Tag Archive 'kitchen imporvements'

Feb 03 2012

Easy and Affordable Kitchen Decorating Tips

While you probably thought your kitchen decor was beautiful when you first designed it, after a few years it begins to get a bit old and dull; you’re ready for a change, but you don’t have the money for a complete remodeling job.  In this article, you will discover some great tips for transforming your kitchen without draining your budget.

Brighten up the kitchen and create an airy look for summer

Summer is just around the corner, and you want a kitchen that is fresh, light and appealing.  To achieve an open, bright look place mirrors on the walls in your dining room to reflect the light from the windows.  Place the mirrors directly across the room from windows or in a corner on the wall adjacent to the wall with a window for the most reflected light.

Rearrange the kitchen furniture to create a “summer arrangement”.  You could move the furniture into a diagonal pattern; take a leaf out of the table to create more space, even remove dark colored or heavily patterned table runners and chair pads, replacing them with bright colored cotton fabrics for an airy effect.

Freshen up the walls

Painting the walls is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to change the look of a room.  In the kitchen, bright colors offer a cheerful atmosphere.  While you may like white, try light shades of apricot, sage green or butter yellow.

Texturing techniques can add drama, and are easy to do.  Learn how to sponge, rag roll or feather dust a wall to create intricate patterns that are much like textured wall paper or stucco walls.

Bring the outdoors inside with plants

Real or silk, plants add life to any room.  Sit live or silk plants in window sills in ceramic or copper planters; hang a larger plant from the ceiling to dress up a bare corner.  If you have an open area above your kitchen cabinets, arrange several plants of various sizes for an appealing look.

Rugs – the solution to a variety of problems

Do your floors lack color?  Are they worn in areas where traffic is heavy?  A new floor can cost a great deal of money, but rugs can give your kitchen a whole new look and add color and warmth to a room.

If you have a country kitchen, add brightly colored sunflower rugs in high traffic areas or in front of the sink.  Bold, bright patterns work well in a modern kitchen. For a bistro-style or French country kitchen, large oriental rugs make a dramatic impact.  Today, you can find rugs in any style, shape, size or color to suit your decorating needs – and they’re great for covering up worn areas, burn marks and more!

Look around to see what might work for you.  There are lots of simple ideas you can find in home decorating magazines, on television, even online.  Sometimes the best ideas come when you’re just browsing around with nothing specific in mind.

Put these ideas to work in your kitchen – you will be amazed at how much appeal you can add to your kitchen with a minimum of money or effort.

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Jul 14 2011

Give Your Kitchen a Fresh New Look For 2011

Published by under Kitchens

The kitchen is the heart of many homes; it’s where families enjoy meals and time together.  Guests also tend to congregate in the kitchen, so you want it to be as beautiful and inviting as possible.  If your kitchen/dining area has had the same old look for a while and you’re ready for a change, this article offers some helpful tips and ideas.

Start with a fresh coat of paint

Your walls and ceiling are the “canvas” of your kitchen.  Before you do anything else, freshen them up with a coat or two of paint.

Ceilings look best when painted in a flat white.  This makes the room appear airy and open.  For the walls, choose any color that suits the decorating theme you have in mind.  Always remember that dark colors absorb light, so if your kitchen is on the small side you may want to stick to light paint colors.

You don’t have to use white of off-white for the walls; in fact, a bright cheery yellow, soft orange or sage green may be perfect, depending on the look you want to achieve.

Keep the cabinets in mind

If your cabinets are wood, keep their color in mind when shopping for paint for the walls.  The last thing you want to do is paint the walls a color that will clash with the cabinets.

The cabinets can be given a makeover as well if you cannot afford new ones.  If they’re wood, simply sand the varnished layer off, paint with white wood primer, and then finish with any color you like.  Adding new knobs and hardware will also freshen up the look of your cabinets.

If you like a rustic, worn look then simply sand around the edges after painting your cabinets.  Focus upon those areas where they would naturally “wear”.

Dress up the floors

Kitchen flooring can be expensive, but if you can afford it the beauty added to your home is priceless.  There are all kinds of options from ceramic and stone tiles to hardwoods, laminates and vinyl.  If you can install it yourself, you will save about half of the total cost.

