Tag Archive 'kitchen decorating'

Jun 29 2012

How to Decorate a Traditional Kitchen: Top Tips for Creating a Timeless Space

Published by under Kitchens

Traditional decorating may seem like a no-brainer, you just choose standard decorating items, right? The truth is that “standard” doesn’t exist. The fun thing about decorating is that today’s definition of traditional comes from a blend of stylistic approaches.

Standard and traditional are not synonymous- nor does the term “normal” or “average” have a place in the world of design. Because creating any style, whether traditional or not, takes an innate understanding of how to blend styles, it actually takes some savvy and innovation to create an effortless entertainment space. The traditional kitchen doesn’t mean that it’s easy to create- in fact creating a timeless space really involves blending the right elements of the past and the present and can take some time as well as an understanding of these tips!

Avoid Pieces that Define the Space 

In order to create a kitchen that can stand the test of time it is best to avoid furniture or decorating items that come from a certain time period or style. Instead, select just a few pieces and stay far away from sleek lines of contemporary or modern furniture or dining sets.

Crown molding can quickly add a traditional flair to any kitchen space, so be sure to add this when applicable. Being eclectic is the key to traditional- and while that may sound counterintuitive, in order create a space that blends well and won’t age too quickly you need a few quirky items that blend in with the more traditional ones.

Traditional Additions to Consider 

Breakfast Nooks

Adding bench seats or a breakfast nook can take any traditional kitchen space from cute to incredible. Having a built-in eating area makes the kitchen seems centered- anchored if you will- and the finality that comes with a custom breakfast nook will never go out of style.  Furthermore, it is always a huge selling point even if traditional may or may not be the preferred style of those who see it.

Knob Choices

Avoid linear hardware, and look for more inventive or one-of-a-kind pieces. Hand whittled, porcelain or antique, or even repurposed items can take a boring kitchen space into the realm of traditional customization. Even though stainless steel is in right now, consider using pops of color, bronze or white in a more traditional space.

Choose Appropriate Faucet and Hardware Finishes 

Farm sinks are no longer just for the farmhouse, and in fact, the sink in your kitchen can be the first tell-tale sign that you have either stayed in line with your traditional vein, or you have strayed too far outside of the box. Look for brushed nickel, bronze or dark espresso finishes when it comes to your sink hardware and faucet and stay away from over customized faucet that lean towards a particular style, i.e., trough faucets, modern restaurant style faucets, or something too elegant. Boxier faucets and simple knobs are going to give you much more room to blend eclectic elements than trying far too hard to make a statement.

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Mar 05 2012

Spruce Up Your Kitchen With 1940’s Vintage Appeal

Published by under Kitchens

Nothing is quite as inviting and comfortable as a 1940’s style retro kitchen.  The look is quite easy to achieve, and the blend of all things vintage and modern makes for an appearance that is original and appealing.  The warmth such a room exudes makes for a kitchen and dining area that is comfortable, relaxing, and beautiful; the perfect blend of modern and old-time charm.

Choosing the right colors is essential

The colors from the 1940’s style kitchen are what make it so recognizable today in magazines, books and other media.  Crimson red, white, yellow and “jadeite” or a gray-toned blue are the colors that were most often used in these homey kitchen of the past.

Be aware that not just any shade of blue will work with the 1940’s look; there are dozens of colors today that would be called “blue”, but what you are looking for here is a Slate or Midnight blue, a shade that is a bit more muted than some of the colors you will find today.

Furnishings for the retro kitchen

For the dining table, a vintage style dinette or wooden style table complete with enamel top are perfect.  Cabinetry may be wood that is painted white, off-white or cream; glass knobs add further to the retro appeal.

Other furnishings you may want to consider for the dining room are a square, an oval or rectangular retro diner table; many of these have chrome-plated deco legs, much like you find at many old-time diners even today.

If you cannot afford a vintage style dinette set, cover the table you currently have with a vintage table cloth.

Add color with accents and gadgets

Since the basic colors of 1940’s vintage style decorating revolve around white or off-white, count on accessories, rugs and other gadgets to add a splash of color.

