Kitchen Styling 101
Building or renovating a kitchen can be a daunting time. Your house is in pieces and you are often left cooking on an old camp stove. But once all the hard work is done, it’s time to add your personal touch, making the kitchen uniquely your own and creating your dream entertainment space.
Thinking ahead is important when styling, you need to make sure you have an idea of what you are trying to achieve, otherwise you can end up with a lot of “things” that don’t quite fit. Remember to think, colour, form and function.
1. Beautiful but useful
Everyone loves some beautiful vases or decorative trays, but these things can quickly over-run a kitchen making the space feel cluttered. You want to look for items that can be useful as well. A vase doesn’t have to wait around for fresh flowers, but can work as a utensil holder.
Or instead of accumulating ugly chopping boards that never seem to fit anywhere, find some that are beautiful and something that you can leave on display. There is nothing more elegant than a lovely piece of hardwood doubling as a wall decoration. Just remember to ask yourself, do I need this and what can I use it for?
2. Pops of colour
On the topic of beautiful but useful, we can use this to bring in some colour to the kitchen. Dark tones and black are dominating the kitchen designs this year, so it’s nice to bring in some colour. This can be through brightly coloured candles, a toaster or even a tea towel. Never underestimate a tea towel. It’s always on display and can either be celebrated or look like an out of place rag. Adding some tassels to a brightly coloured tea towel ads some lovely pop to the kitchen.
3. Add some greenery
Another way to bring colour into your kitchen is with some vegetation. Fake flower and ferns are often just that, fake, but with such a strong focus on healthy living spaces, it's nice to incorporate some real plants. This can be anything from a beautiful flowering succulent that looks good all year round or something useful like a herb garden. Herb gardens can range from a hanging herb garden to a few supermarket herbs placed in elegant pots. This brings a beautiful and natural feel into the kitchen and gives you access to some lovely fresh herbs while cooking. Placing a bowl of fruit or nuts can also help bring an organic feel or add some colour to an empty bench space.
4. Creative lighting
Lighting would be one of the most important aspects of a kitchen, needing to adapt to its many uses. Bright, broad light that doesn’t cast shadows is needed for cooking. Having a cupboard that you can never see into or a bench that casts a shadow of your head is going to create frustration. But then you don’t want guests to feel like they are sitting in the spotlight when you are trying to share a nice glass of wine.
One of the most adaptable and beautiful lighting solutions would be the pendant light. It creates an aesthetically pleasing piece in the centre of the room, can cast direct light onto a working space and be dimmed to create soft mood lighting.
But be sure to think about how these pieces tie in with your kitchen so you don’t end up with something that seems out of place. Think about matching a brass light with brass faucets or doorknobs, or if you have splashes of red around the kitchen, maybe a red light can bring the colours together. A well thought out light can bring a kitchen to life. Combine this with some well positioned down lights and you have all your lighting options covered.
5. Counter stools
Most people tend to gather in the kitchen and a great way to make this space more welcoming as well as stylish, is add in some counter stools. Think about height and style of the stool, you don’t want something to look out of place or not work in with the bench height. Also look at the materials; they need to work in with in the kitchen and surrounds. It may be elegant black stools in a black kitchen or beautiful styled wood stools to match a wood feature wall. Stools can either blend with their surrounds or make a bold statement in colour and style.
6. Less is more
A kitchen is a space that is used, but it doesn’t have to look cluttered. Keeping bench tops clear of unnecessary things keeps it looking elegant and minimalist. Think about what things you need and try to keep them in groups. If you want to keep your utensils on the bench, maybe group them together in a vase or pitcher. If you have coffee or tea, try and keep them together with the kettle and use containers that work with your colour scheme.
A well thought out spice rack keeps your spices looking organised as well as handy. If it doesn’t need to be on a bench, utilise your creative storage spaces and keep the benches clear of clutter. When buying ornamental pieces, remember that a single high-quality item will always look better than multiple cheap looking things. (I.e. Stay away from Kmart!)
7. Vertical vs. horizontal
A lot of kitchens end up having a lot of horizontal lines with the floor, benches, shelves and roof all forming perfect parallel lines. If you find this has happened, then introducing some vertical lines or objects can really change a dynamic. Adding a tall plant or branches on the bench top will break the horizons forming in your kitchen. Vertical v-groove cabinetry will also help to balance any overpowering horizontal lines.
There are many ways to make a kitchen your perfect living space and as long as you have an idea in what you want to achieve, you can follow these simple styling tips and create a masterpiece that will be the envy of all your friends.