Citrus Makeover for a Small Kitchen

White cubbies with green bins
Add flavor to your kitchen and dining room with these affordable do-it-yourself projects.

Before: Blah Kitchen Decor

Before, this kitchen lacked pizzazz. With a burst of citrus accents, this tiny space gets a new look that's both fun and functional.

Show Off Dishes

Help a small kitchen live large by removing upper cabinet doors. Open shelving is a great way to mix storage and display space. Add style to the space by arranging dishware that matches your color scheme on the shelves.

Play with Pattern

Dress up open cabinets by lining the backs with wallpaper. Avoid waste and save money by choosing a pattern without a large repeat and stick to papers available in single rolls. Follow manufacturer's instruction to adhere wallpaper to shelves.

Save on Accessories

Use glassware for displays throughout the kitchen. Fill vases with colorful fruits for an inexpensive display that can be changed with the seasons.

Sit in Style

Conserve money and space with bench-style barstools in place of bulkier versions with backs and arms. Dress them with cushions made from decorative fabric.

Add a Bar

Turn a small cubbyhole into a bar. Place a piece of butcher block, such as a cutting board, in the cubby and add a handle. Store glasses and other drink supplies in this space. During gatherings, pull out the butcher block for an instant bar.

Glam Up Appliances

Add pizzazz to the oven by covering it with a fabric skirt. The two panels open to reveal the oven door or close to hide it. This is an easy way to add color to the kitchen or hide an old appliance.

Create an Island

Add counter and storage space without expensive cabinetry by using a rolling cart. Hide pots and pans on the shelf with a curtain made from decorative fabric. Add a utensil rack to the side and use S-hooks to hang planters filled with fresh herbs.

Add Fresh Details

When making over your kitchen, don't leave your refrigerator out in the cold. Create the look of stainless steel by using a magnetic decal from FridgeFronts ( and then add a fruit decal cut from adhesive vinyl (

Eat in Style

Having a place to sit and eat is important even in small rooms, so use space-saving furniture and multifunctional pieces. Benches on either side of the compact dining table allow more people to fit around the table. Cubbies along the wall store kitchen supplies and also serve double duty as a buffet during mealtime.

Line the Table

Layer Ultrasuede circles and triangles to create a refreshing table runner. Using two shades each of yellow and green suede, cut circles, triangles, and leaves. Assemble the pieces and secure them with fabric glue.

Take a Seat

Give simple wooden benches a colorful makeover by topping them with cushions made from dense foam covered with woven strips of Ultrasuede in citrus colors.

Get Around

Upgrade a basic sisal rug with a painted design. Measure where the circles will go, and then use a cardboard stencil and exterior latex paint to apply them. Let each circle dry completely before starting the next.

Cover a Window

Create a budget-friendly window treatment using a tablecloth and scarves. For the panels, cut a tablecloth in half lengthwise; hem. Add grommets across the top, and hang the panels on metal hooks using strips of suede. For the second treatment, saw off the metal hooks from three scarf holders and weave scarves vertically through the holes. You may need to cut long scarves in half. Hang the woven panels with cup hooks.

Store More in Bins

Embellish fabric storage bins with place mats and personalized pulls. Hot-glue a mat to each bin, wrapping and securing the excess to the inside edges of the sides and top. For labels, paint an oval wooden appliqué white, cover it with removable dry-erase paper (available at, and hot-glue the finished label to the bin. Use a leather punch to cut two holes through the bin on either side of the label and attach a metal drawer pull from the inside with screws.

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