If you cannot afford to replace your kitchen floor, consider painting it instead!  Not many people realize it, but you can paint old linoleum or vinyl.  Give it two or three coats of paint, then add about 3 layers of a protective top coat.  You can even stencil “patterns” on the floor before you add your top coat; just paint those patterns in colors to match your decor.

Once you have completed your remodeling project, clear out the clutter.  Clutter makes rooms look messy.  Clear the counter tops of any small appliances that you don’t use often.

Add an accent rug by the door if you have an entrance in your kitchen, and one in front of the sink area.  Decorate the walls, add a fresh new centerpiece to the dining room table and you’re done!  You have an entirely new kitchen, and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

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Jul 01 2011

Decorating Ideas That Will Give Your Kitchen a Fresh New Look and Feel

Published by under Kitchens

Your kitchen is the room where the family gathers to share the day and enjoy delicious meals.  It’s also where guests and extended family members tend to congregate.  If you’re growing tired of the same old look, there are many things you can do to give your tired kitchen a fresh, appealing new look.

The first thing you need to do before you begin is to decide on a theme that you like.  Whether you desire a look that is modern and ultra sleek or warm and rustic, the ideas below will help you create a kitchen that will be your favorite room in your home.

Ideas for a Tuscan themed kitchen

If you love the colors derived from nature such as yellow, red, green and brown, Tuscan is the perfect theme.  Stucco texture for the walls, striped and checked patterns, copper, wood furnishings – all of these elements combine to create a look that is warm and rich.

Rich patterns and texture can be added through curtains, table cloths, napkins and the other fabrics in the room.

Spanish style kitchen theme ideas

Warm colors, such as yellow, orange, red and copper can be blended to create a Spanish style kitchen which contains all the ambiance of an authentic Mexican restaurant.

Terracotta floor tiles, iron hardware adorning wood furnishings, copper and a mixture of painted tiles for the counter tops add plenty of color and rustic appeal.  Wrought iron chairs placed around the table add a true Spanish flair to the room.

A French country kitchen is cozy and warm

French country combines soft colors and the elements of nature.  An earthy granite material is perfect for kitchen counter tops while copper and wrought iron add a warm ambiance to the room.  Walls may be off-white or butter yellow; cabinets are weathered and worn.  A chandelier adds to the atmosphere, while stucco texture for the ceilings gives an authentic look.

The modern kitchen – sleek and polished

Those who prefer a clean, polished look that is free from clutter will enjoy a modern kitchen.  Colors you may want to consider include black and white, lavender, aqua blue and silver.  A smaller kitchen looks best when a monochromatic color theme is used; white and off-white give the room a more spacious look.

Larger kitchens can accommodate more color.  For instance, a large modern kitchen would look great with pale lavender-white walls accented with black appliances.  If your current cabinets do not match appliances, consider giving them a coat of paint to help establish a continuous color theme.

Country kitchen – there’s nothing else like it

The most inviting and warm kitchen is often the one decorated using a country theme.  Worn wood, rooster or sunflower accents, wrought iron pot racks, gingham curtains and tablecloths; the elements of country are taken straight from the days of decades ago, when grandma’s house was the most comfortable and relaxing place you could find yourself.

These are just a few ideas to help get your creative thoughts moving in the right direction.  Consider the decor in the rest of your home, and which elements you truly love, which make you and your family feel most at home.  Changing the look of your kitchen is easy once you decide on the perfect theme!

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May 26 2011

Quick Fixes & Easy Ideas for Improving the Look of Your Kitchen

Published by under Kitchens

Does your kitchen need a little pick-me-up, a little something to make it more appealing and interesting?  There are all kinds of things you can do to spice up your kitchen.  For most people the kitchen is the most frequently used room in the house; it’s where meals are shared with the family, the day is evaluated and discussed and where family or friends congregate while enjoying a piece of pie.

If your kitchen lacks personality, the tips and suggestions here will give you some great ideas!  Your kitchen is the “heart” of your home, and you don’t have to live with a kitchen that has become boring or ordinary.

Choose a new theme

Whether or not you have an existing theme, thumb through home decorating magazines for new ideas.  You may lean toward traditional, European, modern and sleek, or old-fashioned country.

Whatever type of decor you decide upon, carry it throughout your entire kitchen; cabinets, accent rugs, your kitchen table, window treatments and other aspects of the decor should continue the central theme.

