Updating builder grade cabinets

If you have solid but unremarkable builder-grade cabinets, the simplest route to a high-end look is adding some height with crown molding.

Interior designer Sarah Macklem of The Yellow Cape Cod tackled this project in her own kitchen with striking results.

Browse for new options at your local big-box store, at handcrafted glass or metal shops or from specialty retailers like Restoration Hardware, which stocks this knob in amber, green, violet, black and clear glass.

Peel-and-stick adhesive backing has come a long way, baby — there’s a pattern available for every kitchen style these days, and you can even design your own at Spoonflower.

This kitchen features uplighting from energy-efficient LED tape on the top cabinets, and task lighting from LED under-cabinet fixtures on the bottom cabinet, both from Kichler.

Kichler recommends dimmable task lighting for the kitchen so that you can make it as bright as necessary for doing prep work but dial it down for evening mood-setting.

Designer Jan Goldman of Kitchen Elements had this cabinet custom-made for her client, but there are lots of prefab wall-mounted options available designed specifically for spice storage.

A fresh take on knobs and pulls is one of the quickest fixes for what ails your kitchen cabinets.

“It really lightened the space up and gave it a ton of personality,” she says. ” See how she did it here; since the original blog post was written, she has painted the lower cabinets navy blue and installed bright-white countertops (shown).

This cabinet was lined with Spoonflower’s removable wallpaper by DIY blogger Jessi Wohlwend a Practically (the design shown is “quatrefoil lg yellow” by designer misstiina).

Don’t forget the dead air space underneath upper shelves — it’s a smart place to stash mugs, dessert plates, baking sheets and other compact kitchen items.

The backside of a kitchen cabinet door is a space with great potential that’s too often wasted.

A spice rack is an ideal way to put it to use — it frees up the inside of the cabinet and keeps all those tiny bottles neat and readable at eye level.

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