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Tips for Decorating a Kitchen

Whether You Have a Modern or Vintage Kitchen, Evaluate the Current Space and Develop a Design Theme

© 2011 by Jessica Ackerman; All rights reserved; content may not be copied, rewritten, or republished without written permission.

A kitchen with pendant lights, photo courtesy Jessica Ackerman

This article was updated on 11/08/18

Decorating a kitchen can be a great way to add personality and fun to the home. Many people say that the heart of the home is the kitchen, and what better way to display the warmth and love of the family than in the kitchen’s decor. It is also a prime spot for entertaining with modern large, open kitchen spaces.

There are many things to consider when decorating any room, and the kitchen is no exception. With the helpful tips and tricks below, the kitchen decor will rival any room in the house.

Evaluate What You Presently Have

The first step to kitchen decorating the is to evaluate the pieces that are already in the kitchen. If the refrigerator is avocado green and the dishwasher is black, an orange decor is probably not going to be the most aesthetically pleasing choice for the room.

Use the non-replaceable pieces of the kitchen, like the cabinets, appliances, countertops and floors, to help choose the room’s decor. Keep in mind that you can always upgrade existing cabinets with Rockler's exclusive custom cabinet door and drawer program and save money.

Of course, many homeowners will include funds in their remodeling budget to replace their tired Formica countertops with natural stone. After all, this is a big part of home equity as any real estate agent will attest to. However, there are times when the new sinks don’t perfectly align with the PVC drain pipes. Luckily, there is an easy misaligned sink drain workaround.

Pick a Central Design Theme

Depending on the home and the homeowner’s preferences, the central theme may be around an object, a style, or around certain colors. Select a theme that works well with the non-negotiable pieces in the room and go from there.

If the home is from the early 1900s, often referred to as a vintage kitchen, it may have the original flooring that can be enhanced to draw out in the rest of the room’s decor.

A 1970s kitchen may have metal cabinets that can be painted and decorated to be part of a fiesta theme. Choose themes that are close to the homeowners heart for the best results.

For a modern look, you can paint the whole kitchen white (including the floor) and use burnished metal cabinet hardware. There are some gorgeous Kohler faucets that look perfect for this type of look. There are many ways to refresh kitchen walls on a budget.

How to Decorate the Food Preparation Area

Decorating a kitchen is slightly different from decorating the other rooms of the home. Countertops need to be relatively clear, walls should not be cluttered with paraphernalia and the overall impression of the space needs to be one of cleanliness.

Since all decorators know that clutter diminishes the neatness of a room, it is important to control the amount of accent pieces in the kitchen. Some great places to include the room’s theme are in the kitchen towels, wall border, window curtains, and on the back splash.

Kitchen towels can be found in both solid colors and patterns to match just about any common kitchen theme. Wall borders, whether they are applied close to the ceiling or at a mid-wall height, can also draw the theme into the room.

Choose window curtains that are either a solid color from the room’s theme, or a pattern that includes the use of the theme. Another nice touch is to add chair rails and/or crown molding.

For back splashes, consider putting vinyl decals on tiles around the room to create the feel that is being sought. Never underestimate the power of a few well-placed pieces to draw a room’s theme together. There does not need to be a lot of pattern or design, if the main colors interconnect and complement one another.

Above all, remember to have fun decorating the kitchen. It is a room where there will be many conversations, much laughter, and a great deal of time spent. The more comfortable you make the room, the better homeowners and guests will feel about cooking and catching up.

Work with the appliances and cabinetry already in the room to cut down on costs, but do not shy away from painting or staining pieces that can be altered to enhance the room’s new look. Decorating a kitchen can be a fun experience with a little bit of planning and creative thinking.

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About the author:

Jessica Ackerman, writes for and offers aspiring home designers the opportunity to decorate with iron scroll wall grille and metal door toppers.

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