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Easy-But-Not-Boring Design Ideas for the Perfect Kitchen Space
Easy-But-Not-Boring Design Ideas for the Perfect Kitchen Space

For many of us, our kitchens could use some decor upgrades, or at the very least, a freshening up. You may envision plenty of ideas in your head, but for some reason, keep putting them off. If you’re not quite ready for a complete renovation, there are plenty of things you can do to create a functional, beautiful kitchen you’ll look forward to spending time in, where your culinary inspirations will thrive.

01

Add a tiled accent wall or backsplash

ceramic stone tile backsplash herkisi / Getty Images

Think of a backsplash as a vertical extension of your kitchen’s countertop. These functional features not only protect walls behind sinks, stoves, or prep areas, they can provide an eye-catching focal point for your kitchen. If you’re into DIY projects, create a backsplash using colorful ceramic or stone tiles. Or, if you want a less time-consuming option, consider peel-and-stick metal mosaic tiles or colorful tile stickers to create a beautiful accent wall.

02

Keep small kitchens light and bright

lighter paint small space kitchen chuckcollier / Getty Images

Lighter paint colors reflect light, making a small space seem larger, but avoid flat-sheen paints. They absorb light and make the space seem smaller. Instead, use satin or eggshell enamels. Minimize your color palette down to two or three shades throughout the space. Add varying shades of white or other neutral paint colors on trims and moldings, instead of painting the entire room one solid color.

03

Paint the floors

stencils painted floor Bulgac / Getty Images

The expense of replacing a kitchen floor can put a significant dent in your finances. If you’re looking for a less costly approach, paint your wood or linoleum floors instead. Prep work is crucial to the final result. Clean the floor well, then sand it to rough up the finish and remove the gloss. This helps the paint adhere better to the floor’s surface. Use at least two coats and a sealer to make the paint job last longer. As an alternative to painting the entire floor, use stencils or painter tape to lay out geometric shapes and or other patterns. Paint with acrylic paint.

04

Don’t be afraid to mix patterns

different patterns decor ExperienceInteriors / Getty Images

If you’re a fan of a less-traditional interior, incorporate different patterns and styles to create a stunning kitchen decor. Mixing up styles results in a unique space you can call your own. Ground the space first with subtle wall color. Combine patterns with varying scales, textures, and colors using wall coverings, stencils, or decals to create focus walls. Try utilizing low and high-contrast prints together by adding decorative items like throw rugs and patterned kitchen accessories.

05

Combine style and storage with creative shelving

practical install open shelving tataks / Getty Images

Shelving is essential in a kitchen, no matter what style of decor you prefer. Open shelving is a top trend for a variety of reasons. They’re practical, stylish, easy to install and make good use of limited wall space. Display treasured kitchen items, whether it’s your family’s heirloom china, a favorite collection of spices, a collectible, or your everyday kitchen utensils and dishware. Plumbing pipes create interesting connections for open shelves. Combine both open shelves and cabinets to make the most of your storage options.

06

Paint upper and lower cabinets different colors

color blocking painted cabinets SeventyFour / Getty Images

No rule says all cabinets must be painted the same color. Color blocking and tuxedo-style techniques are creative options for cabinets. Paint the lower cabinets in a darker color to ground the room and the top ones in a lighter color. If you’re seeking ways to implement more color, paint upper cabinet doors with an array of two or three complementary colors and choose one contrasting color for the lowers.

07

You can never go wrong with neutrals

design colors undertones neutral phototropic / Getty Images

Beige, ivory, black, gray, taupe, and shades of white may not sound exciting. But if you look closer, each of these neutral colors has undertones that create a vast range of hue options to freshen up your kitchen. Use them as a background on your walls to enhance specific decor or architectural features. Go for an all-neutral design with a variety of hues for a softer effect. Some neutral shades are airier, while others are more dramatic. Warm colors, like white with gold undertones, tend to be cozier. Darker neutrals, such as pewter gray, add sophistication.

08

Explore the monochromatic virtues of black and white

black white monochromatic kitchen piovesempre / Getty Images

Black is an anchor color and a focal point. Pair it with white, and you’ll create a kitchen with a sophisticated, dramatic appeal. This color combo also works for smaller kitchens. Surround a black and white floor with white baseboards. If you have black appliances, paint the walls white and add black-framed art to enhance the decor. Paint your dining table white on the lower sections and black on the top to create a stunning focal point for the room.

09

Get playful with pastels

soothing paler colors pastels Andreas von Einsiedel / Getty Images

If you prefer paler, soothing colors, there’s no reason why you can’t rejuvenate your kitchen using pastels. Not only will you find an endless selection of paint colors to choose from, but you’ll also find tons of pastel flooring choices. Check out the retro refrigerators and stoves available in pastel blues, pinks, greens, and yellows if you’re in the market for a new appliance. The secret to personalizing your culinary space with pastels is not to go overboard. Add a pastel backsplash, choose new accessories, or paint cabinets in your favorite shade. White works well as a base color and makes pastel colors pop.

10

Spruce up your kitchen with new lighting

under cabinet lighting puck lights IvanWuPI / Getty Images

Sometimes, the simplest things end up having the most impact. Stylish, effective lighting is essential in a kitchen. If you’re sticking to a stricter budget, however, consider adding tape or rope lights under your cabinets, which you can cut-to-size to fit the area. No electrical know-how is required. Just plug them into an outlet. Battery-powered puck lights are another easy option. Look for lighting systems with dimmers, which allow you to create the perfect ambiance for your dining or cooking experience.

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