Do you look forward to stepping into your beautiful kitchen every morning? If you don’t, maybe your counters need a good cleaning and organizing—or maybe a spruce-up with some fun decorating. Here are some tips and ideas to inspire…

Make your counters shine: Food stains on your nice, clean countertop can be eliminated with a sprinkle of baking soda. Just add some water to make a paste, and work it into the stain. After a few minutes, rub off the stain with a damp cloth. Lemony buff: For coffee or tea stains, rub the countertop with a piece of lemon rind. Lemon rind also works on ink smears from price tags. If that doesn’t work, try rubbing alcohol. If that doesn’t delete the stain, try nail polish remover. Then wipe with a damp cloth or sponge. Caution: Nail polish remover is strong stuff, so test a tiny can’t-be-seen-area before using it on a visible area of your countertop.

Create additional space: When you need more counter space for a party or special occasion, set up an ironing board. Make sure it’s secure and won’t tip over, then cover it with a nice tablecloth to make it look more festive. Or, open a kitchen drawer and put a cutting board, cookie pan or serving tray on it. Make sure the kitchen-drawer extension is sturdy before you chop or slice!

Let your imagination (and online searches) fly: Have fun repurposing wood planters, garden pots, trays, three-tier buffet platters to display and store kitchen spices, salts, oils, vinegars, garlic, teas and more. Search outdoor flea markets, thrift stores and garage sales…or your own garage! Here are some clever storage uses for cake stands

We like what this home designer has to say about decorating kitchen counters.

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