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The holiday season has begun. No sooner did we get through Halloween than Thanksgiving is upon us. Besides the usual advice about colorful centerpieces and turkey-themed décor, what else can you do to get ready for this festive time of year?

Thoughts of Thanksgiving turn to thoughts of cooking, the wonderful aromas, tastes and joys of being in the kitchen. While we may not have time for a complete kitchen redo, there are some quick and easy projects you can do to improve your kitchen before your guests arrive.

One thing you can do without changing your plumbing and layout is paint or refinish your cabinets. You will have to take everything out of them first, of course. But just adding a lighter color of paint will brighten up the room. Did you know, by the way, that the Benjamin Moore 2016 color of the year is “Simply White”? (Yes, white is a color and there are a dizzying array of them). Giving your cabinets a soft white coat allows you to add punches of color in other places, increasing the sophistication factor.

On the other hand, without changing your kitchen layout you could change the overworked kitchen faucet, from say polished chrome to oil-rubbed bronze.

Paying homage to natural resources, Thanksgiving also brings to mind the woods and the outdoors. Vary the texture of the surfaces in your kitchen by adding a small-repurposed wood island with a sheet metal top. It can serve as a preparation station for all the extra platters of delicious vegetables you will be serving.

As everyone seems to gravitate toward the kitchen when you have a crowd, take the opportunity to show off some of your collectibles by installing a few shelves, or if you have room, adding a baker’s rack. We often have all these beautiful dishes, bowls and serving pieces whose time to shine is exactly this time of year. Show them off and free up cabinet space at the same time.

I have mentioned this before, but changing knobs and hardware is a simple and sophisticated way to change your kitchen looks. There is a huge variety of hardware to choose from, from whimsical to industrial to elegant. Whatever your style is, a change of knobs will instantly refresh your look.

If you have kitchen chair cushions or stools, change the fabric on them. A cheerful print may be just the right touch to spruce up the kitchen area.

No discussion of a room update is ever complete without a discussion of lighting. I cannot overstate the importance of the way a room is lit. It will make a difference between merely functional and elegant If you have overhead lights, add sconces to your array of lighting. If you are able to change out your overheads, go for a creative pendant in glass or metal caging, which are all over the designer showrooms this year.

Changing your lighting also enables you to add some artwork to the room. A beautifully lit picture adds interest and sophistication to your kitchen. Finally, don’t forget to add dimmer switches — an easy way to change from working area to intimate in a flash.

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Deborah Macdonald is the Napa-based owner of Napa At Home, an interior design enterprise. For more information about her products and services, visit her website at napaathome.com call (707) 255-0246; or email Deborah@napaathome.com

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