A dated kitchen can be an eyesore, but it doesn't necessarily mean you have to pull out the sledge hammer and start from scratch. Check out this incredible transformation from Real Simple and see how a few small moves and reorganization tactics created a clean, modern kitchen while keeping most of the original pieces intact. This article struck me because it takes conventional old house problems and shows how a little creative thinking can go a long way in creating a more beautiful and functional space (without spending a lot of money!). In the before photos, the cabinets definitely screamed "retro" against the bright walls. Painting the cabinets would have been an obvious choice, but instead the walls were cleverly painted a similar hue but lighter color, causing the cabinets to recede into the space and shifting the focal point to the bright red of the new ceiling fixture and striped rug.
On the other side of the room, an old spice cabinet and nook transform into a "stash zone" and message center, better reflecting the way we use kitchens today. While we often think of sustainability as products and systems, this is a great example of how components of older homes that are still perfectly usable can be adapted to the 21st century rather than being sent to a landfill. See the full article and more pictures at Real Simple. (Images: Real Simple)