Redoing a kitchen doesn't have to be a big undertaking. Follow our tips for a quick and easy update.
Tip: Consider removing upper cabinets, especially if they block the view of an adjoining room or dining area.

• Removing the upper bank of cabinets from the bulkhead lets light flow through from the kitchen window. The lower cabinet now acts more like a kitchen island, where guests and family members can socialize with the cook.

• Two pot lights -- installed by a contractor -- where the upper cabinets once hung now shed light on the counter below, making it more usable.

• Replacing dated fluorescent panels with new track lights adds sparkle and more directional lighting. The recessed light well, created to house the old panels, becomes a dramatic ceiling feature.

• Painting the cabinets was an easy decision that created a huge impact. Along with the homeowners' oak table and chairs, the dark oak doors once overwhelmed the 104-square-foot eat-in kitchen. A coat of paint lightens up the room and brings out the existing detail.

• Cabinetry hardware is much like jewellery -- and styles do change. In this kitchen, there were no handles, just grooves that were worn and grubby. Adding simple brushed-metal knobs and handles was an easy and fashionable way to update the cabinetry.

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