by Brenda Spagnola
You know, until I became addicted to all those home-decorating shows on television, it never really occurred to me that people actually decorate their kitchens. I mean, I’ve seen other people’s kitchens, like my mother-in-laws. It’s beautiful; looks just like it came out of a magazine. But so does the rest of her house. Me? I have blue and white towels and potholders. That’s it. No, really! I thought that was all there was to it. Good thing I like a challenge!
As I was searching the net looking for clues, the one thing that every kitchen seemed to have in common is a theme of some kind. Sometimes this is based on a collection of things you may have (like cows, or ducks) or the colors you have carried throughout your house (like the plum color used by my mother-in-law), or simply colors you really like. (Okay! I got this part!) Once you have decided on a theme, it’s time to think about paint – the easiest was to change the look of a room. And it’s not just the walls that can use a coat of paint. Think about the cabinets, door-frames, and baseboards, etc. Paint one or all or even none! Not only is paint an inexpensive way to spruce up a room, but it is simple to change if you don’t like it or just want an update. You need to make sure you take into account your appliances before you paint anything. You don’t want one to overpower the other.
If you can afford it, changing or updating your appliances can give an instant lift and a whole new look to the kitchen. However, there are now custom made covers that can be attached to the front of many appliances. While they are not exactly cheap, they are infinitely less expensive than buying new ones. Plus, you can even get them to match your cabinets or even your floor.
Speaking of the floor, what can you do with it? Putting down new tile flooring is great, but not really in the budget for some. For those who are listening, I have two words for you – floor rugs! Not only can they cover up an old or unattractive floor, they can be the whole inspiration for the room. Everyone has seen the little rugs that people throw in front of their sink or stove. But have you ever thought about using an actual area rug? Not an expensive one (since, if you cook like I do, it’s likely to get stained), but one with colors you love.
Finding it can be a little tricky, but believe me, it will be worth it. Even small kitchens like mine could benefit from this idea. (A word of caution here – area rugs are not made to put on top of kitchen floors. So make sure you put down a non-skid surface to lay the rug on. This will keep the rug from sliding around and you from getting hurt!) Find a rug that inspires you. It could match the colors you have chosen or even go with a particular theme. Be sure to Scotch guard it (against the inevitable spills that will occur) and toss it on the floor!
Now, if you collect things, you can use these to actually decorate. But if you don’t, then pictures can easily come to your rescue. There are plenty of places to pick them up (even from other rooms around your home). This can be a great opportunity to bring some contrasting colors into the room. A frugal alternative to buying pictures is to make them. Find something you like in a book or magazine. Then take it and have color copies made, put it in a mat and/or frame and viola! Instant decorations!
Using this idea will also allow you to frequently change the look of your kitchen without breaking the bank – something we all can relate to! An added bonus if that you will be able to afford to change your pictures as often as the seasons, if you want.
As you can see, there are actually many options available to you when it comes to decorating your kitchen. Even if you are domestically challenged as I am, this is one room that’s going to be easy to Spice Up! (Get it? Kitchen = spice? Oh, never mind!)
Brenda Spagnola-Wilson is a moderator and community leader at BabyUniversity.com and lives in Texas with her husband and two children. She enjoys writing about a variety of topics, with her main focuses being home improvement & decorating, saving money, being a SAHM and general home care.