Hang some art, re­place hard­ware

The Buffalo News - - HOME STYLE -

half-gal­lon of paint and an af­ter­noon of work, said Ben­nett, who lives out­side Toronto. Or paint your floor. “If you have a wood floor but you hate the wood’s color, you can paint it white,” she added. With the right paint, you can also paint tile floor­ing or a back­splash – Ben­jamin Moore and Sher­win-Wil­liams have good op­tions, she said. Up­date hard­ware Both Ben­nett and So­ria sug­gest in­stalling new cab­i­net hard­ware. “One of the most com­mon ques­tions clients ask is whether all of the met­als have to match,” said So­ria, who is based in Los An­ge­les. “But I think you can re­ally mix it up.” He said that black fin­ish looks good with brass fin­ish, or even with nickel zinc. Mix up shapes, too. Try knobs on the up­per cab­i­nets and pulls on the low­ers, a strat­egy Ben­nett em­ployed for her own kitchen. For even less money, you can spray-paint your ex­ist­ing hard­ware. “I am a spray-paint queen,” Ben­nett said. “Un­screw those knobs and take them out to your garage.” She sug­gests matte or brushed gold.

Change out light fix­tures

Up­dat­ing fix­tures may seem like a project only for home­own­ers, but So­ria was able to change out the lights in his rental with his land­lord’s ap­proval. When choos­ing a new fix­ture, con­sider how much light you want. In a dark kitchen, Ben­nett said, the lamp­shades should be translu­cent or glass. “Then you’ll get a lot more light and not just direc­tional light” shin­ing down­ward. She finds in­ex­pen­sive pen­dants and more at Tar­get and HomeGoods.

Ac­ces­sorize well

“Even just the type or amount of ac­ces­sories you have in your kitchen can com­pletely change the look,” Ben­nett said. With a clas­sic white kitchen and black coun­ter­tops, she’d add nat­u­ral wood in cut­ting boards lean­ing against a back­splash or wooden bowls on a shelf. “A cop­per or terra-cotta plant pot looks amaz­ing,” she added. If you’re look­ing for more vi­brantly col­ored ac­ces­sories, Ben­nett said to use the color in no more than three ac­ces­sories. Think, too, of how those ap­pli­ances on your coun­ter­top can be ac­ces­sories in their own right. En­gel­bach said Smeg’s ap­pli­ances in par­tic­u­lar are at­trac­tive, and added that even a new ket­tle and toaster can re-en­er­gize a kitchen.

Put down a wash­able throw rug

“They’re mak­ing some re­ally good wash­able rugs for the kitchen now,” So­ria said, point­ing to Hook & Loom Rug Co. as an ex­am­ple. Try a 2-by-3-foot rug in front of the sink or a 2-by-8-foot run­ner down a long kitchen. It adds “soft­ness and color,” he said. “And you want a wash­able rug be­cause, in a kitchen, there are sauces fly­ing ev­ery­where.”

Hang art

“Some­thing you don’t see all the time is putting up art,” So­ria said. “I’ve put up art on my back­splash us­ing self-ad­he­sive foam tape.” He said it can help an­chor those or­ga­nized sta­tions, mak­ing them look vis­ually united. En­gel­bach agreed. “I think it’s nice to have fab­u­lous art­work,” she said. “For peo­ple who have open floor plans and open kitchens, they need to be cog­nizant of the fact that the kitchen is part of the liv­ing space.” If you can see a kitchen wall while you’re sit­ting on your liv­ing room sofa, you’ll want it to be aes­thet­i­cally pleas­ing.

Try re­mov­able wall­pa­per and tile

For renters and non-renters alike, En­gel­bach rec­om­mends tem­po­rary wall­pa­per. Many com­pa­nies make th­ese, in­clud­ing Tem­pa­per De­signs and Chas­ing Pa­per. For a “very­bud­get up­date” for a back­splash, So­ria sug­gests self-ad­he­sive penny tile, easy enough to find on Ama­zon or Home De­pot. “If you don’t have the time or the money to ac­tu­ally tile, you can ac­tu­ally use this wall de­tail.”

Change out a win­dow treat­ment

So­ria just fin­ished his par­ents’ kitchen re­model and added a pat­terned Ro­man shade. “It’s a small up­date that you can do,” he said. To save even more, Ben­nett sug­gests, sew the shade your­self with rem­nants or go­ing-out-of-stock fab­ric.

Two easy ways to up­date your kitchen is to change out light fix­tures and add a few well-cho­sen ac­ces­sories.

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