Tag Archive 'Kitchen'

Jun 28 2012

Kitchen Crisis: 3 Simple Budget-Friendly Fixes for the Heart of Your Home

Published by under Kitchens

The kitchen is where life is experienced and memories are made, whether the scent of a freshly baked apple pie is wafting through your home or whether a frozen pizza is cooking in the oven- you don’t have to be a chef to realize how much of your time is spent in the “heart of the home”.

While it is the place where most people pony up to share a glass of wine of nibble on appetizers, it is also one of the most expensive rooms in your house to update. If you are on a budget but want to bring your kitchen into the modern day here are 3 simple fixes you can whip up without much investment at all!

Hardware Overhaul

Are you cabinets outdated or too simple? An easy and inexpensive way to update cabinets without the labor-intensive process of re-painting or the budget buster of customizing is simply to purchase new hardware. Depending on your home’s style- no matter if it is cottage or modern there are hundreds if not thousands of choices.

It is amazing how a simple change like hardware can take an otherwise boring cabinet front and give it some pizzazz. Be sure to choose hardware that is durable and easy to install. Most options are, with a simple screw backed design- but be sure that you choose something interesting enough to make a difference. 

Crown Molding Miracle

Another cheap but high impact way to update your kitchen on a budget is to purchase some crown molding. Depending on what type of cabinets you have- this works best with stock cabinets; you can take an otherwise boxy and unappealing cabinet and give it a customized look. Be sure to match the finish of your crown molding to the finish of the cabinets.

Also if you have a dining space off of the kitchen, use some of your extra crown molding to install a chair rail. This not only defines the dining space super cheap, it also adds an air of elegance to any eat-in kitchen space. 

Peel-and Stick Tile

If you’ve never considered peel and stick tile to cover up your outdated vinyl flooring now is the time to do so. Peel and stick tile has come a long way and can fool even the most savvy of designers. You can choose anything from marble to slate finishes, and even choose to grout between the tiles, creating a finished ceramic tile or marble look. This is an especially great trick if you have children, and don’t want to invest in brand new floors only to have them get scuffed up mere weeks later. Visit your local home decorating store or home improvement store and take a gander at the options. Super easy to install, even a layman can install them. Most kitchen spaces only cost about $50 to tile, and it makes a huge difference!

So even for those of us that have to watch the bottom line with an almost religious devotion, these 3 tips and tricks can take your outdated kitchen and make it pop for under couple hundred dollars. You can even do it for less if you keep your eye out for great deals!

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Mar 19 2012

The Tuscan Style Kitchen Offers Old-World Charm and a Taste of Italy

Published by under Kitchens

Nothing is quite as relaxing and intimate as a Tuscan style kitchen.  The look is warm and inviting, rich and filled with natural elements.  Whether you are building a new home or simply want to give new life to an older kitchen, you will find this decor theme beautiful and comfortable.

Many families spend more time in the kitchen than they do in the family or living room.  For this reason, you want your kitchen to be as relaxing and appealing as possible.  The tips below will help bring a taste ofItalyto your kitchen.

Earthy colors – the basis of all things Tuscan

The colors typically found in a Tuscan themed custom kitchen include those found in nature.  Olive green, terra cotta, chocolate brown and of course wine shades, since grape vines and wine bottles are essential in this style of decorating.

You can use any variation of these colors depending on your preferences; just remember that the colors should closely mimic those you find outdoors, perhaps even in a vineyard.

Furnishings are rustic and solid

Wrought iron and rough-hewn wood are typically found in the Tuscan kitchen; the look is old and elegant.  A heavy rustic wood table decorated with a Tuscan inspired tablecloth is warm and inviting.

If your kitchen is large enough, consider an antique wood pie safe or an old wooden table as a center island used for chopping and other tasks.

Wrought iron is an essential element of the Tuscan style kitchen.  Chandeliers, wine racks, even a wrought iron pot holder hanging from the ceiling add charm and old-world atmosphere.

As far as cabinetry goes, consider glass front doors or no doors at all.  This will allow you to add decor and color to the room through spices and oils, ceramic dishes, colorful plates and all of those goodies you normally keep behind closed doors.  This look is what makes the Tuscan kitchen so rich and appealing.

