Refresh, Not Replace: 5 Brilliant Kitchen Makeovers with Existing Cabinets

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Last updated on April 18, 2024

It’s possible to update your kitchen without undergoing a complete overhaul. Not only does this save time on your renovation, but it can also keep costs more manageable. In this post, we share a few kitchen design ideas that breathed new life into these homes while preserving the existing cabinets. From clever storage solutions to striking aesthetic updates, these remodels prove you can achieve a fresh look and feel without bidding farewell to your beloved cabinets. Take a look at these 5 kitchen refresh projects that kept their existing cabinets.

1. Leawood bright & fresh kitchen refresh

With a great layout and quality cabinets, our clients knew they wanted to keep their cabinets but were ready for a fresh new look. The former stained golden perimeter cabinets are now painted a crisp, fresh white. The kitchen island cabinets are also the same but were stripped and stained with a warm, dark hue to balance out the white. Removing the top tier on the island gave our clients more working countertop space. The subway-style backsplash tile and marble-looking quartz really modernized the kitchen. Bronze knobs and pulls, along with the new faucet, inject a bit of warmth and perfectly mix with the new stainless-steel appliances. See more of this Leawood refresh project!

Leawood kitchen before
Leawood kitchen refresh

2. Traditional meets contemporary in this Kansas City kitchen refresh

The previous owners had redone this kitchen, and our clients enjoyed it for nearly a decade before deciding it was time for a refresh. With classic egg and dart crown molding, raised panel cabinets, and a tin ceiling, the kitchen appeared very traditional. Our goal was to tone down the ornate elements while injecting a bit of contemporary elements.
First, we refinished the existing cabinets, filling all the holes to accommodate new hardware. We painted the cabinets Sherwin Williams Analytical Gray. The island had minor cabinet modifications to remove the bookshelves. We also removed the second tier on this island, allowing for a much larger workspace. New quartz counters were installed on both the island and the perimeter. The new kitchen backsplash helps to brighten the space, and the range 3D metallic accent gives it a contemporary pop! The juxtaposition of traditional and contemporary comes together beautifully, and we love this refreshed KC kitchen.

Kansas City before
Kansas City kitchen refresh

3. Leawood two-tone refresh with new island

Our clients didn’t want a total kitchen remodel but did need a more functional island. The solution? We kept the perimeter cabinets but painted them a warm white and ordered all new cabinets for the island. The rift-cut white oak island cabinets offer tons of storage and store the microwave, an additional oven, and a garbage pullout. The sizeable new island has a beautiful quartz top. As a great design idea, we installed new rift-cut white oak shelves in the open and glass cabinets to match the island. We could keep the existing cooktop, oven, hood vent, sink, and perimeter countertop. The new backsplash is the same quartz as the island. Brass pendant lights, knobs, and pulls finish off the updated look. What a significant refresh!

Leawood kitchen before
Leawood kitchen refresh

4. Refresh with dark stained cabinets in De Soto

The dark-stained cabinets in this large De Soto kitchen were way too beautiful to replace. However, our clients wanted to give their kitchen a fresh new look. We made a few subtle design changes. Can you spot them?
We changed the island legs, giving them a more transitional look. We also decided on a darker blue color for the island cabinets. Additionally, we changed the shape of the island countertop, removing the round shape and opting for a rectangular shape. Another design change was removing the recessed soffit lighting over both windows.
Swapping the ornate backsplash for a clean subway-style tile and bringing it up behind the shelf and above the windows really brightened the entire room. Perhaps the largest change is the updated countertops, which are stunning honed quartzite. Updated hardware, Newport Brass faucets, and pendant lights above each window pull the look together.

De Soto kitchen before
De Soto kitchen refresh

5. From farmhouse to contemporary – Kansas City kitchen refresh

Our clients purchased this home from a builder and loved almost everything but wanted to make it fit their contemporary style. We injected more contrast into the space by painting the lower perimeter cabinets black. We also modified the cabinets. The microwave was awkward and didn’t work, so we moved it to the island and created cutting-board storage. Additionally, on the island, we installed a new sink. Perhaps the most significant change, and the one that packed a design punch, was the new quartz counters with a waterfall counter at the island. The large veining is stunning and really adds a high-end look. Finally, new hardware and light fixtures finish out the contemporary look. Read more about this project.

Kansas City modern cabinet refinish

Check out more gorgeous kitchen remodels!

Is it time for your kitchen to get a refresh? We work with kitchens of all sizes and styles to make your kitchen dreams come true. Contact us to speak with a remodeling expert.