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

Easy Eco-Friendly Kitchen Ideas

Creating an eco-friendly kitchen is as simple as being smart about the materials you buy, and when possible, recycling, reusing, and repurposing items from all over the house.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • Clear the Air

      Use paint that is low in -- or free of -- volatile organic compounds. VOCs are gases, some of which can be toxic, that are emitted from products such as wall paint, paint stripper, cleaning supplies, and some building materials.

    • Pop the Cork

      Natural flooring, such as wood, cork, or linoleum, doesn't contain the toxins found in many manufactured materials. Cork is roughly the same price as wood, but it's a sustainable material. Cork trees regenerate every nine years, while trees such as oak or maple can take 30 years or more.

    • Gold Star

      Use energy-efficient appliances throughout the kitchen. Appliances with an Energy Star label have met strict energy-efficiency guidelines set by the U.S. Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Agency.

    • Water Saver

      To conserve water, use a water-saving faucet with a flow rate around 2.2 gallons per minute.

    • New Hardware

      Swapping out old hardware for new gives a kitchen a fresh, new look. Instead of junking the old hardware, save it for future use elsewhere.

    • Breathe Easy

      Potted plants act as natural air filters by absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen into the kitchen.

    • Put on a New Face

      When remodeling a kitchen, rearrange and refinish or paint cabinets rather than purchasing new ones. This will prevent old cabinets from piling up in the landfill.

    • Room for All

      The size and shape of this old restaurant sink make it ideal for a home kitchen activity center. It provides enough work space for multiple members of the family to prep and clean up simultaneously.

    • Clear View

      Salvaged glass forms the center panels in these cabinet doors. This action saves old glass from the trash. It can also add style to new projects because wavy antique glass adds an heirloom quality to just-made cabinets.

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      High in the Sky

      When mounted to a pendant and filled with wineglasses, a recycled factory bottle holder becomes a gallery-worthy chandelier.

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      Solid Work

      No one would ever guess that this elegant dining room table was once junkyard-bound. It was saved by a creative homeowner who stripped it of multiple layers of paint and replaced its broken tabletop with one made from old wood.

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      Block Formation

      A one-of-a kind utensil holder made from four vintage corner blocks stores everyday wooden spoons.

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      Support Systems

      Oversized Victorian brackets add decorative detailing to this boxy island and visually anchor the extended countertop.

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      New Life

      Sized for a small kitchen, a half-round accent table with cutwork trim finds new life as a minibar.

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      Clean Start

      An antique doll cabinet now serves as a spice rack. To retain both charm and value, don't strip the piece of its original finish; instead, apply a nontoxic wood cleaner, then air dry. Round up a variety of shapely jars to store herbs and spices.

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      Waste Not

      For just $200, an alter from a Scottish Rite temple is transformed into a luxe kitchen island. It is topped with a concrete counter that the homeowner and his father poured after reading a DIY book. Add wood appliquès and trim pieces easily with a glue gun, hammer, and nails.

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      New View

      Discarded stained-glass panels sparkle again when installed as window valances.

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      On Display

      A plain bookcase is transformed into a wall-mount china cabinet when an antique artwork frame is attached as a fanciful pediment.

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      Stone-Faced

      Instead of replacing all your countertops, opt for natural soapstone on the island only, so a smaller amount of surfacing goes into a landfill. Better yet, repurpose the removed counter as a worktable in the basement or garage.

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      Double Vision

      Create a storage center by pushing together two bookcases and painting them the same color to create a one-of-a-kind hutch.

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      Next Slideshow Low-Cost Kitchen Updates

      Low-Cost Kitchen Updates

      Stretch your kitchen budget and put these creative, money-saving ideas to work for updates such as revamped cabinets, a fresh backsplash, and more!
      Begin Slideshow »

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