Cheap but Charming Kitchen Decorating Ideas

Does your kitchen need a facelift? Maybe you're not ready to undergo a complete renovation, but you'd at least like to freshen things up a bit. One great way to do so is to inject some bright, upbeat color.

If your kitchen is a little drab or even if it's long overdue for an update, you can give it a pick-me-up in just one day or a decent update in just one weekend with these cheap but charming kitchen decorating ideas.

The one-day plan
The one-day plan starts with washing the walls and windows to brighten things up. A squeaky clean kitchen feels better already.

Next, let as much natural light in as possible. Kitchens should be light and bright. Even if you have thin curtains, consider taking them down and exchanging them for a simple valance. You can always slip a set of blinds beneath for privacy, but leave them open when the sun is shining. Choose a bright, cheerful valance, and look for coordinating treatments.

You can often pick up cute potholders, oven mitts and matching kitchen towels and dishcloths at dollar and discount stores. Then move to the table. Since the table is likely one of the largest pieces in the space, changing the look will have a great impact. Adding a tablecloth is the simplest, most cost-effective transformation. If you chose print items for your other new additions, choose a solid tablecloth in a coordinating color (or vice-versa).

With one day's time, a little effort, and about $30 or $40, you can give your kitchen an instant pick-me-up.

The one-weekend plan
You will want to begin by cleaning any areas that have collected grease from cooking, such as behind the stove. The next step, the most obvious but also the one with the most impact, is to use paint. You can paint the entire kitchen, paint one wall and create a focal wall or paint your cabinets. If you're really motivated, paint all of the above for a total transformation.

If you plan to do a lot of painting, inquire about unwanted colors at your local supercenter or home improvement store. You can get some great deals on paint, and the color may be perfect for you, even if someone else didn't care for it.

Next, add an accent rug that draws the wall or cabinetry color down to the floor. You can grab a simple, inexpensive runner to place in front of the back door or in front of the sink.

Follow the steps suggested above when you are ready to accessorize. You may want to skip the tablecloth and opt for placemats instead, since you have already added a great deal of color, or go with a neutral tablecloth.

To change the look of your kitchen chairs, recover the seats with pretty tea towels and make little slipcovers for the tops of the chair backs. You may be able to use matching or contrasting tea towels, depending on the size of your chairs. Simply fold the towel in half inside out, stitch the sides closed, turn right side out and slip over the chair backs.

Place a vase of flowers on the table and enjoy the results.

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