Kitchen Decorating Ideas
That Are HOT!

Kitchen decorating ideas are ever-changing and evolving. New products and advancements in appliances, gadgets and faucets keep things fresh and exciting. It is therefore essential to keep your kitchen up to par with the changing times.



Kitchen With Modern Touches Kitchens are typically the most utilized room of any home. They are often multi-functional, being part family room, dining room, snack area, breakfast bar and cooking station. They are the "go-to" spot for hanging out with friends, guests and visitors. Because of their wide appeal and use, this is one room where you should consider "pulling out the stops" and having some fun.

I have a love for all types of kitchen styles. Whether modern or traditional, if they are designed and decorated well, they will garner mass appeal. The options for customizing your kitchen are practically endless as there are so many areas of consideration. Hardware and cabinetry, sinks and faucets, countertops and backsplashes, lighting and flooring; all of your decisions in these areas can truly define a style that is "your own". Let's not forget the appliances. They can quickly transform a dated kitchen to one that speaks of modern appeal. Now let's put some of those kitchen decorating ideas to work.

The kitchen above added some modern appeal by creating a sleek backsplash out of aluminum flashing and defining the cooktop with some black ceramic tile. Matching hardware helped finish off the look. These low-cost kitchen decorating ideas were completed in one day.


Jump To These Kitchen Sections

COLOR and COUNTERTOPS

BACKSPLASHES

LIGHTING

SINKS and FAUCETS

APPLIANCES



The Layout

Perhaps you have heard of the "kitchen triangle". This is an ideal model to base your kitchen design around. The triangle is your workspace from sink-to-stove-to-refrigerator. It is how you move between these areas as you work and prep your food. Ideally, you want a comfortable span between these "stations". Experts suggest a distance of 4 to 9 feet between each station is best. You want to minimize too much walking back and forth. Your transition from station to station should require a few easy unobstructed steps. Keep these ideas in mind during the design or redesign stages of your kitchen.


Kitchen Triangle

Remember, there is no rule that states your kitchen will not function well if you lack the "triangle". Plenty of storage space (cabinets) and plenty of work area (countertops) are typically more important to the current and future homeowner.

If you have the space, consider the addition of an island/breakfast bar. It will provide casual seating as well as an additional prep area for cooking. Kitchen islands can really become functional by employing built-in cooktops, prep sinks, dishwashers and even refrigerated drawers and wine coolers.


A Kitchen Transformation

Dairyland Drive Property


Kitchen Before and After
A rather "busy" look initially greeted me in this kitchen. Poor flooring, fruit motif wall tiles and a unique mix of plum and teal paint begged for a makeover.

Kitchen Before and After

The two-tone cabinet scheme was kicked up a notch by choosing bolder colors for greater impact and by reversing some of the border and insert colors of the cabinet fronts.

Repainting cabinets is a great kitchen decorating idea to consider when working with a limited budget.

A neutral yet complimentary floor of burgundy African slate helped tone-down the overall look rather than competing for attention.


Eat-in Kitchen Area Before and After
The old flooring, which spanned the entire kitchen, was divided to define two separate areas. Tile was used in the main kitchen workspace and parquet wood flooring in the casual dining area. The wood flooring flows into an adjacent family-room.

Eat-In Kitchen Area
Note: Using tile the same size as the parquet wood "squares" provided neat visual cohesion through the use of repeated shapes. Both the tile and parquet are lined-up to transition perfectly in a grid pattern.

Black Accent Walls In Modern Kitchen
Bold colors of Aztec Red and African Night (a flat charcoal-black color) on the walls accentuated the height and angles of the ceiling while developing a more modern feel in the space. The "red" throughout the kitchen was a minimally used color tone pulled from the slate flooring to create cohesion.


This kitchen lacked much appeal at first glance but a gem was lurking beneath as more and more kitchen decorating ideas came to surface. Cosmetic changes transformed this space with ease. New paint colors, flooring, sink and faucet, and lighting and appliances made a big difference.

As the color-story developed, so did the kitchen decorating ideas. My first inspirations were rich coffeehouse colors. I soon began seeing my chosen colors show up in French-themed artwork and therefore decided to go that route.
My own personal nod to modern black and white artwork also complemented the decor of this room nicely.

Other than appliances, the greatest expense in this space was the flooring. The tile cost around $400.00 in materials while the parquet around $250.00. With the lighting, sink, additional plumbing, appliances, paint and flooring, the kitchen comes in around $4,000.00. Not too bad when you consider the bulk of the expense went to a new refrigerator and dishwasher.

