Easy Kitchen Fix-Ups

(ARA) - If you’re anxious to fix up your home, you’re not alone -- the $214 billion remodeling industry is projected to grow to $224 billion or more in 2004, according to the National Association of the Remodeling Industry. While you may not be able to give your home an extreme makeover, adding simple upgrades can make a dramatic difference. The kitchen is at the top of the home improvement list for many homeowners. Here are some quick and affordable kitchen fix-ups:

Countertops

The single biggest visual in your kitchen is the counter surface, so removing your existing countertops and replacing them with new materials will make an immediate impact. If popular granite and stone countertops are out of your price range, consider some of the new laminates and solid surfacing materials.

Hardware

If you can’t replace all of your kitchen cabinets, jazz them up with attractive new hardware. You can find a variety of door handles and drawer pulls at do-it-yourself home stores to match every décor, from ultra contemporary to antique looks.

Lighting

Instead of replacing all of the lighting, use dimmers to instantly change the look and functionality of the room. One to try is the Diva dimmer in Satin Colors from Lutron Electronics, which installs in 20 minutes and makes a dramatic difference in a room’s decor. It features a large paddle switch to turn lights on and off, and a sliding dimmer alongside to adjust the brightness up or down. You don’t have to have an unsightly dimmer control on your wall, either. Its accompanying screw- less wallplate, also from Lutron’s Satin Colors collection, comes in 15 decorator colors to blend with paint, flooring and wall coverings.

Flooring

Tear up that old yellowed linoleum floor. Today’s high-pressure laminates can give the look of a much more expensive natural wood flooring. Patterns range from time-honored favorites like maple, oak and cherry to sophisticated looks like burled mahogany and exotic woods. Another easy kitchen flooring option is Edge flooring -- real ceramic tile that’s glued to an interlocking fiberboard backing --requiring no underlayment or gluing.

Paint

Nothing beats a fresh coat of paint for improving the look of your kitchen. This is especially useful if you have dark cabinets, which were once popular but are now costly to replace. By keeping the current cabinets and brightening everything else with a fresh coat of paint that complements your countertop, hardware, lighting and flooring, you’ll cook up a brand new look at a bargain price.

Courtesy of ARA Content  

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