Things In Your Kitchen That Are Making It Feel Totally Outdated

Your kitchen is one of the most important rooms in your house. It's where you feed and nourish yourself and your family, a place to foster creativity and tradition, and a great place to show off your decorative skills. That being said, despite your best efforts, it can be difficult to beautify an old, outdated kitchen.

Remodeling the kitchen is a task most homeowners will all face at some point, especially when it comes to older kitchens. According to USA Cabinet Store, as many as 43% of people dislike and want to upgrade their old kitchens. Not only will it make you happier, but it can also increase your home's resale value, as well as general interest. It may seem daunting to know where to start when it comes to updating your kitchen, but there are a few general things that are likely keeping it stuck in the past. Keep reading to learn how to liven up your outdated kitchen.

1. Worn paint

The first, and arguably easiest, thing to update in your kitchen is the paint. While it may not seem like the biggest culprit that's negatively dating your kitchen, a fresh coat of paint certainly isn't a bad place to start. In fact, Joaquin Painting recommends repainting your kitchen every three to four years. While this may seem quite often, keep in mind the different elements at play in your kitchen. Heat and moisture can go a long way to ruin the finish of your paint job, as can scuffs, food stains, smoke, and odors.

Since you have to repaint your kitchen so frequently, consider playing around with trendier colors, which is an excellent way to offset an outdated kitchen scheme. Tash Bradley, a design expert with Lick, says some great trendy (but still versatile) kitchen paint colors are greens, blues, dark neutrals, and even bolder shades like pink or purple. White is a safe classic, but it may show signs of wear earlier.

2. Oak cabinets

Another major reason your kitchen may look outdated is your cabinets. Specifically, oak kitchen cabinets. As Kylie M. Interiors points out, these cabinets usually can be found in kitchens built in the 1980s or '90s, and while they're often quite durable, they also keep your kitchen trapped in the past.

If you're up for a major kitchen renovation, you could replace all your cabinets. This is quite a costly renovation, with Cabinet Now pricing average stock cabinets at anywhere between $200 to $350 per cabinet — not factoring in labor and installation costs. You don't need to replace your cabinets to update your kitchen, though. Not all oak cabinets are completely useless. In fact, many are constructed really well and have a lot of flipping potential.

A cheap and easy way to update your cabinets is to add some handles. This simple addition is friendly to your wallet and makes all the difference in modernizing your kitchen. You could also sand and stain your cabinets if you prefer the look of wood cabinetry. Taking away that yellow-toned wood can do wonders for livening your cabinets. Lastly, you can paint them, which is a great way to incorporate kitchen design trends or create a timeless and stunning kitchen with any number of cabinet colors.

3. Outdated appliances

If you've added some fresh paint and updated your appliances, but your kitchen still looks straight out of a time capsule, it may be time to take a look at your appliances. Replacing your refrigerator, stove, oven, sink, dishwasher or any other major appliance can be quite costly, but it may be necessary if you want to modernize your kitchen.

On the plus side, this upgrade isn't purely decorative. If your kitchen hasn't been updated since the '90s or early 2000s, you may be in need of appliance upgrades anyways. Older refrigerators may not just look unsightly, but they may not be as efficient. Old, dirty ovens can also be a safety hazard, Scott Hall Remodeling warns. Replace your old white fridge with a nice, modern stainless steel model and your worn-down stove with a sleek electrical stove, which is both more attractive and a lot safer. And while this upgrade is pricier, it isn't unrealistic. According to Home Advisor, a low-end, energy-efficient stainless steel fridge usually costs around $500.

4. Run-down tile floors

Your flooring is also something you should pay attention to if you want to update and modernize your kitchen, especially older tiles. Unlike paint, kitchen flooring isn't something you need to replace that often. In fact, high-quality ceramic tile should last as long as 75 years or more, according to Speedy Floor Removal. That being said, just because it's functional, doesn't mean it doesn't make your kitchen look incredibly outdated.

When replacing your kitchen floors, you need to think in terms of not just aesthetic value, but also practicality and longevity. Floor replacement is a major project, and you only want to do it once. Tiles are a great option to tick all three of those boxes. As Wayfair points out, tile is incredibly durable, easy to clean, lasts a long time if properly cared for, and can be found in a wide array of colors, sizes, shapes, patterns, etc. Laminate, vinyl, or hardwood flooring are other great options, but they don't offer the durability and longevity of classic tile.

5. Bad lighting

Last, but by no means least, is your kitchen lighting. You can have a completely modern, renovated kitchen, but improper lighting can make it look majorly outdated. This can be in terms of the wrong bulb temperature, outdated fixtures, inadequate light levels, or any combination of the three. This isn't just a visual issue, either. As Lumens points out, improper lighting in your kitchen can make it difficult to see what you're cooking, which can lead to burnt food and a dangerous cooking environment.

Take a look at the lighting in your kitchen. If it feels outdated, odds are your bulbs are either way too warm, or way too cool, which can make it seem either dingy or harsh and uninviting, neither of which you want for your kitchen (via Waveform Lighting). Try to find something in the middle.

As for how much light you have, Recessed Lighting says you need three sources — ambient lighting, which helps generally light the kitchen, task lighting, which helps you clearly see what you're doing, and accent lighting, which helps highlight art or other decorations. Aside from ceiling or pendant lights for general illumination, consider adding under-cabinet or shelf lights to help light up your preparation space.