Creativity on a Budget

The kitchen can be one of two things - the most comfortable and popular place in your home, or the room that was left behind. Perhaps you have been living with the way things are because it is just too expensive to take on a big remodelling project. Or, maybe you can't whip up your imagination to see what it could be. Hopefully, a little help is on the way with some of these thoughts to get you started.

Kitchen Cabinets - Cover Them or Take Them Off

Unless your kitchen cabinets are made of expensive, solid wood, a coat of paint can work wonders. The days of white high-gloss paint are gone and today you can choose any number of creative techniques to accent your cupboards, copying the much higher priced designs found in showrooms. Antiquing, sueding, crackle and glaze are only a few of the methods you can use. Find the one that suits you the best and go from there. Should the doors be heavily dented and dinged, covering them with decoupage or handmade paper is an original and individual option. If the cupboard doors are beyond repair, try taking them off and use the shelves as showplaces for pottery, books and canned goods.

Do-It-Yourself Stone Counters

Do you love the look of stone countertops but find them to be priced outside of your decorating budget? Don't despair - you can create the look without the cost of stone by painting a faux-stone design on your counters. The critical factor for this decorating adventure is to be sure your counters are prepped properly. The counters must be properly sanded, cleaned and then primed with a special primer which will ensure a waterproof base. Check on the internet for kits to create the stone finish you would like for your counters and then, when you are finished the painting, be sure to seal the work very well. It would be a shame to have those lovely counters ruined in short order because they weren't sealed well.

Where You Put Your Feet

Flooring has really moved forward in recent years. Hardwood floors are incredibly expensive, however, today you can put in a floor that looks exactly like hardwood and is durable and long lasting, taking spills in stride. Laminate "hardwood" is popular and inexpensive and relatively easy to lay. If slate floors are your dream, then you can have them as well, even if you don't have the requisite concrete slab sub-flooring necessary to bear the weight of the slate. Someone came up with this great idea for creating your own slate floor from torn pieces of brown paper. You brush the pieces onto the floor with polyurethane and then, once the floor is covered, you seal it with five or six coats of the same polyurethane product. Now, how easy is that? And, if a piece of the "flooring" wears or lifts, you just tear another piece of paper and repair and seal it. Ingenuity at its best!

Charm Comes in a Variety of Ways

Add charm to your kitchen using what you have in your home. Move family pictures into the kitchen and prop them on the counter. Or, take empty frames and Velcro them to the cupboards, using them for children's drawings or special personalized things you'd like to display. Fresh flowers in a pitcher add color and brightness...and the list goes on.

There's really no limit to what you can create if you give yourself permission to express yourself.