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Use windows as a spot for pattern and color in a kitchen where neutrals reign. To create a coordinated look, use a fabric that has a color already found in your kitchen. The fabric on these Roman shades contains a gray similar to the cabinets. Consider using an easy-to-wash fabric for your treatments so you can wash them from time to time and prevent the retention of cooking odors.
Outfit your banquette or breakfast nook with an ensemble of pillows. These pretty additions will decorate the eating space when it's not in use and provide an extra layer of comfort when you are gathered around the table.
Even though a kitchen is called upon to be highly functional, that doesn't mean it can't be stylish. Display artwork like you would in a living room or bedroom. Consider vintage food or grocer signs to add collected flair, or a pretty painting for a more elegant vibe.
A zip of contrast can wake up even the most utilitarian of kitchens. Look for ways to bring a dynamic duo into your kitchen. Here, robin's-egg blue stools stand at attention next to a flame orange island. The ensemble becomes a focal point in the middle of this white kitchen.
Line the back of shelves or a backsplash with beaded board to add cottage-style texture to your kitchen. Paint the beaded board a fun color that matches the rest of your kitchen and be sure to finish it with a waterproof sealant if you are installing it behind or around a sink.
Turn castoff and mismatch plates into a fun display. Cruise clearance racks and thrift stores to find lone plates that share a commonality. The plates in this display all sport red designs, which unifies the display and creates a bond with the nearby red island.
Adequate lighting is a must for the functional aspect of a kitchen, but fortunately, this important element can also be highly decorative. With so many styles available, you can make a truly unique statement with light fixtures. In this kitchen, a large oblong lantern fixture crowns the island, while a matching, smaller fixture hangs over the sink.
Kitchens typically don't have a lot of wall space, thanks to cabinetry, backsplashes, windows, and doorways. Use limited wall space as a chance to display a color you might not otherwise choose for a large wall or whole room. Here, a sable brown colors the space above the windows, which grounds the light kitchen. Also, look to the "fifth wall" of a room -- the ceiling -- as a place to add color with paint.
Small kitchens, especially those with U- or L-shape layouts, can accommodate an island, if it is the right size. Measure your kitchen and keep in mind that walkways around the islands should be 36 inches wide. Determine what size of island your kitchen could handle and start looking. A rustic worktable suits this kitchen's cottage style. Consider an island on wheels to make it easy to move as necessary, such as when you're serving a buffet.
Paint the insides of your cabinets for an update that will give your kitchen decorating mileage without much cost. Choose your color from an existing element in your kitchen, such as a fleck that appears in your countertops or backsplash, or a color that is featured on window treatments.
Activate the space in front of a window as bonus storage. Mount shelves in front of the window by either anchoring them to the wall or along the sides of upper cabinets. This handy solution can also block a not-so-great outside view while allowing light to come in from the window.
Barstools come in all shapes, colors, and styles. Take a step away from something typical and invest in seating that makes a statement to you. But also make sure you'll love to sit in them as you have your morning coffee, read the paper, or gather with family and friends around the kitchen island or peninsula. Consider your counter height when choosing stools. You'll want the seats to be short enough so that you can sit with your legs beneath the counter, but not so short that you sit too low to be comfortable at the counter.
Liven up your kitchen with a few potted plants or potted herbs. Group the pots on a tray so that the plants can be placed in front of a window to bask in the sunlight but can be easily moved if you need that spot for kitchen work.
If you have a beloved collection of cookbooks, don't relegate them to a cabinet -- put them on display. The pretty covers will serve as artwork when arranged and layered facing outward on the shelves within an island. Floating shelves on the walls are also an easy display solution -- just make sure the shelves aren't too close to the sink or range so there isn't the risk of a book falling into soapy water or onto a hot burner.
Give a narrow galley kitchen a focal point by painting the "end" wall a bright color. A contrasting and vivid hue will draw the eye through the kitchen and make it appear longer. Consider a color that's complementary to a color already found in your kitchen. Here, a coral-orange paint is the complement to the dusty blue cabinets.
If you have a cabinet door that is irreparable, replace it with a curtain. Cut and hem a piece of fabric to size (you'll want the fabric to be wider than the door, so it can appear gathered and pleated) and sew a pocket on the top of the fabric. Place the curtain onto a tension rod and mount inside the cabinet doorway. Keep in mind that this project should not be used on cabinets near an oven or range to avoid creating a fire hazard.
While brackets are meant to support objects, they can also be used for purely decorative purposes. Hang carved wooden brackets, painted to match your cabinets, beneath the cabinets to mimic a custom look.
Rather than going to the task of painting all of your cabinets, paint just the island for a quick kitchen pick-me-up. Try a bright hue or color that contrasts with the perimeter cabinets in your kitchen. Use accessories to introduce the color elsewhere in your kitchen so the island will blend with the rest of the space.
Make your kitchen feel more like a living space by incorporating nonkitchen items into your decor. Oversize decorative letters put a signature on this kitchen, as does a collection of personal objects. This display is in a niche out of the kitchen's main work core to keep it out of the way of splatters and leave space for kitchen essentials to be stored where they are used most often. Look to the top of your cabinets as another place to insert style.
Upgrade an existing light fixture by crowning it with a ceiling medallion. These affordable pieces are available at home centers in a variety of styles and sizes. Plus, they can be painted and are easy to install.