Budget conscious?  Easy transformations

If you don’t have the money to invest in a new dining room table or kitchen cabinets, do a little revision yourself!  Cover the dining room table with a country-patterned table cloth for a colorful, fresh new look.  Add complementary or contrasting place mats and napkins and the dining room takes on an entirely different look.

If you’re tired of your cabinets but cannot afford the fortune it costs to replace them, give them a coat of paint!  By simply sanding your existing cabinets down, putting a colorful coat of paint on and changing out the hardware, no one will know the cabinets are not new – except you.

Liven up the walls

Decorating the walls is essential in creating a kitchen that is warm and inviting; after all, consider how stark and cold blank walls look!  For the dining room, hang a single large picture on one wall.  This may be a kitchen themed print such as fruit, a botanical garden, or even an English country landscape.  Choose the art that you prefer, and that compliments the rest of the decor.

Another idea for the walls are wood plaques; today, you can find wooden accents designed in the shapes of watermelon, sunflowers, roosters, teapots and many other forms.

Copper is a beautiful addition to many kitchens; hang pots, pans, and utensils on the walls, or display them on top of your cabinets if they are open to the ceiling.

Spruce up the floors

If your kitchen floor has seen better days, maybe it’s time to get a new laminate or ceramic tile floor.  Wood is also a great choice for many decorating themes, and adds welcoming warmth to the room.

If you cannot afford a new floor, don’t worry!  Cover the worst areas with rugs, or give the floor a few coats of paint – yes, you can actually paint a linoleum floor, and the results are fantastic.  Two to three coats of paint, followed by three coats of polyurethane to protect against wear, and your kitchen floor looks brand new.  You can even stencil on your own patterns and designs if you like!

Now you’re getting excited; you never realized there were so many things you could do to freshen up the kitchen.  While these are just a few innovative ideas, go ahead and let your imagination run wild.  Get those creative juices flowing, and make your kitchen the most beautiful, relaxing room in your home – even on a budget.

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Apr 07 2010

Turning a Tired, Dated Kitchen into a Showplace

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

Family, friends, and relatives all love to congregate in a comfortable kitchen-the one area of the home that everyone enjoys. For centuries, kitchens have been the room where everyone gathered, the heart of the home. Here families have come together for great meals, visiting at the table, or playing board games. After all this activity, it’s not surprising that your kitchen may look a little dated. Fortunately, it’s not difficult to give it a fresh, updated appearing, increasing the value of your home at the same time.

Certain Things Give Away the Age
Not surprisingly, there are some dead giveaways when it comes to your kitchen’s age. Are your kitchen appliances still avocado green? If your answer is yes, then this is something you need to get rid of. Or, if that’s not in your budget, then simply give them a facelift. Appliance paint is available that allows you to change the color. Of course, read the label before you buy it, but most paints of this kind can be used on refrigerators, dishwashers, and other appliances.

Perhaps it’s your cabinets that look outdated. If you can afford it, you might buy new ones or even have someone build them for you. Otherwise, you can completely transform the look yourself. All you need is a fresh coat of brightly colored paint and some new hardware! Start by sanding the finish down and then repaint them with a color that will liven things up a bit. By changing the look of your cabinets, you can transform the look of your entire kitchen.

Other Little Changes Create Big Impact
With very little expense, you can do many small things to change the look or style of your kitchen. A simple thing to do is to change the window treatments in the kitchen area. If you’ve always hung curtains there, perhaps this is the time to consider some wooden shutters or modern blinds.

Another easy touch is to handcraft a brightly patterned runner for your dining table. Look online or at a flea market for a used baker’s rack, which makes a great place to display all of your favorite things. If you have a very small kitchen that contains an island, open up the area by removing that island, giving it a more spacious look.

What About the Floors?
Has your worn linoleum turned yellow with age? Fortunately, there are a few things you can do. Many people find that wood flooring is especially warm and charming in the kitchen. Or you may find that tile is a good fit with the room’s style. You can settle on any look and design you want.

For those of you who cannot afford new flooring, don’t worry. You can always refresh the old! One option many don’t realize they have is to paint the linoleum. Start by sanding them down, being sure to remove any dirt and dust particles. Then apply an oil-based primer. Apply two to three layers of your chosen paint. Cover it with a few layers of oil-based polyurethane to seal it and you’ll be good to go!

