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Charge Up for Good Health

Easy Kitchen Makeovers

Sprucing up the kitchen doesn''t have to cost a ton of cash. Try these tricks and your neighbors wil...

You don’t have to hire a contractor—or even break out a paint roller (just a brush!) —to give your kitchen a mini makeover. Small changes can act as a real facelift, and help infuse personality into an otherwise ho-hum room.

To add some character to your kitchen’s décor, try these five simple tricks:

Add a splash of color. Forget painting the whole room. With my kids running around, there’s no way I have time to tape off every cabinet edge and put two coats of color on the walls. And what if, after a few months, I don’t like the color I picked out? So I paint canvases and put those up on the walls instead. You can get canvases in a variety of sizes and water-based acrylic paints at your local craft store. I painted three of the 16” x 20” canvases the same color and used a contrasting color on the fourth. If I change my mind in six months, I just grab my paintbrush and repaint a canvas—not a wall!

Relive a trip. What about putting up photos of your most recent family adventure? I’ve found that pictures that capture fun moments—my kids splashing in waves or jumping into a leaf pile—are better than staged photos. To make the photos stand out even more, paint or buy frames in a single bright color and use black-and-white photos. Bonus: They’re instant conversation starters when guests hang out in the kitchen.

Swap handles. If you don’t have the money to replace your cabinets, change the handles or knobs (especially if they’re old fashioned). You can find replacement handles at any home improvement store. Then it’s just a matter of removing the old and putting in the new with a screwdriver or power drill. Make sure your replacement handles or knobs are close in size to your old ones so you can use the same drill holes.

Go interactive. Make your grocery list, kids’ activities, and other reminders part of the décor. You can purchase thin, paintable boards (ask for ¼” luan boards) at the hardware store—you can even have them cut to size. Then buy some chalkboard spray paint. Spray the board outside; you may need several coats to get the right thickness. Make sure the board is dried thoroughly before nailing to the wall. Then let your kids tap into their creative side to draw pictures and write notes and reminders on the board with chalk: “Soccer practice tonight!” “Don’t forget to buy the treats for the Halloween party.”

Jar your décor. Glass jars and bottles are perfect for creating your own decorative displays. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:

  • Remove labels from colored vinegars--like red wine, rice, and balsamic--and place them next to each other on your counter.

  • Fill empty jars (get them at craft or home good stores, and yard sales), with various sizes and colors of dried beans.
  • I’ve also used dried herbs and chilies to create interesting displays.

 

 


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