I splurged on a Fisher & Paykel DishDrawer® as it was the perfect fit for the available counter space.

Want to create this look in your kitchen?


Kitchen Decorating Accents and Design Elements

Follow these kitchen decorating ideas to achieve it.

  • Choose an accent color and search for similarly colored decor. Use this accent color on a wall to build further cohesion. In this room, black and rich reds were used on walls and cabinetry and were casually repeated through the decor and artwork.
    Add some subtle visual interest by combining various paint finishes. The black and white on the walls and ceiling are flat, the red on the walls and cabinets are semi-gloss and the black trimwork on the cabinetry and chair rail are gloss black. The gloss adds another reflective surface to "mirror that" of the shiny chrome and polished aluminum surfaces.

  • Choose materials and repeat them throughout the space. Natural-colored and black-stained woods are used throughout this space. Chrome and stainless pieces are accented throughout as are natural items such as cork, glass and concrete.

  • Add interest with various textures. Natural elements such as a bamboo floormat, slate flooring and decorative willow branches infuse an organic feel in stark contrast to the smooth "cold" surfaces of the stainless appliances. These opposing elements balance each other out, providing a modern yet inviting space.

  • Repeat a pattern or design motif. Squares are repeated throughout from the wall tiles to the slate flooring to the parquet flooring. Wooden sculptures are dotted in the room as are themed pieces of artwork.



Perhaps the following will give you some
kitchen decorating ideas.


Furnace Road Property


Green Painted Kitchen Cabinets
A former country kitchen with dark colors and a low ceiling goes more mainstream. A fresh airy paint color livens up the space while a new vaulted ceiling in white-washed wood continues the grand openness.

Vaulted Ceiling
A better view of the vault's height. Large decorative windows allow the room to take advantage of natural light. A vintage Tiffany lamp is transplanted from a previously renovated home. The light green of the shade fits perfectly with the chosen green accent paint color.

Green Painted Kitchen
A collection of vintage McCoy pottery atop the cabinets is the perfect accompaniment to this kitchen's lively color. Vintage wooden utensils, implements and butcher-blocks are dotted throughout the space, telling a cohesive story.

Kitchen Island Tiled Countertops
Earthy hues found in the custom-tiled countertops and backsplash compliment the green color while creating warmth.

Granite Sink
A granite composite sink accentuates the espresso colors found in the countertop tiles. A brushed-nickel faucet ties in nicely with the chosen lighting and appliance finishes.



Hickory Hill Property


Traditional Goes Contemporary
Floor tiles inspired some kitchen decorating ideas for a trendy color palette. The homeowner pulled an exhilarating eggplant purple from the tile to use for trimwork and accents in this space. A warm white helped downplay the accent's boldness.

Contemporary Kitchen
The smoky grays and taupes in the tile tied nicely with the stainless appliances, while the eggplant provided contrast to shiny finishes. The reddish-orange finish of the cabinetry compliments the purple accent color.

Eat-In Kitchen Accent Art
A nice view of the breakfast nook. A large focal piece of art echoes the shiny finishes used throughout the room, while a round table repeats the shape of the art and the nook itself.

Decorative Tile Flooring
The homeowner decided to get creative with the tile flooring by creating an inset border to define a spot for the table. This feature is further enhanced by using a glass top table, allowing for uninhibited viewing.

Additional Kitchen Decorating Ideas

  • COLOR: Have fun with color in your kitchen. This is one room where creativity can really shine. Bold, bright, intense colors look great against dark countertops and white walls. Choose a color and dot it throughout the room with accessories and decor for greater visual impact. Red remains a popular bold color choice as a kitchen accent and green has continued growth in popularity. Consider some bright interesting greens to liven up your kitchen. Use color on an accent wall or on your cabinetry. For additional kitchen decorating ideas, pull color inspiration from tile, granite or whichever countertop material you choose.

  • COUNTERTOPS: The nice thing about countertops is the many different products and materials available for use. The costs associated are just as varied, allowing even those with a strict budget to find an affordable product. On the high-end is the ever popular granite followed by quartz and marble. Other interesting finishes to consider are soapstone and polished concrete. There are many other options for solid surface countertops made from composite materials. DuPont™ Corian® and Zodiaq® are popular choices with an ever-growing selection of new colors. One of my favorites is Cilantro.

    This countertop color inspires some
    instant kitchen decorating ideas.

