Low-Cost Color for Your Kitchen

Add some bright accents to your kitchen with these fun, easy projects.

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Colorful countertop items don't have to take up space.

Want to update your kitchen with one of this season's stylish colors without breaking the bank? Think fun, colorful accents in today's hot colors like blazing orange, Curaçao blue or meadow green.

Start fresh by stashing mismatched knickknacks and creating a neutral backdrop. Then bring in a fashionable new color in the form of art and accessories. Whether you buy coral canisters or create your own coral curtains, adding a striking new color is sure to liven up the kitchen.

Storage boxes do double duty as decoration when painted a vivid color like tangy tangerine. Simply buy a few wooden boxes at a local craft supply store and spray paint them with your chosen hue. Label each box with metal scrapbooking letters, then fill the containers with items you'd like access to but don't use daily, such as cookie cutters and candy molds. Give a shelf a burst of color by stacking the boxes next to some cookbooks. Bring in other accents in the same color, such as a collection of Fiestaware in delicious persimmon.

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Whether or not you're handy with a paintbrush, it's a cinch to add artistic color touches to your walls.

Pick a bold color like pomegranate or fuchsia and choose a stencil that complements your decor. Wall stencils come in sophisticated designs including Florentine scrolls, French fleur-de-lis and ornate damask. Skip the formality and place the graphics here-and-there on the walls. Tape the stencil up with masking tape and dab on acrylic paint with a foam stenciling sponge. For an even easier transformation, use Blik Re-Stik repositionable wall decals. These movable stickers take the fear out of working with color; if you don't like the look, just remove and restick.

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To add a dash of color to your kitchen, take plates out of the pantry and display them as works of art.

Decorating with dishes takes on a modern feel when you choose earthenware in this season's natural hues. Look for dinner plates in a single shade, like ZaZen's Crackle Dinnerware set in tranquil turquoise. Use plate hangers to create a round grouping on a wall or to add a stripe of color to a vertical space between the oven and the pantry. To add flavor to your breakfast nook, set the plates on plate stands and line them up along the windowsill.

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Plants are a natural for the kitchen and are an inexpensive way to bring botanical colors indoors.

Terra-cotta pots cost just a few dollars and they can be easily transformed with outdoor paint designed for terra cotta (available at craft stores). Paint the pots garden colors like sunflower or lemongrass and finish them off with stylish stripes created by wrapping the pots with ribbon. Resist campy rickrack and pompoms, and go for a contemporary look with retro madras plaid, edgy grommet ribbon or sleek trellis yarn. Pick a trim that goes with your decor and make sure it is colorfast. Group your new sunny pots by the sink to brighten up the dish rack. Or place one pot on top of the fridge, one by the pantry and one on your dinette table to spread bursts of yellow and green throughout the kitchen.

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That naked kitchen window is just waiting to be jazzed up.

So for this makeover, skip the mini-blinds and go for a set of classic café panels. To make your own, give an old-fashioned craft a twist by turning tea towels into artsy curtains. Start by dyeing four flour-sack tea towels in a trendy color like magnolia green. Then buy three shades of paint in the same color family and three large foam stamps to create your design. Stamp all over the fabric, alternating the colors and the stamps as you go. Position a decorative tension rod halfway down the window and hang the four panels side by side across the rod with curtain ring clips. If your color-pop is conch shell peach, you might choose seashell stamps, or if peacock blue is your color, pick paisleys to pattern your panels. What a pretty punch of color!

Photos by Jennifer and Kitty O'Neil

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