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Take Your Small Kitchen from Drab to Fab

(ARA) – Resale value isn’t the only reason to redo a kitchen. Even if the home is a rental, or resale is far in the future, the room where families spend most of their time together cries out for a personal touch.

Taking your kitchen from everyday drab to your personal ‘fab’ doesn’t require a complete makeover or the budget of a home-remodeling reality show. A few simple, cost-effective cosmetic changes can create a big impact – even in smaller spaces like galley kitchens.

Switching out cabinet and drawer hardware can create an ultra-modern or traditional effect in a kitchen. And accessories like a bold area rug or an eye-catching toaster can do double duty as both decoration and utility item. The best way, however, to create big impact in a small space (or on a tight budget) is to dress up the walls.

If you’re looking to spice up your kitchen – especially if you rent – wall decor products like removable wallpaper or wall decals can be an easy, cost-effective way to make over your kitchen.

When deciding just how to use wall decor products in your kitchen, consider the room’s major design challenges. Are you working with a windowless space? Is the room small and crowded with cabinets? Is it a galley kitchen? Does your seating face a wall? Here are some tips for using wallpaper and decals to deal with these common design challenges.

Without Windows

A strong pattern on an open, light-colored background can help ‘open up’ a windowless space. Consider a bold graphic wallpaper for the largest wall in the kitchen to make a strong design statement and create a feeling of stylish space and openness in a small area.

Crowded with Cabinets

A desire for adequate storage space in a small kitchen can create an area crowded with cabinets. To tone down this visually overwhelming look, consider replacing solid cabinet doors with glass ones, or removing doors altogether. This will produce a more open look. To create visual interest, line the back of cabinets or the walls behind shelves with wallpaper in a bright, fun pattern.

Galley Doldrums

Galley kitchens don’t have to be dull. You can use wallpaper or decals to establish a focal point for a plain, utilitarian galley kitchen. A variety of decal decorations can achieve a beautifully pulled-together look. Check out or for a variety of simple peel-and-stick decals – from geometric shapes in bright colors that you can use to create your own design, to themed decals that you can switch out to match the season.

Staring at the Wall

If all the seating in your kitchen faces one wall, you’ll want something interesting to look at – even if you only drink your morning coffee there. A wallpaper mural can turn a blank kitchen wall into an enticing focal point. Nature-themed patterns are in vogue right now, thanks to the eco-friendly movement. You can bring the outdoors in, and create a restful atmosphere, with nature scenes or even just a simple pattern that evokes an element of nature, such as graceful bamboo stalks in a basic color.

For more ideas on decorating small kitchens with peel-and-stick decals or easy-to-install wallpaper murals, visit, or

Courtesy of ARAcontent