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Salem Community Patriot

2 Home Improvement - April 30, 2010

Five $150-tricks to make your kitchen look new

room, draw attention to an architectural fea- ture or make a windowless space feel more open and airy. Wallpaper murals are easy enough to do it yourself, and save money on installation.

3. Metal magic

Next, turn your attention to some of the easy-to-replace metal accents in your kitch- en that might be looking worn or dated. These could include cabinet knobs, drawer pulls, electrical faceplates, even the kitchen faucet. All are easy enough to switch out for most do-it-yourselfers and you can easily replace all these items – including the faucet – for less than $150 if you shop wisely. Remember, to improve the look of a kitchen, these accents don’t need to be pricey designer name-brands, they just need to be new. New items will look better than old and shabby, even if they don’t cost a lot.

4. Furniture fix

If your old kitchen set just isn’t doing it

If you’ve looked into kitchen renovation

at all, you’ve probably heard some stagger- ing numbers—it costs $15,000 or more, on average, to update one of the most impor- tant rooms in the house. In this economy, who has that kind of budget? Yet don’t we all deserve a kitchen we can love, not just

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live with? Updates that will help you love your

kitchen don’t have to come with a heart- stopping cost, or involve tearing out cabi- nets and replacing countertops. In fact, it’s possible to seriously improve the livability and lovability of your kitchen with some designer tricks that each cost $150 or less. Here are five

do-it-yourself ways to give your kitchen a whole new look for not a lot of money:

1. The softer side

Never un-

derestimate the power of fabrics. The softer side of your kitchen

decor can have a big impact on its overall look. The right window treatment on that utilitarian window above the sink can really make it pop. New cushions can punch up the appeal and comfort of mundane kitchen chairs. And the right tablecloth and/or placemats can hide a multitude of flaws in your kitchen table. Many budget-friendly discount stores

now offer curtains and kitchen accessories that mimic much pricier designer versions. To get the most for your money, avoid the specialty shops and big department stores and head to your local discount retailer.

2. Take it to the wall

Another powerful and budget-friendly

way to upgrade your kitchen is to give it a fresh coat of paint and a designer-inspired wallpaper mural. A gallon or two of paint will cover most kitchens, and with some very good brands selling for less than $30, that leaves you plenty of money left over for a mural. You can find wall- paper murals for less than $100 at www.DecorPlace. com. Use your mural to create a focal point in the


for you anymore, there are a few things you can do to make things better. If it’s a good quality set that’s just seen better days, consider refinishing it yourself to remove the scratches, dents and scrapes of age. Or, hit used furniture stores, flea markets and yard sales in search of a newer set that may be in better condition, or of better qual- ity, than what you have. A third option is to check out a big box store that sells new, unfinished furniture and do the finishing yourself—which brings an added bonus of allowing you to have complete control over the color and look of the finished product.

5. Appliance magic

Your old washer may do its job just fine,

but have some scratches in its finish from heavy use. Consider painting it. Check with your local paint store to find new, high-tech paints that bond perfectly with the metal or enamel on appliances to make them look like new. If your old stove can still cook up a storm but has some stubborn stains and scratches on the top, or has grills that have seen better days, consider replacing grills and drip pans, or adding decorative covers.

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