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  • Writer's pictureWendy Elizabeth

Loving Your Old Kitchen

My kitchen is tiny; I am always dreaming of ways to make it bigger (?) and better. I have done almost everything that a normal person could do to make it what I want it to be, without taking down walls and ripping up floors. I know how I would love it to look, but I am happy to be creative until (if) that time comes.

A kitchen is such a big budget item that many of us wait until we are moving, or get an unexpected windfall, before making changes. In the meantime it sits, getting older and more disappointing as we wait for that elusive, happy day.

I don’t like that idea. While we are waiting to win the lottery our kitchen is still part of our every day life; it has to be used constantly, so why not try to make it better until our package of perfection arrives? All of these things I have done myself, and I know they do make a big difference with very little effort.

  1. Of course, I have to mention knobs and draw pulls first. Changing the shape, texture or color will always make your room look refreshed. 

  2. Add a decorative mirror to an empty wall (easy to clean, and brings in light and energy). 

  3. Paint some of the cabinets. If you have a set of cabinets away from the others, consider painting them a different color and giving them unusual hardware. They will look like a separate piece of furniture. 

  4. Talking of separate furniture, what about removing an upper and lower cabinet altogether, and replacing it with a buffet, dresser or desk that is even more useful (and decorative)? If you don’t like your kitchen anyway, be bold and give it a try! 

  5. Take down some upper cabinets (not as hard as you think) and install shelves. Or, remove the doors and “pretend” it is open shelving. Your kitchen will look bigger with open shelves.

  6. Remove the doors and the central piece of wood off a pair of cabinets to create a nook for cookbooks. I did this, and I know they were oak cabinets, but truly, I love having the books showing and it makes the kitchen far more interesting. (Removing the center piece – with a hacksaw – did not compromise the strength of the cabinet at all). 

  7. Bring in things that are “un-kitcheny”. Art, curtains, books, lamps and furniture will give your kitchen a personality; it will feel more like a room than just a place that you cook dinner. 

  8. Grout vintage tiles onto your old countertops to make a more interesting surface that is heat-resistant and looks pretty. If you are not keen on it being permanent idea, then buy a really large marble tile, put rubber feet on it, and place that on the counter. This is perfect for large, hot dishes and for baking on. 

  9. Remove dated appliques and fancy, wooden doo-dads. Sand and stain (or paint) over any imperfections or, cover it with a picture. 

For more by Wendy and the Blue Giraffe, go to:

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