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Easy Kitchen Updates for a Lazy Weekend

Have you ever had a moment of staring at your space, feeling all kinds of antsy and knowing that something has to change? It might be the wall color that you never liked anyway or that storage issue that is driving you batty. All you know is that in order to continue living in your house, you must embrace that urge to change something!

I often get the urge when I look at my kitchen. No matter how awesome it looks so far, there is always room for improvement. If you have kitchen restlessness like me, here are a few great ideas that you can implement in a weekend. They will make you feel much happier about the way your kitchen looks – for awhile anyway.

Paint Something


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Photo Credit: Build Direct BlogEveryone knows that a fresh coat of paint can make a room look like new. But did you ever think about painting not just the wall, but anything else that takes well to a paintbrush. Put chalkboard paint on the front of your refrigerator (assuming it’s no longer under warranty), paint your cabinets or create a new backsplash with designs painted directly onto stick-on tiles.

Add in a New Material

Painting is one thing, but an entirely new material is another. Spruce up that boring ceiling with beadboard panels, painted a lighter shade than your walls. Into something more intricate? Try tin ceiling tiles for a much more traditional look. If you don’t want to go that far, consider simple new molding in a contrasting color. 

Get Rid of the Doors

Cabinet doors are nice, but it might be even nicer to remove them. If you have a great collection of china or colorful pots and pans, getting rid of the cabinet doors can allow your creativity to shine in new ways. This can also force you to do some spring cleaning on your cabinets, and who doesn’t  need a bit of that?

Light Things Up!


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Photo Credit: Build Direct Blog

Sometimes the kitchen can seem dreary, especially if the summer sunlight is shining through the windows. Brighter lights, lights that highlight certain areas of the kitchen and fixtures that make a sunny statement are all good options for chasing away the shadows – and the doldrums.

Change the Hardware

It might be a small thing, but it has a big impact. Changing the hardware on your kitchen cabinets and drawers can be as easy as looking at a home improvement store, estate sale or speciality boutique. Choose something that suits your cabinet style but adds a pop of color to your space. It can be done in an afternoon with little cost, and can brighten up the space and your mood.

Get Some New Furniture

Are you tired of that little space beside the fridge? How about that old desk that has seen better days, the one that you parked beside the counter for a place to catch the mail? Plenty of kitchens have furniture, and you can spruce things up with a gorgeous piece of furniture that seems as though it wasn’t meant for a kitchen. For instance, a big bookcase to hold all those cookbooks and lovely dishes can make a nice new attraction for the eyes. 

Plant Something


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Finally, bring the outside in with a tiny herb garden. Colorful pots that line your windowsill can play host to such delicacies as sage, parsley, chives and rosemary. Depending upon your climate, you could even include a few dwarf trees or plants, such as a Meyer lemon.

You don’t have to spend a fortune to make your kitchen look like a million bucks. All you have to do is take a weekend, invest a small bit of money and elbow grease, then step back and admire your new place to cook and entertain.

(You are reading an article orignally posted on Build Direct Blog)

12 Ways to Make Your Home Feel New Again

Treat your furniture, walls, floors and countertops to some TLC, to give them a just-bought look for a fraction of the cost!

Photo Credit: The Marshall Kitchen | American Cabinet & Flooring, Inc.

Shopping is the easy part for some – the thrill of the chase, the flutter of excitement at bringing a new treasure home, choosing a new paint color or materials for a remodel. But what happens to those glorious finds and finishes months or years later? Before you give in to the urge to shop for new stuff, consider some home maintenance to show off what you have in the best possible light. You may find that after giving what you already have a little extra TLC, your craving for new stuff fades. You never know; you may even find yourself falling for your home and decor all over again.

#1 – Maintain Upholstery

Regular maintenance can go a long way toward keeping upholstery looking as good as new for as long as possible. Vacuum the fabric and rotate cushions each time you clean the living room, and clean spills and mend small tears right away.

