Redecorate Your Kitchen

Following is a list of ideas to help you keep your kitchen beautiful, as well as functional:

1. First, I find it really important to keep the top of the refrigerator clear. I do think, however, that a modest display of cookbooks can be quite attractive. When your cookbooks are within reach, there’s more of a likelihood of yummy treats making an appearance in your kitchen. Use a nice pair of bookends.

2. Get creative with your glassware. For instance, in a glass-paned cabinet, it’s a good idea to put your attractive pieces on the higher shelf and keep the everyday ones on the bottom where they’re easy to grab.

3. I like to hang my wineglasses under a cabinet. This can be easily accomplished by installing a simple rack.

4. Coordinate the decorative items in your kitchen with the seasons. Seasonal items such as tea towels, potholders, aprons and decorative items such as fake pumpkins at Halloween can really spruce up a room.

5. I have found that my clients are divided in their opinion of what to do with the counter space in their kitchen. Most seem to like the counter clear of objects. The other group likes to see every kitchen gadget they've ever owned out and ready for action. I prefer the middle ground. Everyday items such as coffeemakers should be kept out. There’s no need to waste your time lugging it out and putting it away. But if you only use your food processor for occasional food preparation, then store it below in a cabinet.

6. Remember, counter items can be grouped into categories according to their function. For instance, your morning ritual may consist of toast and coffee. Therefore, place your coffeemaker and toaster near one of the outlets. If you are a busy mom who cooks every night, the blender, the small processor and the electric can opener are candidates for another cluster around an outlet.

7. I love plants and think they are a positive addition to every room. If you can find some counter space near a window, you can really add a bit of life and personality to your kitchen with a plant. Can't remember to water them? I'll bet you have a calendar by now with your schedule kept up to date in its pages. Pick a day of the week and make a note to water your plants. There are so many rewards. Plants not only look beautiful, they clean the air of pollutants and give oxygen to the atmosphere. There are some varieties that will be difficult for you to kill. Talking with someone from your local nursery can help you select a variety that is both hardy and will thrive in the conditions you offer.

8. Lighting can really influence the atmosphere of your kitchen. If you have the space, place a small lamp on your counter. A bright, cheery kitchen can really set off your morning as your prepare for the day. The evening meal is probably a time of lively interaction if you're a large family. Those late-night forays to the kitchen for a snack or a beverage, however, can be made in the gentle, quiet light of a lamp. My clients listen to this idea and are generally unimpressed. So I ask them if I can try a lamp to see how it looks. Every time their minds are changed. So will you give it a chance? Out of counter space? You might want to try a dimmer switch.

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