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You don’t have to drop thousands of dollars to give your kitchen the sophisticated look those home design shows make you crave. With a few dashes of creativity and some DIY spirit, you can make your kitchen appear fresh and fabulous.

Here are four easy tricks you can use to pull off a stunning effect with just a few hundred bucks.

Treat Your Cabinets to a Makeover If your wood cabinets are in good shape but a boring color, give them a fresh coat of paint or stain them (be sure to strip and sand them before using a wood stain). Proud of your dishes and wineglass collection? You could remove the doors on your top cabinets for an airy, open look, and paint the inside of the cabinets a calm white or line them with contact paper.

To complete the transformation, go on the hunt for some new drawer pulls and cabinet knobs — you can find them in all sorts of styles, shapes and materials.

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Tip
Contact paper is hardy and durable because it’s designed for kitchens, which means it can get wet, resist stains, be cleaned with soap and water — and still look great! You can usually find basic colors at a well-stocked hardware store or home center.

Hang a Decorative Rack for Cookware It’s a great way to organize your pots and pans, keep them handy, save space and dress up your kitchen — in one fell swoop. Ceiling-mounted pot racks come in bar shapes, ovals, rectangles and other shapes, and in dimensions that will suit most kitchens.

But remember: Since these racks end up supporting a considerable amount of weight, you’ll want to attach them to the joists (the support beams) in the ceiling, instead of mounting them into drywall or plaster.

Give Edges the Royal Treatment Mounting crown molding along the tops of your cabinets (if they don’t reach the ceiling) provides a serious dose of charm and elegance for very little money. Simply measure the length of the area where the molding will go, order the style you want, then install it, sand it, prime it (skip if already primed) and paint it. (Here are some easy step-by-step instructions.)

Create a Roll-Anywhere Island Hunt down a basic wooden kitchen cart, then give it a few small touch-ups to customize it to your needs. You can buy a set of casters at your hardware store, then screw them into the base, so you can push the cart wherever it needs to go. If you plan to use the cart as a kitchen counter, top it with a stone cutting board to protect the wood surface and make it easy to clean.

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