Stuck in your kitchen? Tips for a makeover!

Wrenda Goodwyn • special to the Fort Myers News-Press• August 3, 2013

Kitchen painted in Benjamin Moore neutrals.

Kitchen painted in Benjamin Moore neutrals.

Just one look through House Beautiful or Coastal Living and you will start thinking about redoing your kitchen.

It is the hub of activity, the heart of your home. And if you every plan to sell, you will find thatitis the most important room in the house.

But often the most expensive redo in your home, it may be out of the question. Or not!

Okay, so ripping out the walls and “opening up the room (as all of the home shows say)” is pricey and maybe not currently in your budget. What is a homeowner to do? We all want a beautiful kitchen. Right? Here are a few tips that will give you a quick kitchen update without spending a fortune.

But first, some things to consider.

Do your homework. Have a plan. This may be a good time to call in a designer. You may think that you can't afford this step but if you are on a budget, a two hour consultation will help you make some decisions and decide where best to put your money.

Determine your look before you begin to shop around. Are you just looking to refresh your kitchen or are you ready to make major changes? Are you overwhelmed about what to do and how to get the most bang for your money? Do you want painted cabinets or wood stained? What type of flooring? Countertops and what kind if any, backsplash?

Okay. So let's begin with a few tips that will make a BIG difference if you are on a budget or need to sparkle it up for resale.

#4 Kitchen cabinets.JPG

For space above cabinets: create a pretty vignette of pottery and artwork. • Change the color. This will give you the most for your money. If the space is small, keep everything in a neutral palette.  If your space is huge, give it a warm, personal feel.

• Declutter! Take everything out of each cabinet and drawer and clean thoroughly. Put back only what you need and use. This will make you feel like you have a new kitchen!

• Change the cabinet hardware. Big impact for a moderate price. Favorite sources: Restoration Hardware, Anthropologie, Home Depot.

     Pottery Barn Blacksmith Pot Rack.

     Pottery Barn Blacksmith Pot Rack.

Photo: Blacksmith pot rack from Pottery Barn.• Hang your pots and pans. This has a nice designer look and can be done in even the smallest kitchens when hung flush against the walls. Favorite sources: Crate and Barrel; Bed, Bath and Beyond; Pottery Barn. Also check restaurant suppliers.

• Havea pantry? Paint the door! This costs very little and will instantly brighten things up.

• No island? Create one. Flea market finds or an industrial stainless one on wheels will be versatile and useful in your space.

• If cabinets do not go to the ceiling, please remove all greenery. It cooks bad, collects dust and need I say more. Just take it away! What to do: Fill in the space with crown molding that goes to the top OR purchase rope lighting and place on the top of the cabinets for a nice effect OR create a pretty vignette of pottery and artwork.

• Need new cabinets but not in the budget? Two suggestions: Have them refaced. This can be done for a fraction of the cost of new and will totally change your kitchen. OR select a couple of cabinets and put glass fronts on them. Buy some pretty, colorful dishes at HomeGoods or Pottery Barn and brighten things up instantly.

• One of my favorite tips for a bar area: Use wainscoting in an accent color to bring in some textureand a pop of color. Very inexpensive and you can do it yourself!

• New bar stools or paint or reupholster the existing ones. Source:

Wrenda Goodwyn is a Southwest Florida interior decorator. Her practical and affordable interior decorating helps clients transform a house into a beautiful home.  Home Inspirations appears the first Saturday of each month. Visit her website at Call her at 949-1808 or e-mail For more decorating tips and photos, visit