Kitchen Decorating Ideas

Use these easy kitchen decorating ideas to refresh your kitchen without an extensive remodel.

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    Cottage Charm

    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.

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    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.

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    Do It Yourself!

    Watch and see how to creat the easiest window treatment for your kitchen.

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    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.

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    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. Watch and learn how to bring personality to a white kitchen.

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    Warm Up

    Kitchens are full of cold surfaces, like stone countertops and stainless-steel appliances. Consider a bar-height table 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.

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    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 an easy update, 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.

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    How to Pick the Right Hardware

    Get tips on how to choose hardware for your cabinets and then watch our video on how to prep cabinets for new hardware and how to install new hardware. 


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    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.

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    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.

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    Display Stylish Artwork

    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.

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    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.

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    Island of Color

    Rather than going through 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.

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    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 colors the stripe in the runner.

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    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.

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    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 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.

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    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.

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    Contrasting Elements

    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.

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    Island Ingenuity

    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.

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    Inside Paint Job

    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.

    Go to the next slide to see how to convert cabinets to open shelves.

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    Convert Cabinets to Open Shelves

    Embrace the open shelves trend by revamping existing cabinets. Here's how!

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    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 allowing light to come in from the window.

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    Have a Seat

    Barstools come in all shapes, colors, and styles. 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.

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    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.

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    Cookbook Library

    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 risk of a book falling into soapy water or onto a hot burner.

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    One-Wall Wonder

    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 the colors already found in your kitchen. Here, a coral-orange paint complements the dusty-blue cabinets.

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    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.

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    Faux Support

    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 for much, much less.

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    Connect with Color

    Unite adjacent areas to the kitchen by repeating a color or motif. An L-shape sofa in this sitting nook just off the kitchen picks up the blue from the kitchen's tile backsplash.

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    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.

  • Next Slideshow 16 Kitchen Trends That Are Here to Stay

    16 Kitchen Trends That Are Here to Stay

    Just because it's trending doesn't mean it's not timeless. These gorgeous kitchen trends -- including minimal upper cabinetry, sparkling quartz counters, and one-of-a-kind ceiling treatments -- are guaranteed to stand the test of time.
    Begin Slideshow »

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