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A few fresh fixes

Too many dollar signs and dinners out may make homeowners reluctant to tackle a kitchen remodeling project. But freshening up a kitchen doesn't have to take a lot of money or time.

Kitchen decor

Too many dollar signs and dinners out may make homeowners reluctant to tackle a kitchen remodeling project.

But freshening up a kitchen doesn't have to take a lot of money or time. Some simple fixes can spruce up the space for the holiday season's stream of guests.

Changing out the hardware on cabinet doors, a new light fixture, fresh paint and colorful accessories can go a long way in improving its appearance, says Kami Pederson, associate kitchen and bath designer and salesperson at Braaten Cabinets in Fargo.

New cabinet hardware can complement faucets, light fixtures and appliances - especially as more homes go toward stainless steel, Pederson says.

Pewter and nickel-toned hardware is popular, as well as oil-rubbed bronze, she says.

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But homeowners should also keep in mind the finish of exposed hinges.

"If you don't want to replace the hinges, stick with the same color," Pederson says.

Finding new knobs or pulls that match the existing drilled holes mean no patchwork or additional drilling. Some hardware features a back-plate that would cover these imperfections, she says.

Shonda Chwialkowski, a design consultant with Designs on Eighth in Moorhead's True Value Home and Hardware, agrees that new hardware is a simple fix.

She says knobs and pulls can be purchased for $1 to $5, depending on how elaborate they are.

Chwialkowski also suggests painting the backsplash - the area between the cabinets and countertops - an accent color that compliments both existing features.

She suggests a satin finish for the paint, as many people are leaning away from the shinier semi-gloss finish.

Accessories like window treatments, rugs and canisters can drive home a new color scheme.

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Claudia English, co-owner of Creative Kitchen in the Fargo's West Acres Shopping Center, says customers often shop for decorative items that are also functional.

Wine racks, pot racks, utensil crocks and even colorful spatulas all fit the bill of form and function. She's seen people use colorful colanders as fruit bowls, and wine racks to display rolling pins.

"I think what people do look for is a ceramic-type item - something like a platter or bowl," English says. "Something they could set out that would be decorative yet useful."

Hardware how-to

Replacing cabinet hardware with new knobs is an easy way to freshen up the look of a kitchen.

Selecting knobs or pulls to match the existing size makes the job a snap. Simply screw the new hardware into place. This is the best option for all-laminate cabinets, which are difficult to match with filler.

Using a different size pull - or adding hardware to a door - takes a bit more work and precision:

- Take off the old door pull by removing the fastening screw.

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- If you won't be using the same holes, patch the hole with a wood filler that matches the finish of the cabinet door, or on painted cabinets, hide the patch with touch-up paint.

- Use a combination square to make consistent layout marks where the new pulls will go.

- Drill new holes from the front of the door. Don't press too hard to avoid splintering the back side.

- Insert fastening screw into the hole and attach the knob by tightening to the door.

Source: www.homedepot.com

Readers can reach Forum reporter Sherri Richards at (701) 241-5525 A few fresh fixes Sherri Richards 20071124

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