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During our kitchen renovation last year, I drooled over glossy magazine pics of sleek stainless steel backsplashes. Yes, stainless looks fabulous, but a real-deal stainless backsplash was out of the question for budgetary reasons. Here's how I got the look without the expense: I found a magnetic noticeboard at Ikea that does the job admirably. Total cost: about $5. The one I got is made of thin, rolled steel painted a glossy grey that blends in nicely with our stainless steel kitchen appliances.

The particular one I used is no longer available, but Ikea does have one called IMPERATIV that's a very reasonable $18 for a 30 x 24-inch-sheet or $20 for a 37 x 15-inch-sheet. The Container Store has one that's 15 x 21-inches for $34.99. Can you say: Very Thrifty?! Okay, okay, so it's not as good as a real stainless backsplash cut for a custom fit. But it's affordable, easy to clean and durable. Best of all, you can install it all on your own, assuming you're confident drilling holes. Voila! No installation fees required.



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