The space: A large kitchen in a south Minneapolis house.

Thumbs up: A big room with lots of storage and newer appliances.

Thumbs down: A dated light fixture and linoleum flooring, and plain vanilla walls.

"The kitchen felt very cold and everything kind of blended together," said Lori Matzke of "We wanted to warm up the space with color and texture to play up the woodwork and cabinets, and to make the space feel more cheerful and draw the buyer in." Matzke made the following suggestions:

The cabinets and woodwork were cleaned to make them as bright and appealing as possible.

Since the overhead kitchen light, as well as a number of other lights throughout the house, had already been upgraded with contemporary fixtures, the dated chandelier was replaced with a soft-contemporary swag lamp to add texture and interest.

A swag lamp bought for less than $30 was originally configured as a plug-in light, but was easily converted with an inexpensive canopy kit ($6.95) from a local lighting repair shop.

Moving the microwave oven and knives to a less obvious countertop makes the room look like it has more space.

To add contrast and make the woodwork and windows stand out, the walls were painted a soft magnolia gold with an eggshell finish.

The linoleum was not in need of repair but there was simply too much of it, so a natural sisal area rug was added to warm up the look. The sisal brought a neutral touch to the room, as well as a shot of color.

Colorful artwork in muted tones over the stove downplays the large, empty wall. A large carved wood hanging (not shown) was hung on the wall opposite the windows.

Greenery, baskets, jars of pasta and rice and a basket filled with green apples soften the countertops and make the space feel homey.