Ideas for a Simple Kitchen Refresh

This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosure statement for details. 

Use these six ideas for a quick and simple refresh that will bring style to any kitchen. Brighten a tired space by adding items from the grocery, and pretty yet functional accessories. 

tray with flowers plates and candle on kitchen island

The First Step

Before a kitchen refresh is even possible, it’s necessary to clear the clutter from your kitchen counters. If you don’t do anything else, this alone will made a huge difference. My counters had somehow become a home for overflow groceries, my iPad, catalogs, mail, keys, and numerous other random items. I spent about an hour finding new homes for everything, and when I was finished, I felt like my counters had grown!

brushed nickel kitchen faucet kitchen update ideas

Bright Crisp Linens

Changing your linens is one of the easiest ways to bring style and color to your kitchen. You don’t have to completely swap out your regular, every-day kitchen towels. Simply add one or two new towels to a prominent space in your kitchen. This is one of the easiest kitchen decorating ideas ever!

Fruits, Vegetables, + Baked Goods

Items from the produce department of your grocery store are perfect for making a colorful display in your kitchen. Gather seasonal fruits and vegetables that don’t need refrigerated, and put them in a pretty bowl or basket, or on a cake stand. Place the fruit on your kitchen counter or island for instant natural decor. Baked goods are also fun to display, especially if you happen to be entertaining

designer decor ideas white countertops

New Small Appliances

Before you think I’ve gone and lost my mind, I want to tell you that my SMEG toaster was a Christmas gift. I’ve wanted some SMEG since the first time I saw them, and finally put a few choices on my list. My family is good at checking off as many items on my list as possible, so I knew my chances of getting at least one SMEG were pretty good. The best thing is how the toaster, along with my beautiful KitchenAid mixer, refreshes and brightens my kitchen counter. And the toast is delicious too!

crock of utensils on kitchen countertop

Functional Accessories

Some kitchen accessories and tools (the not so pretty ones) definitely need to be stored behind cabinet doors. However, if you have beautiful cutting boards, pitchers, crocks, or bottles, place them on your kitchen counters to add style and function. My counter space is very limited, so anything that sits out needs to be used often, but also needs to be pretty and not too big. The leaning artwork adds a great pop of color, and takes up literally no room on the counter.

mother's day gift ideas mrs. meyers products dish scrubber

Soaps Featuring Floral Scents

Floral scents are fresh and soothing, so bringing them into your kitchen just makes sense. Floral scented dish soap or multi-surface spray makes cleaning up your kitchen almost fun. (I did say “almost.”) My favorite right now is the Peony scent from Mrs. Meyer’s. It’s light and so fresh…not at all overpowering. Special soaps and lotions can also be found at discount stores, and places like T.J. Maxx or HomeGoods. 

faux tulips in pitcher with fresh flowers


As you know, I’m a firm believer that fresh flowers can transform a room, and in hardly any time at all. They add color, texture, and life. Look for flowers in different shades of pink, purple, and yellow. The bright colors will definitely lift your mood. The simple task of placing a small pitcher of flowers on your kitchen counter will not only cheer you up, it will breathe life into your space. I don’t always have flowers in the kitchen, but when I do, it makes spending time there even more enjoyable. 

hexagon tile backsplash in blue and white kitchen

No matter what kind of kitchen you have, new or old, big or small, your kitchen counters can be clean and beautiful. So look around for your most attractive kitchen tools, hide the not-so-pretty ones, bring home a bouquet of flowers, and enjoy!

Shop + Source

*Affiliate links included. Click HERE for my disclosure statement.

white wood tray | candle holder | small cake plate | Moen faucet | small wood riser | salt + pepper grinders | Ohio Stoneware one gallon preserving crock | navy utensils | KitchenAid mixer | SMEG toaster | navy plaid towels (similar) | floral recipe box | dish brush | Mrs. Meyer’s Peony Collection | rectangular soap tray.


I’ve been there. I know how you feel.
I can help.

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  1. Hi, Kitchen really looks nice. What stove is that? I like the look of it.

  2. Jan Hamilton says:

    Ann, I love your tile counter tops! I feel like/hope stone surfaces are a trend that is ending, and I vote for tile to make a comeback. It is charming, and the colors are so classic. I hope you don’t ever change it. How do you keep your grout clean? And did you install it or was it in your house? I feel like you have written about them before. I enjoyed this one. 💙

    1. Melissa Bonser says:

      Jan, I totally agree, tile has so much charm and character. We stalled tile counter tops in our kitchen in 1980, we used epoxy grout in a dark color and have never had a grout problem.

