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Living Space: Give your kitchen a facelift for fall

By Victoria Advocate
Oct. 25, 2010 at 5:25 a.m.
Updated Oct. 28, 2010 at 5:28 a.m.

A fresh coat of white paint can refresh a tired kitchen. Add some rustic accents and you have modern country. Instead of a renovation, try a facelift on your kitchen before the holidays.

DO IT YOURSELFTry these tips to refresh a tired kitchen:

New coat of paint

Cabinet lighting

Update hardware

By Kathryn WeberWhat is it about the fall and impending holidays that gets everyone rushing to tackle home renovation projects? Maybe it's the chill in the air that makes us want to make our nests a little cozier and prettier for the coming months we'll spend indoors. Whatever the reason, if doing an overhaul on your kitchen is out of the question, a weekend project that refreshes your kitchen is not only doable, but it can create a big wow with less effort.

A NEW FACE

Sure, you could hire a company to come in and reface your cabinets, but when you hire help with projects like this, be sure you can get a guarantee on the amount of time they'll take to do the job. If you don't like the prospect of hosting Thanksgiving in your half-complete kitchen renovation hanging over your kitchen and want greater control over the schedule, then doing it yourself is the way to go. Plus, giving your kitchen a facelift is definitely a DIY-friendly project.

Take a good look at your kitchen cabinets. Would a coat of paint and new hardware create a fresh, new look in your kitchen? Painting cabinets is fast, and creates a brand new look easily. A whole kitchen could be painted in the weekend. Assess if changing the stain from that 80's coat of oak stain that's yellowed and screams Duran-Duran would bring your kitchen into the 21st century. Sanding and re-staining cabinets is a doable project and can often be done in a weekend.

UPDATED STYLE

Adding new and more current hardware will give your kitchen some newness and help to update the style quickly and easily. If your cabinets have plain fronts, a coat of white paint and long stainless pulls will put a cool, contemporary stamp on your kitchen. Add in some new stainless appliances, and your kitchen will look completely refreshed and like you remodeled it. Maybe contemporary style isn't what you're after. Some simple stock trim can be cut and applied to the front of your cabinets with glue. Combined with a new coat of paint, and you'll have a completely new style.

Does your kitchen have a fluorescent box for lighting? This is another instant time stamp that says tired. Remove the box and install track lighting, a chandelier or new ceiling fixture. This will bring visitors' eyes up to the new lighting - but they'll be thinking how good the new lighting looks instead of how dated it is.

QUICK CHANGE

Another fast change that's easy is cabinet lighting. You can add lighting above the cabinets, below wall cabinets to light countertops, or add lighting inside cabinets with glass doors to add more ambience. Consider taking your cabinet doors to a local cabinet shop and have them cut out the panels inside the door frames. Or you can do it yourself. And while plain glass looks terrific, why not try a decorative glass, such as stained glass, frosted or etched? A quick search on the Internet for decorative glass will bring up a variety of styles that you can order from your local glass company.

If you're ready for a fresh kitchen this fall, why tackle a full-blown remodel? Try a facelift instead for a fresh new kitchen in a weekend.

For more information, contact Kathryn Weber through her website, www.redlotusletter.com.

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