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After the flurry of holiday decorating and baking is over, the kitchen can seem a bit forlorn — but if one of your New Year’s resolutions was to eat healthier or cook more meals from scratch, it’s important that your kitchen supports and inspires you. These 10 doable project ideas are meant to revive your kitchen and make it an inspiring space that you can’t wait to spend time in. 

1. Use a found branch for hanging storage. If you have open shelving in your kitchen that rests on brackets, as shown here, extend their usefulness by sliding a thoroughly cleaned branch through the base of the brackets. Use simple S-hooks to hang small pots, spoons and other implements from the branch. You can even hang a small vase or a mason jar filled with flowers — just wrap the mouth with twine or wire to form a loop, and hang it from an S-hook. 

2. Try a pegboard in the kitchen, à la Julia Child.Julia was onto something when she designed the now-famous pegboard pot rack on the wall of her Cambridge, Massachusetts, kitchen. You can do the same by hanging basic pegboard on your kitchen wall and using S-hooks to hang cooking tools. Paint the pegboard to match your walls for a seamless look.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. Paper the interior of a glass cupboard. This is the perfect place to use up any wallpaper scraps you may have lying around. If you don’t have wallpaper, pretty shelf paper or even quality gift wrap can be used instead.

 

4. Glam up your shelving. Another easy way to spice up basic wall shelves is by coating the brackets with gold paint. Or, for a similar effect with less fuss, pick up a roll of copper tape at the hardware store and carefully apply it just to the edge of your shelves — this works best if your shelves are the same thickness as the tape, so measure first. 

5. Bring in fresh blooms. You probably buy fresh flowers for other rooms in your home from time to time; why not snip a few for the kitchen? A vase with slots for individual blooms, like the one shown here, is ideal because it is so easy to fill.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

6. Add a splash of unexpected color. Transform a plain step stool with a lick of vibrant color, paint the interior of your pantry, or line your drawers with polka dot paper. A bit of color or pattern where it’s least expected is especially welcome when it’s gray outdoors.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

7. Give a plain basket a neon makeover. French market baskets are some of the most useful little accessories to keep around the house. Spruce one up with a simple painted-on star or heart in a neon hue and use it as a mini hamper for dirty dish towels and cloth napkins. For an even easier (and temporary) take, simply cut and stick on neon-colored tape.

 

8. Borrow baskets from the living room for produce storage and display. Have some lovely woven baskets just hanging around with nothing in them? Put them to work storing long-lasting produce like potatoes and onions, or colorful piles of lemons and limes.

9. Hang food magazines on a painted ladder. If you refer to your favorite food mags for recipes and menu ideas, keep them handy. A short ladder leaning against the wall is a perfect spot for stashing a rotating selection of your favorite foodie magazines — and in a pinch, even smaller cookbooks could get slung here, too.

 

10. Paint your breakfast-table chairs in a rainbow of pastels. Love pastels? I say, go for it. After all, why shouldn’t your breakfast nook be the cheeriest spot in the house? And if you don’t feel up to painting the entire chairs, even giving just the legs or seats a dip in pastel hues would make a big impact.


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