How to Decorate Your Kitchen on a Dime!
by Kathleen Wilson, The Budget Decorator
Description: Tips for decorating your kitchen on a budget.
As the holidays approach, I tend to spend more and more
time in my kitchen. In fact, my friends and family
spend more time there too, so I would really like it to
be an expression of myself, my family, and the rest of
my home. However, pick up any home remodeling magazine,
and you will find a minimum remodel of a kitchen to
come in at over $10,000.00! Here are some quick and
easy ways to bring warmth and charm into your kitchen,
for just dimes! Visit my website and sign up for the
free newsletter to receive a free ebook on kitchen
decorating on a budget at
The first thing that I usually suggest in decorating is
to attack the largest areas first. In the kitchen, this
usually means the cabinets. Now, if you have gorgeous
wood cabinets, I suggest you leave them alone. Light
them up, make them a focal point, enjoy them for their
natural beauty, I love wood! However, most of us are
not that lucky. Most of us have cheap pressboard oak
“look” cabinets, or white laminate, or just old paint.
Painting is a number one option, and can totally
transform the look of your kitchen. Use tsp on your
cabinets to remove grime, (and every kitchen has some!)
lightly sand, prime and paint with a semi gloss enamel
for best wear. You have a lot of options with your
paint techniques. A favorite these days is to paint the
cabinets creamy white, then after they’re dry, to rub
them with stain for an aged look. This is not just a
country look, but very old world or traditional.
Another is to leave the bottom cabinets stained, but to
paint the top cabinets. Stencil the doors, hand paint
vines, use your imagination to put your own creative
stamp on one of the most creative rooms in the house!
It is only paint after all…
Other options for cabinets facelifts are available for
us budget impaired decorators. Remove the center panel
of the top cabinet doors, then staple shirred fabric
panels to the inside of the doors. Or, buy plexi-glass
panels to fit the opening, attach them to the back,
then use glass paints and faux leading to create
“stained glass” cabinet doors. Use a dollar store
battery stick on light to light from within. Other
options outside painting include adding small wood
appliqués to the doors,(can be picked up at craft
stores) or molding to the tops of the cabinets.
Consider painting or staining a different color.
Handpaint or stencil a central design in the center of
each cabinet door, such as a cluster of roses over
white cabinets in a country kitchen, or a fleur de lis
in a classic kitchen.
The floor is the next major issue in most kitchens. I
have mentioned in my ebooks, books, and articles that
painting a vinyl floor is an option, provided you prime
first with a primer like BIN or KILZ, then seal after
with several layers of polyurethane to protect. Use
painters tape to create tiles or custom designs. Try
faux stove or wood, or even terra cotta. Remember to
let dry at LEAST 24 hours after the final coat before
walking on it. You can use this method with countertops
too, but remember, don’t cut on them! An even cheaper
and more creative option? I have a very natural home,
with a very unnatural vinyl floor. Not having the cash
to lay the slate floor I wanted, I took an idea from a
faux leather lamp I had made, and made a faux leather
floor! This is simply torn brown paper applied to a
clean floor with polyurethane, then sealed with several
more layers of poly. Crumple the paper before you lay
it down for an authentic look. This looks just like a
leather floor, wears well, and even if you do get a
stain, because of the variable finish, you are unlikely
to notice! Another option is to create individual tiles
from plywood, paint or faux finish as desired, seal
with polyurethane, then lay with tile adhesive and
grout just like any tile floor. This idea will give you
a one of a kind floor, and could save you hundreds in
the cost of tile.
Don’t neglect your wall color just because the cabinets
take up so much wall space. Since it is such a small
area, try a really rich version of your chosen color
scheme on the cabinet wall. I suggest solid colored
walls in a kitchen versus a wallpaper or pattern
because there is already so much going on in that room,
it can tend to make it look cluttered to add more
Finally, accessorize your kitchen! It isn’t just a
utilitarian space. Try the old favorites like hanging
plates, bringing in the cookbooks, or filling glass
jars with beautiful foodstuffs. But how about some new
ideas such as small framed mirrors grouped on a wall
for depth, or framed antique postcards (they are really
cheap at antique stores!). Try framing your
Grandmother’s apple pie recipe, or decoupage a whole
wall with recipes sent from family, or created by you.
Show off your talents, and give them the importance
they deserve. (Email and a printer helps move this idea
along, and think, you’ll never have to search for a
recipe again!) Put magnet strips on the back of some
simple dollar shop picture frames, stick on the fridge,
and display with style your children’s artwork from
school or home. It can be changed as often as you like,
and what better way to display the heart of your home,
than with your heart?
Always remember to bring that heart into the home, and
no matter how tight your budget is, you will find ways
to make your home a joyful, memorable place for you and
your loved ones.
Kathleen Wilson is an author, national columnist, and
editor of The Budget Decorator. For more free ideas,
free ebooks, and info on her online workshops, please
visit her at http://www.TheBudgetDecorator.com.
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