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Give Your Kitchen a Facelift
by Mary Emma Allen

Description: Ideas for re-decorating your kitchen.

Since the kitchen is the room where a homemaker spends so much of her time, sometimes she gets tired of looking at and working midst the same decor day after day. Here are a few ideas on kitchen decorating which do not involve spending a fortune nor undertaking a complete overhaul of the room.

Tea Towel Curtains

Terry cloth tea towel cafe curtains are quick and easy to make and help give your kitchen a new look. Measure your window and use enough terry tea towels to equal twice the width measurement. (Most frequently four are needed...two for each side of the window.)

Sew pairs together along the lengthwise edges. Trim along the bottom with ball or tassel fringe. Attach clip-on rings to the top edge of each curtain.

Mount brass or white cafe curtain rod to the window frame at desired height and slip on the curtain rings.

New Accessories

Just the addition of a few accessories or rearrangement of some you already have will make a change in your kitchen. Keep kitchen accessories simple and use items related to activities carried out in that room.

  • Pots and pans can make a decorative display and create a focal point on one wall.
  • Cookbooks can be arranged tastefully for a colorful accent.
  • Plants are always pleasing in a kitchen, but should be kept fairly small in size or they will likely dominate the room and also be in the way of kitchen activities.
  • Fruit jars make interesting decorative accents. These also can be used as containers for flowers, kitchen utensils, pens and pencils.
  • Kitchen antiques contribute to the decor of a kitchen, particularly one decorated in an old-fashioned country style.
  • Colorful cushions on chairs or stools used in the kitchen add a decorative highlight as long as they blend in with the other colors in the kitchen. Incidentally, if you do make terry tea towel cafe curtains, matching cushions can be made from matching terry towels.

Contact Paper Accents

Contact paper, with its adhesive backing can do wonders in changing the appearance of your kitchen. "Instant decorating" you might call it. Contact paper comes in many designs and colors, even brick and stone replicas.

If you've never used contact paper before, start with a small area so you get the strip on straight and avoid air bubbles. Once you get the knack, it's fairly easy to apply.

(Some surfaces you won't want to cover with contact paper, so be sure to read the directions before sticking it to something.)

Using contact paper on the inside of cabinets and closets and the inside of cabinet doors brighten these spaces.

The brick and stone designs give interesting effects when stuck over papered or painted surfaces which you want to change a bit but don't want to completely paper or paint at this time. The area behind your cooking top, which often gets splattered with food, and the space behind your sink can become striking when done in brick or stone contact paper.

Copyright 2000, Mary Emma Allen. Mary Emma Allen has been writing cooking articles and "Country Kitchen" columns for more than 25 years. She also is a children's author and travel writer. Visit her web site:


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