Take Your Kitchen from Functional to Fabulous

With a few small changes, your kitchen can be even more welcoming.

By Pamela J. Wendt



You have the basics. Your kitchen operates just fine as a place for cooking and serving meals. But is it lacking some touches that could convert it from a room where you take care of daily chores to one where you enjoy spending time?

With many of our kitchens serving as the home’s primary gathering spot for family and friends, we’ve come to view it as a second living room. With this in mind, many of our kitchens can use a little extra attention to make them more inviting.

Thankfully, when it comes to decorating, the adage "big things come in small packages" holds true. Not all changes have to be huge to make a significant impact. Unless your kitchen truly requires a major overhaul, one or more of these smaller modifications may surprise you with the power it packs in its punch:

1. Replace hardware. Replacing knobs and handles is perhaps the quickest way to give a facelift to your cupboards and cabinetry, plus they are surprisingly easy to install. Hardware prices and decorator styles range broadly enough to fit anybody’s budget or taste.

2. Add a coat of paint. One wall brightened with an accent color can freshen an entire kitchen, and a faux finish can transform the décor. Paint comes in a variety of finishes and hues, and it tends to be relatively inexpensive. In many cases, the job can be completed in a day.

3. Change the window treatments. If you only have blinds on your kitchen windows, perhaps it’s time to think about adding fabric coverings. If you currently have café curtains, consider simplifying the picture with a valance.

4. Use light effectively. Two areas that need distinct overhead lighting are the range and the sink. Ambient lighting, easily achieved by installing a dimmer on your primary light fixture, presents a lovely glow all around. Candles provide soft lighting here or there but they require two cautions. First, make sure that you place them where they won’t get in your way as you cook and where curious little hands can’t grab them. Secondly, pick fragrances carefully so that they don’t seem out of place in the kitchen. Best choices are those that smell of fruits, spices, or bakery products.

When you add decorating accents to your kitchen in just a few small ways, you and your family will reap many great benefits!


Pamela J. Wendt is a freelance writer who lives in Tempe, Arizona.