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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Easy-to-Clean Kitchen Design Tips

Instead of buying more cleaning supplies, use these smart ideas to design your way to quick cleanup times.

Visions of high style, not low maintenance, drive kitchen remodeling projects. However, be realistic: It's going to get dirty. To minimize the mess, consider these features to add at the design stage:

A tight triangle.
A good work triangle -- the arrangement of the cooktop, sink, and refrigerator -- will minimize the distance you have to carry things. It's the carrying that often leads to spills. An island can often compensate for a poor work triangle.

Flowing floors.
The fewer seams and gaps in your floor, the fewer places dirt collects. The dirtiest place in any kitchen is the seam between the floor and the vertical toe-kick. That can be eliminated by "rolling" the edge of the floor up to the toe-kick, replacing the right-angle joint with a smooth curve. This technique is easiest with vinyl, linoleum, and tile, but it's also possible with wood if you have the edge pieces custom-milled. Ceramic tile flooring is beautiful but needs constant attention. It obligates you to a daily sweeping. To make tile look cleaner, use large squares with narrow grout lines.

Grime-fighting cabinets.
Cabinets that have flat doors with a baked-on finish are easiest to clean. Painted cabinets with a high-gloss finish show dirt, but they're easy to wipe down. Stained cabinets with a flatter or no-gloss finish don't show dirt as much, but they're more easily marred and harder to touch up. Raised-panel doors and elaborate molding around cabinetry look nice, but they are more difficult to clean. When your fingers are greasy, pulls and handles keep the mess off the cabinetry surfaces. Look for hardware that makes it possible to open doors with one or two fingers. Cabinet and drawer inserts can also assist with cleanup.

Counter-sink connection.
Undermount sinks make it easy to wipe messes from the counter right into the sink. Self-rimming sinks, by contrast, can collect dirt. Perhaps the best solution, if you have the budget for it, is an integral sink in which the bowl and surrounding counter are one large piece of the same material, typically solid-surfacing or stainless steel.


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