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Quick and Easy Kitchen Fixes

05.02.2012 | Design Insider

I love the idea of “quick and easy fixes,” for me, it’s a matter of seeing materials in a new  way and having a different perspective on how to achieve this. Julia Child once said “In department stores, so much kitchen equipment is bought indiscriminately by people who just come in for men’s underwear.” I believe we never have to sacrifice creativity for convenience…I think we can have both! With just a bit more thought, we can create a custom look without going over budget. It’s all about thinking out of the box for ways to turn everyday materials into something fabulous!

For this fun project, I began the kitchen renovation with used cabinets from Green Demolitions, a groundbreaking company that removes and recycles existing cabinets, fixtures, and décor and then resells them (at incredible prices, I might add). Even better, the proceeds support Recovery Unlimited, a charity commited to recycling, creating jobs, and supporting economic stimulus. So while you’re saving money, you’re also doing your part to save the planet.

After the cabinets were installed, I made one of the simplest alterations in the book – I changed the hardware! This is one of the quickest, most significant ways to change the look of a kitchen.

Next, I bought ready-made laminate counter tops, which are available at Home Depot and Lowe’s. They come in a few standard lengths with an attached 3’’ backsplash. I made sure to pick up matching sheets of faux-granite laminate to use in other areas of the kitchen, like on the island where I inset inexpensive cutting boards, and created a custom looking, and practical, detail.

To add interest to the cabinets and create more impact in the kitchen overall, I went to my local hardware store…one of my favorite places to shop and get inspiration! I found vinyl garden lattices, spray-painted them dark brown to mimic the oil-rubbed bronze details I chose for the kitchen, and installed them on the sides of the cabinets over sheets of the extra laminate. I then took large, silver toned, washers and bolts, drilled them between some of the open spaces of the lattice, and punctuated the pattern.

I think a stainless backsplash is a cool touch to any kitchen revamp. Tiles can be pricey, so my solution was to go back to the hardware store and stock up on stainless grills – yes, the same ones usually used for radiator covers! They give a “big bang for the buck” by adding needed texture, and became a wonderful feature in this room.

It’s fun to add a pop of color for some visual interest, so I painted the walls a bright orange…one of my favorite colors right now.

For a finishing touch, I found some fun pendant lights at Lowe’s to hang over the peninsula and island.

Presto! With just a few quick tricks, we achieved a custom look on a tiny budget…it’s all a matter of being open to seeing things in a different way!