How Can I Make My Beige Kitchen Look Less Dingy?

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Q: How can I make a beige kitchen look less dingy? My rental kitchen has no windows, beige appliances and cabinet doors, grayish speckled countertops, and beige-ish tile. It looks terribly dingy, even when it's clean. We've tried covering the cabinet doors in white contact paper, and that helps a bit, but the fridge and oven and dishwasher are still that awful beige.

Is there some way to temporarily change the color of my appliances? Or is there some wall color that will perk the room up? Or something else I haven't thought of? Thanks! I look forward to hearing everyone's great ideas.

Sent by Kristy

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Editor: Kristy, on the one hand, you do need to accept the kitchen for what it is; it's going to be hard to change the cabinets in a really substantial way without a total renovation!

On the other hand, one tip is to change the wall color. We love that vibrant blue, but the contrast between it and the kitchen really play up the overall beige-ness of everything else. It would be a little tricky to pull off, but if you can find a neutral off-white, something bright and warm — that may help the cabinets fade into the background a little more.

This may sound like you're going backwards and making your kitchen into an even duller place, but I do speak from experience. I have some pretty beat-up white cabinets in my kitchen, and while my walls were a dark slate blue, I felt like they really stood out. You noticed every flaw. Then I painted the walls a very, very pale violet-grey, and to me, the dinginess of the white cabinets just isn't as noticeable.

You can supplement, of course, with lots of color — a rug, some jars on the countertop, some artwork on the walls.

That's just one idea, though. Readers, what is your advice for Kristy?

Related: The $15 Kitchen Makeover

(Images: Kristy via email)

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