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Fall in love with your kitchen again without remodeling

By John Kirchner February 6, 2013

Last year, the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) released a survey asking builders the most common room for remodeling projects. A whopping 69 percent said it was the kitchen, which only trailed the bathroom (78 percent).

While the kitchen might be a common choice for wholesale makeovers, the fact is small changes can yield big results. Put down that sledgehammer and fall back in love with your kitchen with some of these simple tweaks recommended by Houzz contributor Laura Gaskill:

Make a fresh start. 
“To see your kitchen in its best light, begin by giving it a thorough cleaning — but don’t stop there. Grab this opportunity to get rid of broken appliances, chipped dishes, unneeded duplicate items (do you really need five ladles?) and anything that bugs you. Make a special point to keep counters cleared of everything but the few items you use daily.”

Make liberal use of fresh flowers and potted herbs.
“There is no room I can think of that can’t be improved by the addition of freshly cut flowers and living plants. Make a weekly habit of picking up a bouquet or going out to the garden to cut flowers. Keep costs down by dividing a single market bouquet into one main arrangement plus a number of smaller ones in bud vases.”

Create a soft landing place.
“Instead of letting an empty corner go to waste, fill it with low seating and soft cushions to create an inviting nook for reading, dreaming or napping.”

Replace standard overhead lights.
“Proper lighting can completely change how a room feels. While good, clear light is a must for cooking, it feels wonderful to be able to dim the lights or augment the overheads with table lamps when you are dining or just hanging out.”

Borrow (unexpected) furniture from another room.
“Desks, dining tables and chests of drawers can all look amazing in the kitchen and be surprisingly functional to boot. Upholstered furniture is even less expected in the kitchen — and all the more wonderful because of it.”