It’s often said that the kitchen is the heart of the home: you use it for lounging, socializing, cooking and everything in between. However, if you can’t stand its looks, you’re probably inclined to avoid it altogether – and what a waste of square footage that can be.
This versatile space can encompass so much, incorporating a number of different styles depending on what you’re looking for. Whether you want a family space to get together or just an area of ââthe house where you can vacuum your vacuum with complete peace of mind, there is always a way to create an elegant and functional kitchen. Even if you are limited in space. And even if you can’t undertake a massive renovation. To help you out, we’ve asked interior designers for their best kitchen decorating ideas, as well as effortless shopping to make those concepts a reality.
âNew cabinet hardware and natural stone make inexpensive cabinets look anything but cheap,â says Lauren Nelson, owner and manager of Lauren Nelson Design. âFor our studio kitchen, we almost bought some fancy custom cabinetry, but then decided to save on the cabinetry. We splurged on my favorite stone for the countertop and backsplash, creating a raised, old-fashioned look that complements more modern cabinetry.
Even if you can’t find new countertops or a backsplash, you might find a fresh coat of paint and premium knobs and handles can make a huge difference in refreshing the room as a whole. Here are three options to consider:
The angular lines and metallic finishes of this easy pull give it a polished feel.
A trendy combination of steel and Lucite, these knobs would really show up in a two-tone kitchen.
A gold finish bail hangs from polished black brass to provide a simple yet elegant look.
âKitchens are arguably the most difficult workspaces in your home, so they should look good. and functional! We recommend that you keep accessories to a minimum, so that workspaces are always clean and uncluttered, âsays Maggie Griffin, Founder and Principal Designer of Design by Maggie Griffon. âWe like to use a simple pot for utensils and a nice tray for the items we use every day, such as olive oil, salt and pepper. Creative items like bar carts work too! With that in mind, these three styles will liven up just about any space:
1. Oscarine Lucite Bar Cart
Art Deco inspired piece with solid brass and reflective lucite, this easy bar cart looks just as tidy in the kitchen as it is the center of attention at parties.
This vintage piece is perfect for storing everything from loose pots and pans to all the linens you bought that year you really got into tabletop landscapes.
Both practical and decorative, this canister is perfect for storing sugar, flour or all those matchbooks you’ve pocketed in restaurants over the years.
âI firmly believe that the kitchen space is a room dedicated to function, and therefore accessories should remain utilitarian,â says Meagan Camp of Camp Meagan interiors. âLinen is a different way to bring color and personality. I love vintage French tea towels, or a set of Turkish tea towels. Pretty kitchen towels are just as beautiful folded neatly at the edge of a sink, as they are crumpled on the counter! “
Striped with a padded edge, these simple tea towels are machine washable for easy cleanup.
Old-school but elegant, the patterns of this charming linen tea towel are inspired by the Italian countryside.
The alternation of pink and gray stripes makes this hand towel stand out, and the extra long hem makes it all the more eye-catching. While it could technically be for a bathroom, using it near your kitchen sink works just as well. You conceive of a rebel.
âKitchens have always been and always will be the heart of every home, no matter how far we get in technology or how far we can start to live,â says Kendall Wilkinson of Kendall Wilkinson Conception. âUsing ceramic platters and dishes showcases foods and allows them to be mixed and matched over time. As a mom of two teenagers things get broken a lot and it’s good to know that everything works together so I don’t cling to perfectly matched items. Vintage Italian and French pitchers and platters can also be a fun way to add character and texture to your islands.
Each piece is handcrafted, creating a unique focal point for your countertops.
Functioning as both a centerpiece and a serving piece, this handcrafted bowl features a timeless blue basket woven pattern that makes the otherwise all-white piece a little more chic.
Ina Garten would totally approve to use this classic water jug ââas a vase, then consider it a dual-purpose investment in your decor.
“Always incorporate living greenery in a kitchen [as well as] other organic elements, âsays Dawn Hamilton of AubeElise Interiors. You can even use fake plants if you like, and also hang spices and flowers around the kitchen for a fragrant feel without resorting to synthetics.
This fake orchid may not look exactly like the real thing, but it was designed by florists to ensure it is the perfect addition to any space. And it keeps you from panicking if you water too much or too little (this is any orchid owner’s dilemma).
Tropical fern with delicate foliage, this plant changes color as it grows, from red to bronze to bright green. How cool is that?
Composed of a round woven basket that easily mounts to the wall, this faux plant adds a touch of green even to the smallest of spaces.
Another fun way to mix and match, according to Wilkinson, is by using bar stools. You can buy a number of them in a variety of styles – think bohemian, modern, firm, etc. – or you can keep changing them up by stuffing your old ones as you tire (or wear out) the current design. It’s an easy way to keep the kitchen space interesting.
Talk about royal: This navy bar stool has ample padding for your back, while the long legs give it a regal feel.
Crafted from durable hardwood and topped with a studded border, this upholstered counter stool is ideal for gathering around the kitchen island.
For a more modern feel, this swivel chair is totally the way to go: a 360-degree bend, chrome base, and sizable footrest allow for total comfort.
âDon’t forget your cookbooks! Camp said. âOften the photography is vibrant and colorful. Why not open a page and put the book on a support? The imagery will serve as the backdrop, while also providing inspiration for dinner.
If you’re inspired by designer / cook / lifestyle guru Joanna Gaines (and honestly, who isn’t?) Her classic comfort collection will leave everyone at home satisfied and beg for seconds … even the most picky eaters.
If you work long hours and never have time to prepare a nutritious meal, this cookbook has the solution: Simple instructions paired with easy ingredients make healthy eating accessible to everyone.
Organize a party? Want to to feel like you’re having a party? These casual-chic spreads are designed to be shared by an unlimited number of peopleâand they are also super easy to do.
âSet up a pot rack so you can store pots and pans, and hang herbs and flowers to dry,â says Ginny Macdonald, director and founder of Design by Ginny Macdonald. “They not only look good, but they will smell really fragrant.” It will also help keep your countertops from being unnecessarily cluttered, which is even more important if you are in a small space.
Powder coated steel gives this stand a polished feel, while the grid and hooks make it easy to display your pots and pans.
Crafted from manufactured recycled wood, this wall rack has buckets in various sizes so you can store all the knick-knacks you desire.
Featuring a modern stainless steel display rack with a rotating design, it’s an easy way to store tons of spices for all your baking needs. And access them all without causing an avalanche in your pantry.
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