Easy Kitchen Updates

The kitchen may be the hardest-working room in the house, so it runs the risk of looking overworked. Give your kitchen fresh appeal with these quick and easy updates, including solutions for your windows, floor, pantry, and more!

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Freestanding Pantry Ideas

Short on storage and space? No worries. These stylish go-anywhere pantry designs house everything from baking pans and cooking staples to party supplies -- exactly where you need them most. As a bonus, many of these units are transportable so they can travel with you when you move.

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One-of-a-Kind Backsplashes

In a hardworking kitchen, a backsplash is an ideal opportunity to add a little personality. See how pretty materials and unique installations can bring a fresh face to your kitchen.

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Drab to Fab Makeover

See how a basic kitchen received a fresh face on an affordable remodeling budget.

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Guide to Cabinetry

From Better Homes and Gardens, ideas and improvement projects for your home and garden plus recipes and entertaining ideas.

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Countertop Ideas

Countertops are big part of your kitchen. Consider these up-and-coming materials to make a statement in your space.

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Subway Tile Backsplashes

When it comes to a classic backsplash, nothing beats the traditional subway tile. Subway tiles make cleaning up kitchen messes a quick and easy task, plus the variety to choose from seems almost infinite. One thing is for sure, subway tile will never go out of style.

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Popular in Kitchens

Choosing Kitchen Paint Colors

Adding color to your kitchen can give it new life. Put together a fresh kitchen color scheme using these tips for selecting kitchen paint colors, cabinet colors, and more.

From cabinets and paint to backsplashes and flooring, there are a lot of opportunities within your kitchen to add a punch of color. But how do you put together a scheme of colors that look good together? With so many colors and shade variations, it can be a challenge, but what a great challenge that is.

Boston-based interior designer Jean Courtney revels in the complexity of putting together a color-rich palette, especially in a kitchen. "White cabinets? No problem," she says. "But I think you're missing an opportunity if you don't introduce some color somewhere else in the room."

But which color -- or colors? That seemingly simple question drives homeowners to stare at paint chips until they're dizzy and to cover their walls with so many samples that they look like crazy quilts. The human eye can distinguish about 7 million different colors. Some go together, others don't. It helps to understand color theory, but even if you know that nearly every warm color has a cool complement, that doesn't mean you'll like that particular combination.

No wonder so many people choose white. But there are many whites -- cool, warm, and neutral. So where do you begin?

Let Cabinets Lead

"Choose your cabinetry finish first," Courtney says. One of the most popular finishes is "natural" -- a clear finish that brings out the inherent color of the wood. Of course, if you decide to paint your cabinets, then that color -- or mix of colors -- drives the scheme.

Next, consider the countertops, backsplash, flooring, and appliances. In an open kitchen, surrounding rooms become part of the overall palette. The things you're most likely to paint -- walls, ceiling, and trim -- come last. "It's like fitting together a big puzzle," Courtney says. "Everything has to blend and flow."

Consider the Light

Natural light greatly affects the perceived color of a surface. Northern light is cool, for instance, and it's often best to counter it with a warm color. But as the sun moves or drifts behind clouds, colors shift and change. Artificial lighting changes colors, too. That's why it's so important to apply samples where the colors will be used and in context with other colors and materials -- which also affect perception.

Courtney also considers the reflective qualities of colors and surfaces. Dark, rough surfaces swallow light, while pale, smooth surfaces reflect and magnify its effect.

Track Trends

Which colors reign? White remains the classic choice for painted cabinetry. "We offer four different shades of white," says Sandy Nierengarten of Crystal Cabinet Works in Princeton, Minnesota. "All four are in our top 20 finishes."

If you're looking for something trendy, paint companies introduce new palettes every year. Fashion runways, cultural movements, and hot travel destinations all influence the trends.

Not every color works well in a kitchen, cautions Jackie Jordan, director of color marketing for Sherwin-WilliamsMany cooler colors, especially certain blue-greens and grays, don't look good with food, so use them sparingly. Same goes for intense, trendy hues. Sprinkle them around in accessories. Buy some old wooden stools for your island and paint them. "It's a great way to make an impact with color, and it costs almost nothing," Jordan says.

More for You

Try out paint colors before you pick up a paintbrush with My Color Finder.

My Color Finder

What's your color personality? Find out and get customized paint color recommendations.

Color Personality Quiz

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