Consider open cabinets, so that you can display old dishes or other colorful collectibles.  If you collect jadeite dishes, put them on display.

Red kitchenware gadgets are perfect for adding vibrant color.  Vintage linens add texture and color; consider a fruit theme if you need more color.  Place a fruit bowl in the center of the table, and consider metal wall hangings embellished with fruit designs.

The curtains you choose for the windows can have a further impact on the finished look of the kitchen.  If you cannot find vintage curtains, make them yourself using dish towels or even a table cloth that blends with the colors you have chosen.

Old-fashioned canisters, bread boxes, toasters – most of the old appliances which you need to bring the look together can be found at antique malls.  Check garage sales and flea markets as well – you never know when you will find a treasure that is perfect for your vintage kitchen!

While you may think that your appliances will clash because of their modern look, this actually makes the whole combination even more appealing.  If you have the budget and simply want to re-do the entire room including appliances, look for those that have a retro look or chrome finish.

In today’s modern and busy world, it’s often comforting to come home after a hard day to a home that takes you back in time.  Get started on your 1940’s vintage style kitchen today!

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Feb 03 2012

Easy and Affordable Kitchen Decorating Tips

While you probably thought your kitchen decor was beautiful when you first designed it, after a few years it begins to get a bit old and dull; you’re ready for a change, but you don’t have the money for a complete remodeling job.  In this article, you will discover some great tips for transforming your kitchen without draining your budget.

Brighten up the kitchen and create an airy look for summer

Summer is just around the corner, and you want a kitchen that is fresh, light and appealing.  To achieve an open, bright look place mirrors on the walls in your dining room to reflect the light from the windows.  Place the mirrors directly across the room from windows or in a corner on the wall adjacent to the wall with a window for the most reflected light.

Rearrange the kitchen furniture to create a “summer arrangement”.  You could move the furniture into a diagonal pattern; take a leaf out of the table to create more space, even remove dark colored or heavily patterned table runners and chair pads, replacing them with bright colored cotton fabrics for an airy effect.

Freshen up the walls

Painting the walls is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to change the look of a room.  In the kitchen, bright colors offer a cheerful atmosphere.  While you may like white, try light shades of apricot, sage green or butter yellow.

Texturing techniques can add drama, and are easy to do.  Learn how to sponge, rag roll or feather dust a wall to create intricate patterns that are much like textured wall paper or stucco walls.

Bring the outdoors inside with plants

Real or silk, plants add life to any room.  Sit live or silk plants in window sills in ceramic or copper planters; hang a larger plant from the ceiling to dress up a bare corner.  If you have an open area above your kitchen cabinets, arrange several plants of various sizes for an appealing look.

Rugs – the solution to a variety of problems

Do your floors lack color?  Are they worn in areas where traffic is heavy?  A new floor can cost a great deal of money, but rugs can give your kitchen a whole new look and add color and warmth to a room.

If you have a country kitchen, add brightly colored sunflower rugs in high traffic areas or in front of the sink.  Bold, bright patterns work well in a modern kitchen. For a bistro-style or French country kitchen, large oriental rugs make a dramatic impact.  Today, you can find rugs in any style, shape, size or color to suit your decorating needs – and they’re great for covering up worn areas, burn marks and more!

Look around to see what might work for you.  There are lots of simple ideas you can find in home decorating magazines, on television, even online.  Sometimes the best ideas come when you’re just browsing around with nothing specific in mind.

Put these ideas to work in your kitchen – you will be amazed at how much appeal you can add to your kitchen with a minimum of money or effort.

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Aug 02 2011

Create Your Dream Kitchen on a Shoestring Budget

Published by under Kitchens

Remodeling a kitchen is one of the most expensive projects you can take on in your home.  In fact, having a professional complete the renovations can cost anywhere from $7,000 to $15,000 or more, depending on what you have done.

You can do much of the renovation yourself and save a bundle of money.  For about 1/2 or less of what you would pay a professional, there are some things you can do that will give your kitchen a whole new look, and greatly add to the value of your home.

In the sink area

A tile backsplash adds color and pizzazz to your kitchen, and pullout faucets offer a modern look while making your sink more functional.