Updating the look of your kitchen is a great way to increase the value of your home. In fact, the kitchen is the one room in the house that most potential buyers look at most closely. These tips can help you transform your kitchen into a dazzling space that will attract the notice of all your visitors.

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Mar 23 2010

Get a New Kitchen Look on a Budget

With the recent economic downturn, most families have little, if any, extra money. If your kitchen is in desperate need of a facelift, it’s hard to know what to do-especially considering that this is usually the most expensive room in the house to remodel. Fortunately, there are many things you can either do yourself or have someone else do at an affordable price. If you want to transform the look of your kitchen without spending a fortune, here are a few easy steps you can take.

  • The obvious place to start is to paint your walls and ceiling. If you change the colors completely, you can make a really noticeable difference. For example, if you’re looking to add color and vibrancy but don’t want the look to be overbearing you can add color and vibrancy with a soft yellow or pastel peach. Or to really make the look pop, paint the baseboards a contrasting color.
  • Spruce things up by updating any cabinet and drawer pulls. This type of small touch in a décor can really make a large impact. Your local home supply store should offer all sorts of new pulls to choose from. You might even be able to add a touch of color to your décor with a patterned pull.
  • Give your kitchen a whole new look with new lighting fixtures. Chances are, your fixtures have been there for years and are most likely outdated. Compared to having to move the electrical box, lighting fixtures will save you a bundle. You want to choose fixtures that are compatible with and will fit in the same place as your current one does.
  • Consider updating your windows. Are mini blinds still hanging on all of your kitchen and dining room windows? Why not take them off completely and hang some delicate sheer material instead? If you just happen to prefer blinds, then consider the vertical variety. For a more elegant look, you might use satin sheets to create your own swags. When you use a little creativity, your window options are virtually endless.

If you don’t mind painting, with a little imagination you can create a unique look that will others will envy. You want to create a home that reflects your tastes and personality, making it your own special place. If you want to make it uniquely yours, then keep things as original as possible.

As you can see, it’s not necessary to spend a bundle of money in order to transform the look and feel of your kitchen. You want a look that family and friends can enjoy in comfort, since the kitchen is often the most used room in the home. You’ll be amazed at what a difference a few of these simple tricks can make! You can make your kitchen look as though it cost thousands for only a few hundred dollars, and no one will know any better.

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Mar 11 2010

Kitchen Flooring Ideas

When you choose flooring for your kitchen, it will depend on the style and look you wish to achieve in the room. Of course, certain styles are more popular than others, but you need to choose what will work best in your kitchen. Fortunately, you have a wide variety of options—here are a few different kitchen flooring ideas to consider.

Wood Flooring for the Kitchen
A common flooring choice in kitchens is wood floors. Overall, wood floors tend to be one of the most popular types of flooring options available. If you decide to go with wood floors, you’ll have several different types of wood to choose from. The warmth of the wood will add character to your kitchen space, whether you stick with a basic pine slat or choose the trendier, environmentally friendly bamboo wood flooring. Choose a color and type of wood that fits with your kitchen’s style and theme.

Tile Flooring: Timeless and Tasteful
Kitchen tile is another very popular type of flooring. With this type of flooring you have many different options to choose from, from different colors and designs to a variety of materials. Plain tile floors, ones that are laid out in a design, and others that resemble stone or are decorative are just some of your options. Both ceramic and porcelain tile floors are resistant to stains and scratches and require little maintenance. However, do be careful not to drop anything upon the tiles, as they can crack.

Laminate Flooring in the Kitchen
If you’re looking for a less expensive choice for the kitchen floor, consider laminate. The new laminate flooring offers many different options that you can choose from. A very popular type of laminate flooring is that which looks like wood and can easily pass for a genuine wood floor. You can also go with a laminate floor that looks like tile. A plain laminate floor is very simply but can fit in perfectly to play down a visually striking kitchen. Laminate floors can be installed easily and they cost much less than a tile or real wood floor, making them a popular flooring choice.

