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Updating The Family Gathering Room

By Abbie Osborne-Wilson

With the hustle-bustle lifestyle of today, families are finding it more and more difficult to get any time together, much less “quality” time. Families with soccer and tennis and two working parents and longer school hours and band and longer commutes and-on-and-on find themselves passing one another in the hall or in the driveway. About the only time that the family members can all get together for a few minutes to catch up on what everyone is doing is in the kitchen for a quick meal.

Since this room winds up being the gathering spot for the family, it would make sense to have it as cheerful and welcoming and as open as possible. Some kitchens that have not been updated in a while, have an image problem-they seem cluttered and dark and un-styled. A total kitchen makeover would be very expensive with new everything–appliances, sink, drapes, flooring, cabinets, lighting, etc. But getting a “new look” doesn’t necessarily mean new everything and a big expense.

One of the quickest and least expensive fixes is a new paint job. Choose bright, expansive colors to open up the room. Paint the ceiling a color rather than white to give the perception of more space. Countertops can be refinished if wood. Old, scarred wood countertops can be replaced with granite or marble “look-a-likes” at a reasonable price. Backsplashes can be painted in contrasting colors, which will give the appearance of depth. Or tile pieces can be cemented to the wooden backsplashes to give a totally different look. Maybe a talented family member or a friend of the family could paint murals across the backsplashes to create a point of interest and increase the horizon of the room.

Sometimes kitchens can look crowded because they are. Countertops become a catchall space because they are flat and handy. Open up the look of the room by freeing up some counter space. Consider hanging the microwave or other items under the cabinets. Store large items such as the mixer and food processor in the garage. Brighten the counters with jars of spices or peppers or fruits. Old canning jars with wire-top lids filled with unshelled nuts make a homey display. Keep flowers in old pitchers or colored vases on the counters.

Change the window fabrics to bright colors and arrange the rods and valances to allow in outside light. Many kitchen lighting fixtures are old and unattractive and do not effectively illuminate the area. You can exchange the fixtures for brighter, more colorful ones. Use the newer type bulbs that give off more light but use less electricity.

If there are no area rugs in the kitchen currently, the addition of rugs is a great way to update the area. The rugs could be color-matched to the new paint job or printed patterns that have a kitchen theme could be used. Area rugs add class and a modern look to the floor and can add to the impression of a larger space. If area rugs already exist they could be replaced with ones more in keeping with the new look being created. A large rug could be placed under the kitchen table while smaller ones could be used in front of the sink and the cooking area.

Spending time with the family will be more fun with a new kitchen. As you have just read, major renovation work is not necessary. Essential decorating items on hand and a good color in mind can transform the space. Who knows, the few minutes in the kitchen can eventually turn to hours of hanging out in there. Welcoming friends and guests can also be spent in the kitchen for a change. It’ll be nice to sit around the kitchen table and munch on cookies without having to worry of crumbs on the sofa. What a great way to spend a weekend afternoon.

Don’t let the current economic climate bring you down bright your home the economical way and buy rugs online.

categories: kitchen decorating,kitchen,home decor,home decorating,interior decorating,decorating,interior design,home improvement

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Osborne-Wilson, Abbie "Updating The Family Gathering Room." Updating The Family Gathering Room. 11 May. 2009. 27 Feb 2016 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Osborne-Wilson, A (2009, May 11). Updating The Family Gathering Room. Retrieved February 27, 2016, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Osborne-Wilson, Abbie "Updating The Family Gathering Room"

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