Category Archives: Kitchens

What to do with Ugly Countertops

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Ugly Green Kitchen Counters

Dear Design Diva,

I have ugly green laminate countertops in my kitchen that I can’t afford to change. My cabinets are a light wood color. What can I do to make the kitchen look better?


Dear Nancy,

My recommendation is to work on making the rest of your kitchen so utterly beautiful you don’t even notice the countertops. Select a dramatic paint color that you absolutely love and paint your walls. Then buy placemats, towels, and other kitchen accessories so that the color is evenly dispersed throughout the room. The goal is to put enough of the color around the room that your eye goes from accent to accent without resting on any of the ugly countertop. Add enough beautiful things to look at and your ugly countertop will disappear.

If you really want to transform your kitchen on a budget, I would also recommend updating the hardware on your cabinets. If you are feeling really industrious, I’d also suggest sanding, priming, and painting the cabinets. It won’t cost you more than $50 and a couple of weekends, but you will feel like you have a brand new kitchen.

Good Luck!

The Design Diva

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Barbara Green is The Design Diva and owner of Sensibly Chic Interior Design and the host of “Ask the Design Diva,” a weekly radio show that answers all of your decorating questions. Listen to the live stream Saturday mornings from 8 to 9AM at or listen to the podcast anytime.


What to do with Ugly Kitchen Cabinets?

dark cabinets, ugly cabinets, brown cabinets, ugly brown cabinets

Dark, Dated Cabinets


Dear Design Diva,
I have a very dark kitchen with ugly kitchen cabinets. I can’t afford to replace them, but I hate the look of white cabinets. What do you suggest?

In The Dark

Dear ITD,
You probably spend more awake time in your kitchen than any other room in your house, so it is important that you enjoy the view. Since you didn’t mention how low your budget is, I will give you a few options at varying levels of expense.

refaced cabinets, maple cabinets

Refaced Cabinets

Option 1 – Instead of replacing them, you can reface them. Basically a contractor removes all your cabinet doors and drawer fronts, applies a new veneer to the frames of the cabinets, and then installs brand new cabinet doors and drawer fronts. Still pricey, but less pricey than replacing.

Option 2 – If you like the look European or English Country, you can remove the bottom cabinets and cover the openings with colorful curtains while you either remove the upper cabinet doors completely or have the center panel cut out and replaced with glass. This is the option I used in my own kitchen, and I love it!

Option 3 – I know you don’t like white cabinets, but painting the cabinets is the least expensive option for transforming your kitchen. Just because you are painting doesn’t mean you have to paint them white. Soft green cabinets are very popular now and will give a soothing, restful feel to your kitchen.

painted cabinets, green cabinets, painted green cabinets

Green Painted Cabinets