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9 ways to spiff up 
your kitchen
1 2 3

I can live with a bad bathroom or a cramped bedroom, but an ugly kitchen? Just plain unacceptable. A good kitchen is a necessity of life, for anyone who spends any amount of time fussing over dinners and brunches, breakfasts and lunches. And if you’re the super-social sort who loves nothing better than to invite your friends over every weekend, then you already know this fact: no matter how hard you try to lure them elsewhere, guests have a tendency to gravitate towards the kitchen. So for your own sake as well as that of your guests, do what you can to make that kitchen a welcoming space.

Sure, I understand, there are times when it seems like nothing short of a tear-out-the-cupboards, rip-up-the-lino, full-scale renovation could possibly turn your bad-70s-era kitchen into something approaching an attractive space. And for most of us, a $10,000 kitchen redo – heck, even a $1000 one – may be a nice dream, but the reality, unfortunately, is that it just isn’t an option. And even if you’re lucky enough to have the money to spare, maybe you don’t have the time, or the motivation, to undertake any serious remodeling. Whatever the case may be, that’s still no excuse: you don’t have to be stuck with a kitchen you completely hate. Check out these cheap and easy ideas for small changes that can add up to have a big impact on that cooking space:

1. Change the cabinet knobs and drawer pulls.
This is something you can do even if you’re renting – just be sure to save all the original hardware, and you can easily switch everything back to the original state once it comes time for you to pack up and go. You’ll find a gigantic array of options at any Home Depot or hardware store … just make sure you bring a drawer pull with you, so you can make sure that whatever you buy to replace it will actually fit in the existing holes. Get rid of those ugly, dated faux-brass looking drawer pulls and replace them with something sleek and matte stainless – you’ll be surprised at a what difference such a small change can make.

2. Paint the walls. Paint the cabinets. Paint the furniture. Just paint.
Paint is the cheapest way to give your room a dramatically-different color makeover.  Brighten up a dark, windowless kitchen by painting it in sparkling white or a warm pale yellow, or maybe going bolder with a nice, bright hue. Liven up a dingy kitchen by coating the walls in cheery tangerine. Or just do a single wall, if you’re scared to commit to that much color. Ugly wood cabinets can be perked up with a fresh coat of paint; and if you’re lucky enough to have a dishware and glassware collection that isn’t an ugly hodgepodge of an eyesore, remove the cabinet doors, paint the insides, and voila! Instant open shelving to show off your goods.

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