    Imagine combining this fresh Cilantro-colored countertop with all-white cabinetry and wood flooring. It would also look super with dark espresso cabinetry and white tile or slate flooring. Either white or stainless appliances would work well. Accentuate the countertops with pops of green or white with your accessory choices.

    Another idea is full butcher-block countertops. This is one of my favorites. It costs less than granite, quartz and Corian® but still provides that solid-surface appeal. It also goes with everything. Tile countertops allow for plenty of customization and a personal touch if that is your desire. Tiled countertops are relatively cheap and give a kitchen a bit more character than laminates. Laminates, however, should not be discounted. New colors and finishes allow them to offer much more appeal. Finishes that replicate the look of granite and stone provide huge cost savings over the real thing. New laminate really makes a difference in the look of your kitchen so consider adding it when working with a tight budget. Many of the colors available could "spark" some of your own kitchen decorating ideas.
    Eco TipGo green with many of the eco-friendly countertop options made of recycled products. Recycled glass is a popular choice.
  • For a more indepth review of available options,
    refer to these kitchen countertop ideas.


  • BACKSPLASHES: Backsplashes are another customizable location where homeowners love to go crazy. There are many sites that offer plenty of kitchen decorating ideas for your backsplash. One of the most beloved is tile. There are so many types, sizes, shapes, colors and finishes of tile available that you are certain to create a one-of-a-kind backsplash to really make your kitchen stand out.
    If you want your backsplash to "steal the show", consider going very minimal and stark with your kitchen's wall and countertop colors.
    Subway tile is a timeless look that never seems to go out of style. Glass tile is a popular trend, adding shimmer and opulence to your kitchen. Small, mosaic tiles are still popular but may develop a dated look sooner than some of the aforementioned tile choices. Some easier options are painted wainscoting and tin ceiling tiles. Another cheap way to add a modern edge is through the use of aluminum roof flashing, mentioned earlier on this page. Self-stick metal tiles are also an option for sprucing up a space that already has existing tiles.
    Frugal Tip Also consider economical sheets of laminate; the same as that used for countertops. You can adhere it directly to the wall and finish it with strips of decorative moulding.
    For a rustic look, consider stone facing. The same type used for fireplace surrounds. Stainless steel as a backsplash is a kitchen decorating idea to consider if you want an industrial look.

    Get even more creative with your backsplash materials.
    Remnant laminate flooring pieces run horizonally as a backsplash can read rustic, modern or Zen depending on the chosen finish. This is a quick, easy, thrifty option to consider and is one that is less known yet yields a high-end look!

  • LIGHTING: Lighting is an important feature in a kitchen and is another way homeowners can have some fun and get creative. Pendant lighting, for instance, can add some artistic charm through the use of unique glass colored shades of varying shapes and sizes. Track lighting adds a modern, industrial touch that many people enjoy seeing. Undermount lighting for countertops is a beloved option, especially for the busy chef in your family. Recessed lighting is another stand-by favorite that never grows old in kitchens. Consider recessed lighting over your countertops, sink and prep or work areas.


  • Up to 50% off at LightingCatalog.com

  • SINKS: Think sinks don't make a statement, think again. Sinks can be
    works of art depending on your budget. You can get copper-hammered sinks to your specification or one-piece units that are cast directly into your countertop.

    The current nod toward vintage farmhouse sinks, also called apron sinks, is still one of my favorites.

    Stainless steel sinks are ever popular choices. I prefer going with large rectangular models these days over the two-basin split style. Look for granite or quartz composite sinks. These sinks have very durable finishes and come in numerous neutral color tones to coordinate nicely with your chosen countertops. Don't forget your undermount and overmount sink options. Overmount sinks work well with tile and laminate countertops. Choose undermount for granite, quartz and other solid surface composite countertops.



  • FAUCETS: Continued advancements and innovations make faucets both functional and stylish. The Delta Touch 2 O® for instance, makes messy faucet handles a thing of the past. Sleek styles and finishes provide an essential addition to your kitchen's overall look. Match your cabinet hardware to your faucet choice for a unified, cohesive look. Oil-rubbed bronze has been popular but shiny chrome is coming back in full-force over brushed-nickel.


