That’s no reason you can’t give your kitchen’s look and feel a little boost.
The easiest way to change things up is to add a pop of color. Bright and bold or soft and pretty, splashes of color offer immediate gratification in the kitchen-cheer.
Some easy ways to do that:
Stand Mixer: Talk about color choices! The KitchenAid Artisan 5-quart stand mixer comes in a whopping 46 colors. The hardest part is choosing. Should you go with Buttercup, Cobalt Blue, Aqua Sky or the newest color, Passion Red, in honor of the brand’s 100th anniversary? Smeg’s colorful offerings include a crazily patterned Dolce and Gabbana mixer, available at Williams-Sonoma (and carrying a designer price tag). Mixers can be beautiful enough to leave on the counter (which may prompt more cookie-baking, never a bad thing).
Food Processor: A touch of metallic adds shine and a little bling to a kitchen. For example, the 14-cup Cuisinart comes in a fun Copper Classic, and I don’t know of an appliance that gets more of a workout in my kitchen. My glimmer-gold version makes me feel a bit like a Kardashian chopping onions.
Big Fruit Bowl: A quick color fix on the counter — both the fruit and the bowl. Fiesta specializes in affordable, colorful tabletop and cookware, in 15 colors (Scarlet! Meadow! Poppy! Daffodil! Lapis! Claret!). The Drift Bowls at CB2 in red and yellow are also cheerful, and you can hunt for something more unusual on Etsy.com or in local shops.
Vases: Another low-cost and simple way to cheer up your space is with flowers. And lovely blooms deserve a lovely vase. The Glossy Bamboo vase from Middle Kingdom is sculptural and sleek; inspired by ancient Chinese porcelain, these shiny containers looks especially good when a few are grouped together. The inner hue contrasts with the outer glaze for even more color impact: The bright yellow one, for example, is lined with turquoise. West Elm, meanwhile, has a line of Bright Ceramicist vases that will also add a jolt of liveliness to the room.
Utensil Pots: Many of us love to keep cooking utensils in a little canister on the countertop for easy grabbing, but we don’t think too much about how that container looks. This is yet another opportunity for color! Glazed earthenware Tabor Pots come in rich blue, burnt orange and deep yellow. And yes, you could also use them for their original purpose, as planters. Poke around a garden shop for some other brightly colored pots.
Tea Towel/Dish Towels: One of the easiest and least expensive ways to liven up the space. Pick colors or patterns based on the season, a holiday or just a change in mood, and keep changing them up.
Blender: Another go-to kitchen tool, it tends to hide in plain view. You might as well make it count color-wise! Many of the Vitamix blenders are available in arresting red and shimmery copper. More budget-friendly Black & Decker has some vibrantly hued choices as well. You can tuck a blender in the corner and let it sparkle while not in use.
Toaster: Smeg’s retro-looking toaster has models for two or four slices, and comes in colors including red, pastel green, pastel blue and pink. Secor and others also have an array of colors in pop-up toasters.
Coffee Maker: While you wait for your toast to pop up, brew yourself a cuppa in your teal or red Keurig K-Mini Plus. Other Keurig coffee makers come in colors like Greenery and Black Plum, so you can pick the one that speaks to your morning aura. If you’re more of a pot-of-coffee person, the Bella Linea 12-cup coffee makers come in lots of colors including lime green, magenta pink and purple.
Fridge: Ready to go bigger? And have some fun? Galanz makes Old School-style fridges in sizes ranging from 3.1 cubic feet, which could tuck under a counter, to a more full-size 12 cubic feet. You can go cool and pastel with Bebop Blue, or create a full-on focal point in the kitchen with Hot Rod Red. Microwaves in similar styles and the same colors are also available. Smeg, Danby and Fridgidare are other brands that make stop-and-stare colorful fridges.
Fans: Kitchens can get hot and smoky. The countertop Fanimation Urbanjet Fan comes in colors from baby blue to bright red to shiny rose gold. Vornado also makes some cute table fans in various hues.
So while you wait for your bank account to grow to full kitchen-renovation level, there are plenty of ways to make your kitchen a happier place to be. Pick a color, any color.
Katie Workman has written two cookbooks focused on easy, family-friendly cooking, “Dinner Solved!” and “The Mom 100 Cookbook.” She blogs at TheMom100.