Decorate Your Kitchen with Style! (But Not Cash!)

by Kathy Wilson


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Adding style to your kitchen can seem like a daunting experience when you look at how much the average homeowner can spend on remodeling. You can have a stylish update to your kitchen, however, without hiring a contractor! Here are a few inexpensive ways to transform your most used room into one you'd be proud to show off!

Remake Your Cabinets

Paint is an obvious first choice for this project, as it is inexpensive and a dramatic change. Looking for an airy kitchen? Paint your cabinets white or a soft sunny yellow. Want sophistication? Black, navy blue, or deep red all offer a more formal and elegant air. Consider removing some of the doors and painting the interior a contrasting color, then display your plates and glassware. For a country look, remove the door below the sink and add a frilly curtain with a spring tension curtain rod to close over the space. Already like your cupboard style? Stencil a simple motif in the center of each door, or change out all the hardware to something more unique.

Remake Your Floors

Lets face it, most of us have boring vinyl flooring in our kitchens. It's practical but without a lot of charm. What can you do about it, without spending thousands on a custom tile job?

Did you know you can paint vinyl flooring? Yes, you can, as long as you use a specialty primer first. Clean the floors well with tsp. (Ask in your paint department) Now prime the floor with a good quality specialty primer such as KILZ Original. Follow the directions for drying time. Now paint your chosen pattern. You could tape out a tile pattern, use a darker border around the edge of the room, or paint and then stencil a faux "rug" right on the floor! Try taping off "tiles" with 1/4 inch quilter's masking tape, and then use a faux stone technique. Whatever paint treatment you choose, allow it to dry thoroughly, then coat with four to six coats of a good sealer, such as Polycrylic. Let this cure at least 24 hours before you allow traffic back onto the floor. Re-coat with another coat of sealer occasionally to keep the floor protected. (If you have a large dog with likewise large claws, add an additional coat or two, and keep some leftover paint handy in the case a touch up is ever needed!)

Add Accessories

Just because a kitchen is utilitarian, doesn't mean it shouldn't have personality! Add curtains, hang your best plates along the backsplash, display your children's homemade clay sculptures on the window sill! Fill inexpensive glass jars with stores from your cupboard to add color and texture. Ideas include cornmeal, red beans, pasta, sugar, and tea. Edge your tea towels with a ribbon or strip of scrap fabric to coordinate with your curtains.

With a little elbow grease, a few dollars, and a little creativity, you can have a new kitchen, full of charm and style, without the remodeler's price tag!


Kathy Wilson is an author, columnist, and editor of The Budget Decorator. For thousands of free home decorating ideas, visit her now at TheBudgetDecorator.com.

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