Photo: Laurey W. Glenn

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A small, dull utility area gets a wake-up call with wallpaper, painted cabinets, and a checkerboard-pattern floor. You can cover linoleum with inexpensive vinyl composite tiles (around 57 cents each) available at home-improvement stores. They come in a variety of colors, so you can create a custom look. Art can also wake a dull room up, and it doesn't have to come from a gallery. Start looking for wall ideas everywhere you go. Here, colorful plaques based on vintage vegetable crates ($10 each) hang from burlap twine to cover the electrical outlets and utility hook-ups.


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