Let's face it: those fast, easy dinners never take just 20 minutes. So many of us spend a majority of our time in the kitchen. Unfortunately the utilitarian room isn't as easy to decorate as, say, the living room, but there are still are a few things you can do to make your life a little easier and enjoyable while you're watching that pot boil without cluttering your kitchen up with accessories.
- Take a count of all of your small appliances and give away or store your nonessentials. Do you really need an electric kettle? How many times a year do you make ice cream? Once you've downsized, install a power strip into your kitchen plan, perhaps under the cabinets, so you can connect all the devices you do use regularly like your toaster, coffee maker, etc.
- Find a place in your lower cabinets for your compost bin. Nobody wants an ugly plastic bucket lying around, and it always seems out of place or in the way. Better yet, purchase a smaller compost bin that's easier on the eyes like the Odor-Free Countertop Compost Keeper ($33) and stow your greens and coffee grounds there until you have time to transfer them to your outdoor compost.
- Give your cabinet façades a makeover. If you like the style of them but you feel the color or finish is dated, refinish them with Rust-Oleum Cabinet Transformations, an easy, affordable, cabinet painting kit. Want a more dramatic change? Replace the doors altogether: have pine or MDF cut to size, paint your new doors a neutral or statement-making color, and install them on the cabinet base. Choose sleek handles to suit the new style.
- Feel like your kitchen cabinets are full of forgotten items? Remove them entirely and replace them with open shelves. The change will not only make everything visible and within arm's reach, but it will make your kitchen feel instantly airier and larger.
- Treat yourself to a new backsplash, the crown jewel of the kitchen. Yes, it has a function not solely decorative, but it's also the place to reveal your style. Like an industrial look? Install a panel of stainless steel. Want something sleek and metropolitan? Try colored glass. Do you adore the beach house vibe? Install tiny tiles in cool blues and greens.