As we’ve discussed in past columns, when looking to update your kitchen to a modern kitchen Cleveland look, you don’t necessarily have to splurge on a full renovation. In fact, as we’ve discussed here, sometimes all it really takes to really transform your kitchen is renovating or introducing a few new elements and you can radically alter people’s perception of your kitchen and its age.

While in the past we’ve focused on bigger renovations like appliances, countertops, and hoods, this week we’re going to talk about that special variable that with both little or a lot of money can make a massive change: Décor. What’s great about a kitchen’s décor is it can really set the vibe for your space; whether you want a modern look, something sleek, or something a little more traditional, all of these can be achieves through some smart décor selections.

For instance, black and white is always a great way to modernize your home instead of a monochromatic palette. For instance, installing a zig-zagging black-and-white tiled backsplash can give you kitchen a real attitude while updating its look. But if you do prefer a more monochromatic palette, pick something lively and contemporary, like a pale shade of blue to cheer up things instead of the more sanitary look of white.

Another simple, but super effective décor element, which we’ve even discussed before, is installing some modern-looking free-hanging shelving units to free up some shelf space or replace your out-of-date cabinets.

In addition, going neutral is always a safe bet. Warm up a neutral kitchen by inviting different shades (gray, ivory, cream) and textures into the picture. Storage is maximized with a wall of cabinets, floor to ceiling.

Another option is to go with A kitchen that opens up into the main living area can be an extremely exciting space to decorate. A generously sized table is ready to accommodate holiday dinners, game nights, or even intense science projects. Keep the vibe modern, casual, and cool by layering a black-and-white–striped rug and hanging an oversized drum shade.

Join us next week when we talk about how to modernize a kitchen that is particularly small.