Updating the kitchen

Look for colorful options or Scott's favorite, a brushed nickel finish.But resist the temptation to get something too personal or cutesy.You can brighten the room with a coat of cabinet paint, add handy storage features like a pull-out shelf or a free-standing island, or even build a window seat with stock cabinets—all with our help!

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The average kitchen remodel costs a staggering ,856 — and high-end ones average ,909. But you don't need to shell out big bucks to make a big impact in an outdated kitchen.Whether you've lived in your house for years or you just got the keys, here are some easy ways to give it a refresh:1. "Changing out cabinetry hardware is one of the easiest and quickest updates," says HGTV's Scott Mc Gillivray, author of ."Even if you're spending a square foot, you're talking about a couple hundred bucks in tiles."Don't have the skills to install tile or cash for a contractor? Just make sure you pick up a semi-gloss, Kristy adds.The glossier the paint, the more it will resist moisture — and you can simply wipe it clean when dinner is over.10. This job is less expensive than you think — and it can make ho-hum cabinets look more special."I wanted this jolt of color to emphasize that the kitchen is the joyful heart of the house," says designer Christina Rottman.

To achieve it in this Montecito, California kitchen, a blackened umber glaze was applied to the cabinets, then painted over with a turquoise glaze.

According to Scott, you can get a new laminate surface for a few hundred dollars. You might be surprised by the nicer laminate options (like this marble lookalike) that have surfaced since you last shopped for counters.

Kitchens are more than just where you prepare your meals.

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A complete overhaul wasn't in the cards (new cabinets are pricey!