  3. Ann, now that you’ve been using your Smeg toaster for awhile, how do you like its performance? Is it just a pretty face? It has been on my wishlist too so I’d love to hear your thoughts.

  4. Lucia Donahower says:

    Hi Ann,
    Greetings from Northern California, love your kitchen and all of your tips for sprucing it up. I will keep these in mind when I start to do some spring cleaning.
    Thank you for all of your ideas!
    Have a great weekend.

  5. I am interested in the tray beside the stove that is holding the flowers. I like the low sides of it. I love trays but mine have higher sides. Do you remember where it was purchased? Perhaps it was thrifted, in which case, the hunt is on!!!

    1. Ann Drake says:

      Hi! I actually got the 2 long trays at Hobby Lobby a few years ago. I have not seen them since, but it might be worth checking there for something similar. Good luck!

    2. Joyce Woodward says:

      If you can’t find trays you can use long narrow white platters. I have numerous sizes from Williams Sonoma that work great.

  6. Lovely ideas for an antidote to winter fatigue. I live in northern NJ and can relate to the need for a spring “pick me up”! It’s also reassuring to know that the accumulated counter stuff happens to others. Everything in your kitchen looks so fresh and pretty with these six changes. I was wondering if you have tips for cleaning your kitchen tile or can direct me to a previous post where you may have discussed the topic? I have tile counters and a subway tile backsplash that are about 12 years old. They’ve looked good for most of those years, but since being home round the clock I’m noticing they could use extra attention. I’ve read about using steam cleaners, so if you have advice I would love to hear it!

  7. Thank you for introducing me to SMEG products. My birthday is in April, so I am putting a couple of their products on my list. My parents built their new house in 1971 and Mom had beautiful powder blue cabinets n her kitchen. My parents are now deceased. I’ve told my sister how Mom was ahead of her time with today’s colorful cabinets.
    Ann, Ohio weather predicted to be in the 40’s this week! Counting the days till spring.

  8. Ann,your kitchen is very pretty.I agree,a few simple changes can make a big difference in the function of the kitchen,also some pretty flowers help !

  9. Hi Anne~
    I love your kitchen. The blue & white are stunning.
    Don’t you love yours Smeg’s. I have the same 2 pieces. I also have the frother.

    Have a wonderful day.
    Much love

  10. Good Morning, Ann, and thank you for the kitchen inspiration! We’ve had 20” of snow in Arkansas and my kitchen is a mess – just keeping the pipes from freezing! I’ll be happy to get my kitchen back to normal and use this as a great excuse to declutter. We all love your blog and look forward to your sweet “visit” each morning. Keep up your inspiring posts – please!

  11. Nancy Sharp says:

    Your kitchen looks lovely. I am in the process of re-organizing my kitchen. I definitely will keep your tips in mind.
    Stay safe and warm in all that snow.

  12. Linda Tucker says:

    I absolutely LOVE your kitchen. Always have and always will. You’ve said in the past that you wish you could give it an update, but I say NEVER. I love the blue and white and all the tile. It is stunning in my eyes, and you have given it all the beautifully, decorated accents it needs. It would be a pleasure to cook and take tea in this room. Take good care of it. :)

  13. Sue Daugherty says:

    We also have snow here in central Illinois but it’s supposed to be 38 this week so a good amount should melt. I have Smeg envy. I don’t know if it’s proper to call an appliance cute but they are. Great ideas for the spring refresh. I am compulsive about keeping my kitchen counters free of clutter. They are prime real estate in a small area.

  14. Greetings and hugs from sunny East Tennessee,
    Some great ideas as well as easy in the budget.

  15. Great ideas. I think changing out pretty kitchen towels are the best

    In Alabama we’ve had snow and ice all week. It’s been like being in Ohio again. I do not miss Ohio weather so you can have it back.

    As always. Thanks for inspiration

  16. hi Ann, I love your blog, and I also live in Ohio and buried under snow.

    I love that you sourced a product from an Ohio company or any company that’s not Amazon its simple for me to search Amazon but I don’t often get a creatively sourced product/store! Your white crock is gorgeous and as soon as I can think of a place to use one I’m buying it! :)