Easy Ways to Make Over Your Kitchen—No Construction Needed

10/18/2013 at 03:00 PM ET

Graham Elliot's Easy Kitchen Organization Tips
Courtesy Graham Elliot

Are your cooking skills in a rut? Perhaps, it’s not you, it’s your kitchen.

Chef Graham Elliot shares three ways give your space a whole new feel without lifting a hammer—or breaking the bank.

1. Surround yourself with help.
Love looking at photos of designer kitchens in magazines and on Pinterest? Make them a part of your space: “Set up an inspiration area with books, photos, quotes and a bulletin board,” recommends the Chicago-based chef. “It will get the creative juices flowing.”

2. Buy great essentials.
You can fill your kitchen with any number of crazy gadgets but, really, you only need a few tools to cook like a pro. “Splurge on some key equipment and keep them close at hand,” he says. “My big three are a good pan, a sharp paring knife and a thick wooden cutting board.”

3. Make more space. 
Are you constantly shifting things around in the kitchen to give yourself more room? “Plenty of walking space is best for traffic flow, especially in an [area] as busy as the kitchen,” says the MasterChef judge. To make the room appear even airer, clear your rarely-used gadgets off counters and organize your cookbook shelf by color—you’ll be amazed at how much larger the room feels.

Elliot will also be helping out a chef design their dream pop-up restaurant from scratch on a one-hour special Covert Kitchens, Sunday Oct. 20 at 11pm on Spike.

Check out a preview here:

—Liza Hamm

FILED UNDER: Graham Elliot , Home , Kitchens

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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms
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The Latest Craze in Disco Styles Is See-Through Jeans—but Beware of Foggy Bottoms

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On a clear day, you can see forever—or at least that’s the wicked thought behind L.A. designer Agi Berliner’s transparent idea: see-through jeans. Exhibitionists notwithstanding, most folks wear them over bathing suits or as attention-getting evening wear with halters, garter belts and body stockings. Created for the disco crowd, the $34 jeans are selling like, well, hot pants. In just six weeks, 25,000 pairs have already been sold in such major department store chains as Macy’s, Bonwit’s and Saks.

“What’s limiting American designers is that we’re afraid to do something different,” says Berliner, 32, a Hungarian émigré who fled with her family to the U.S. in 1956. Agi thought up the gimmick in London while marveling at the way plastics were being employed by designers of punk fashion. In her L.A. office, where she designs for La Parisienne junior sportswear, Agi spent five days on the phone and six weeks testing to come up with the right plastic.

Agi herself tried out the French-cut jeans with the zipper in front, and quickly found several problems: Some plastics tore away from stitching, others wouldn’t bend and all fogged with perspiration. The ideal material proved to be a vinyl supplied by a bookbinder. The steam was eliminated with a series of vents behind the knees and in the crotch. “They’re no hotter than polyester pants,” claims Agi, “and if you wear them with tights, they won’t stick to your legs.”

Whatever the discomfort and despite the problem of Saturday night feverishness, discomaniacs report one major advantage of the plastic pants: no laundry bills. To keep Berliner’s see-through jeans clear, all the wearer needs is a little Windex.

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