Good Questions: Ideas for Updating Family Room/Kitchen

Megan sent us an email: We're moving to our first house and there are lots of spaces that need some redesign. The house could use some "updating" everywhere, but we were hoping to start with the kitchen/family room since it seems like the place where we will be spending the most time. We don't have a huge budget (or really any money to spend), so expensive suggestions like "put in new hardwood floors", "tear out and replace everything" aren't realistic for us right now...

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We are fairly handy and are looking for inexpensive/moderately priced DIY projects (paint, new cabinet hardware, new lighting fixtures, backspash, window treatments) that might help us improve our "retro" kitchen/family room space. The kitchen cabinets are actually decent wood and could be stripped if needed. The furniture in the pictures belongs to the previous owners.

I've seen some cool spaces with orange accents, and was hoping to work with the "retro" orange counter. I like orange and gray spaces like Carma358's Porch, but I'm open to any other color suggestions. Where would you start? What would you do?

Have any ideas and suggestions for Meghan? Please let her know in the comments...

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Janel Laban is the Executive Editor of Apartment Therapy and has been working here, at the dreamiest of dream jobs, since March 2006.

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