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other recent LOUNGE articles:
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o Say it with Spraypaint
Painting 101
Make it Mosaic!
Estate Sales 
Open House 
Hammock Heaven 
Makeshift Vases 
o Newlyweds' Nest 
o Variations on a Theme 
o Hanging by a Wire
travel decorating on the cheap 
what goes where?  
furniture arranging 101 
o Easy Corner Shelves
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Minor MAKEOVER Miracles: KITCHEN  9 ways to spiff up your kitchen | 1 2 3
continued from page 1

For a quick, somewhat temporary fix for laminate, just sand the surface, apply a coat of good primer (ask at the hardware store for recommendations; you’ll need something that’s specifically meant for non-porous materials), and paint away. Need more detailed instructions? Check out Christopher Lowell’s tips. Note: Paint won’t stick to laminate as well as it will to wood – the surface is just too slick and non-absorbent – so bear in mind that in the long run (maybe two years or so), you’ll probably either have to re-paint again, or just bite the bullet and replace the laminate.  

3. Top (with a) Shelf
Add some open shelving wherever you’ve got some wall space to spare – next to the stove, above the countertops, by the kitchen table, wherever. Open shelving is easy to install and fairly inexpensive, and serves the dual function of looking nice (provided you keep the shelves well-organized), and helping to get all that crap off the countertops. Nice-looking brackets will make a big difference, so avoid those cheap, strictly utilitarian ones, if you can at all afford it. You can find reasonably-priced, decorative shelf brackets at Home Depot or IKEA – everything from wood to iron to cheerily-colored painted metal. If you’re up for a little more work, and have access to a saber saw, try rounding off the ends of your shelves for a sleeker, more streamlined look.

4. Contact paper it!
This works best, obviously, if you’ve got a somewhat funky, quirky look going on with your décor, since let’s face it: there’s nothing about contact paper that’s going to make anyone confuse it with high design style. But it’s an easy way to add some character to those ugly laminate kitchen cupboards and drawers without going all-out to actually replace them. And unlike paint, contact paper’s removable (although it’s a good idea to test this on your surface in a small inconspicuous area before you plunge into this project). Swath your drawer fronts in a cute print, maybe, or go with a sassy little checkerboard pattern border along your walls… but be forewarned: you may want to try it out on a small section to begin, as it can take some work to figure out how to apply the stuff without trapping huge air bubbles underneath.

5. Store it on the outside …
In matching containers that is. So often, a kitchen isn’t inherently ugly so much as it’s cluttered and disorganized. In a tiny kitchen, unfortunately, there’s just no room to neatly stash everything back into a cabinet once you’re done using it. Kitchen canisters can get pretty expensive, so why not use your recyclables instead? Well-rinsed spaghetti jars, stripped of their labels, make great containers. Flea markets and thrift shops are also great sources for cheap containers.

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