Stone, pottery and other essentials

To achieve the most authentic look in a Tuscan kitchen, consider stone floors or stone-like ceramic tiles.  Clay pottery, bronze, wrought iron and other natural elements bring the look to life, and add further to the natural appeal of a Tuscan themed kitchen.

Wrought iron drawer handles add additional depth to the look.  Terra cotta pots filled with natural herbs like basil, rosemary and oregano are essential for an authentic Italian kitchen.

Spice up the walls

The wall decor is central to the Tuscan style kitchen.  Wrought iron accents, wine and grape prints, even hammered copper pots and pans hang on the walls, lending to the intimate atmosphere and ambiance of the room.  This is clearly a room that is well used.

Wrought iron candle sconces are a nice touch as well; consider hanging them on both sides of a beautifully crafted vineyard scene.

Soft, ambient lighting is another essential in the Tuscan kitchen.  Try to avoid bright fluorescent lights, opting for a warm glow that offers an intimate feeling to the room.

Bringing a bit ofItalyto your kitchen isn’t hard; look through magazines and online for more ideas that will help you transform your kitchen in to a show place.  For a warm, inviting atmosphere that draws everyone to the kitchen, nothing beats Tuscan decor.

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Nov 03 2010

Reface Your Kitchen Cabinet Doors for a Beautiful New Look

Published by under Kitchens

Every homeowner dreads when the time comes for new cabinets, as this is one of the biggest expenses around when it comes to remodeling their home.  Whether the cabinets are worn out, or you simply want to give your kitchen a fresh new look, you can do it yourself for a fraction of the cost of professionally installed new boxes.  This article explains how to reface your cabinet doors using veneers, saving you potentially thousands of dollars.

Avoid taking shortcuts

Many people tend to take shortcuts when working on a project.  With this one, don’t attempt to complete the work without removing the cabinet doors. Take the cabinet doors and all the hardware off, including screws and hinges.  This will help you avoid possibly scratching other surfaces as well as yourself.

How to begin

Now that you have the cabinet doors and hardware removed, begin by sanding the doors.  In order to install veneers so that they look beautiful and last for years, you need to sand the sides of the doors and the face frame down to the bare wood.  This helps give you a good sealing surface, so that veneers adhere properly.  Use a coarse sand paper in the beginning, and then switch to a finer sand paper to complete the work.

Be sure to clear away all of the wood dust and other debris from surfaces by vacuuming and using a tack cloth.  Veneers will adhere well giving a smooth, professional look only if all sawdust is thoroughly removed.

Preparing veneers

This step is where patience will pay off!  Don’t try to hurry as you measure and cut veneers for the face and sides of your cabinets.  Measure your face frame and sides, and measure again to make certain you have the exact measurement, then cut the veneer to the exact size you need.  By making sure you do it right the first time, you won’t waste your veneer making inaccurate cuts.

Now it is time to install the veneer on to the cabinet door.  For this step, you will need to use contact cement applied to both the back of the veneer and the bare wood of the cabinet door.  This will ensure that you get a solid contact with no air bubbles, that way the finished look is smooth and professional.  Once you place the veneer and know that it is aligned properly, use a roller to press all surfaces down and ensure thorough adhesion.

Final Steps

Once you have applied the veneer to the cabinet door and edges, inspect your work at once.  If you see any glue drips, cracks or veneers that appear to be misaligned, take care of the problem now.  It’s much easier to correct a mistake now rather than wait until the glue has set up hard.

Now you are ready to re-hang your cabinet doors!  Once they are thoroughly dry, begin hanging and replacing hardware and hinges.  Place the doors on their hardware.  Once they are in place, simply wipe off any smudges or fingerprints you may have left with a cloth, then apply a little furniture polish with a soft rag to protect your cabinets and give them a soft sheen.

As you can see, this project does take a little work, but the savings make it well worth your efforts.  Anyone can give their cabinets a great new look with just a little elbow grease!

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Sep 21 2010

Renovate Your Kitchen on a Budget

Published by under Kitchens

The kitchen is perhaps the most expensive room in the house to completely remodel, but also the most important space when it comes to selling your home.  You may not be trying to sell, but still desire a freshly updated look.  Other than spending tens of thousands of dollars on a complete remodel, there are many affordable things you can do yourself to give your kitchen an entirely different look.  This article offers tips and ideas to help you create a fresh, appealing room that beckons to family as well as visitors.

