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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Stone Countertop Guide

Is stone the right countertop surface for your home? We have insight into this popular material, from installation to maintenance and everything between.

Stone: Personality

It's almost impossible to find any material better suited for the daily grind of food prep and cooking than stone. Stone is almost indestructible, is virtually maintenance-free, and has timeless quality that integrates well with any kitchen decor. Add the classy, clean elegance of natural stone to your space and you instantly upgrade your kitchen. One more plus: Each slab of stone is unique.

At the moment, granite is the reigning queen of stone options, most likely because of the array of colors and patterns. Marble's patina and cool-temp surface is the darling of bakers and professional cooks, while other stones such as soapstone and slate have become trendy, as well.

Stone can be honed to a matte finish or polished to high-gloss. Both finishes require a little TLC but nothing major in regard to maintenance.


Stone can still scratch, but unlike synthetic countertop materials, it can also withstand hot temperatures. Only on a very rare occasion will heat blemish a stone surface; still, always err on the side of caution.

Granite outperforms almost every other surface material. Smooth as glass, granite makes for easy cleanup. It is waterproof, heat-resistant, and low maintenance. Slate is impervious to water, heat, and stains. Marble, especially lighter tones, can show wear, and if you spill something dark such as red wine, it's likely to stain the surface. Over time, these imperfections will eventually blend into a rich patina.


Stone is an expensive countertop material, but there are several variables that cause fluctuations in cost. The stone's origin plays a big part since different parts of the world produce different stones -- and some are simply more desirable, either for color or pattern, by the consumer market. Thickness can cause the price of stone to rise, and interestingly, when oil and gas prices increase, so does the price of stone due to its transportation from the quarry.

On average, you can expect to pay $45 and more per linear foot for stone countertops. Watch for sales at home improvement centers; there are times when they offer certain granites for as low as $25 per linear foot.

Like the look of stone slabs but have sticker shock from the price? Consider stone tiles. If you don't mind the grid created by grout lines, tiles are an option for a fraction of the price.


  • If you're handy, you can reduce the price of stone countertops by almost half simply by installing them yourself. Just note that stone slabs are extremely heavy and require solid, reinforced cabinetry for support.
  • Use a mild detergent and water to clean stone. High-gloss finishes might require yearly treatments with a special polish; matte or honed finishes should be rubbed with mineral oil as needed to remove marks and scratches.

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