Living Space: Got a few hours? Refresh your kitchen for spring
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Even if it's still chilly outside, now is the perfect time to give your winter-dull kitchen a quick springtime lift. Instead of worrying about major overhauls or refurbishing - think light, color, fruit and flowers. Best of all, you can easily freshen up your kitchen in an afternoon.
Let in the light
Start your makeover with dashes of spring color. Spark things up with a punch of light orange, cherry pink, lime green, or today's hot color - bright turquoise-teal. Better still, try a combination in a fun stripe or plaid. Recover dining chairs, make some simple cafe tiers for the breakfast room windows and add some brightly-colored, coordinated placemats and napkins.
Make your kitchen instantly brighter and homier by adding a cheery table lamp on a buffet, counter or island. Try Kirkland's teal glass table lamp for a bold shot of color, or the metal branch basket with tiers to hold fruit.
Bring the outdoors in
Add some potted herbs in a kitchen window or a fresh fern in a basket to bring the outside in.
Lighting a problem for growing plants? Instead, fill baskets or bowls with fresh or faux lemons to create a bright, warm focal point in the kitchen.
A rustic touch - like a carved root bowl - will also add interest and natural texture.
Floral is hot this season. To brighten up your kitchen even on the darkest remaining days of winter, replace those tired kitchen towels and placemats with brighter examples in a floral pattern. Buy some bowls or utensils in a single color from the pattern to pull everything together. Balance floral patterns by adding a coordinating stripe or solid for items, such as table runners or hot pads.
To give your cabinets a punch of color, replace pulls with colored ceramic or glass knobs, such as Anthropologie's glass cabinet knob with aqua swirls (molten spectrum knob, bright aqua swirl).
Start looking up.
Create an accent "wall" out of your kitchen ceiling by painting it a bright color, or add texture with peel-and-stick faux tin ceiling tiles painted bright white. And while you're up on the ladder, try hanging pots on a rack made from a gate. If your kitchen has a cottage look, create a faux picket fence gate, paint it white and add hooks for instant charm.
If your kitchen is more contemporary, try framing cattle panel fencing with one-by-fours to create a one-of-a-kind kitchen island pot rack. Outfitted with hooks, even a simple chain-link or antique gate can stand in as a pot rack and look fabulously unique.
Kathryn Weber is a home and decorating columnist and publishes the Red Lotus Letter feng shui ezine. For more information, contact Weber through her website, redlotusletter.com.