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Six Attractive Ways to Brighten Up a Dark Kitchen

by Susanne Clemenz

You love to cook, yet you find yourself resisting it. Or you cook from necessity, and your kitchen feels like the gloom room. Here are kitchen remodeling ideas that bounce and reflect light for a more upbeat room:

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  1. Dark or dated walls: Get rid of that ancient, peeling wallpaper. Lighter hues visually push the walls outward and upward. Repaper with a lighter color, or scrub all paste residue off and paint with a lighter tone.
  2. Backsplash areas: Liven up the backsplash area and make it easier to clean with web-backed sheets of decorative mini-tiles. Keep the basic colors light, and use contrasting linear tile moldings or accent tiles.
  3. Countertops: Countertops absorb or reflect lots of light. Choosing lighter granite, laminate, or solid surface products can create an airier, cheerier look.
  4. Floors: Choose light, textured ceramic tiles or vinyl. Even medium-toned wood or wood laminates will reflect light better if your existing floors are dark.
  5. Cabinets: New kitchen cabinets are an exciting option, of course. Other choices are to paint or re-stain cabinet doors and drawer fronts in a lighter shade. Or refinish the cabinet cases and reface with new doors and drawers.
  6. Lighting: If nothing else, go crazy with new lighting. Today's very decorative, energy-wise choices in track lighting, pendants, task lighting, and under-cabinet lighting can illuminate and stylize your space.

Even your black appliance fronts visually shrink an already dark kitchen. How about a monochromatic theme in pale mango or soft green? Incorporate some bright ideas into your dark kitchen to put the joy back in cooking. Start planning today.


About the Author

Suzanne Clemenz designed her passive solar home and interacted with the contractors every day of the 6-month project. She started drawing floor plans and making models in the early '70s after purchasing several building lots. Recently she expanded and

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