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If painting, staining, or replacing your wood cabinets is out of the question, try one or a few of these ideas for a fresh look.
1. A white subway tile backsplash
White subway tile can brighten and modernize oak or maple cabinets, making a dark kitchen seem lighter.
RV owner Morgan Conner used peel-and-stick subway tile in her RV kitchen, pictured below:
RV owner Patricia Pradmore used real tile in her RV, shown below. Flexible grout (available at most home improvement stores) is recommended due to the motion of the vehicle.
2. Gray walls
Gray is a trendy choice for wall color (“the new beige”), and it happens to complement amber colored wood nicely.
Dark slate walls are bold choice that may be too dark for some spaces, but with light floors and plenty of natural lighting, the look can be stunning. (Need advice for painting RV walls? Check out my article where I wrote about tips for painting RV walls and cabinets.)
We chose a light gray (A Benjamin Moore color called “Into the Gloaming”) for the walls in our own RV to compliment the maple cabinetry. (See more pictures of our RV here.)
Dark gray peel-and-stick subway tiles and stainless steel hardware and appliances give this RV kitchen a sleek look.
3. Accent with stone or brick
A stone or brick backsplash or accent wall makes light wood seem rustic and earthy.
Although real stone is likely too heavy for an RV, a look similar to the one below might be achieved using a faux stone veneer.
Removable peel-and-stick wallpaper offers an affordable and reversible alternative. The RV kitchen pictured below features this wallpaper.
After what was deemed an unsuccessful attempt to paint a “brick” backsplash, this homeowner ended up using brick wallpaper and was very happy with her results.
Brick wallpaper was also used in this RV kitchen.
4. Mosaic tiles
A popular choice for many RVers a peel-and-stick tile backsplash, like this one that RV owners Emily and Barry installed in their kitchen, pictured below. You can see “before” photos at their blog. Smart Tiles and Tic-Tac-Tiles are both peel-and-stick tile brands I've heard RVers say positive things about.
Another RV kitchen upgraded with a peel-and-stick backsplash:
5. Colorful walls
Try choosing a wall color that contrasts with honey colored wood.
Alternatively, oak blends nicely with a neutral wall and gold accents in this bathroom.
6. Replace the hardware.
Dark, modern cabinet hardware can give a kitchen a richer look.
If you don't want to spring for all new hardware, you could try spray painting your old hardware, like this RV owner did. The paint may chip off over time, but this method can at least get you by short term.
7. Add a decorative insert
For more kitchen makeover ideas that don't require major renovations, check out my blog post about backsplash ideas or this one about RV refrigerator makeovers. For clever RV kitchen organization ideas, read this blog post.
Thinking about painting your cabinets instead? Check out my blog post “RV Owners Who Painted Their Cabinets” to see some photos.