Even if a stain has been there for a long time, it can still often be removed with stain removal or hydrogen peroxide; treat it repeatedly until it fades. Just be sure to test new cleaning products on a less-visible area of fabric first.

#2 – Remove Scuff Marks and Touch Up Paint

Small things like scuff marks from shoes and bags, tiny dings and chipped corners can make a space feel worn out. Spend a day scrubbing, patching and touching up paint, and you’ll notice a world of difference.

#3 – Make Furniture Gleam

If you can’t remember the last time you polished your wood furniture, doing so will probably make you wonder why you don’t do it all the time – the difference is amazing.

The type of finish on your furniture will determine what you use to polish it. Midcentury teak pieces are often finished with oil alone, so simply rubbing in a bit more teak oil from time to time will suffice. Finished wood pieces may respond well to a furniture paste or wax – read the directions thoroughly before trying any new product. 

#4 – Remove Stains from Marble

This porous surface is prone to staining, so it’s important to wipe up spills immediately. Of course, there are time that just doesn’t happen. No matter how or when it happened, there still may be hope for restoring the beauty of your marble. Check the chart available from the Marble Institute of America for methods of removing all sorts of stains. If you still can’t get it out, call a pro – improving the counters you have is still cheaper than getting new ones. 

#5 – Care for Wood Counters

Remove scratches and stains on your wood countertops by gently sanding the area; then rub in a food-grade mineral oil with a soft rag. To prevent future damage, always use trivets under hot items, wipe up spills quickly and cut items on cutting boards, not on the counter.

#6 – Refresh Old Wood Floors

Even if you don’t want to have your wood floors refinished, there are still ways to make them look their best. What you use to refresh your floors will depend on the type of finish your wood floors have.

Floors with a natural oil-rubbed finish can be shined up with wood oil. Really old, worn floors may do well with a wax. Floors finished with polyurethane can be cleaned with a solution of white vinegar and water. Just avoid getting the floors really wet by applying the solution with a barely damp mop and wiping dry with a towel immediately after. Excess water on wood floors of any type can potentially cause damage.

#7 – Refluff Area Rugs

Fluffy rugs like flokatis and sheepskins look amazing when you first bring them home, but… less amazing after several months of wear and tear. Most small natural flokati and sheepskin rugs can be hand washed (or even machine washed on delicate) in mild soap and then air dried.

Between washings, simply shake out and then brush your rug with a dog brush. Just be sure to read the cleaning instructions before deciding on a method.

#8 – Deep Clean Wall-to-Wall Carpeting

Regular vacuuming and spot cleaning will get you only so far. Every once in a while, it pays to rent, borrow or buy a steam cleaner to give your carpeting a deep clean. To help the floor dry as quickly and completely as possible, wait for a dry day ant set up a dehumidifier in the room afterward.

#9 – Condition Leather

Leather furniture can actually look better with age, provided that it is properly cared for. Use a leather conditioner a few times each year to keep the leather from drying out and cracking.

Keep it looking fresh by vacuuming and then buffing with a dry microfiber cloth as needed. Wipe up spills as soon as they happen, using a dry cloth to soak up any liquid. 

#10 – Brighten Whites

Slipcovers, pillow covers, curtains, towels and more can all use a good refreshing from time to time. If you don’t want to use chlorine bleach on your whites, try an oxygen – or hydrogen peroxide-based nonchlorine bleach instead. 

#11 – Touch Up Appliances

Years of use can create all sorts of stains and scratches on the once-pristine finish of your washer and dryer. If new appliances are not in the cards, consider painting yours with a product designed for the task, like the Appliance Enamel paint from Rust-Oleum. You can also use appliance paint on wornout finishes to the dishwasher. Do not use it on surfaces that get hot, like stovetops. 

#12 – Stock Up for Proper Maintenance

Beyond your usual cleaning tools, if there are any special items that would make it easier to care for your home and belongings, go ahead and make the investment. If you have lots of carpeting, for instance, a good steam cleaner could be a worthy addition. Leather conditioner, wood oil, furniture polish – having the little things you need at hand can help you keep your home looking its best.