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Falling out of love is a painful experience -- especially when the love affair that's ending is between you and the pricey, permanent design changes you made as part of a kitchen renovation.
While it's always easy to repaint if you don't like a wall color, more significant renovations -- like cabinets and countertops, flooring and fixtures -- require you to live with them for a long time.
With even minor kitchen renovations costing, on average, nearly $20,000 (according to Remodeling Magazine's Cost vs. Value Report), you may worry that you'll fall out of love with the redesign that you spent a lot on.
The good news is you don't need to commit to a complete renovation in order to update your kitchen.
Here are some easy, cost-effective do-it-yourself projects that can give the room a whole new look, yet will still be easy to redo later on when the redecorating urge strikes again.
Make a splash with a backsplash
Backsplashes can be both practical and beautiful, but traditional installation methods have meant committing to the look of a backsplash for the long-term.
Now there's an alternative that makes it easy for do-it-yourselfers (DIY'ers) to create a custom look -- and then change it whenever they decide it's time for something fresh.
Featured on DIY Network's "Hot List: Kitchens" and various DIY/HGTV programs, Kitchen Palette (www.kitchenpalette.com) is an affordable, interchangeable backsplash system that measures 22-inches by 14-inches.
The system can be installed in less than 30 minutes, using tools most DIY'ers already own. After installation, customize your palette however you choose.
Or consider purchasing finished palettes from the website; a wide variety of Print Gallery images and Ready to Finish tile options are available. Additional blank palettes are also available for purchase and are completely customizable.
Palettes can be swapped out in a matter of seconds. Kitchen Palette is made in America and uses recycled plastic, making it a green choice as well as an attractive one.
While the system is designed to fit behind conventional cooktops and ranges, it's also a great option for virtually any space you might want to change quickly and beautifully.
Because of its design, Kitchen Palette is ideal for use as a hiding place for valuables -- above a fireplace, in an entranceway or in a bedroom. Kitchen Palette is perfect as an access panel for hiding plumbing and electrical in kitchens and bathrooms.
Replacing cabinetry can be cost-prohibitive. Plus it's a tough job to tackle for even seasoned DIYers.
Fortunately, there are easier ways to update the look of your cabinets.
Switching out dated hardware with something new and eye-catching is a great start.
Wooden cabinets can be repainted or stained. Outdated trim can be removed. Or, if you love the open-faced look that's in vogue in many upscale kitchens, simply remove cabinet doors altogether.
When it comes to window treatments, most people have two objectives: to create a great look and protect their privacy.
The kitchen, however, is one room where privacy is usually less of a concern. That means you can lighten up on window treatments, open your design options and create a light-filled look.
If your kitchen windows are currently covered with blinds or heavy curtains, take them down.
Next, add decorative hardware and top it with a window treatment that creates an attractive frame for the window without blocking light or the view.
Valances and sheers are great for achieving this kind of look.
Updating accessories is one of the easiest, most cost-effective ways to change the look of a room. Accessories like new upholstery on chairs in breakfast areas, patterned towels and potholders or even a decorative holder for kitchen utensils make it simple to redefine decor without the commitment of a major change. Different color appliances make varying design statements.
For example, white appliances will impart a country look. Changing the look of your appliances doesn't meant you have to replace them.
Many appliance makers now offer models with reversible panels. Or, consider painting to match your design choices for a truly customized look.