Your kitchen’s cabinets need not be boring, unpleasant, blah, gross or just too got-dang woodsy. Wait, there’s more good news. Your kitchen cabinets can remain effectively the same and still provide new life. Why spend an arm and a leg on new cabinets when you take what you’ve already got, transform them and almost have a kitchen that looks new for about the price of what new cabinets would cost to be delivered to your home?
Sometimes a little goes a long way. One way to do a little renovation with your kitchen cabinets is by painting inset panels a different color from the rest of the cabinet. If your stomach can take the leap of faith, go for a vividly bright color in the panel and contrast that with muted paint colors on the surround. Or go for stripes or stars or diamonds (or clovers) in the panel and paint the surround in distressed punky pink and black.
Or, rather than be satisfied with just a solid paint job, go for the gusto. The kitchen is a room where flights of fancy and a little whimsy can feel right at home. Decorate the panels not by painting them, but with pictures, stencils or decoupage. You probably have lots of pictures that are just gaining dust inside albums or that exist in not tactile form at all but rather as elements of the information superhighway on a disk that you can’t even look at without benefit of electricity. Grab those old pictures and use them as inserts on your kitchen cabinets. Don’t be afraid to take the lead of those who engage in scrapbooking by cutting off parts of the body or leaving just the eyes from a particularly intense photograph of your cousin Melvin.
Your kitchen can actually become something of a living scrapbook that is always in flux. Decorating cabinets can be done with postcards, menus of your favorite restaurant or just a floral design that you really love. Remove the doors of your kitchen cabinet and arrange the decorations of your choice in an artistic manner and use simple white glue and varnish to create a decoupage. The way that decoupaged cabinets turn a kitchen into a showcase may well astound and amaze you.
Those with more artistic talent than Andy Warhol-by which I mean most homeowners because, after all, Warhol should not even be mentioned in the same breath as his better Roy Lichtenstein-can decorate kitchen cabinets with a paintbrush and some paint and transform the cabinets into one of a kind works of art that, were you only dead and famous, would be worth more than a Warhol silk screen.
One last piece of advice for making a statement with kitchen cabinets and this applies only those who prefer cabinets to have a handle. Unscrew the handles that came with your kitchen cabinets and replace with, well, not with what you’ll find at the Lowes or the Home Depot. Instead, think creatively. Either make your own or find really cool stuff at the flea market or yard sales or antique stores. For instance, if you enjoy guns and use them responsibly, consider making handles out of toy guns. Likewise, if you believe that guns are the tools of the devil, you could make cabinet handles out of an oversized doorknob onto which you decoupaged newspaper reports of things like the Columbine shooting or the Virginia Tech massacre. Don’t be afraid to let your kitchen cabinets make a political statement.