Having a perfect kitchen is nearly impossible, as much as it seems possible when scrolling through Instagram. There will ALWAYS be something that you don't love, whether more complex, like the countertops, or something simple, like the water ring on the above-sink window sill.
Before calling local contractors or a home remodeling service, practice loving your kitchen for a while. After a while you'll be able to better assess whether or not a remodel is necessary.
1. Consider Reorganizing
A disorganized kitchen, a cluttered kitchen, a messy kitchen, all of these will interfere with a healthy assessment of your kitchen. If you're lacking storage initially, consider alternative storage, perhaps the space under your stairs or the downstairs closet. Our kitchen is quite small, and our pantry is terribly tiny, which is why we may create a built-in in the corner of our dining room for more storage (mainly for my ferments and pretty dishes).
When reorganizing your kitchen it's also a great time to purge a few dishes and appliances that you no longer use/need.
2. Invest in A Nice Rug
It may seem crazy to pay for a beautiful rug to place in an area that is often wet and covered in food. A stain here and there won't ruin the rug's beauty, and overall, it will transform your kitchen and add more than one layer of warmth. A lovely rug may inspire you to keep your kitchen more tidy, who knows!
We have a beautiful rug from a company called "Sukhi" which translates to "happy" in Nepali. Our rug is specifically an over-dyed Turkish patchwork rug. It was crafted by artisans in Turkey, hand-knotted, and made to last for decades.
We chose the "Merve" rug, which has beautiful deep reds.
The artists that make "Sukhi" rugs are well payed and provided quality working conditions. These are things to consider when purchasing home decor items from big box stores: who am I really supporting, and what am I supporting?
3. Use the Space
It may seem strange to recommend "using your kitchen", but really, use it. Invite people over, cook as many meals as possible, make your kitchen a workshop. When you have time to bake, cook, organize, clean, host, and share your kitchen with others you'll either begin to love the space, or learn more about what truly needs to be transformed first.
Sharing your kitchen with others shifts our perspective, and less the aesthetics matter, and more the warmth.
4. Make It Beautiful
You may not love your granite (I don't love ours), but it's not the first thing that I want to change about our kitchen. We updated the pendant lights, installed wooden blinds, added a few plants, added a lovely Sukhi rug, and made our own cabinet hardware. Now that we have "beautified" the space I find the granite less annoying, and no longer notice the bathroom-tile looking backsplash.