Clever tips for basement updating

For full step-by-step instructions, shopping list, and tools list, see How to Paint Kitchen Cabinets.

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For full step-by-step instructions, shopping list, and tools list, see How to Reface Kitchen Cabinets.

Make the most of your kitchen's existing storage space by installing a pull-out shelf in one—or all—of the base cabinets.

There's a missing element in most American kitchens, and it's not a $7,500 range or a 4-acre refrigerator. The hidden fixtures of undercabinet task lighting, which are fairly easy to retrofit beneath upper wall cabinets, bathe the countertop in bright white light—a boon for everything from dicing veggies to reading recipes.

Connect the fixtures to a dimmer switch, and you also have the key to dramatic accent lighting or a night light for midnight snackers.

For full step-by-step instructions, shopping list, and tools list, see How to Build a Butcher Block Island.

Dishware, serving pieces, table linens—a sideboard packs a whole lot of storage space into a relatively small footprint, making it a handy addition to any household.

The shelf resembles a shallow drawer that glides out for easy access to items stored in the back of the cabinet.

Our shelf was built for a standard 24-inch-deep by 33-inch-wide base cabinet, but its design is adaptable to virtually any size cabinet.

It's amazing what a little veneer and some new doors can do to brighten an aging space.

Both are available through woodworking companies, and some manufactures offer peel-and-stick veneer to make the task simpler. Work carefully, and your kitchen will look brand-new in no time.

As long as the frames and doors are structurally sound, you can clean them up and brush on a fresh coat of paint—and within a weekend take that kitchen from dreary to sunny.

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