Mini But Mighty Updates for a Builder Kitchen

Give your builder-grade kitchen a fresh outlook with minimal mess using these 10 inspiring improvements from Melissa Michaels of The Inspired Room.

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  • 1 of 12

    Before: Basic at Best

    Melissa Michaels had peninsula problems. The storage unit trapped guests and cooks in a corner so that only one person could work at a time. By removing the island and adding a new cabinet to the right of the sink, the kitchen gained great party flow and six valuable drawers.

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    After: Modern Charm

    A single smart floor plan fix, as well as a punch of personality, gave this builder kitchen new style and function. Cabinets removed from the range and sink walls add to the room's new airiness. Quartz countertops, a tile backsplash, and a modest island -- all in shades of white -- further freshen the space without requiring reconstruction.

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    Scheme Team

    Painting the maple cabinets charcoal and white helped blend the new cabinet by the sink as well as a panel that covers the soffit on the fridge wall. The medley of bright and creamy whites found throughout make for a clean, sunny space worth spending time in.

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    On Display

    One set of cabinet doors were removed to create open storage. Paneling behind the shelves creates continuity with surrounding cabinetry. Pops of yellow and blue in ceramic dishware bring cheery color into the kitchen.

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    Convert Cabinets to Open Shelving

    Give plain kitchen cabinets a new look by converting them to open shelving. See the step-by-step process for this easy kitchen project.

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    Sleek Switch

    A modern range hood replaced an over-the-stove microwave, which moved into the walk-in pantry to save counter space and avoid tedious installation. All other appliances stayed. White subway tile provides a pretty, budget-friendly backdrop.

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    Smooth Swap

    An apron-front sink designed to be easily retrofit into existing cabinetry replaces the previous model. Pretty painted knobs add sparkle against gray base cabinetry.

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    Storage Haven

    An unfinished piece of furniture became a personality-packed island thanks to a special DIY paint treatment. The homeowner used a plastic bag full of screws and nails to give the island a distressed texture. She then painted the frame, stained the top and shelves, and screwed in hooks to supply a handy spot for dish towels and utensils.

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    Raise a Glass

    A decorative shelf filled with pretty patterned teacups dresses up a blank wall above the beverage station. Wall sconces provide task lighting and an industrial touch.

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    Can-Do Closet

    What the original pantry lacked in personality, it made up for in useful space. The storage space became a decorative extension of the kitchen by removing the door and adding shelves for baskets and jars. Clear glass containers save time when identifying contents and look pretty lined up in a row, while a console table serves as a handy spot for the microwave.

  • 11 of 12

    Revamp Your Pantry!

    Try these seven ideas to create the most organized pantry with open shelving.

  • Next Slideshow 16 Kitchen Trends That Are Here to Stay

    16 Kitchen Trends That Are Here to Stay

    Just because it's trending doesn't mean it's not timeless. These gorgeous kitchen trends -- including minimal upper cabinetry, sparkling quartz counters, and one-of-a-kind ceiling treatments -- are guaranteed to stand the test of time.
    Begin Slideshow »
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