Clean it Up: One of the easiest, cheapest ways to make your kitchen shine is with a good cleaning. You probably regularly take care of dishes, countertops and the floors, but don’t forget:
- Cleaning the refrigerator handles
- Wiping the door to the oven, refrigerator and microwave
- De-griming the stove’s knobs
- Washing the dish strainer
- Scrubbing around the faucet
- Cleaning the oven hood and its filter
- Wiping down the sink’s backsplash and any wall area around your stove
- Removing excessive magnets, pictures or clippings from the fridge door
Hang some artwork: Framed artwork is standard in most areas of the house, but often forgotten in the kitchen. Hang one or two pictures on the kitchen walls, using theme or color to tie them in with the rest of the home’s décor. Stick with glass-covered prints or photos, so you can easily wipe away grease or dust.
Add some fresh color: Toss those old, ragged dishcloths into the ragbag, and treat yourself to a few bright new cloths. Hang one over the oven door handle, or on a hook under the cabinet edge. Instead of a boring, tired-looking teapot, choose one in a bright color or a whimsical design, and keep it displayed on your stove.
Liven up the dining nook: If your eating area is in or adjacent to the kitchen, update the dining table with new chair cushions and cheerful placemats. You can find these inexpensively at Target, Walmart or HomeGoods, and they make a huge impact without costing a fortune.
Change the hardware: One of the easiest, fastest ways to give your kitchen cabinets a whole new look is by changing the drawer pulls and cabinet knobs. Check out The Home Depot, Lowe’s or similar home improvement centers for a huge selection of hardware in styles from country rustic to sleekly modern.
Update accessories: It’s easy to lose time while working in the kitchen, so hang a fun clock on the wall, or set a funky alarm clock on the counter. Instead of an ugly, plain trash container, try something streamlined, clean and brightly colored, or shiny metallic.
New curtains: If you’ve had the same frilly, dusty and dingy curtains hanging in your kitchen window for as long as you can remember, it’s time for an upgrade. Forget fussy frills or dust-catching lace. Choose simple curtains in an easily cleaned synthetic or cotton fabric. Look for either bright color in a simple pattern, or neutral colors in a busy design. Another option is to dispense with curtains altogether, and instead hang a bamboo or cloth-covered roll-up shade.