It’s almost a classic case of accentuate the positive and eliminate the negative, except sometimes your only hope is to hide the negative. Here are some actions you can take to make your kitchen a better place to be.
You may think your KitchenAid stand mixer makes you look like a pastry chef, but not if it’s coated with dust and half-concealed by your butcher-block knives and dish drain. Pick just a few useful, attractive items to leave on your counters and save your space for actual prep work. Hint: Summer’s over… lose the blender. Then, make the most of your shelf space by using attractive containers for open spaces. What your stuff does behind closed doors is nobody’s business!
This idea may seem counterintuitive, but not only does it save space in your fridge, it gives your decorative dishware something to do, adds color and interest, and, my favorite, reminds you to eat your food before it goes bad! I have a footed crystal trifle dish on my counter. Too fussy to use, too pretty to throw out and totally pointless to stash, I leave it filled with lemons, oranges, limes and other brightly colored fruit.
You know that hideous brown hutch stashed in the corner of your kitchen? Grandma didn’t like it when she had it, which is why you’ve got it now. I know, you’re going to sand it down, paint it some funky color… and give it new hardware. Might I suggest you launch the relics and get to work on those cabinets? Places like United House Wrecking, Cool Knobs & Pulls, antique stores and mail-order catalogs have a dizzying assortment of special knobs and handles.
If you can’t go tearing apart your kitchen, paint the heck out of it. You should definitely hit at least one wall with a splash of color, but why not really make a splash by painting the floor? This is a great way to make big impact in a small space. Also, consider adding a tiled backsplash for your stove so you don’t have to keep painting back there (unless you’ve come to accept those grease blotches as artwork).
Now that you’ve tidied up the place a bit and made a few easy changes, spend an afternoon flipping through decorating magazines for simple ideas to add a little fun or glamour to your kitchen. In most cases, you can just pull together items you already have into a charming vignette. You might also create or purchase a bright piece of art for the largest wall.
Now that you’ll gladly trade your “latte factor” for home-brewed morning coffee in your happily updated kitchen, you can spend the found savings on a small indulgence. How about swapping out your traditional lighting for a contemporary pendant light? Perfect for above the sink.
For about one weekend and $300, you can use these tips to make your humdrum kitchen a little brighter. While it still may not be your ultimate dream kitchen, a little bit goes a long way toward a smart bit of style.
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