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Cook up a whole new look for your kitchen

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(ARA) - We spend hours in the kitchen socializing, keeping the family organized, and, of course, cooking and eating. As the center of the home's activities, the kitchen should be as fun as it is functional. With just a few supplies and a free weekend, you can cook up a whole new look for your kitchen.

Warm up the walls
Changing the color and texture of walls is an easy way to add some spice to any kitchen. Paint the walls a deep red or blue for a dramatic look, or make your space feel light and airy with a coat of sunny yellow or subtle taupe. Feel free to experiment with decorative painting techniques, such as stripes, geometric patterns or textured finishes.

After you've freshened up the color and texture of your walls, express your personal style through a few new accessories. An antique clock, a picture collage or shelves with colorful canisters are decorative, as well as functional.

Change up the cabinets
Liven up basic cupboards by switching the hardware - it's a simple way to give your existing cabinets a whole new look. Use crystal knobs for a vintage touch, or add stainless steel handles for an ultra-modern, sleek appearance.

And, don't forget about the functional aspect of your cupboards - install shelf liner to ensure cabinets stay clean and well-maintained. Shelf liner protects cabinet shelves and drawers from wear and tear, prevents scratches and keeps spills or drips from damp dishes from causing damage to surfaces.

"I recommend using shelf liner in any kitchen renovation project," says Danny Lipford, home improvement expert and host of the Today's Homeowner with Danny Lipford television series. "It's simple for any homeowner to install and can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth or thrown in the washing machine. My favorite is Easy Liner from Duck brand - it offers an array of non-adhesive and adhesive shelf liners that are stylish and practical for use in any kitchen."

The most popular variety, Smooth Top Easy Liner has a smooth surface that catches messes and spills as they happen, making clean-up a breeze, while the non-slip, gripped underside keeps the liner firmly in place.

Transform your table
Create a delightful dining space with a few changes to your kitchen table. Use a staple gun and a bright fabric to recover your chairs, making items you already own look like new additions to your home. You can even create a new tablecloth using the leftover fabric. Then, design your very own placemats using Smooth Top Easy Liner for a decorative touch that's easy to wipe clean as well as replace.

Make sure to add a chic centerpiece - a vase of fresh flowers, a glass bowl filled with fruit or a collection of candlesticks - to transform your existing tabletop and create a focal point for guests as they enter the room.

Brighten the basics
Adding color from floor to ceiling is a great way to improve the overall feel of your kitchen. To start, try adding accessories to areas of your kitchen that feel blase. Bring in color at the highest points of the kitchen by adding faux plants or interesting knickknacks to the space above cabinets. Then, look low and consider the floor. Placing a colorful area rug beneath the table can bring additional interest and color to the kitchen, while also protecting the floor against scratches.

Window treatments are another effective, eye-catching way to make any kitchen pop, whether you're adding new valances, cornices or even long panels. When choosing fabrics, make a statement with bright colors, or choose an unexpected, bold pattern for a contemporary approach. Sophisticated stripes, pretty plaids or fun florals are also a nice choice for kitchens. Follow these tips to make your kitchen as chic as your dinner is delicious - you'll create a flavorful design that will look good enough to eat.

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