Be aware that if you ever do decide to sell your home, the kitchen is often the room most closely scrutinized by buyers.  Many families spend a good deal of time in this room, and they want a room that is beautiful but relaxing as well.

Color

 

Color plays a vital role in the appearance and atmosphere of your kitchen.  Depending on your style preferences, you may want basic colors such as cream, tan or white to make the room look clean and bright.  For those who like a bit more splash and interest, color can be added on walls and counter tops, and also through the use of accessories.  Think colors like ocher, terracotta and blue if you desire a warm look.

Cabinetry

 

Cabinets are what usually add significantly to the cost of remodeling a kitchen.  If yours are still in decent shape, you might consider sanding and refinishing or even painting them a different color.  White cabinets look clean and give an airy atmosphere to the room.  Any color is fine, as long as it blends with the rest of your décor.  If you don’t want to refinish all of your cabinets, adding new drawer pulls and hardware can really change the look with a minimum of effort.

Appliances

 

This is another area where you can spend big bucks if you aren’t careful.  If your appliances are old and really need to be replaced, consider buying appliances that are used on the showroom floor of the store where you intend to buy.  Usually, appliances that have been used as display models can be bought for a fraction of the price of those in boxes.  If you simply cannot afford new appliances of any kind, consider painting those you have with appliance paint.

The simplest and most cost effective ways to give your kitchen a fresh new look is to paint the walls, update the floor and buy a few new accessories.  These days, you can buy flooring that is easy to install yourself.  You might also consider painting the baseboards and door trim a contrasting color to add more interest.

Keep clutter to a minimum on counter tops, it makes your kitchen look clean and organized.  Fresh herbs in terracotta pots add a nice touch, as do coordinated dish towels.  An accent rug placed in front of the sink helps keep the floor clean while adding a vibrant splash of color.  You may also want to create a centerpiece for the dining room table yourself by crafting it of dried herbs and greenery.  If your kitchen has more of a country theme, consider a wicker or rattan basket lined with gingham checked material and filled with fresh fruits.

Think outside the box, and let your imagination run wild.  There are many things that you can do to renovate your kitchen without spending too much money!

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Sep 15 2010

Country Style Kitchens Never Lose Their Charm and Appeal!

Published by under Kitchens

There is nothing quite like a big country kitchen to welcome family at the end of the day. It is a great space for entertaining when inviting friends and other guests who stop by for a visit as well.  A country themed kitchen is warm, relaxed and inviting – and packed full of charm.  Families can spend their evenings gathered around the table for a big meal, or discussing the events of the day.  This article offers tips and ideas for transforming your kitchen into your favorite room of your home.

You don’t have to have a great big kitchen for the country theme to work!  Any space can be given old fashioned charm with a few simple changes.

Color is Key

 

In a country style kitchen you want colors that are basically natural and on the light side.  Sand, cream, golden brown and terracotta are great colors to use as the base for your decorating.  Cream colored walls are beautiful when trimmed in golden brown baseboards.  This sets off the room and creates a depth that is noticeable.  A countertop in terracotta or sand adds a bit more color and makes the room look rich.

The More Wood the Better

 

With the country theme of decorating, lots of wood is in order!  Your table can be round or oblong, even square – but make sure it is made of wood.  Chairs should be made of wood as well, although they don’t have to match.  Odd chairs look great in this style of décor as long as they are all made of wood.

Wood cabinets in an oak or maple finish are beautiful for the kitchen, as are wood floors.  Of course, if you cannot afford wood floors you can simply throw a few accent rugs here and there that are decorated with a country theme.

Pots and Pans can be Decorative

 

A simple touch can add so much to the appearance of your kitchen.  Consider hanging your pots and pans from a wrought iron rack hanging from the ceiling.  This gives you additional cabinet space as well, so that you can put all of those small appliances and other things that crowd your counter tops out of sight.  Hanging your pots and pans really adds old fashioned charm.

Accessories

 

Accessories are what complete the look, so make sure you don’t leave out this step.  Plants in terracotta pots are essential, and they add warmth to the room.  For the walls, you might consider hand-made hangings that are cross-stitched to add a personal touch.  Mason jars filled with heavenly-scented candles are a good addition, and make the room smell wonderful.