For about $4 per square foot, tile can brighten the room and add interest.  Consider a checkerboard pattern or alternating colors that lend to the decor of the room.  Also keep in mind that tiles do not have to match counter tops; a contrasting look is interesting and adds depth.  You can find floral and abstract patterned tiles, even tiles with fruit motifs.

A pullout faucet can be purchased for around $250, and offers a variety of looks, from traditional to sleek and contemporary.  Not only can you find chrome finishes, today’s pullout faucets are available in brushed stainless steel and copper as well.

The look of new cabinets

Having cabinets built is one of the most expensive aspects of remodeling your kitchen, but you can reface or refinish them yourself if the structure is still good for about 1/2 the price of new cabinetry.

If you decide to refinish your cabinets, this will require stripping the finish and then staining or painting the surface.  For re-facing, you will need to remove cabinet and door fronts and replace them with matching veneers.  Changing the hardware on your drawers and cabinets will also give them an updated new look.

Jazz up the walls

Bland colored walls are becoming a thing of the past.  One of the quickest and most affordable ways to give your kitchen a new look is to paint, stencil or wallpaper the walls using vibrant colors and appealing designs.

Instead of a white or off-white wall, consider bold colors such as green, blue and rustic red.  Soft yellow is nice if you have a small kitchen that needs a bright color; trim out the walls in contrasting or complementary colors to really set off the walls.  Stenciling and sponging techniques allow you to give the walls texture and added design.

Update appliances

Sure, a new refrigerator or stove is expensive – but you don’t have to buy a new one if the one you have now still works well.

If your appliances look a bit outdated or don’t really blend well with your new decor, consider painting them with appliance paint.  You can also buy new panels to put on your appliances so that they blend with your cabinets and lend to the new look of your kitchen.

As you can see, you don’t have to spend a fortune to create your dream kitchen!  Update the windows with new window treatments; consider a porcelain or stainless steel sink.  There are dozens of budget-friendly ways you can transform the look of your kitchen.

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Jul 28 2011

Kitchen Decorating: Designing a Retro or Vintage Style Kitchen

While some decorating themes go out of style, many come back in with a vengeance!  Today, a retro 1950’s style kitchen is back and better than ever.  Known for a clean look and bright colors, the look brings to mind those old diners like those featured in the television show Happy Days and the movie American Graffiti.  If you are looking to give your kitchen a vintage look, the tips and ideas below will help.

First things first

Before you get down to the details, your retro style kitchen should be open, bright and airy so you want to avoid clutter.  Remove those things you do not use on a regular basis, and put the knick-knacks away.

Instead of wooden cabinet doors, replace them with glass fronts so that you can put your old or vintage dishes on display.  A checkerboard pattern on the floor designed with black and white tiles is appealing and adds to the retro look.  Consider adding a mezzanine so that one area of your kitchen is elevated, complete with two or three steps for easy access to that level.

The dining room is plain and simple

The dining furnishings used in a 1950’s setting are simple and often crafted of vinyl, Formica and chrome.  If you have a bar area suitable for eating, add red vinyl stools for sitting.  A Formica topped table flanked with vinyl seating and chrome tube legs adds further authenticity to the look.  The look is modern and clean.  If you want to cover the table with a tablecloth, vinyl in a checked red and white pattern or solid color adds to the look.  Top with a white vase filled with red and white flowers, and an old-style chrome napkin holder.

Appliances may be hard to find, but don’t despair

Finding those appliances that were actually made in the 1950’s may prove a difficult task, and it would be especially hard to find them in condition to work and that you can depend upon.

There are plenty of vintage-style pieces you can find that were made in recent years but designed to look like those from the 50’s.  To really accomplish the retro look, find stoves and refrigerators in bright colors such as red or yellow.

Decorate the walls to complete the look

For the walls, nothing is better for achieving a retro 1950’s look than a chalkboard, complete with the menu for the day.  Old tin signs add further to the appeal; find some large black and white photographs or prints and frame them in black or chrome.

Accessorize your kitchen with a vintage inspired toaster, blender and canister set.  Display clear milk shake glasses in your cabinets, along with a few clear glass coffee mugs on a hanging rack.  If you have the money, go all the way and invest in a juke box!

