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Budget Kitchen Makeover Ideas

By Pamela Harris

If your house is like mine, your family spends a lot of time in the kitchen (you remember the kitchen? The room where you microwave those TV dinners, pop the popcorn and open soup cans?) Contrary to what those up-scale style magazines say, you don't need to spend a fortune to update the look of your kitchen (unless you won the lottery, in which case, you are more than welcome to come update mine!). Here are a few simple and inexpensive ways to give your kitchen some pizzazz!

1. If you have solid wood cabinets, strip the color or finish. Then apply a new stain with a couple of drops (or squeezes!) of yellow or green oil pigment (available at your local craft store) added. The color will have more depth and more drama!

2. Experiment with molding from your local home improvement store. Use different types of molding to create interesting effects. Don't confine yourself to the expected - a rectangle in the center. Try a narrow strip across the top or bottom - or for a dramatic effect, try a diagonal strip with the handles attached at the same diagonal.

3. Try adding beadboard as a backsplash for a traditional or country kitchen. Be sure to cover with a quality paint that can be scrubbed!

4. Want a Tuscan look? Mount terracotta or stone pavers as a backsplash! Apply matching or contrasting mortar to customize the look.

5. For an even more inexpensive look, use vinyl floor tiles in a stone or mosaic pattern as a backsplash. There are some wonderful vinyl tiles available today! You can create a whole new look for under $30!

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6. Try replacing your conventional doors with window shutters for a plantation look.

7. Try adding color to white cabinets by painting small frames red. Ask your children to paint flowers or scenes on white paper. Then mount the paintings in the small frames and attach two or three (depending on the proportions of your cabinets) to the front of each door. Voila! Your own art gallery! (And you can change the paintings anytime you want!

8. Glue inexpensive rectangles cut from woven grass placemats to your cabinet doors. Frame with strips of molding to simulate grass or rattan inserts.

9. Cork squares can also be used as dramatic interest when glued to the front of bland cabinets. And the cork is useful! You will have message boards on each cabinet!

See? A dramatic makeover in your kitchen takes just a few inexpensive touches! Now, if only I could get a cooking makeover that easily, my husband would be a happy man!

© Pamela Cole Harris


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