Of course, you will also want to consider your own favorite country theme.  Some like to use an abundance of roosters or other farm animals, while others prefer a sunflower theme to brighten up the room.  Use your own creative ideas, and get to work on your own charming country kitchen!  Your family will love it, and all guests who enter will never want to leave.

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Feb 25 2010

Tips for Creating a Black & White Retro Themed Kitchen

If you’re searching for a great new theme for your kitchen, what about black-and-white retro? Yes, this is a retro theme from way back when, but this style has become a classic. If you’re considering a retro theme for your kitchen, then here are some tips to get you started.

Use Red as an Accent Color in the Kitchen
Use red as an accent color along with the black and white to make your retro kitchen look more authentic. By adding touches of red, you can bring some interest and color to the room while still maintaining the retro feeling. Have you ever seen a black-and-white diner or kitchen from years ago? They almost always incorporate red into the design. However much red you use in the kitchen is entirely up to you. Either save it for smaller items such as placemats and window treatments, or use it more broadly, such as for a backsplash or the color of a wall.

Flooring Options for a Retro Kitchen
If you’re designing a retro kitchen, one of your best flooring options is a black-and-white tiled floor. You can definitely enhance that retro look by creating an alternating pattern of black and white tiles, which will give the room that old-diner feel. If you’re working with a limited budget, look for laminate flooring with a black-and-white checkered pattern. If you can, try to avoid wood flooring in a black-and-white retro kitchen, but if you really want to go with wood floors, then go with a darker-colored wood. You can always add at least one area rug with black, white, or red in it to complement the retro look.

Cabinets for a Retro Kitchen
As with the flooring, it’s best to stay away from wooden cabinets. A better option is to paint the cabinets white. Or, if you feel daring, paint them black. Just be sure it fits with your wall color. Use silver retro pull handles to add accents to the cabinets. A great way to get really creative is to make your own one-of-a-kind cabinet pulls, hand painting them with a checkered or geometric design.

Choosing Appliances for a Retro Kitchen
White was the standard for refrigerators back in the day, and thus most kitchens, in turn, had white appliances. These days there are so many different options for appliances that you can play around with the different choices. Stainless steel appliances, for instance, would look great with a retro kitchen style. If you haven’t used that much black in the rest of the room, you might also go with black appliances. Don’t strictly limit yourself to retro options, as you can easily add a modern twist to your black-and-white retro kitchen.

If you’re looking to give your kitchen a unique style, a black-and-white retro theme can be a great way to decorate your kitchen. Just be sure to keep the room comfortable and inviting as well as stylish, as your family will be spending a lot of time in there.

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Feb 15 2010

Tips for Adding Color to Your Kitchen

Most families seem to end up spending a great deal of their time in the kitchen, so you might want to make it more interesting and add some color. Even if you don’t want your kitchen to be drab and dreary, it’s not always easy to know quite how to add the right touch. Here are some easy ways to add color to your kitchen so you can change your décor from boring to fabulous.

Add Color by Dressing Up Your Table
Dress up your kitchen table as an easy way to add color to your kitchen. Some colorful dishware can really spruce things up, as well as a colorful tablecloth or placemat set. Another great way to dress up your table is to add a centerpiece such as flowers in a vase or basket, which will instantaneously add some color to the room. Try to find colors that will add some interest but also complement your kitchen’s décor.

Add Color with a Backsplash
You don’t have to have a boring kitchen backsplash. Some people keep it simple, using a neutral-colored tile or laminate, but you can always venture out a bit a choose a colorful look instead. Tiles and laminates come in all different colors. Another unique approach is to arrange broken-up colored glass in a random pattern on the wall. Not only will you create a personalized, one-of-a-kind backsplash, but you’ll be able to get a some different colors worked into the décor.

Paint an Accent Wall a Different Color
You can always add color by creating an accent wall in a kitchen that’s otherwise painted a neutral color. Choose the wall that’s the least covered with cabinets or appliances. Be sure to pick an accent color that will work well with the rest of your kitchen’s décor. For a more subtle look, go with a matching color. But if you want the wall to really stand out, pick a color that’s complementary.