Always keep in mind that black, white and red are the basic colors when it comes to giving your kitchen a 1950’s retro look.  Have fun with it!

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Jul 14 2011

Give Your Kitchen a Fresh New Look For 2011

Published by under Kitchens

The kitchen is the heart of many homes; it’s where families enjoy meals and time together.  Guests also tend to congregate in the kitchen, so you want it to be as beautiful and inviting as possible.  If your kitchen/dining area has had the same old look for a while and you’re ready for a change, this article offers some helpful tips and ideas.

Start with a fresh coat of paint

Your walls and ceiling are the “canvas” of your kitchen.  Before you do anything else, freshen them up with a coat or two of paint.

Ceilings look best when painted in a flat white.  This makes the room appear airy and open.  For the walls, choose any color that suits the decorating theme you have in mind.  Always remember that dark colors absorb light, so if your kitchen is on the small side you may want to stick to light paint colors.

You don’t have to use white of off-white for the walls; in fact, a bright cheery yellow, soft orange or sage green may be perfect, depending on the look you want to achieve.

Keep the cabinets in mind

If your cabinets are wood, keep their color in mind when shopping for paint for the walls.  The last thing you want to do is paint the walls a color that will clash with the cabinets.

The cabinets can be given a makeover as well if you cannot afford new ones.  If they’re wood, simply sand the varnished layer off, paint with white wood primer, and then finish with any color you like.  Adding new knobs and hardware will also freshen up the look of your cabinets.

If you like a rustic, worn look then simply sand around the edges after painting your cabinets.  Focus upon those areas where they would naturally “wear”.

Dress up the floors

Kitchen flooring can be expensive, but if you can afford it the beauty added to your home is priceless.  There are all kinds of options from ceramic and stone tiles to hardwoods, laminates and vinyl.  If you can install it yourself, you will save about half of the total cost.

If you cannot afford to replace your kitchen floor, consider painting it instead!  Not many people realize it, but you can paint old linoleum or vinyl.  Give it two or three coats of paint, then add about 3 layers of a protective top coat.  You can even stencil “patterns” on the floor before you add your top coat; just paint those patterns in colors to match your decor.

Once you have completed your remodeling project, clear out the clutter.  Clutter makes rooms look messy.  Clear the counter tops of any small appliances that you don’t use often.

Add an accent rug by the door if you have an entrance in your kitchen, and one in front of the sink area.  Decorate the walls, add a fresh new centerpiece to the dining room table and you’re done!  You have an entirely new kitchen, and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

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Jun 19 2011

Kitchen Decorating Ideas That Won’t Bust Your Budget

Published by under Interior Design & Decorating

If you’re tired of the current decor in your kitchen and want to give it a fresh new look but you don’t have a lot of money to spend, there are plenty of ways to give your kitchen a new look!  Your kitchen is one of the most used room in your home.  It’s where your family shares meals and the happenings of the day, and where guests congregate to enjoy coffee, pastries and good conversation.

Everyone wants a warm, welcoming kitchen.  Below you will find a few ideas for giving your kitchen an updated and appealing new look.

Paint – the easiest way to transform your kitchen

For years, paint has been one of the most affordable ways to renovate your home, and it’s great for updating your kitchen as well.

Color sets the mood of the room; consider painting your walls a warm shade of amber or rustic red, trimmed in cream or sand.  Cool colors work as well to create a relaxing atmosphere; soft shades of blue and green create an inviting atmosphere.

If your cabinets are worn or dull, give them a face-lift with paint!  After painting, protect with a clear coat finish for a glossy new look.

Give your windows a unique touch

Curtains and blinds can get old, so why not update the look of your windows with a personal touch that is unique?

Consider brightly decorated dish towels as curtains; just hang them across a thin rod with wooden clothes pins!  This is a great look if your kitchen is decorated in a country or western theme.

Another great idea is to use cloth place mats.  Just layer them over each other, and hot glue against a flat curtain rod.

