Dream kitchen

Photo: Kip Dawkins

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Engage in a Cover-up
"It's hard for any kitchen to be a dream kitchen until you put your own stamp on it. We always love adding a new backsplash, which can also be easy on the budget (since it means keeping existing cabinets). You can even cover a lackluster backsplash if you don't have the time (or money) to do any actual tile work. Three inexpensive options for this project are bead board, tin ceiling tiles or even a bunch of frames lined up next to each other. These materials can be attached with an adhesive or held up with removable products like 3M Command Strips, which are especially handy if you're a renter." —Sherry and John Petersik, authors of Young House Love: 243 Ways to Paint, Craft, Update & Show Your Home Some Love (Artisan)

Excerpted from Young House Love by Sherry and John Petersik (Artisan Books). Copyright 2012. Photographs by Kip Dawkins.