Amid the congestion of the fridge and the stove, table and chairs, and hardworking countertops, kitchens usually have little space for decorative touches.
Still, you can add character to this functional room by using the treasures you probably already have in your home.
These decorating ideas can help make your kitchen more beautiful, cozier - and perhaps even more functional.
For a homey touch, arrange cooking utensils in a decorative ceramic vase rather than a utilitarian plastic holder.
Stash the song and scrubber in a small painted pot instead of leaving them strewn haphazardly on the countertop.
Hang bright dish towels from the refrigerator- or oven handles to add a splash of color to the kitchen.
Such little pick-me-ups can pack a big design punch. Freshen up the kitchen by placing baskets, bowls, or other decorative containers on a windowsill or countertop near the sink, or atop your breakfast table or the fridge.
Fill them with seasonal accents: gourds in autumn, chestnuts in winter, bright lemons in spring, limes in summer.
Of course, fresh flowers can perk up the room any time of year. Even a bird feeder outside the window lends life and color.
Is your kitchen on the plain side?For a quick fix, replace your humdrum cabinet and drawer handles with chrome or brass hardware or colorful plastic fittings.
Paint or stain the cabinets, or the entire room, in a bold new color. It's the quickest and cheapest way to transform your kitchen. And should you decide you don't like it, you can easily change the color later.
And speaking of quick changes, does your kitchen table seem to take over the room?
You should optimally have at least 3 feet (1m) of passageway between the table and the adjoining walls or appliances. If your table is too large, replace it with a smaller one. What you'll lose in serving area you will gain in mealtime intimacy.