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Front Page » May 10, 2007 » Home and garden focus » Tips for brightening up all kinds of kitchens
Published 3,072 days ago

Tips for brightening up all kinds of kitchens

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For the past decade, the kitchen has reigned supreme as the choice gathering spot for family activities and entertaining. Airy, open kitchens can transform the mood of the room and its occupants.

Kitchens become energized with natural light when skylights, large windows or acrylic block door inserts are added to the room, says home improvement expert Don Zeman, host of the radio show, Homefront with Don Zeman.

Another way to brighten a kitchen is to add bright white mouldings and trim pieces. Combined, these easy renovation steps can help homeowners create a gathering space in the home that's comfortable and inviting.

According to Zeman, who was a contractor for 25 years before starting his nationally syndicated radio show and home improvement television tips series, there are several things homeowners can do to transform dark, dreary kitchens into bright, welcoming spaces. Zeman offers homeowners the following tips.

•Add small acrylic block panels under countertops to serve as a design element and bring more natural light into the kitchen.

•Adopt the popular trend of having naked windows in the kitchen. By using only minimal window coverings, such as valances at the top, the windows allow in a maximum amount of light and can act as a transition to the outdoors.

•Install carved leaf or grapevine brackets made of urethane under kitchen countertops and shelves to add dimension and visual appeal to the kitchen. Corbels can also be added to kitchen islands and the tops of cabinets to present a more finished look in the room.

•Install a garden window over a sink that extends outside the home with shelves for growing herbs, potted plants or starting seedlings throughout the year. Simonton Windows offers a garden window with dual, fully-operational casement side lites that allow in air and sunlight.

•Give your kitchen ceiling new life by adding PVC beaded boards. Then, add the same beaded boards as a wainscot treatment to tie the room design together. These bright white panels resist moisture and are easy to maintain for years of enjoyment.

•For a kitchen window that overlooks an unsightly neighbor's yard, replace it with an operable acrylic block window. Hy-Lite casement windows bring air and light into the home while obscuring the exterior view. The stylish windows come with a choice of clear wave, cross rib, frosted wave and energy-efficient Solar block patterns.

•Create a design for a backsplash using urethane appliqued tiles. Decorative and resistant to moisture, the oversized 17-inch squares offer lots of detail and can be painted or faux finished.

•Order several windows mulled together at the factory to give the impression of a small wall of windows that will maximize light flow into the kitchen. Request operating windows (such as double hungs or casements) be topped with non-operable transom windows to enhance the flow of light into the kitchen.

•Jazz up your windows by adding stylized Fypon door/window head crossette trim to surround a window. Bump-out texture and design at the top of the window of this no-miter project create outstanding results. Or, use straight pieces of urethane moulding to surround your window and then place plinth blocks in the corners. Your window can have a new frame surround in less than 15 minutes.

•Use a full wall of acrylic blocks as a decorative room divider to separate dining and kitchen areas or sections of a family room. Choose a clear block, or add a splash of color with pale green, blue or rose blocks.

For more tips and ideas on brightening up your kitchen, along with information on products discussed here, visit

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