Take the Doors Off the Cabinets
Showcase your colorful dishes and other tableware by taking the doors off your kitchen cabinets. If you have neutral dishes, add some pop by painting the insides of the cabinets a contrasting color. This doesn’t necessarily entail removing every cabinet door, but you can pick a few cabinets to be colorful, preferably those more prominent cabinets above the countertops.

Use Window Treatments to Add Interest
Another great option is to utilize the window area in your kitchen to add color. Whether you go with a valance or drapes, choose a window treatment in a color that will stand out. A black-and-white kitchen, for instance, would benefit greatly from some red or purple window treatments.

Adding color to your kitchen doesn’t mean you have to change the entire décor. Rather, build upon what you already have to add your own colorful touches here and there.

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Jan 06 2010

Decorating Tips for a Kitchen Island

There are many different kitchen islands that a homeowner can choose from. Not every kitchen island is going to be decorated and used in the same manner. Some islands are better for simply storing items underneath, whereas others need more style added to them, perhaps some strategically placed décor items. Following are some great decorating tips to consider for your kitchen island.

Turn the Kitchen Island into a Sitting Area
A kitchen island makes a great sitting area for the family—depending, of course, on its size. All you need do is clean off the top of it and add a few stools. Then the family can sit around it and enjoy meals together. This is a great option, especially if you don’t have a table in the kitchen and are limited to your formal dining room table. This is a way to utilize this convenient space in the best way possible. Consider setting the island with placemats in order to add even more style to the room.

Add an Appliance to the Kitchen Island
It may not seem much like decorating to place an appliance on your kitchen island, but this serves as both a functional and decorative way to store a great appliance that you may already own. You can’t just put any old appliance on the counter area. You want to choose something like your nice fancy stainless steel toaster or blender that will add to the décor. Just remember that if you’re going to decorate with an appliance, you need to be sure that the island has outlets or that there is one accessible from where the island is located in the kitchen.

Decorate the Kitchen Island with Kitchen Utensils and Products
Decorating your island with kitchen utensils or other products is another great option, along the same lines as the appliances. As with the appliances, you don’t want to put any old kitchen products on display. Eye-catching items like decorative containers and baskets or a spice rack are great additions to a kitchen island. Other items that look fantastic are napkin or paper towel holders and canisters of dried goods such as sugar and flour. You just want to be sure that the space doesn’t end up being a catch-all. Remember, you still want to keep it neatly organized.

Decorate the Kitchen Island with Flowers
If you can’t figure out what to do with your kitchen island, consider adding a nice vase or basket of flowers. Although fresh flowers are more appealing than fake ones, remember that they’ll need to be replaced every few days. Another option is to place a nice houseplant there.

When decorating, you need to attend to the kitchen island just like any other area in the room. When you leave an island completely empty on top, it tend to be boring and may even bring down the look of the kitchen. If you utilize the space you have, you will create a look for your kitchen that’s much more appealing.

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Dec 11 2009

4 Tips for Decorating a Galley Kitchen

Galley KitchenGalley kitchens tend to be smaller and thus need to be decorated, not only in terms of style, but so that you’re utilizing all the available space in the area. There are many decorating techniques you can use to make your galley kitchen, not only appear larger, but also be more functional for you. Read on to discover some great tips for decorating your galley kitchen to make it work best for you.

Maximize Your Vertical Space
When creating a galley kitchen that’s both stylish and functional, you need to be sure that you’re utilizing all the available space—and this includes any vertical space you might have. A major waste of space in a galley kitchen is cabinets that don’t extend all the way to the ceiling.

If you have cabinets that don’t extend all the way up, then reclaim that space by using those cabinets as a shelf and placing items on top of them. Baskets and bins added to the top of your cabinets make a great place to store those kitchen items you may not use very often. If you don’t need all that storage space, then add a plant or display some beautiful dishes there to add some style to the room.

Add Plenty of Light
The majority of galley kitchens dead-end into a wall and therefore tend to be dark. Thus, it’s really important to make sure that you have plenty of light in the kitchen. If you do have a window, choose treatments that will allow the maximum amount of light to filter into the room. A great idea for a galley kitchen is overhead lighting. Track lighting is even better, as it will allow you to aim the light wherever you want it in the kitchen.

