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It’s the hardest-working room in the house, and the heart of the home. Meal prep, entertaining, homework, dining – it seems we live half our lives in the kitchen. Naturally we want it to be amazing, but the kitchen of our dreams isn’t always in our budget. You don’t have to start from scratch to transform your space, though. All it takes is a dash of creativity in some high-impact areas.

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Here are six kitchen decorating ideas to help you bring more comfort, personality, storage and lighting to this hub of home activity:

1. Lighting

Kitchen lighting above all else needs to be functional, but that doesn’t mean it can’t look greatpillow cases vintage, too. Supplement your overhead lighting with distinctive, task-specific fixtures – gleaming pendants over the island, a lantern or crystal chandelier above your breakfast table, soft under-cabinet lights, even a small lamp to illuminate a dark stretch of countertop. You’ll enhance your kitchen’s style and make the whole room shine a little brighter.

2. Storage

A few thoughtful storage pieces can make your kitchen work a lot harder and look a lot better. Find clever ways to keep the items you use most within easy hand’s reach – place a colorful crock filled with utensils next to the stove, gather your essential spices and oils on a vintage tray, and display your prettiest platters and glassware on an elegant étagère. If your kitchen has a back door that serves as your home’s main entry point, install some hooks for holding handbags and umbrellas, and put out a bowl to collect keys, sunglasses, and phones.? You’ll minimize clutter, maximize efficiency, and add a healthy dose of charm.

3. Hardware

One of the quickest, easiest ways to revamp the look of your kitchen is by replacing worn, outdated hardware. Chic new knobs and pulls can bring old cabinets back to life, and are available in all sizes, shapes, styles, and finishes. Try mixing-and-matching for additional interest – knobs on doors and pulls on drawers, or by using a completely different type on your island to set it apart. Then, swap out your old faucet for one in a coordinating finish, update your paper-towel holder and wine rack, and just like that your kitchen has all-new flavor.

4. Paint

If you want to give your kitchen a makeover without investing a lot of money, paint gives you the biggest bang for your buck. A fresh coat on the walls is always transformative, but also consider tackling your cabinets. Whether classic white or a more daring shade, a different color can make even the oldest cabinets seem new again. If you’re looking for something more unexpected, try a two-tone palette with one shade on the base cabinets and another on the uppers, or paint the interiors a fun, contrasting color – especially eye-catching in glass-front cabinets or when the doors have been removed.

5. Comfort

With all the time we spend in the kitchen, comfort is key. Make your kitchen a welcome spot for the friends and family who gather there with seating that encourages lingering. An upholstered banquette bench, cushions to soften wooden chairs, and comfortable counter or barstools offer the perfect perch for stimulating meals and conversations alike. Keep the cook comfortable, too, with padded mats that ease the strain of extended standing. Available in colors and prints to suit every taste, these mats are just right in front of the sink or stove.

6. Personality

The kitchen can be such a utilitarian space – warm it up with a splash of your own unique character. Display special artwork on the wall or propped against the backsplash, show off treasured collections on open shelves or atop cabinets, and bring in your favorite colors and patterns on window treatments and kitchen linens. Live plants or fresh herbs provide welcome greenery, and scented candles add a warm glow while eliminating cooking odors. Though simple, personal little touches like these instantly make even the hardest-working room more inviting.

Have other kitchen decorating ideas you’;d like to share? Leave us a note in the comments below.

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