The kitchen is a hardworking, functional room, but you can have fun with its design, too. Once you've selected the cabinets, appliances, and fixtures, don't forget to add the accessories that will truly make the room feel like your own. Decorative items, such as artwork, collectibles, and linens add welcome color and personality to finish off the space.
You'll likely spend a lot of time in your kitchen, so brighten up the space with wall art. Although you may not want to place your most cherished artwork near the sink or range, due to possible steam and splatters, inexpensive poster art can brighten a wall, says Richard Landon, a certified master kitchen and bath designer in Bellevue, Washington. Keep in mind that artwork isn't limited to paintings and pictures. Consider hanging decorative platters, distinctive cookie cutters, or vintage cooking tools as decoration.
If your kitchen includes glass-front cabinets or open shelves, use them to create attractive and colorful display areas. Design an eye-catching focal point by grouping similar items and hiding not-so-pretty items in decorative canisters or baskets. Limit color choice for a more sophisticated look. All-white dinnerware on open shelves can form a simple and attractive display, for example, while collections of enameled cast iron pots in complementary hues can add a burst of color to a neutral kitchen. No open shelves? "Take a simple element and repeat it on a windowsill," Landon says. "I've taken empty Perrier bottles and lined them up. Something about repeating an element makes it special."
Even everyday items can make a big impact in a kitchen work zone. Choose rugs or dishtowels with bold pattern to add a burst of cheerful color, choose a light fixture with a colorful shade, or paint chairs or barstools in bright, unexpected hues. Copper pots and pans hung from a pot rack or set on a shelf attract the eye and add old-fashioned charm to a traditional kitchen. Sculptural salt and pepper shakers, stand mixers, or other functional kitchen tools can double as art when displayed on the countertop. Or place red and green apples (real or fake) in a ceramic bowl for an inexpensive display that can break up an expanse of countertop.