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6 ways to transform your kitchen without changing the layout

Let’s be honest, we’re big fans of taking out walls around here, but only if it’s actually necessary. Every once in a great while we encounter a kitchen that (shockingly) has a really solid layout!

We recently completed the design of a 1970’s kitchen that, while it was in major need of an update, our homeowner truly loved the layout. Our charge was to completely refresh and modernize the kitchen, without changing the layout.


Guys, the transformation was unreal. Here are a few before and afters to paint the picture:

Here are 6 ways you can keep your current kitchen layout AND pack a huge punch in terms of style and functionality.


Okay, this one is for sure a gimme. Updating countertops, paint, backsplash, flooring, and hardware are all of the great ways to update your kitchen.

But think BIGGER.

kitchen renovation wood on ceiling

We did something super unexpected and added wood to the ceiling in this kitchen, giving it personality and warmth.

kitchen renovation vent hood warm wood color

We also changed up the vent hood material to a warm wood instead of painting it the same color as the cabinets. Think layers, interest, and variety.

You can also add pot fillers or countertop garbage disposal buttons to give more function.


Beyond what you can see, this is the biggest game changer in terms of how much you will enjoy your kitchen. Cabinets now are just better than they used to be. Opt for more drawers than cabinets and you can store pots and pans, mixing bowls, trays, dinner plates, kids cups, Tupperware, you name it, down lower in your kitchen.

kitchen renovation refrigerator side cabinet

We absorbed this weird unused clutter collecting cabinet next to the fridge and made a floor-to-ceiling cabinet. We designed it to fit our client’s KitchenAid stand mixer, keeping that off the precious counter space!

kitchen renovation dead corner cabinets

There are so many options! Take advantage of dead corners with lazy susan cabinets. Install pull out spice and utensil cabinets next to the range. Had to this post for 10 of our very favorite kitchen cabinet customization options.

kitchen renovation open shelving


Adding open shelving is an awesome way to update a kitchen, and gives you an opportunity for display space.

You won’t necessarily have to sacrifice closed cabinets to make this happen. Here, we took an area that previously been an empty wall with an old intercom system and added open shelving in a previously underutilized area.


You might think that keeping the same layout means you won't gain any counterspace, but not necessarily! Here are a few tricks we used in this kitchen to gain counter space.

kitchen renovation extended peninsula

We extended the peninsula to be a few more inches deep to allow for counter seating, giving more workspace in the kitchen. The breakfast area still has plenty of circulation space, and extra stools can be pulled in as needed.

kitchen renovation range instead of double ovens

We removed the wall ovens and opted for a range. Most people don’t use 2 ovens except for once or twice a year, and with small appliances like Air Fryers, Instant Pots, and Toaster Ovens, you may not really need that 2nd oven at all. Removing that oven allowed for an extra 30” of counter space in a critical area.

In the breakfast area, we removed the small buffet furniture piece that wasn’t pulling its weight (see far left). We didn’t have room for standard 24” deep base cabinets, but HOT TIP you can use 12” cabinets (the same depth as your uppers). We gained additional storage and counter space this way. And because the countertop now extends beyond the peninsula, it gives the feeling of a much larger kitchen.


Just because your layout is staying the same, doesn’t mean your cabinets have to look the same. Modernizing the door to a slab front or shaker makes a world of difference.

kitchen renovation glass cabinets white background

Another game changer – glass front cabinets. One of our favorite tricks is to keep the interior of the glass cabinets white so that all of your dishes pop against the neutral background.

kitchen renovation lighting


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – lighting makes all the difference. Adding under cabinet lighting, additional recessed lighting, accent lighting like the sconces over our open shelves, and lights in your glass front cabinets gives major ambiance and functionality, taking your space to the next level.

We hope these give you inspiration if you’re thinking about a kitchen remodel that doesn’t involve tearing down walls, but we want to give you even more tools for success. We’ve created a Project Planning Guide that is brimming with the info you need to set your project up for success. This FREE RESOURCE will help you:

  • Determine what your top priorities are for your project (not what Pinterest says is most important)

  • Understand project timelines and schedules

  • Craft a realistic project budget

  • Assemble your Dream Team

  • Give you more questions to ask your potential Contractors, Designers, and Architects

  • And so much more!

dallas interior designer planning guide

keep kitchen layout and update kitchen


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