How to Make the Most of an Old, Tacky Kitchen Design

Tacky Kitchen Design

They say it’s the kitchen that sells a home, which is good news if yours looks like the covers of House & Garden, but not very ideal if your kitchen has a tacky kitchen design. If this sounds like your kitchen then you are not without any options, and you can actually turn a tacky kitchen into something a little more classic or even lean into the personality of your bold kitchen in a more deliberate way. So before you take those big tools to your kitchen decor, let’s actually discuss what is possible and what you can transform.

Analyse and assess each part of your kitchen individually

Is your entire kitchen tacky, or is it just coming together that way with all the parts competing and clashing with one another? For most homeowners, it is the latter, which is good news! Your colourful splashback might look tragic with an equally bright cooktop, but it might actually be a hero feature if you upgrade to a Kleenmaid cooktop. By assessing each kitchen characteristic on its merits you can essentially rule out the items that will not look good under any circumstances and what could actually work with some other stylistic choices. You don’t want a sterile kitchen so start identifying what fun features stay and what needs to go.

Lean into it

The tackiness of your kitchen might just appear as so because the rest of your home is classic or minimalist. It’s time to decide if you want to lean into the tacky or strip it from your kitchen. The advantage of leaning into the tacky is that you have so much more flexibility in what you bring into your home and how it all comes together. With a little more finessing, what was once ‘tacky’ might be ‘retro’ now. You can lean into this by furnishing your living and dining spaces with bold accent pieces that tie into the wildness of your kitchen. You could even replace some of your plain appliances with retro appliances that are brighter and more fun. Suddenly your kitchen becomes curated and not thrown together, although be mindful that this tweaking might actually mean that you have to remove some of the tacky features that don’t work with this new retro lens.

Ask the experts for their thoughts

Before you make any decisions on what stays and what goes, you might get some value in speaking to an interior decorator, home stylist and even a photographer to see what they would do with space. As we see all too often in home improvement shows, the owner quickly tears down or replaces something that is unique and valuable and takes away from the character of the home. You might be told that your kitchen isn’t overly tacky per se, but you just need more natural light to take away from the heavy feeling of the loud space. Similarly, you might learn that the kitchen is being brought down by the colours of the walls, but with something more neutral you can keep most of your bold kitchen features. If you have something special on your hands, you don’t want to replace it right away as you have to remember that people pay a lot of money to make their kitchens look like a time capsule.

We are always in such a rush to remove the bad and replace with something on-trend, but these trends might come back, or at the very least there might be parts of the kitchen that are salvageable. Set yourself the challenge of making the most of your tacky kitchen and if you are still itching to change it in 12 months time – then start conceptualising what you want to change it to.


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