Concrete Flooring in the Kitchen
People don’t always associate concrete flooring with a kitchen, but in recent years they have become increasingly popular. Many people don’t realize that a concrete floor designed for the kitchen is different than a regular concrete floor. These decorative and stained concrete floors can have patterns and color incorporated into their matrix. Concrete floors are very reasonable when compared to real wood floors and are also remarkably durable.

Vinyl for a Kitchen Floor
If you’re looking for another inexpensive flooring option, consider vinyl tile or sheet. When people think of vinyl, they often think of the old linoleum floors of the past, but vinyl has actually come a long way. Now vinyl comes in all kinds of patterns, colors, and designs, and can add much style and beauty to any kitchen. Not only is vinyl inexpensive, but you can install the floor yourself. With its versatility, you can make a clear statement with that vinyl tile floor or let it be a quiet, calming addition to your kitchen. There are thousands of options, so it’s up to you what type of vinyl tile you choose.

These are just a few of the many flooring options you have to choose from for your kitchen. First narrow down your selection, and then go out and see what’s locally available. It will probably surprise you a little to discover just how many options you really have.

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Mar 10 2010

How to Update Your Kitchen Cabinets

Do you have older kitchen cabinets that you either want to keep or can’t afford to replace? There are several ways to update those cabinets to look nicer and better fit with your kitchen décor. Here are some easy ways to update your kitchen cabinets without having to commit a lot of time or money to the project.

Add New Hardware to the Kitchen Cabinets
Choose new hardware, for a very simple and inexpensive way to update your kitchen cabinets. By adding new pulls or handles, you can really change the look of a cabinet. Cabinet hardware doesn’t take long to install and it’s also inexpensive. Unique handmade or hand-painted cabinet pulls will really spruce up your cabinets and add a creative touch to your kitchen décor.

Paint the Kitchen Cabinets
It’s easier than you think to paint kitchen cabinets. You may not even have to sand them before painting, depending on the style and color of your old cabinets. The easiest way to paint cabinets is to remove the doors and paint them on a flat surface. This way you’ll get the best possible coverage.

When you choose a new color, you can completely change the look of the room. For instance, by painting the cabinets a particular shade, you can turn a country kitchen into a modern-style décor. This type of painting project usually takes a weekend, leaving you with a kitchen that looks brand-new come Monday morning.

Take the Doors Off the Cabinets
A quick way to update kitchen cabinets is to remove the doors from at least some of the units. You can use this space to show off what’s inside those cabinets or showcase a collection that enhances your kitchen’s theme or style. You don’t have to take off every cabinet door; even just two open cabinets can change the entire look of the kitchen. Before you remove the doors, however, be sure that you are committed to keeping the inside of those cabinets clean and organized, and are comfortable displaying the items inside. For example, a collection of plastic cups will not make as wonderful of a kitchen accessory as antique china.

Replace the Cabinet Doors
A great way to update your kitchen and have cabinets that fit with the style you’re going for is to replace your kitchen cabinet doors. When it comes to kitchen cabinet doors, you have plenty of different options. For instance, you can find doors that have designs built in to them. There are also doors that have windows. You want the cabinets to match the rest of the décor, so be sure to look for a cabinet door that will fit in with the theme and style of your kitchen. Before you pick out your doors, make sure they’re going to fit properly by taking careful measurements  of your cabinets.

Any of these ideas for updating your kitchen cabinets can help take your kitchen from old to stylish and new. You can dramatically change the look of your kitchen with any of these renovations—and none of them will cost you thousands of dollars. Once you decide which option will work best for your cabinets and your kitchen, you can start updating your look.

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Mar 02 2010

Simple Lighting Options for Your Kitchen

If you’re looking for lighting for your kitchen, you may have more options than you think, depending, of course, on your kitchen’s style and layout. When it comes to kitchen lighting, you have plenty of options. However, not every selection will fit every type of kitchen. Here are some things you need to keep in mind when you choose the lighting for your kitchen.

Under-the-Cabinet Lighting Can Enhance the Look
Under-the-cabinet lighting in a kitchen can definitely enhance the look of the décor. You just need to figure out which type of light will best fit your layout, especially that of your cabinets. There are certain things you’ll need to consider before diving into the project, such as which areas of the kitchen you’re going to want lit. You have three different under-cabinet lighting options that you can choose from, including incandescent lamps, fluorescent lamps, and LED lights. Be sure to do your research on each type of lamp so you can determine which will work best in your kitchen.

