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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Ways to Create a More Eco-Friendly Kitchen

Find everything you need to know to make sure your kitchen remodeling project is eco-friendly.

Lower Utility Bills
Upgrading your appliances can be good for the environment as well as your pocketbook. You may be surprised to know that today's Energy Star-qualified refrigerators use 40 percent less electricity than conventional models sold as recently as 2001. An Energy Star-qualified dishwasher, in addition to using 41 percent less energy than the federal minimum standard, can also save you $90 over its lifetime because it uses less hot water.

Healthy Indoor Environment
Choose kitchen cabinetry made of sustainable solid woods as certified by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). Doing so not only promotes responsible forest management, it also prevents you and your family from breathing toxic gases that come from the formaldehyde glue typically used in particleboard and medium-density fiberboard (MDF) cabinets.

Cool New Products
Sure, you're doing the right thing by purchasing energy-efficient and water-conserving appliances and fixtures, but it's no sacrifice because you'll love the look and functional improvements available today. You would be attracted to the cool new refrigerators, cooktops, dishwashers, countertops, and sinks even if they weren't eco-friendly.

Take Advantage of the Remodeling Process
With walls open and floors free, use the opportunity to check for moisture damage and replace anything that's been affected, add insulation, and upgrade electrical circuitry. Seal air leaks with caulking and weather stripping. Ensure adequate ventilation by planning for a range hood vented to the outdoors.

Consider System Upgrades
Now is the time to think about installing a water filtration system in your kitchen (or even a whole-house system). If your water heater is at least 10 years old, consider replacing it with a tankless water heater to save energy and space. The most efficient way to heat water is with the sun, so look into the possibility of a solar water heater.

Buy Green
In the kitchen, that means concentrating on appliances, fixtures, flooring, and cabinetry. Now is the time to invest for the future with Earth-friendly products. Take into account the lifetime energy and water savings you'll realize. The initial purchase price will be offset to a large degree by future energy savings.

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