Is your kitchen in need of a refresh? Explore 6 simple and stylish ways to update your kitchen for summer

Enhance your kitchen with an inviting summer feel with these decor ideas

How to update your kitchen for summer
(Image credit: K&H Design & Paul Raeside/Kathy Kuo Home/Cat Dal Interiors & Racheal Smith)

As the warmer months arrive, it's always a welcome refresh to update your kitchen for summer. One of the most used rooms in the home, surrounding yourself with nods to the season can make the scheme feel all the more inviting, and reflect the changes seen in the surrounding landscapes.

While it's not necessary to completely change your kitchen ideas for each season, adding a few subtle updates can make a big difference. In bedrooms and living spaces, you probably change out the throw pillows, blankets, and decor throughout the year, so why not give your kitchen the same treatment?

If you're not sure how to update your kitchen for summer in a meaningful way, we've asked interior designers for their favorite ways to give kitchens a new lease of life for the warmer months – they might be small, but they can make all the difference to your space.

How to update your kitchen for summer

Whatever your interior design style, there are plenty of ways to update your kitchen for summer. From introducing lighter textiles to adding a dose of dopamine with summery colors, there's something here to suit every space.

1. Decorate with summer kitchenware

kitchen with open shelving and wall lights

(Image credit: Maxwell Attenborough)

The beauty of kitchen decor is that it can be pieces that are aesthetically appealing and functional, too. One such way to add a summery update to your kitchen is to swap out your kithenware.

'The great thing about kitchens is that, because so many of the core pieces in the space are essential and utilitarian, you have really clear and obvious spots to focus on when it comes to a seasonal refresh,' says Kathy Kuo, interior designer and CEO of Kathy Kuo Home.

'I like to add a summery decorative bowl to my countertop and fill it with my favorite colorful summer fruits – like peaches,' she adds. Similarly, if you have a collection of tableware that you use throughout the summer, swap them out to display on open shelving or plate racks. It's a simple change that instantly adds a summer pattern or color to your kitchen.

We explore how to decorate kitchen counters in our dedicated feature.

2. Introduce cushions in summer colors

dining nook in corner with red dresser

(Image credit: Cat Dal Interiors/Racheal Smith)

If you have a seating area in your kitchen – whether it's a breakfast nook, a kitchen table, or even a kitchen bay window seat – introducing textiles in brighter or lighter colors can instantly add a dose of summer style to your decorative kitchen ideas.

'Updating your kitchen for the summer season is all about infusing brightness, airiness, and vibrancy into the space. By introducing light and cheerful colors you can instantly uplift the mood of your kitchen,' says Fiona Ginnett, co-founder and director at HØLTE.

Cushions and table linens are the best way to use fabrics to add brighter hues – the corner of this kitchen is home to a dining nook, so the addition of more colorful cushion covers instantly lifts the spaces and infuses a more summery color palette.

3. Infuse the kitchen with a summer scent

Kitchen shelving displaying decor, including two candlesticks

(Image credit: McGee & Co)

Interior design is about more than just aesthetics – a successful design encompasses all the senses, from touch to sight to scent. There are certain aromas that we associate with different seasons, so introducing something synonymous with summer is a quick and easy way to update the overall feel of your kitchen scheme and make your home smell nice.

'Smell is so powerful when it comes to setting the mood of a space. In your kitchen, swap out any wintery aromas – like wood, clove, cinnamon – for floral, citrus, and fresher scents,' suggests Tash Bradley, director of interior design and color psychologist at Lick.

If it's just the scent you're focused on, add a simple scented candle on an island or countertop, or for a more elevated look, opt for a candle that comes in a pretty pot or that can be used in collected candle holders, like in the kitchen. We love the SOHO HOME Bianco Bergamot & Mandarin Zest candle from net-a-porter.

4. Swap out stoneware vases for colored glass

White modern kitchen with statement pendant lights and wooden rattan bar stools

(Image credit: Kathy Kuo Home)

In the same way that swapping out your kitchenware for brighter, lighter alternatives can give your space an update for summer, changing out your vases and plant pots for more seasonal-inspired options can have the same impact.

'You can do a similar refresh with a vase full of fresh summer blooms; whereas I might use a pewter or stoneware vase for fall and winter, I love colored glass vases for summer,' explains Kathy.

Opt for a ceramic vase with summer colors and prints, or follow Kathy's lead with a timeless colored glass alternative, as she has done in the kitchen, which instantly adds a more summer-inspired element to the decor.

5. Opt for lighter curtains

Rustic kitchen with vintage sink, fabric sink curtain and cream linen french door curtains

(Image credit: Tori Murphy)

During the winter, many decor choices focus on creating a cozy and warm atmosphere in the kitchen. While you still want to maintain an inviting feel, summer is all about letting in the early morning light and keeping the space cooler.

A simple way to update your kitchen for summer is to swap out your kitchen curtain ideas for something light in color and weight. Heavier fabrics are favorable in the colder months, but cotton, linen, and sheer curtains are better suited for summer.

This doesn't need to be a big or expensive update – simply have one pair of curtains for the cold seasons and another for summer that can be easily switched out and stored away. Or, for an easier solution, opt for a neutral curtain that works all year round, and add a thicker liner during winter.

6. Display summer-themed artwork

Modern kitchen with bespoke floor

(Image credit: K&H Design / Paul Raeside)

When you consider decorating rooms in your home, one of the first things you think of is the artwork you want to display. Kitchen art ideas are no different, so swapping out art or even frames is an effective way to update your kitchen for summer.

There are so many options when it comes to summery artwork. The natural choice might be seasonal landscapes, or maybe even a painting of fruits such as lemons, limes, or berries. However, you could also opt for pieces in bright, colorful hues, or even just swap out the frame for something that feels more appropriate for summer.

In this white and blue kitchen, free wall space has been decorated with colorful, abstract artwork. The hues instantly add a sense of summer to the space, and the use of pastel-colored frames elevates it one step further.

There are so many fun and inspiring ways to update your kitchen for summer, it's simply a case of choosing the right decorative elements. So, whether you go bold with colorful accessories, swap out textiles for something lighter, or add playful kitchenware, there are plenty of ideas here to inspire a beautiful summer kitchen refresh.

Kitchens & Bathrooms Editor

I joined the Homes & Gardens interiors team at the start of 2024 as the kitchens & bathrooms editor. My undergraduate degree was in Magazine Journalism and Production, which I studied at the University of Gloucestershire. Before joining Homes & Gardens, I worked for two interiors titles across both print and digital channels, writing about a range of topics from room design ideas and decorating trends to timeless kitchen schemes and the best places to source pre-loved homeware.