countertops change the whole vibe

You’ve got a lot of options to choose from with kitchen countertops like granite, laminate, marble, concrete, glass, tile, and butcher block. 

We’d like to recommend quartz counters for their  beauty, affordability, durability, and low maintenance. Solid surface countertops in solid colors, especially black, are very popular. 

Another big trend this year is butcher block. People want more natural materials and the warmth of wood in their kitchens. Butcher block can last a long time and can be sanded down easily to be refinished. 

Laminates have also come a long way and are a less expensive option to spruce up your space on a budget.

Punch List Pros freshly painted white cabinets with added crown molding
Punch List Pros—freshly painted white kitchen cabinets with new crown molding.

How to upgrade kitchen cabinets

You’ve got a variety of options here. Paint the wood cabinets you have with a charming paint color like dark gray, periwinkle blue, or forest green. Two-toned cabinets and painting kitchen cabinets with matte and brushed finishes are on-trend for 2021.

A simple way to improve the aesthetics of your cabinets is to add crown molding at the top while you are painting, if you have extra space, like we did in the beautiful kitchen above.

Or replace your cabinets doors with new doors. Maybe with glass inserts as shown above or a fun, new color.

Another big kitchen trend this year is to replace old cabinets with wall-to-wall and floor-to-ceiling cabinets. With people being home so much more, they need more storage space. An easy way to do that is to tear out open shelving and fill in all the wall space you can with cabinets

White kitchen cabinets, large kitchen island with gas range, stainless steel appliances

Add a new kitchen island or redesign your old one

Kitchen designs today are all about a great kitchen island as a focal point. You can build a new one, or expand or update the old one to suit your needs. 

Design trends in kitchen islands right now include multi-level kitchen islands that provide different levels of workstation space for people of different heights and abilities and islands with a different color of cabinets than the rest of the kitchen.

black kitchen sink with black kitchen faucet

Looking for a quick and inexpensive fix? Update your kitchen fixtures, sink, and hardware.

Kitchen trends this year also include some easier options like kitchen sink upgrades, new kitchen light fixtures, kitchen faucet upgrades, and new kitchen cabinet hardware. Even if you just paint the cabinets or leave them as is, these other upgrades can help bring them into the current decade.

Kitchen sink ideas for 2021

Farmhouse kitchen sinks continue to be very popular, whether stainless steel, white, black, or a bold pop of color. Or consider an under-mount stainless steel or black sink with a workstation ledge to hold strainers, chopping boards, and other accessories.

Add an additional smaller sink for vegetable prep to create another work station.

New kitchen light fixtures to light your world

The best kitchen light fixtures provide plenty of LED light for your work stations. Pendants over the kitchen island are a beautiful way to provide needed task lighting. Under-cabinet LED lighting adds a beautiful accent and highlights your backsplash.

This year, keep in mind that kitchen fixtures don’t all have to match. You can mix different kinds of metals in your light fixtures, faucet, hardware, and doorknobs. Matte and black finishes are popular. As are copper kitchen faucets, due to their antimicrobial properties, and touchless faucets.

Modernize with a change in your kitchen hardware

A quick kitchen cabinet hardware update can make a big impact to upgrade your kitchen’s appearance. Choose from brass, bronze, or copper.

white kitchen cabinets with taupe walls and long gray subway tile backsplash

Kitchen backsplash ideas for 2021

One of the best kitchen upgrades for aesthetics is a modern kitchen backsplash.

Trends for 2021 in backsplashes include glass tile, porcelain tile, metal sheets, metal tile, glass, stone, shiplap, reclaimed wood, wallpaper, or peel and stick kitchen backsplashes.

Subway tile is still very popular but the dimensions are shifting a bit toward longer tiles. Some homeowners are also experimenting with interesting new shapes for tiles like hexagons. And porcelain tile now comes in an exciting array of colors and patterns to bring a “wow” factor to your backsplash.

periwinkle blue painted wood paneling kitchen accent wall

Kitchen wall and ceiling upgrade trends

Paint or wallpaper can change the entire atmosphere of your space and can be done in a budget-friendly way. This year, warm color palettes are making a big comeback with deep greens, pale blues, deep blues, dark chocolate browns, and wind reds taking the spotlight.

Another big deal this year, reclaimed wood and brick veneer in the kitchen for walls, islands, and backsplashes. People want more warmth and personality and less sterile, cookie-cutter kitchens.

The little details matter! Even something as simple as having your popcorn ceiling scraped down and finished smooth with a fresh coat of paint can help bring your kitchen into the current decade.

Why not add some reclaimed wood or shiplap to your kitchen ceiling? Or maybe add some exposed ceiling beams to spice things up.

Ready to try out a few kitchen upgrades in Columbia, SC?

You don’t have to do it all yourself. We can help! Whether you want to paint your cabinets, install new fixtures, install new windows, or install new cabinets, or redo the ceiling, we can handle the job. 

We want you to be able to enjoy your kitchen again. We also do some bathroom remodeling and upgrades. Let us help you with general maintenance, home repairs, and upgrades around the house.

Please contact us today.

See our services page for more information.


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