Help Us Save Our Kitchen!

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Q: I have a kitchen with great potential but no idea where to start with redecorating. We've just purchased our first home and don't have it in our budget to renovate the kitchen…

Sent by Abby

…You'll notice what I believe is called "California lighting" on the ceiling, that horrible sort of office-type lighting. We've pulled it out and plan to have a contractor make an indented ceiling with some version of pot lights and crown molding around the sides to pretty it up.

The furniture that is in this photo is not there now. We felt that the island is a bit too awkward so we won't be buying one. We have a butcher block table that we will raise up to bar height. We will also get rid of the vertical blinds. Finally, we are getting rid of the utensil themed door handles. The counters are a faux granite.

But then I'm at a loss — primarily for paint colors. I was thinking grey walls and ceiling, but am not sure what to do with the cabinets. Any editor or reader ideas would be most welcome!

Editor: You are on the right track removing the glut of overhead fluorescent lighting and quirky cabinet pulls — replacing both will help your situation immensely. A white kitchen looks best when it is clean, bright and uncluttered. I would clear out the area above the cabinets — get out of the habit of using that space for storage! This will help open up the space. Also, try to find space inside the cabinets for as much as the small electric appliances that you can, especially those you don't need on a daily basis.

For color, I love the rug you have as it adds a punch of color to an otherwise completely neutral space — would you take a cue from the rug? Hot pink walls might make your kitchen sing!

Who else has suggestions for Abby?

(Note: Include a pic of your problem and your question gets posted first. Email questions and pics with QUESTIONS in subject line to: editorial@apartmenttherapy.com)

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