Exploring Green Interiors
try thrifty up-cycling of your kitchen for the holidays
As the summer draws to an end and the weather slowly turns cooler, kids are returning to school and the holidays are creeping ever closer. It is during this time of year that our office is typically bombarded with a flurry of clients anxious to plan and execute a redesign, to be ready just in time for the family gatherings the holiday season brings.
Still in the midst of a tough economy, not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to completely renovate their homes. So I have compiled a list of ways to “upcycle” your kitchen—to help you revamp and update for a fresh new look—while staying budget-friendly.
The typical showstopper in any kitchen is the cabinetry. The cabinets can make the look, but they can unfortunately also hold the treacherous “age” factor, dating your home and making it seem tired. It is simple enough to decide to tear out the offending culprit, but while that can be costly, it also often sends unnecessary waste to landfills.
In our day and age, a little nip and tuck is the norm. Here are some tips to give your kitchen the facelift you desire while being both earth- and wallet-friendly.
First, there is nothing as simple as a fresh coat of paint—zero-VOC, of course! The color options are endless. A trend-inspiring look we love at Beth Haley Design is contrasting cabinetry. Paint the upper cabinets white and the base cabinets a dark gray, or paint the perimeter cabinets one color and the island a contrasting shade. It will give the entire space a more customized look. You can even try using bold colors—orange, turquoise, or yellow—run where your imagination takes you!
The second and easiest idea is to simply change out your hardware. A chic bar pull can instantly modernize your look. You can even try mounting the pulls horizontally. Also, look for textural materials in hardware, such as leather, rope, and wood. Maybe try something glamorous such as Lucite, gemstones or horn. There are millions of hardware options available, and it is a quick and relatively inexpensive upgrade.
If you tend to be organized or happen to have beautiful dishes you want to show off, you can remove the cabinet doors and have exposed shelving. Apply a contrasting paint or grasscloth wallcovering to the interior of the cabinets for added dimension. If you like the idea of showing off your dinnerware, but are not necessarily organized or brave enough to completely expose what hides behind every door, think about cutting the center out of selected cabinet doors and replacing them with glass.
Another idea is adding a tile backsplash. White subway tiles provide a classic and inexpensive update. There are also stone, glass, and ceramic options, just to name a few. The possibilities are endless, and a new backsplash provides an instant update and brightening effect.
Even something as small as switching out your sink faucet and sprayer can give an instant update. Try a new finish or style for a whole new look. Another option is new lighting. Lighting has the ability to date your home as much as cabinetry. A sleek drum pendant is timeless and fits with most design styles.
Even though the task can seem daunting, updating your kitchen does not have to be difficult or expensive. A little bit of great design can go a really long way. With the right plan and a little time and effort, you will have a newly refreshed kitchen you want that is ready to tackle the holidays.
—By Maggie McClure of Beth Haley Design
Editor’s Note: Beth Haley Design, an urban interior design firm, focuses on remodeling and revitalizing established homes, as well as creating stimulating, functional, sustainable spaces in new homes. Maggie McClure is an allied member of ASID (American Society of Interior Designers). E-mail your questions to her at ngregg@ ngregg.com or visit www.bethhaleydesign.com.