De-clutter and organize

One of the fastest ways to give your kitchen a breath of fresh air is to clean out the clutter!  Remove all small appliances from counter tops that you don’t use very often, and store them in a closet or underneath the counters.

If you have household bills, magazines and other “clutter” piled up on the counter or dining room table, find a drawer or basket to keep them in.  You would be amazed at how open, clean spaces change the look of a room!  Best of all, this transformation is free.

Some of your trash may be treasure!

If you throw away old bottles and jars, consider keeping a few as decorative items!  Fill them with pasta, dried beans, herbs, red peppers, olives and other colorful items and set them above your top cabinets if you have the type that are open to the ceiling.

Some old boxes make great decorative items as well; think of old-time cornstarch or baking soda boxes and cardboard canisters that are often sold in fundraisers and filled with jerky.

Throw rugs can beautify the floor

If you have burn spots, cracked tiles or signs of other mishaps on your kitchen floor, consider throw rugs.  Colorful throw rugs add color as well as texture, and can cover any bad spots so that no one knows they are there but you.

There are literally dozens of cheap things you can do to give your kitchen an entirely different look.  Use your imagination, and remember – your kitchen is yours, so do anything that shows off your personal tastes and decorating talents!

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Jun 01 2011

Tips For Opening Up a Small Kitchen

Published by under Kitchens

Many homes have a small kitchen and dining room area, which is unfortunate considering that these are the rooms in which many families spend most of their time.  How can you open up this area and make it more appealing?  There are many things you can do to brighten up a small area and make it look more spacious.   The tips and ideas in this article will help you do just that.

Just remember, before you start to make changes, that you really love the decorating theme, otherwise you will never be happy with the results.

Choosing the right colors

Since your kitchen and dining room are already on the small side, you want to avoid dark colors as much as possible.  Dark shades will only make the room look smaller, so stick to light colors.

Pale hues of country blue, peach, soft yellow and cream are perfect for the kitchen.  You may even want to consider a monochromatic color scheme.  An ultra light gray shade combined with country blue and white is beautiful, and makes the room look more spacious.  It is perfectly fine to use small splashes of bright color to add interest and depth to the room.

Choose small scale furnishings

When it comes to the dining room, consider a modern or contemporary style of table and chairs.  This style of furniture is usually built on a smaller scale; lines are sleek and clean, giving the room a more spacious appearance.

Traditional or country furnishings tend to be on the bulky side, so you probably want to avoid this type of furniture.  If you must use this style in your decorating, choose a round table that is smaller in diameter or one with drop-down sides.

If you need an island in your kitchen, consider one that rolls so that you can place it in a closet or the pantry when not in use.


Minimize clutter

Clutter can take over a room and make it look messy and it takes up space on the kitchen counter.  Your goal is to achieve clean, open spaces.  Put small appliances away when not in use, and avoid trying to decorate the tops of the counters with knick-knacks, plants and other items.

The appliances you choose can also make a difference in how open and spacious your kitchen appears.  White or stainless steel tend to look clean and open, while black or dark colored appliances absorb light instead of reflecting it.

Brighten up the walls

If you currently have wood paneling or walls that are painted a dark color, paint them a light color.  Wallpaper with busy patterns also diminishes the size of a room, so consider removing it and using a solid color.

Bright pictures with light colored frames add an additional splash of color; consider hanging a large mirror on the wall along one side of the dining room table.  It will reflect the entire room, making it appear twice the size!

These tips and ideas will help you design a kitchen and dining room that appears open and inviting.  You don’t have to live with a small kitchen – transform it in to a space you and your family will love!

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May 02 2011

Rustic Kitchen Decorating Ideas Make Your Kitchen Warm and Welcoming

Published by under Kitchens

Nothing is more relaxing and cozy than a rustic or log cabin kitchen.  The wood elements that are often incorporated in this style of decor are comfortable, natural and appealing; this type of kitchen says “home” like no other style can.  If you want your kitchen to bring to mind a time and place from long ago, the tips in this article will help.

Distressed cabinets offer rustic appeal

Cabinets made of oak or knotty pine are perfect in the rustic kitchen; left in their natural state and coated with clear coat for protection, these cabinets blend seamlessly with the other wood elements in the kitchen.  Cedar or mahogany will work as well, but you might want to purchase distressed versions or distress them yourself with a little sanding to give them a worn, more antiqued look.

