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

Before and After Makeover: Eco-Friendly Kitchen

See how one eco-friendly designer created a stylish and green kitchen.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • Green Machine

      Susan Drawdy wanted her new kitchen to be stylish, eco-friendly, and functional for her and her two children. Thanks to Interior Designer Laura Birns, who specializes in green design, that's exactly what she got. The focal point of the kitchen is the painter's palette-shape countertop attached to an internally illuminated electric blue island.

    • Shine On

      Recessed ceiling fixtures with dimmer switches, low-voltage halogen pendants, and fluorescent lighting above and below the cabinets light the area at night and on cloudy days. During the day, two skylights conserve energy and capture the California sun.

    • Hard as Glass

      Made from recycled glass, the island countertop adds to the green features in this kitchen. Blue flecks in the countertop echo the glass backsplash across the room. The L-shape island houses two sinks, including this two-basin model, which makes meal preparation a breeze. To cut down on water use, there are two dishwashers -- a pair of energy-efficient drawers for everyday loads and a full-size unit reserved for large dinner parties.

    • Clean Air Pact

      The island's lighted front panels are made of recyclable colored resin produced with no off-gassing (a release of volatile chemicals in the air). The paints used throughout the kitchen are low in -- or free of-- volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

      Tip: Using paint that is low in VOCs releases fewer pollutants and creates less odor.

    • Red in the Face

      Instead of using classic stainless-steel appliances, Susan wanted to add color to the kitchen. That's exactly what the burgundy range, hood, and wall oven do. To cut down on energy use, Birns installed mini-appliances. Refrigerator and freezer drawers supplement the main refrigerator. Now, instead of repeatedly opening the main refrigerator, the boys use the smaller, more energy-efficient options.

      Tip: Purchase appliances bearing the Energy Star label. This certification means they use less water and energy than standard models.

    • Back to Basics

      Burgundy appliances set off the blue tones of the cabinetry and backsplash. The cabinetry is made of wood certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. This means it was harvested from managed, sustainable forests. The backsplash is made from recycled glass.

    • From the Pantry

      Eco-friendly wood was also used in the pantry. The flooring is carved from striated aspen tree wood that grew in a managed forest. This process uses about 85 percent of the tree, as compared to only 30 percent with other woods.

    • Cool Seating

      Even the furniture in the kitchen is environmentally friendly. The upholstered bench for the eating area uses a sustainable material made without polyvinyl chloride (PVC).

      Tip: Throw out kitchen cleaning supplies that contain toxic chemicals and switch to natural products, which are safer and often just as effective.

    • For more eco-friendly spaces, check out the Eco-Friendly Home.

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      Next Slideshow Before-and-After Kitchen Makeovers

      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.
      Begin Slideshow »

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