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I'm Erika Ward

Over a decade ago, I exchanged my corporate life in building construction for an opportunity to enhance your personal home via decoration and renovation.  My mission? To help busy professionals make their homes their sanctuaries.

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Home of Kate and Andy Spade About a week ago, I asked BluLabel Bungalow readers via facebook about some of their decorating dilemmas. One of the questions asked was “How do I update an old kitchen without spending a ton of money?”

The above kitchen belongs to New York City-based celebrity designers Kate and Andy Spade. This kitchen appears to be a older kitchen with modern updates. Most celebrity homes we see featured on TV, more specifically kitchens, are new, grandiose in nature, and have an assortment of high end materials and finishes–Italian marble countertops and floors, cabinets made of exotic woods, yadda, yadda, yadda yet this one is both modest and beautiful.

NEED IDEAS ON CREATING A LOOK FOR LESS? Here are options to explore in updating your kitchen and making the most of what you already have.

The most impactful element in the Spade’s kitchen has to be the checkered floor. It’s possible that the floor is made of marble, but you can achieve the same feeling with a more cost effective material. Have you considered installing laminate in the kitchen? This checkered tile has a slate design that can be used in both kitchens and baths–an easy option if you are considering installing it yourself.

Have the audacity to paint your ceiling an invigorating hue. I practiced what I preach and had my ceiling painted last Spring. It was a suggestion that my husband had to warm up to, but now it’s one of his favorite rooms in the house.

If the above color is too warm for your home’s color palette, try a cool blue like this…


Painted Kitchen Cabinets

3.| REVAMP YOUR KITCHEN CABINETS – Cabinetry in older homes are commonly made from real wood as opposed to the wood composites you see in some builder grade homes.

Have the existing cabinets stripped and re-stained or painted to any color of your choice. Remove a couple of the doors and leave open shelving to display a collection or replace the front of the doors with glass. This will help to visually open up the space and break up some of the heavy wood tones.

4.| REPLACE CABINET HARDWARE – You can find a wide range of hardware options just about anywhere. Choose a kitchen design from your inspiration folder, take notice of the hardware used, then scour local hardware stores and online retailers for the best deals on the knobs and pulls of your choice.


5.| SEE YOUR KITCHEN IN A NEW LIGHT – Have fun browsing through the abundant lighting options available for your kitchen. You may spend a little more in electrical costs if you have to replace that funky old fluorescent light, but trust me it’s worth it. Your new light fixture can help you establish a new design direction, i.e. choose a moroccan pendant for a global look

Tia Zolden Kitchen with Glossy Black Floors
6.| CHAIRS – Use painted chairs and/or barstools to introduce a new color direction. The photo below speaks for itself. Repeat the color at least three times in the kitchen through accessories, artwork, or window treatments.
 7.| INSTALL A BACKSPLASH THAT’LL CAUSE WHIPLASH – Admit, this green tiled backsplash made you take a double or triple take. Against bright white cabinets, the generous dose of color makes the entire kitchen shine like new. The same effect works with paint.White painted cabinets with green backsplash

While this is not an exhaustive list, it will surely help to get your creative juices flowing.

How have you reinvented your kitchen on a budget? Which of these 7 suggestions would you mostly likely use in your home?

image courtesy: The Selby | Cutler Design | House to Home | Tina Zoldan | David Livingston Photography | Unknown | BluLabel Bungalow/Erika Ward Interiors |

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Over a decade ago, I exchanged my corporate life in building construction for an opportunity to enhance your personal home via decoration and renovation. My mission? To help busy professionals make their homes their sanctuaries.

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