Decorate the counter tops with old-time charm

If you already have a butcher-block counter top, this is one of the best looks for the rustic kitchen.  Since you use it to chop and cut foods, the natural wear lends further to the rustic appeal.  If you don’t have this type of counter top, not to worry; just place a few large wood cutting boards randomly to add to the effect.

An old cracked pitcher filled with wildflowers is the perfect accent for the counter top.  Add a set of copper canisters and a wooden paper towel holder, and the look begins to come together.

Choosing colors for your rustic kitchen

The rustic style of decorating uses the colors found in nature.  Calm shades of orange such as burnt or spiced orange are comforting and warm.  Rusty reds, shades of brown, golden yellow and sage green add color and depth to the room.

Incorporate these colors into the room through scattered area rugs, a table runner for your dining room table, curtains and dish towels.  You may want to consider using wooden or ceramic roosters as colorful accents as well.

Gingham and checkerboard patterns kick it up a notch

The patterns and fabrics you use can give a room an added “punch” of color and boldness.  In the rustic kitchen, gingham and checkerboard patterns are perfect for chair covers and curtains!  Since rustic decor usually evolves around wood, these colors and patterns will help to liven everything up while still keeping the room warm.

While most people choose to keep their pots and pans hidden away in a cabinet, rustic decor is made even more charming when these utensils are put on display.  Hang your pots and pans from a wrought iron rack hung from the ceiling – this is a great focal point for the room!

Sunflower accessories, old tin signs, cast iron cookware and anything “old” works well for decorating your home with rustic flavor.  Put your own creativity to work and create a kitchen that is as comfortable and inviting as it is beautiful!  This will no doubt be the favorite room of your entire family.

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Nov 15 2010

Decorating Your Kitchen in a Unique Fruit Theme

Published by under Kitchens

Love the idea of decorating your kitchen with a fruit based theme, but don’t want it to look like every other kitchen?  You can incorporate fruit in to your kitchen decor in a way that is completely unique and stunningly beautiful.  Below, you will learn a few tricks that will help you in creating a kitchen that is fresh, colorful and inspiring.

Build your decor around one specific fruit

Most people who decorate their kitchens with a fruit theme use the entire basket – in other words, apples, bananas and grapes are all included in accents and accessories.  To give your kitchen a look that is unique and appealing, stick with a single fruit such as apples or grapes.

Think of the colors you normally see in an apple; golden yellow, deep red and green.  When decorating your kitchen with apples, incorporate those colors in your walls as well.  A mellow yellow wall trimmed out in deep red is stunning; paint your bakers rack, dining room table and chairs as well as other accents with the green, red and yellow tones found in the apples.  You might also want to consider stenciling an apple pattern around the top edge of the ceiling to take your motif even further.  When choosing the colors for your kitchen, also consider the various shades a piece of fruit goes through during the ripening process.

Artwork makes the decor “pop”

When selecting artwork for the walls of your kitchen, you may be able to find framed paintings or prints that contain the colors you are using for the room.  Even if you cannot find something that suits your needs, you can create your own whether you have an artistic flair or not!  Take a good, clear photo of the fruit you have displayed in a bowl or basket on your kitchen table and then have it blown up so that you can hang the “art” on a wall near the table.  The exact image of your table centerpiece hanging on a wall will definitely spark conversation.

Another idea you can use is to search for photos in magazines that are suitable for your decor and use them as artwork.  Frame a single page or create a collage using various photos of your chosen fruit.


To complete the look, add accents that further incorporate your fruit theme.  Canisters, tea pots and cookie jars that are decorated with various fruit designs can be purchased.  Additionally, you can find dish towels, place mats and napkins to match the style you have chosen.  Consider painting your paper towel and napkin holders a bold red or green to take things even further.

Put these ideas to work in your kitchen, and you will have a room that is packed with cheer and color!  As you can see, you don’t have to go the traditional route when it comes to decorating your kitchen in a fruit theme; a little imagination goes a long way.

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