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Transform those cluttered counters! 5 easy ways to make over your kitchen

Aug. 14, 2014 at 11:17 AM ET

The kitchen is the heart of the home, but with stacks of dishes, an overflowing trash can and cookbooks piled high, it can also be a disaster zone.

It’s time to control the chaos, and in its book, “500 Kitchen Ideas: Style, Function & Charm,”Country Living magazine shares ideas for creating a kitchen you will actually want to be in. Here are five tips from the book that can help the messiest kitchen reign it in and become a fun and inspiring space.

Create a slick trash receptacle

Nick Pope
Nick Pope

Retrofit a lower cabinet with a sliding shelf for a trash can, using drawer glides and plywood. Then pin up items you want kept out of sight — like rubber gloves, sponges and plastic bags — on the inside of a cabinet door. To do this, using hot glue, affix magnets to the back of plain clothespins and glue the magnets directly to the door.  

Use a side table to hold kitchen essentials

Victoria Pearson
Victoria Pearson

There’s no law that says you must have a built-in cabinet next to a stove. Here, a lively little red end table happily holds cookbooks, cutting boards and bowls.

RELATED: Before-and-after pics: See a dated kitchen transform with a DIY remodel

Skip the ugly packaging and store dry ingredients in jars

Keith Scott Morton
Keith Scott Morton

Collections of clear vintage jars, bottles and canisters make great containers to store all sorts of dry ingredients for cooking and baking. Look for them at flea markets, yard sales and online. Here, turquoise-colored canning jars filled with dried beans and grains make a pretty display in this glass-front cabinet.

Recycle empty bottles to hold liquid ingredients

Tim Street-Porter
Tim Street-Porter

Recycle empty bottles as cruets by adding cork pourers and slate tags. Here, a simple shelf supports a beautiful and functional arrangement of cooking essentials.

Use your wall with chalkboard paint

Björn  Wallander
Björn Wallander

To add a personal statement to your kitchen, consider a chalkboard-paint backsplash. Fearing upper cabinets would overpower her galley kitchen, this homeowner opted instead for simple white planks and custom brackets set against a playful chalkboard-painted wall.

Reprinted with permission from Country Living 500 Kitchen Ideas  ©2014 by Hearst Books, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. 

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