Kitchen Decorating Ideas

white kitchen with bead board cabinets and wooden countertops
Use these easy kitchen decorating ideas to refresh your kitchen without an extensive remodel. You can do a DIY kitchen makeover in a weekend without breaking the bank.

Cottage Charm

Line the back of shelves or create an easy kitchen backsplash with beaded board to add texture to a cottage style 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. White beadboard is classic, but try a pale pastel yellow or baby blue for subtle color.

Have Fun with Fabric

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 blue similar to the backsplash and cabinet interiors. 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.

Quickly add style to your home with the easiest window treatment ever.

Make Your Own Kitchen Window Treatment

Watch and see how to create the easiest window treatment for your kitchen. All you need are curtain rods, a piece of fabric, fabric tape, and a few screws. This simple no-sew Roman shade looks store-bought!

 

Look Up

In kitchens, function often reigns supreme, which leaves little room for decorative flair. Consider the space above your cabinets as prime display space. You'll add a fun touch to your kitchen, without taking up precious counter or storage space. Pay attention to scale when choosing items to display. Too small, and the item will virtually disappear, too tall, and it will look awkward as it skims the ceiling. Here, oversize letters nicely fill the space and draw the eye upward to the kitchen's pitched ceiling.

Learn how to use a white color scheme in any style kitchen.

White Kitchen Wake-Up

White is a standard color for kitchens and can sometimes seem one-note, but with a few tricks, you can add dimension and vitality. White kitchens work well for a variety of design styles, and having a neutral backdrop makes it easy to switch things up if your style preferences change. Watch and learn how to bring personality to a white kitchen.

Warm Up

Kitchens are full of cold surfaces, like stone countertops and stainless-steel appliances. For some easy kitchen updates, consider a bar-height table and chairs in a warm wood finish as a way to raise the visual temperature in your kitchen. If you're looking for a bigger change, consider wood floors.

Accessorize It Right

Hardware is to cabinets as jewelry is to an outfit: it can dress up even the most basic of foundations. Plus, switching out your hardware is a cheap kitchen makeover, especially if you stick with the same type of hardware. If you have plain, basic black knobs, consider knobs in a fun color or material. Replacing knobs with a more modern door handle is an easy swap, but it still provides an impactful change.

Learn how to choose the best hardware for your kitchen with our tips and tricks.

How to Pick the Right Hardware

Before you embark on a DIY kitchen makeover, get tips on how to choose hardware for your cabinets. Different styles of hardware work best for different styles of decorating. Don't be afraid to mix and match for a custom look.

 

Sample Platter

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 accent and creates a bond with the nearby red island.

All Lit Up

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.

Display Stylish Artwork

Even though a kitchen is called upon to be highly functional, that doesn't mean it can't be stylish. Sometimes, all it takes to make easy kitchen updates is sprucing up the walls. 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.

Update Your Chairs

Give old chairs a boost by re-covering the seats or adding new cushions. Choose a fabric that goes with other elements within the kitchen so your new addition blends seamlessly. Reupholstering tired furniture is a cheap kitchen makeover and a great way to extend the life of a piece.

Island of Color

Rather than going through the task of painting all of your cabinets, paint just the island for a quick and easy kitchen update. 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.

Color Surprise

Apply the same principle to a pantry door. For designer-caliber results, use the color at least one other time somewhere else in the space. Here, the citron hue on the door also colors the stripe in the runner.

Get Creative with Paint

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 bold color you might not otherwise choose for a large wall or whole room. Look to the "fifth wall" of a room—the ceiling—as a place to add color with paint. Here, a deep olive green contrasts the light kitchen and makes the space feel cozy.

Cozy Up

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. Swap them out seasonally or for holidays.

Add function and personal style to your kitchen with these 5 easy decorating ideas.

5 Easy Kitchen Updates

For a DIY kitchen makeover on a budget, work with elements you already have. Install simple open shelving, create a memo board anywhere with chalkboard paint, or swap out your pantry door. A few minor updates can completely transform your kitchen space.

Island Ingenuity

For a tiny kitchen makeover, start with an island. 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 an island should be at least 36 inches wide. Determine what size of island your kitchen could handle and start looking. This small kitchen's island doubles as a prep space and cutting block. Consider an island on wheels to make it easy to move as necessary, such as when you're serving a buffet.

Contrasting Elements

A zip of contrast can wake up even the most utilitarian of kitchens. Look for ways to bring a dynamic color duo into your kitchen for an easy kitchen remodel. 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.

Support System

While sleek floating shelves look right at home in a modern kitchen, shelves in a traditionally styled kitchen benefit from classically styled support. Add iron scrollwork brackets or intricately carved wood ones to open shelves for a look that's timeless. Even if they aren't actually supporting the shelf, they offer plenty of visual appeal.

Inside Paint Job

Paint the insides of cabinets with glass doors or the space between built-in open shelves for an update that will give your kitchen decorating mileage without much cost. Choose a 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. It'll take simple kitchen cabinets from blah to bold instantly!

 

Shelf Space

Activate the space in front of a window as bonus storage. Mount shelves in front of the window by anchoring them either to the wall or along the sides of upper cabinets. This handy solution can also block a not-so-great outside view while still allowing light to come in from the window. These floating shelves are perfect for adding extra storage space during a small kitchen makeover.

Have a Seat

Barstools come in all shapes, colors, and styles, making them easy kitchen updates. Take a step away from something typical and invest in seating that makes a statement. 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 you can sit with your legs beneath the counter, but not so short that you sit too low to be comfortable at the counter.

Kitchen Garden

Liven up your kitchen with a few potted plants or potted herbs. Group the pots on a tray so 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. When you're cooking, you can easily reach for a pinch of fresh flavor to add directly to your dish.

Cookbook Library

If you have a beloved collection of cookbooks, you have an easy kitchen decorating idea. Don't relegate them to a cabinet—put them on exhibit. The pretty covers will serve as artwork when arranged and layered facing outward on the shelves within an island or built into the side of a counter. Floating shelves on the walls are also an easy cookbook display solution—just make sure the shelves aren't too close to the sink or range so there isn't risk of a book falling into soapy water or onto a hot burner.

Give plain kitchen cabinets a new look by converting them to open shelving. See the step-by-step process for this easy kitchen project.

Convert Cabinets to Open Shelves

Embrace the open shelves trend by revamping existing cabinets for an airier, more modern look. These easy kitchen cabinets look completely different than the originals. Here's how to do it, from start to finish.

 

One-Wall Wonder

Give a narrow galley kitchen a focal point by painting the "end" wall a bold color. A contrasting and vivid hue will draw the eye through the kitchen and make it appear longer. Choose a color that's either complementary or contrasting to the colors already found in your kitchen. Here, black chalkboard paint makes a statement and serves as a message board. It's a small kitchen makeover you can do in a weekend!

Skirt the Issue

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. An apron front sink is well-suited to a farmhouse or cottage style kitchen.

Faux Support

While brackets are meant to support objects, they can also be used for purely decorative purposes. Try this budget-friendly kitchen update: Hang carved wooden brackets, painted to match your cabinets, beneath the cabinets to mimic a custom look for much, much less. Nobody will know that they're not actually weight-bearing.

Connect with Color

Unite nearby areas of the kitchen by repeating a color or motif. A piece of floral artwork picks up the pale teal blue from the kitchen's subway tile backsplash. Everyday dishes in the same hue are tucked into a glass-front cabinet.

Ceiling Star

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.

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