Blog Archives

What to do with Ugly Countertops

ktichen update, ugly countertops,

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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Check out our other blogs Save or Splurge and High End Looks for Less.

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.


How to Pick Paint Colors

picking paint colors, choosing paint colors, selecting paint colorsDear Design Diva,
I just moved into a new house, and the whole thing is “builder beige.” I want to add some color, but I am not sure where to start. I am totally overwhelmed when I look at the wall of paint chips at the paint store. Where do I begin?
– Suzie New Homemaker

Dear Suzie,

The Design Diva congratulates you on deciding to add color to your home. Color has the ability to inspire and transform your life. The quickest and easiest way to get the right color the first time around is to hire a certified color consultant. Although it will cost about $150 for a three-room consultation, it is worthwhile when you consider 40% of all paint sales are generated by color mistakes the first time. Your wasted money is not only the price of the paint, but the time you spend actually applying it or paying a professional to do it for you.
For brave do-it-yourselfers, you can either pick a color based on the kind of emotional reactions you want from the room or you can begin with an inspiration piece. Vibrant tones (red, purple, orange) create passion. White tones (light pink, sky blue, mint green) give a feeling of freedom. Brown tones (olive, mustard, clay) make rooms feel earthy and sensual. Black tones (emerald, sapphire, cranberry) create drama. If you want to use an inspiration piece, choose a favorite piece of art, fabric, or accessory. If you want to spotlight the piece and have it stand out, choose a paint color that is the complement (or opposite) of that color. If you want it to blend into the background, choose a paint color that matches your inspiration piece. You can bring other colors from your inspiration piece into the room with furniture and accessories, tying the whole room together with your cohesive color palette.
Color has amazing powers – it can aid in healing, promote positive change and empower your life. The Desgin Diva encourages you to fully explore the incredible transformative powers of color.