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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Before-and-After Kitchen Makeovers

See how these kitchens transformed from closed-off and barely functional to dreamy, bright spaces, perfect for cooking, gathering, and entertaining.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • Open to Change

      BEFORE: Dark walls, basic golden oak cabinetry and a fade-to-black backsplash weren't doing this open kitchen any favors.

    • Lovely and Light

      AFTER: Swapping out the old island for a new custom peninsula with a built-in banquette created better cohesion between the eating space and work core of the kitchen. Removing a door between the kitchen and the attached mudroom provided better access to storage. And with all these functional changes, surface updates were a must. White cabinetry and sparkly accent add glamour. A stunning range hood and floor-to-ceiling marble backsplash create an eye-catching focal point along the back wall to anchor the kitchen's airy look.

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    • Pretty Basic

      BEFORE: This builder-grade kitchen was sufficient, but it had the potential to be so much more. 

    • Hello, Color!

      AFTER: The existing cabinets received a facelift in the form of paint and new hardware, a money-saving move that made room in the budget for two key items that boosted the functional aspects of the kitchen: a counterdepth refrigerator replaced a large, traffic-blocking model (not pictured) and a new, longer island which now boasts seating and was the perfect place for a pop of bright blue.

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    • Dingy & Dark

      BEFORE: Dingy and barely functioning cabinets were a big eyesore in this white-on-white kitchen. Though, none of the whites were actually white anymore, making the kitchen feel dirty.

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    • Cool Plus Color

      AFTER: A simple gray and white color palette brightens the room, and a punch of color comes with schoolhouse-red stools. Open shelving against plank walls is the perfect combination of form and function.  

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    • Makeover on a Budget

      See how these homeowners updated their kitchen on a budget.

    • Skimpy and Inefficient

      BEFORE: While this open and airy kitchen had some strong qualities, the skimpy trim and ho-hum oak cabinets were holding it back. Plus, the refrigerator was shoved into an awkward corner (its doors couldn't even open completely!) and the two closets were ill-conceived, but full of potential. 

    • Efficiency with Style

      AFTER: The refrigerator shifted to the place where the once skimpy pantry sat and the inefficient laundry closet (at left) was reworked as a new pantry, complete with a fun sliding message center. New to-the-ceiling cabinets fill the space where the awkward soffit sat. Cosmetic upgrades, such as crown molding and heart-pine floors capture vintage style in the newer home.

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      Awkward View

      BEFORE: The white U-shape kitchen was functional but boring, and upper cabinets cut off the view between the kitchen and the breakfast area, making the kitchen feel small and dark.

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      Pretty Peninsula

      AFTER: Removing the cabinets hanging between the kitchen and breakfast area made the two areas function as one family-friendly space. A large peninsula is perfect for doing homework or serving food buffet-style. Taupe cabinets and cool blue tiles set a soothing mood. 

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      A Little Too Neighborly

      BEFORE: As if a sink window that stared directly into the neighbor's dining room wasn't enough reason for a kitchen remodel, dated finishes and an awkward use of space were also tipping points in this kitchen's path to a remodel.

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      Cottage Character

      AFTER: Moving the sink area to the underutilized bay window (in the background of before photo) opened up better layout possibilities for the kitchen. A traffic-blocking peninsula (not pictured) was replaced by a slim, but sized-right island. Airy, soothing colors and materials that lighten the overall look (white cabinets, Crema Marfil perimeter countertops, maple on the island, white subway tiles, and stainless steel) are classic choices that are durable enough to stand daily use and the test of time.

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      Cramped Cooking

      BEFORE: The strange layout had an inconvenient peninsula jutting into the middle of the work space, which isolated the cook and made navigating the room awkward.

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      Handsome Design

      AFTER: A new layout (the range was moved to the opposite wall) and furniture-style cabinets that match the rest of the home's vintage charm were key to a seamless renovation. A trio of windows let light stream into the sunny space.

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      Closed-Off Cooking

      BEFORE: An angular wall kept the kitchen -- and the cook -- separate from gatherings and conversation. Plus, a lack of light and bland cabinet color made the kitchen seem cave-like and dreary.

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      Expanded Space

      AFTER: The contrast between the dark floors and light cabinets gives the kitchen presence, and losing that wall brings in light, while the large island replaces any lost storage.

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      The 1990s Called...

      BEFORE: ...And they want their teal countertops back. Not only did this home's foyer stare directly into the kitchen, with the teal counters and sink serving as the greeting committee, what was found inside the kitchen was even more disappointing: an awkward layout, dismal storage, and vinyl flooring.

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      Classically Refreshing

      AFTER: A few thrifty decisions and well-calculated splurges, along with smart design sense, revived this kitchen's purpose and look. The angled sink wall was replaced with a perpendicular wall and the sink was moved a few feet over so it wasn't the first thing guests saw. An inviting breakfast bar (one of the splurges) adds a spot for quick meals. Painting the stock cabinets (a save) in two colors (cream on the uppers, taupe on the lowers) offers a custom look for much less. Granite countertops and hardwood floors in Brazilian cherry finish give the kitchen polish.

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      Next Slideshow Low-Cost Cabinet Makeovers

      Low-Cost Cabinet Makeovers

      Save thousands of dollars by using paint and new hardware to update your existing kitchen cabinets instead of buying new ones. These colorful, budget-friendly examples will help you get started.
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