Color it Happy
Cabinets, which are typically white or wood tones, take up a lot of visual real estate in a kitchen. Next come the white, black, or gray stainless-steel appliance faces. If you want to inject some color into your kitchen, wall decor is your next option. Fill the backsplash with bright tiles. Hang a collection of festive plates on the wall. Look for artwork or photographs that feature a bold palette. For an original idea, stretch tea towels in splashy hues across the frames of painting canvases, and hang a trio side-by-side. You can find these wood frames in crafts stores; simply wrap and staple the towels—or other fabric scraps—to the back.
Make a Claim to Fame
Since you spend a sizable amount of time in the kitchen, why not have it speak to—and about—you. Make personal statements on the walls with letter monograms or signage that spells out "Welcome to the Smiths' Kitchen" or "Enjoy Leslie's Cooking." You can also order vinyl wall decals in a variety of sayings, or write your own and pick the font and color. For something even more customizable, coat a portion of one wall with chalkboard or whiteboard paint, then scribble and draw to your heart's content.
Showcase Lovely Wares
There's a timeless notion that utility items should be pretty, and pretty things should be useful. This is especially true in a kitchen. If you need a wall clock, choose one with a decorative frame. Create an orderly display out of your utensils using an organizer system. Mount a peg rack and use it to show off kitschy coffee mugs snagged by their handles. Attach pot-hanging rods to the wall, and then hook your shiniest, best looking saucepans to them. Even open shelves that hold a colorful assortment of pitchers or plates can be an artistic focal point on the wall if arranged and edited carefully.
Framed prints and posters and other traditional forms of wall decor also work well in a kitchen. With plenty of cooking and cleaning going on in the space, placement is paramount. Hang delicate or paper-based wall decor in places where it is out of the line of fire from sauce splatters and water splashes. Consider your soffit (the space between the cabinets and the ceiling) as a prime placement for wall art, too.