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Open doors: decorating the kitchen is easier than you think

Highlights of history

Creating a beautiful kitchen with the original cabinets is not impossible

Counters, seating and lighting are essential – accent colors can go a long way

Share your nursery decor in the next one CNN Open House IReport assignment

Editor’s Note: Welcome to CNN’s Open House, an online tour of iReporters’ homes that features incredible backdrop. Space by space, we will go through beautiful moments of design that make a house a home. Want to show off your decorating skills? Submit your photos to our iReport mission! This week we are looking for beautiful cribs.


After spending hours on Pinterest, combing through dozens of beautiful decoration photos, do you ever look at your kitchen and hear the “wah, wah, waaaaaaah” of a sad paperclip?

Kitchens don’t work like other rooms, say decorators, and it’s not always clear how to decorate them. Instead of four blank walls to decorate, there are cabinet doors, appliances, and counters, which can leave you a bit locked in.

“When we bought our house, we were stuck with a lot of light maple cabinetry. Good storage, yes, but all I saw were square lines, ”said Holly Modica, the decor blogger behind“House by Holly.

One way to handle a cabinet door grille is a thorough renovation, but not everyone has the budget to knock down walls or install custom cabinetry. Modica has adopted a minimization approach to his kitchen.

“The focus was on how to soften the cabinets and add texture,” she said. She collected soup tureens, baskets and weathered furniture from the label sale, made shades of burlap for its luster, and replaced only the backsplash.

“Now I barely notice the cabinets that I once hated,” she said, because now the kitchen is filled with decorative items that she loves to see every day.

“You have to see your kitchen decor in a different way,” said “Chic on a small foot»Decorator Kate Connor. “It’s not harder, just different. The color of your cabinets, cabinet hardware, backsplash and counters make up your kitchen décor, whether you like them or not.

“People don’t think of these things as decor, but they set the tone for the whole room. If they are outdated, it can be difficult to decorate around them, ”she said.

A simple paint created Layla Palmer’s favorite kitchen feature, two-tone cabinetry. She applied dove gray paint to the lower kitchen cabinets in her last home and alabaster white to the top. She also used chalkboard paint and a painted paneling backsplash to create the cottage look she adores.

“We’ve made some inexpensive cosmetic changes and all of them are easy to change if the new owner decides to,” she said, such as adding pine planks and crown molding to make the look taller. their standard cabinets.

And who said you have to keep cabinet doors as they are?

“Sometimes people are reluctant to use glass doors on cabinets because they want to hide all their clutter or don’t know how to style them beautifully with simple stemmed glasses,” said decorator Rina Norwood of Cornelius. , North Carolina. Modica also uses open cabinets as part of its decorating scheme.

“I like to display my pretty things, but keep my counters clear,” she said.

The basic kitchens found in many homes can be a source of design frustration. The solution, say the decorators, is to think “timeless” when approaching the most striking aspects of the kitchen.

“I chose to stay in a very neutral area, in terms of colors, to prevent it from becoming obsolete. Keeping the cabinets white with a black countertop gives our kitchen a very classic and timeless look, ”said Carmel Phillips of Lexington, Ky. Updating the hardware can also be an inexpensive and efficient update to old, regular cabinets.

“There is something so timeless, classic, bright and elegant about a white kitchen,” said “Cuckoo 4 DesignBlogger Julia Konya.

But you don’t necessarily have to erase dated items from the room. Sometimes, as in the case of Sandra Kent, they can end up giving a very special impression to a kitchen.

“The firms are saying a lot about the period,” said Kent of Dallas. “My mom has adorable maple cabinets from the 1950s and I think they cook. Our house is solid oak from the 80s and I think that represents a period of stability.

However, when it comes to investing in the kitchen, the practical and decorative choice is countertops.

“The decorating feature that stands out the most in our kitchen, and I have to say in most kitchens, are the countertops. It’s madness worth it and they are making a huge difference, ”Konya said. “I wanted to go with Carrara marble first, but we are a very active family and I wanted something more sustainable. This is why I opted for a very resistant and resistant quartz.

Kitchens take a hit, and counters, floors, and appliances need to be tough enough to withstand the test of countless holiday dinners and feasts. At the same time, there must be a warm and cozy atmosphere in the room, as it is the place where family and guests are bound to gather, Connor said.

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  • Along with plenty of comfortable seating, she thinks lighting is key.

    “People are afraid to use lamps in a kitchen, but they can really make the room more comfortable. A small lamp near the sink or under the cabinets adds a cozy warmth to a room that you can’t get over your head, ”Connor said. She finds the lamps she put on the buffet table in her kitchen were an easy decorating opportunity that increased the level of comfort.

    Are you obsessed with decorating your home? Show us your skills at CNN Open House and your photo could be in next week’s story. Our next focus, in honor of Prince George: nurseries.

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