Whether your kitchen is a small galley or an expansive space, making it look smart and stylish will create a great environment for you to cook in and enjoy spending time inside.
Want to give your kitchen a lift but not sure how? Whether you’re looking for some quick spruce-ups or a complete overhaul, we spoke to six design experts to get their top tips on kitchen decor…
Kitchen decor ideas: Kitchen units
“The first thing I would look at is the kitchen units themselves and whether they need a new, fresh lease of life,” says Interior Designer Tracy Sifaoui. “If so, spray-painting the cabinet doors may be a good option. Spray painting (by a professional) gives a far cleaner and hardwearing finish.”
Not sure what colour to choose for your cabinets? “When thinking of a colour for the units themselves, I would personally err on the side of caution, and go for a classic timeless colour, like whites, duck egg, soft greens or greys,” advises Tracy. “You can add personality and more strength of colour in different areas and change as you wish, over time, according to the latest trends.”
Looking for a quick fix? “You can also spruce up old units by changing the cabinetry handles,” suggests Tracy. “This can actually make a huge difference to your cabinet doors.”
Kitchen decor ideas: Kitchen tables
If your kitchen is large enough to fit a table, then make sure this is a real centrepiece that adds drama and functionality to your space.
“The kitchen table has become a great family friend for all of us lately, including being used for family eating, working, zooming cooking and schooling,” says Sue Timney, Interior Designer and British Institute of Interior Design member. “If you’re looking to buy a new table make sure it’s extendable to suit your new multi-space needs,” suggests Sue. “This will help create a versatile space and you can also repaint it and personalise it later, too.”
Kitchen decor ideas: Lighting
Your kitchen is a great place to experiment with lighting to create brightness and make the most of your space.
“The kitchen is a space where task lighting is vital,” says Mary Buchanan, Creative Director and Board Director at Laura Ashley Lighting and Mirrors. “If your room doesn’t have access to natural light, and you want to create a bright working space consider installing lighting with cool white low energy bulbs (LEDs). Alternatively, bar pendants offer a direct stream of light to provide a welcoming feel for guests and a focal point, while wall lights can throw beams of light around the edge of your space in a decorative way or use plainer styles for a more laid back ambience.”
If your kitchen is open-plan with a dining or living room attached, Mary suggests sectioning into “zones” to offer distinction between spaces. “This can be accomplished by the use of directional down-lights or spot task with swivel joints within the prep and cooking areas and oversized statement pendants with dimmers over the table or island to add drama and atmosphere,” she says.
Above all, co-ordinate your lighting with your desired style and look. “Use lighting style to coordinate with your kitchen aesthetic,” advises Mary. “Choose designs that are as functional as they are good to look at. Add a luxurious touch with bevelled glass for light play and reflection or velvet shades to be unashamedly glamourous.”
Kitchen decor ideas: Paint and wallpaper
“I would encourage people to look at wallpapers in a kitchen – specifically vinyl wallpapers,” says Tracy Sifaoui. ” They act as a way of injecting some personality, pattern, softness and warmth into what is otherwise a space full of hard surfaces.”
If you prefer to stick to paint, Patrick O’Donnell, Brand Ambassador at Farrow & Ball, has some suggestions on which colours are in style this season. Pink is in fashion for SS21, with Patrick suggesting to “embrace the gentler, soft pinks.” Alternatively, those with dark cabinetry should consider complimenting this with “nuanced off-whites for some light relief on your walls and woodwork.” This will create “a calm and cohesive scheme, with just the right amount of dramatic statement,” according to Patrick.
If you’re looking to add some boldness to a white kitchen, consider adding just a touch of colour. “To add a simple twist on the white look, add a splash of colour, either on the woodwork or through colour blocking for a thoroughly modern feel,” suggests Patrick.
Kitchen decor ideas: Gallery walls and prints
Opting for prints in your kitchen is a great way to bring the space to life and display your personal tastes and interests. Whether you opt for a few prints or go the whole way with a gallery wall, the options are endless.
“Having an aesthetically pleasing kitchen space encourages family time and helps cultivate a relaxing environment,” says Annica Wallin, Executive Creative Director at Desenio. “Cooking becomes an even more enjoyable experience when you’re in a beautiful space.”
Looking for print inspiration? “For an easy interior update for the summer, combine vibrant culinary and cocktail-inspired prints and illustrations of varying sizes and styles,” advises Annica. “Don’t be afraid to mix bold colours with soft palettes either; for example, pair tangy oranges and zesty yellows with pretty peaches and muted sages for an on-trend look for SS21.”
Kitchen decor ideas: Vases and ornaments
Whether you’re looking to add a pop of colour or drama to your kitchen table or make the most of a windowsill, vases and ornaments can help finish your kitchen look.
Choose decor options that compliment the colours, space and feel of your kitchen. You can use these for decor or select vases that can be used for displaying bouquets or dried flowers.
“Not everything in your kitchen has to be purely practical,” explains Daisy Bendall, Homes and Style Assistant at Good Housekeeping. “Vases can be a great way to add some personality into your space and when filled with beautiful blooms will make an eye-catching display.”
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