Easy updates to your kitchen.

In this economy, I'm noticing more and more that my client's are wanting to update their kitchens but don't have the budget they would like to be able to spend on remodeling.  In speaking to other designer's around the country, they are all saying the same thing.  Some of you are planning a large-scale makeover but some of you are simply wanting to freshen up a room.  My goal as a decorator, has always been to bring ideas to you so you don't feel stuck and can have a beautiful home whatever your budget. 

Here are some quick changes you can make to your kitchens that say "WOW" without having to break the bank.

Traditional Home Magazine
Notice how the above kitchen has several paint colors used for their cabinets.  Their island is a light oak, their main cabinets are creamy white and they created a focal point by painting the shelf and the surrounding wood work black.  This immediately creates a focal point in this kitchen.  They finished it off by adding black chairs to the space creating a very inviting space that has character and charm.
This is something that you could do to your kitchen.  Maybe it's painting your island black or maybe you could paint the cabinets above your stove?  Sometimes painting the pantry cabinets is the solution.  Look around in your kitchen and see what you can do to update with paint.  It could be that all you do is add a large shelf to one of your walls creating a focal point and a place for your to display some of your favorite things.
House Beautiful Magazine
In the above picture all they did was put in a screen door for their pantry and paint it black.  Perfect solution for adding charm to your kitchen. If you are willing to keep your pantry neat, go for it!  I also love how they used subway tile and brought it all they way up to the ceiling.  The rustic farm table adds amazing charm to this country kitchen.  The light fixture is quirky and whimsical too.
Traditional Home Magazine
In the above kitchen, they chose to paint their built in storage cabinet black. It's beautiful and I love the openness of it.  Allows you to display some of your beautiful things.  Another great idea is to add wainscoting to your island.  Here they have painted it a creamy white and then glazed it with a tea stain.    It looks so beautiful with their stone floor.
Adding glass to some of your cabinets can also update your kitchen without having to replace cabinets.  The low modern stools (without backs) simplify the strong "black" color in this kitchen.  If they had used chairs with backs, the black would have overpowered this kitchen and made it feel too busy.
House Beautiful Magazine
If you really want to make a bold statement, the above red is simply gorgeous and adds a strong presence to this space!  These islands stand alone in the above kitchen and are not built in.  They have two separate pieces of furniture that can be taken out if they needed to.  I love the "vintage" feel that the red island and the painted tile adds to this kitchen.  The blackboard paint and cork board added to the refrigerator doors is a wonderful solution for family life.  We always have "to do lists, schedules to follow and pictures to hang. 
Our kitchens are where our families live!  They should be a place that have character and make entertaining your family and friends fun!   We all know that our kitchens are our second living room.   Even if your kitchen is tiny, think of something to add to it to give it a boost, update or splash of color.
Try one of these ideas and let me know if you make some changes to your kitchen. You might have your own "quick update" too.   It could be something as little as changing the fabric on your kitchen chairs, adding a new light fixture or lamp, adding a rug, new artwork, new colorful kitchen towels, adding a bulletin board or blackboard, repainting, adding stools, adding a new accessory to your island, removing all the dusty greenery from above your cabinets and adding some "new" accessories, etc. etc. 
Send your pictures to Ruth@decrenew.com and I'll have a blog entry soon displaying all the pictures.
Happy Decorating!