Get rid of the clutter - yes, you've heard me talk about it a thousand times in a thousand different ways, but it's true! If your kitchen counters are loaded with clutter (appliances you don't use often, food that should really go into the cupboards, or just "stuff" stacked up) you not only cannot clean quickly and effectively - your kitchen will not look nearly as nice. Before you attempt any further sprucing up, de-clutter, de-clutter and de-clutter some more. Begin with getting rid of anything that does not involve food or food preparation. If you have an area that is used as an office in your kitchen that is fine, but try to keep it away from your food-prep areas. Piles of papers and coupons that you've clipped but didn't use.... get rid of or file away all of it. Most of your appliances on the counters don't really need to be out... only keep the ones you use every day (toaster, microwave, coffee pot & maybe the blender if you make smoothies every day) - get all the rest off from the counters, store them in cupboards
(if there isn't enough cupboard space for them in the kitchen - do what I did, have your hubby put up shelves or cupboards in the garage - I mean, it's really not hard to go out and get down the crockpot once a week). After the appliances are de-cluttered, how about other knick-knacks... other than your canisters (which actually could go into the cupboard if you have room), you don't really need tons of things on your counters (I know people who have things lined up all along the back edge of every counter... why?... are they serving a purpose?... isn't it a pain to move them when you need to clean?) Don't forget to clean off the top and front of your refrigerator - trust me on this one. Yes, your kids artwork is cute... yes those pictures are nice to look at... yes, the twenty different magnets that make different noises are fun - but just take it all off and see if your kitchen doesn't look much nicer. Leave the top of the refrigerator empty for now - we'll talk about this later. When you're all done, stand back and admire your kitchen... it looks great doesn't it?... Maybe that avocado green decor isn't so bad after all, now that it's tidy.... okay, maybe it is, so just keep reading..
Paint your cabinets - this will probably give you the biggest bang for the buck. There are so many ways you can re-vamp your cabinets with paint. They can be all one color, you can use one color for the frame and another color for the doors and drawer faces. You can add an accent color... anything you can think of goes. Complete step-by-step instructions can be found at DIY Network
You might even think of replacing a few of the front panels with glass (if your cabinets are a design that can accommodate this) - it will really change the look of the kitchen. Maybe even a few under-cabinet lights (these can be readily found in hardware stores and they even make little disc-shaped ones that run on batteries so there aren't any cords showing). While you're at it - and the brushes are still out - think about painting the walls too!
Replace hardware and knobs - Your new cabinets look great, but some new hardware and knobs will make them look even better. There are so many inexpensive choices available at your local Home Depot or Lowe's go check out what they have that will accent your new cabinet color.
Add a Splash - a backsplash that is! If you have a fairly large area above your counters, you may want to go with go with ceramic tiles as they are the most cost effective. But if you want to make a bigger splash and you don't have a huge area - Glass tiles come in mesh backed 12"x12" sheets and are fairly simple to apply. They are simply gorgeous and they're non-porous so they will be easy enough to wipe clean. Step-by-Step instructions on how to apply are available at DIY Network.
Step on it - your floor! A beautiful imported ceramic tile or hardwood floor is probably on all of our kitchen wish lists, however, they're not exactly in the "inexpensive" category. You can still make a big change by going with good old peel & stick. The newer versions are much nicer than the varieties of yesteryear and there is usually a pretty nice selection to choose from. Since these are peel & stick, they don't require any special glue or tools... So stick away, my friends. Complete how-to's are available at DIY Network.
Accessorize!- I know, I told you to get rid of all the knick-knacks, but I'm not talking little chachka's here, I'm talking about a few bold pieces that will make a statement. Remember we emptied the top of the refrigerator? Well, try topping it with just one great piece like a large, beautiful bowl or a tall, clear cylinder vase filled with glass fruit.
A mirror, a few great prints on the walls, frame some of the kids artwork in nice frames or take the photographs that you removed from the refrigerator, scan them and print them all out in black and white (all uniform size) and frame them in black frames with white mats - wouldn't that be a perfectly posh finishing touch.
With just a small amount of money and maybe a couple of weekends of your time, your kitchen can be just as Posh as the ones in magazines. Once your kitchen is looking great, you'll find yourself wanting to cook... wanting to spend more time there... wanting to entertain more... Is there any better way to kick off your summer?