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

Ultimate Storage-Packed Kitchens

Smart planning and innovative kitchen design solutions transform these kitchens into storage-packed spaces.

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    Everything in this slideshow

    • Style and Space Overhaul

      Previously, upper cabinets separated the kitchen from the dining area. Not anymore! The new upper cabinets go all the way to the ceiling to make up for lost storage, and the peninsula was supersized.

    • Connected Rooms

      A new desk and banquette bench were added adjacent to the kitchen to provide more storage and a dedicated home office.

    • Accenting Appliances

      Cabinets surround the counter-depth refrigerator, which creates a custom look and adds additional cabinet space. Moving the range to the expanded island allows for more upper cabinets thanks to downdraft technology.

    • Near-the-Door Storage

      An extra row of drawers flanking the refrigerator adds the perfect amount of storage near the door. Cabinetry runs all the way to the countertop to make use of every inch of space.

    • Outfit Cabinets

      Pullout racks and utensil organizers were added after installation -- creating smart storage without the custom-cabinetry price tag.

    • Maximize Pantry Storage

      With these seven tips, get a pantry with the maximum amount of storage.

    • Great Room

      The owner of this 1940s Hollywood Regency-style place in the Hollywood Hills is an interior designer who decided to revitalize his own kitchen by applying lessons learned from previous remodels. Designing the kitchen for people who love to cook, with an adjacent space for friends and family to hang out, he shifted around the kitchen, dining room, and den to create a great-room concept. Another nod to modern living: a large, multifunctional island with seating and plenty of smart storage strategies.

    • Convenient Storage

      The island offers prep space, close-to-the-range storage for pots and pans, and proximity to a pullout trash and recycling center. This drawer-within-a-drawer in the island makes it easy to keep pots and lids separate and organized.

    • Touch of Charm

      The homeowner was determined to infuse the kitchen with rich elements to give it distinction. The Calacatta marble tile backsplash, for example, runs up the wall to meet horizontally oriented beaded-board paneling, which also appears in the adjacent family room. Turning beaded board sideways creates strong horizontal lines that make walls appear longer.

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      Continuous Material

      A sink made of the same material as the countertops presents a sleek, clean look. A window ledge provides bonus display and storage space behind the integrated sink and traditional bridge faucet.

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      Free Up Space

      A firm believer in open storage, this homeowner uses shelves to keep everyday items easy to see and reach. Shelves next to the refrigerator hold the microwave and wine cooler; the latter frees up space in the fridge.

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      Think Vertical

      A slender corner space by the refrigerator is ideal for storing baking sheets. The cabinet is outfitted with a divider to keep pans even more organized.

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      Store and Display

      More open storage opposite the refrigerator wall is supported by shapely brackets. The dark metal complements similar tones in the floor, counters, doors, and window frames, and it adds pizzazz to simple open shelves that provide both display and storage space. The shelves keep items used every day in an easily accessible place, and a top shelf, which might be hard to reach, is used to showcase art and decorative objects rather than kitchen essentials.

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      Cutting Edge

      The space around the range was smartly outfitted for cooking. A knife drawer on one side of the range features an integrated cutting board for quick chopping.

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      Spice Drawer

      To the right of the range, a drawer stores spices neatly and out of the light, keeping them fresh and easy to grab when cooking at the range or doing prep work on the counter above.

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      Space to Unwind

      A major renovation to this kitchen yielded a gain of 130 square feet, taken from a seldom-used exterior porch. Plenty of smart storage was carefully planned to make the most of every inch. The new design gave the homeowners more than enough space to hold all their wish-list items, including a large kitchen island and a peninsula separating the kitchen and the adjoining dining room.

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      Built-In Bar

      The small peninsula serves as a bar area, complete with undercounter beverage chillers and a pullout liquor cabinet. A deep, cased archway provides a gracious transition from the dining room to the colorful kitchen.

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      Store Up High

      There wasn't enough space for a walk-in pantry, so the custom-designed cabinetry extends to the ceiling to maximize storage. A library ladder that rolls along a rail provides access to the top row of cabinets. Cleverly concealed pullouts store spices, bottles, platters, and trays. The slim pullout shelf below the pantry cabinet serves as a temporary landing space for items without permanently intruding on the walkway.

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      Expandable Space

      A corner pullout unit stores large cookware and avoids wasting space in a corner cabinet. The pullout unit brings the cabinet contents into clear view, eliminating the likelihood of losing items in the recesses of a deep cabinet.

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      Cool and Concealed

      Appliances were also chosen with capacity in mind. Paired refrigerators with stacked freezer drawers blend in with the cabinetry and give the couple plenty of space to stock up on food for a house full of guests. A pullout cabinet beside the refrigerators makes use of an awkward space. The slender dimensions of the unit make it ideal for storing small containers and bottles.

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      Effective and Efficient

      The couple also opted for a trash compactor and two sink areas: one for preparing food and one for rallying dirty dishes. Two sets of dishwasher drawers between the sinks ease cleanup.

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      Perfect Fit

      The rail above the pantry continues around the rest of the kitchen. Transom cabinets take the place of soffits and are within reach, thanks to the library ladder.

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      Wide-Open Spaces

      Before a much-needed makeover, this kitchen hadn't been updated since the 1970s. All the appliances were outdated, and the pink kitchen's terra-cotta tile floors didn't fit with the home's midcentury architecture. An interior designer guided the homeowners through a project that would encompass both aesthetics and function. The first step to this simple, clean, and modern look was to gut the room, even though that meant losing two large pantries on either side of the dining room door. In lieu of the spacious yet awkwardly positioned pantries, the homeowners gained plenty of in-kitchen storage.

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      Store More

      The homeowners worked closely with a designer to create storage for everything like spices, packaged foods, baking sheets, and oversize pots. A flip-up door keeps the microwave above the oven out of sight when not in use, and side-by-side pullout pantries near the oven more than make up for the lost storage space.

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      Earning Stripes

      While they were going for a contemporary feel, the homeowners also wanted the kitchen to be a warm, comfortable place, so they opted for wood-look cabinetry. Zebrawood (named for its dark stripes on a light background) was their first choice, but it was also a budget buster, so they went with custom cabinetry finished with a faux-zebrawood laminate. To keep the look of the cabinetry simple, the couple used few door pulls, opting instead for push mechanisms, which make it easy to open the sleek cabinets and access their contents.

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      Sleek and Functional

      The homeowners matched the modern feel of their cabinetry with a sleek faucet and water-filtration system. An LED ring built into the faucet lights the sink at night, and slim rectangular metal bars embedded in the concrete countertop create an integrated drainboard, eliminating the need to have and store a bulky ancillary drainboard.

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      Best-Kept Secret

      The two-drawer dishwasher cuts water and energy use because the family often only needs to run one drawer at a time. Covering the dishwasher drawers with panels that match the cabinetry minimized the amount of visible stainless steel and boosted the kitchen's warmth factor.

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      Visible and Accessible

      Open shelves above the sink hold the family's everyday dishware, making loading and unloading the dishwasher a breeze. Plus, the homeowners love the way the cookbooks look on display.

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      Custom Cooktop

      A cooktop across from the wall oven and microwave makes it easy to keep track of everything that's cooking. The 36-inch-wide range hood matches the dimensions of the cooktop and the clean lines of the kitchen. The extra-long vent was custom fabricated.

    • Plan for Better Kitchen Storage
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      Next Slideshow 25 Kitchen Organization and Storage Tips

      25 Kitchen Organization and Storage Tips

      Stay organized, cut clutter, and store more in your kitchen. Here is a round-up of easy ways to get it done.
      Begin Slideshow »

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