Decorative Lighting Can Add Style
If first and foremost you want your new lighting to fit the style of the room, then you should look at decorative lighting. You might choose a light that hangs from the ceiling or one that lies flush with it. Examples of decorative lighting include products such as chandeliers and pendant lights. Not only do these types of lighting fixtures look attractive, but they also provide plenty of light for the room. If you want to make the light look even more appealing, choose a fixture that will match your kitchen’s theme or style.

Track Lighting Is Great in the Kitchen
If you have seen any pictures of or toured any new homes lately, you’ve probably seen track lighting in the kitchen. More and more people are going with track lighting in the kitchen these days. Track lighting allows you to direct the light wherever in the kitchen you need it most—for instance, by the stove or near the countertops. Nowadays, track lighting comes in many different styles and designs and thus is way more attractive than it used to be. If you’re looking for a more creative or different look, then consider a track that’s curved or even in an “S” shape rather than going for the more traditional straight line.

Recessed Lighting Is Common in Kitchens
Recessed lighting is another popular kitchen light option. This type of lighting involves the lights being installed right in the ceiling. You can point most recessed lights to whichever spot you want in the kitchen, which makes them similar to track lighting. The clean and streamlined look offered by recessed lighting makes it a great choice for contemporary and modern kitchens. Since recessed lights need to be installed in the ceiling, it’s best to hire a professional to do so to be sure it’s done properly and safely.

These days, you have so many different lighting options for your kitchen. If you do your research, you should be able to find a light that not only matches your kitchen’s décor but also highlights your beautiful space.

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Dec 03 2009

Creative Décor Items for Your Kitchen

Kitchen BacksplashTypically, the kitchen is where families spend most of their time, more than any other room in the house. Thus, it makes sense to create a kitchen that’s stylish and different from anything else you’ve seen before. You will be giving your family a place where they can eat, talk, and spend time together, as well as enjoy a unique setting that has both character and charm.

Display Your Cookbooks
Do you keep your cookbooks hidden away in a drawer somewhere or on a bookshelf in the living room? Rather, put them out for people to see when they walk into the kitchen. Place them on a shelf on one of the walls, or use them to create a decoration on top of your refrigerator. Add in a couple of cute bookends to hold everything in place and you will have created an instant décor items that’s also functional and practical.

Hang Some Kitchen Signs
If you want to hang a sign in your kitchen, you can choose from literally hundreds of designs. What you choose will depend on the theme and style you are going for.

  • If you’re trying to create an old retro kitchen, you might choose to hang a neon sign that says something like “Kitchen Open” or “Open 24 Hours.”
  • If you’re trying to create a country kitchen, you can choose signs with roosters or country sayings to give the décor that country charm you are looking for.
  • If you are creative, you might try to come up with your own sign with only a piece of wood and some paint. By creating a sign of your own, you can help ensure that your kitchen will be uniquely yours.

Use Recipes to Add Décor
Surprisingly, recipes actually make a pretty good wallpaper border. You can choose to either handwrite some of your favorite recipes or find pages in a cookbook or magazine. The pages will need to be sealed with a clear poly-acrylic in order to protect them. Then all you need to do is to paste them to the wall.

If you don’t like the wallpaper border idea, then make a wall of recipes near your cooking area. Depending on whether you want them to be legible or not, you can choose to create more of a collage effect with the recipes. By taking this a step further, you can create a collage by interspersing the recipes with different pictures of food to create a one-of-a-kind wallpaper.

Create a Backsplash with Some Hand-Painted Tiles
A great unique way to decorate your kitchen is by using your very own hand-painted tiles to create a backsplash. Ceramic tiles can easily be painted, and then you can use a sealer to preserve your handiwork. You might decide on themed pictures painted on random tiles, or perhaps you can have your kids get creative and paint some pictures for you. This way you’ll end up with a totally unique kitchen backsplash and you’ll also have added a family touch to the room as well.

Your kitchen should neither be boring, nor look the same as everyone else’s. There are plenty of items probably sitting in your kitchen right now that can be used to add personality to your kitchen. So get creative, and be sure to involve the whole family. Together you should all be able to come up with some more neat ideas for creating a unique décor in your kitchen.

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