  • APPLIANCES: When it comes to kitchen appliances, a matched set provides the nicest look. Regardless of your choice of the main three finishes (white, black or stainless steel) choose a color that coordinates well with your kitchen. Stainless or variants are still very popular choices with homeowners, while white provides a fresh clean look and coordinates well with bright pops of color in countertops and backsplashes. Black adds a bit more drama and works well with bold rustic color choices. Depending on your budget, you can get appliances that are custom "disguised" to look like your cabinetry.
    Frugal Tip Stainless steel film is a budget-friendly kitchen decorating idea that solves the problem of mismatched appliances.
    New appliances are more energy-efficient than dated ones. With rising electric costs, consider upgrading to those with ENERGY STAR ratings. Innovative designs and features keep the consumer wanting "the next best thing."

Other Design and Kitchen Decorating Ideas For Consideration

    • Choose a different countertop color or material for your island than used for your main countertops to add some interest. A popular look is white/neutral main countertops with a black/darker island to create a central focal. This can be done with granite and other solid-surface countertops.

    • Consider creating cabinetry, especially islands, that look like pieces of furniture. This kitchen decorating idea works well with traditional styling and "old-world" themes. Dress-up these furniture pieces with decorative mouldings and balusters. Save money by using granite remnants for the island top.

    • Choose or build modular cabinetry on casters that can easily be moved around to create different workstation configurations. This is a great option for kitchens short on space. Build a work cart or mobile island that tucks away under a peninsula countertop or up against a wall when not in use.

    • Swap glass inserts into random upper-cabinet doors. Use this easy kitchen decorating idea to create a new look in your cabinetry to show-off some of your decorative dishware. Use downward under-cabinet lighting for additional drama and effect.

    • Refinish old porcelain sinks with porcelain repair kits. The old sink will look like new and keep that nostalgia present.

    Hire a professional contractor or carpenter
    for any job you are not comfortable performing.


    Kitchen Decorating Ideas For Theme

    Although many kitchen themes may seem a bit passe, there are still a few that garner continued appeal and use.

      • The Whimsical Chef: It's easy to find images and decor to fit this theme. Combine this look with bold colors. Red, white and black are some favorites to use.

      • The French-Country Rooster: Look for ceramic roosters and rich-colored glazed pottery and cookware. Combine this theme with rich reds and oranges, intense cobalt blues, bright greens and moody deep yellows.

      • The Wine Theme: Wine and grape themed decor and artwork are easy to find. This is a perfect choice for the wine aficionado. Nice neutral beige tones combined with sage greens and burgundy reds or purples work well. Keep it more sophisticated by choosing a very stark palette of black on white or black on another light neutral. Bring color in with artwork and decor only. An Italian kitchen decorating idea is another theme that relates to this one. Apply Italian script on the walls in the form of a saying or a toast; Mangiamo! (for instance) means "Let's Eat!"

      • The Coffeehouse: Coffee themed artwork is everywhere. If you are a java fanatic, consider going this route. Use deep colors like burnt-siennas, browns, rusty orange, olive greens, reds and black.

      • The Southwestern Theme: A fiesta is easy to pull-off with chili-pepper decor. Bright reds and greens make this a fun and lively option.

      • The French Bistro: Consider introducing some Old World charm into your kitchen. Use weathered materials and antiqued paint or stain washes on your cabinetry. Wrought iron furniture and accents work well, and rustic French street scenes provide the subject for art. Go simple and light with your color choices. Off-white painted cabinets with sanded or rubbed-off corners and edges provide a patina that is appropriate for this style.

      • Fruit and Vegetable Themes: Don't be too literal. Instead, go contemporary and cool by doing tone-on-tone color. For instance, a lime theme: go lime green crazy with your colors. Use it on accent walls, dinnerware and dish towels. Show your chosen fruit in a few fun pieces of decor or accents like lime-shaped ceramic salt and pepper shakers and images of limes on your walls. Black or silver frames will really pop against all of the green. Of course, a glass bowl full of limes upon the counter adds that finishing touch.

    Unique dinnerware collections can inspire kitchen decorating ideas too.


    If you don't want to go so literal with a theme, consider a design motif such as a pineapple. This vintage symbol of friendship and hospitality is a classic kitchen decorating idea. Use it subtly as an upper wall stencil or wallpaper border. Look for unique drawer pulls and knobs that showcase its design. Find some vintage folkart prints to further introduce the motif into your room.

    Use this idea for similar motif ideas you may have. Look at kitchen hardware to develop more ideas for your kitchen. You can build an entire look around a single piece of hardware.

    All of these design and kitchen decorating ideas should have your mind buzzing. Inspiration is everywhere, so start looking and begin updating that kitchen.


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