Make Kitchen Supplies Work Double Duty
Use your kitchen supplies rather than bringing in décor items to hang on the walls of your galley kitchen. This is a great way to save space, as you already need the kitchen supplies anyway, so why not put them on display?

You might choose to display your nice dishes on a shelf in the kitchen. You can hang decorative or monogrammed kitchen towels on the stove or from a peg on the wall—acting as both a towel and a décor item. By getting creative in how you display your kitchen supplies, you’ll be able to save both space and money.

Choose Lighter Colors for the Kitchen’s Décor
You want to stay away from dark colors when painting the walls of your kitchen and choosing the main color scheme, as most galley kitchens tend to be on the small side. An important rule of thumb to remember is that dark colors painted on the walls make a room look much smaller, whereas lighter colors can make the room look bigger.

When you go to paint the walls of your kitchen, choose a neutral color such as cream or white. It’s also advisable to stay away from dark cabinets and countertops. A black granite countertop, for instance, is not going to be the best choice for a galley kitchen. You might also want to stay away from any black or darker appliances and instead go with lighter colors such as white or even stainless steel.

Small galley kitchens can present a challenge when you go to decorate them. However, if you keep these tips in mind and also incorporate your own personal style, you’ll end up with an attractive kitchen that will be much more functional as well.

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Oct 01 2009

5 Easy Ways to Redecorate Your Kithchen

Published by under Decorating,Kitchens

KitchenDo you feel your kitchen is lacking something or is just totally out-of-date? There are several inexpensive ways to update the look of your kitchen while still being able to afford groceries for the month. You might be stuck with your floor plan, unless you have thousands of dollars to completely redo the entire kitchen. But there are ways to accentuate the positive and spruce up the kitchen you have.

Add New Cabinet Hardware
Adding new hardware might sound really simple, but it can really affect the scheme of your kitchen. By taking off old hardware (if you even have any) and adding new handles and pulls, you can turn an ordinary cabinet into something decidedly more stylish. For a more contemporary look, go with silver or brushed nickel handles. Cabinet pulls and handles vary in price, anywhere from $0.50 a pull to upward of $20. So be sure to set a budget ahead of time and account for all the hardware you’ll need.

Apply a Fresh Coat of Paint
Paint is inexpensive but can instantly change the look of a room. The low cost will be especially true if you have a small kitchen or not much exposed wall area. For those who have wallpaper, painting can give a kitchen an instant facelift. Be aware, however, that the project will be more time consuming than if you didn’t have the wallpaper to tear down. Choose a color that’s updated and fresh, but be sure it will still go well with the look and color of your cabinets. If you’re not happy with your cabinets, this may be a good time to stain or repaint them as well. If your ceiling is sporting those ugly yellow grease marks, consider repainting it as well.

Freshen Up Your Kitchen by Adding Some Green
The simple addition of a plant or flower arrangement to your kitchen can bring an element of freshness to the space. Be sure not to clutter the plants or flowers. One on top of a cabinet or one in the corner of the room will be enough to change the look of your space. If you go with a real plant or flowers, be sure to take care of them or you’ll be wasting your money.

Add a New Light Fixture
You can really spruce up your kitchen with a new light. Light fixtures vary in price, but you should be able to find a great light for your kitchen for under $100. If your kitchen currently contains recessed fluorescent lighting, that is definitely something to update. Consider something totally different such as a chandelier in the middle of the kitchen. Track lighting is another great option, as it gives you light in the areas of the kitchen, such as the stove, where you need it the most. A new light fixture is not only functional, in that it adds new light to the space, but it also can bring a sense of style to the room.

Put Your China on Display
Do you have beautiful china that’s hidden away in your cabinets or hutch? Why not put it to good use and display it? An easy option is to take one of your cabinet doors off the hinge and replace it with a glass cabinet door. Then you can arrange the china in the cabinet to show it off, and voilà, you have an instant attention-getter. Another great display idea is to put up a shelf on one of the walls and display your china there. Just be sure to fasten the china to the wall so it doesn’t fall.

It doesn’t take a lot of money to update your kitchen. By using your creativity and the resources you have, you can add instant style to any kitchen. Now that you’ve tackled the kitchen you should consider working on your dining room. In a a future post we’ll be be talking about getting beautiful dining sets and oak dining room tables to help enhance the look of your home and compliment your kitchen makeover.

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