Kitchen Decorating Ideas and Tips

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Casual kitchen designCasual Kitchen Design


Many of us don’t have the option of hiring a kitchen designer to help us make our space look beautiful and function better. And, if the budget is slim, do-it-yourself plans are the way to go. And you know what? You can get great results that are beautiful, satisfying and functional, too!

Here are some practical ideas for decorating the kitchen that you'll love.

Because we tend to spend quite a bit of time in this functional and necessary space, a couple of things happen quite naturally:

1. The kitchen gets messy and, well, dirty. I don’t relish the thought of giving the kitchen a thorough cleaning, top to bottom (that means taking everything off the counters, etc) but it makes a world of difference.

2. We get tired of looking at it the same way, all the time. The space needs a little facelift, or maybe a major facelift - depends on the budget.

So, here are some kitchen decorating ideas and tips for you to help bring this functional space up to par, and even make it great!

Pick and choose those that apply to your home. They actually all work together and build upon each other, so read through and consider each kitchen decorating idea as part of a design plan for the space.

Bright red kitchen design


Many kitchens I see have a lot of stuff on
the counter tops that doesn’t need to be there, or, could be put
in another easily accessible place.

DO THIS Take everything off of your kitchen counter tops - everything. Clean the counter tops thoroughly. Then, decide what needs to be there. What do you use every day? Those are the things that should be on the kitchen counters.

What about the rest of the items? If you have the cabinet space available, find a new home for them. If you’ll never use them again, donate or get rid of them.

Short on storage space? Find an area of the kitchen/nook/eating area that can house some type of cabinet. There are many choices in size and shape, including corner units. Open shelving, drawers, cabinets with doors...use what works for you and will fit in your space.

THE RESULT You will immediately ‘find’ space in your kitchen. It will seem larger, and certainly cleaner!

Green and white kitchen design


How long has it been since the kitchen walls have been painted? Now is a great time to consider a change in color, or colors, to update your space. And, painting can be very easy on the budget.

DO THIS Consider how the kitchen walls are configured. Is there a natural option to use an accent color? Make sure you have a definite starting and stopping point for the colors; you don’t want to change a wall color in the middle of a wall (yes, I have seen this done and it ain’t pretty).

Decorating ideas for the kitichen

Most areas have a back splash between the counter tops and cabinets. Many times there is a small soffit area above the cabinets that could be painted an accent color. It doesn’t matter how large or small your kitchen area is...have fun with it.

NOTE: You might want to take the back splash area and put tile there instead. Check out the options, and there are many, at your local Home Depot or Lowes. It is another kitchen decorating idea that will give your kitchen a custom look on a budget.

Once you have determined that an accent color will work for you, select the colors. It is best if one of the colors is in the palette you have already established in your home.

But, the accent color could be something new for you. Your local paint store, or websites such as can be very helpful in putting colors/shades together.

THE RESULT You’ll find a whole new world of personality in your kitchen! Paint can truly transform an area.

Here is one example of great paint color selection:

Take a good look at the window(s) in your space. How long has the window treatment been there? Does is need to be cleaned? Repaired? Replaced?

DO THIS Consider changing the window treatments to give the kitchen a fresh and updated look, particularly if yours have been in place for more than a few years. Great kitchen decorating idea that does not have to cost a lot of money.

If you prefer an option that provides privacy when needed, faux wood blinds are always a great choice, come in a variety of colors and fit just about any decorating style. They offer a clean, finished look to any window.

If this kitchen decorating idea will work with your home’s established style, consider trimming out the window all the way around the edges. It is a type of window treatment in itself and looks good with wood blinds.

These are just two suggestions to get you started. Your decision will be based on decorating style, layout and your budget.

THE RESULT Your guests will say, “wow, the kitchen looks the windows!”

kitchen design with natural elements


How do your counter tops look? If the budget is there,
consider solid surface or granite counter tops.
But, you don’t have to.

DO THIS Go to your local kitchen shop, or head over to Home Depot/Lowes and take a look at the many laminate options available now.

Laminate can look much more expensive than it is, particularly if you choose a custom edging rather than the simple 90 degree edge.

Choose a neutral color/pattern for the counters if you want to be safe, plan on selling your home in the not too distant future, or are not sure which way to go with color. Then, use more color on the walls and in the accents. It’s easier to re-paint the walls than it is to re-surface the counters!

THE RESULT You can change the entire feel of the kitchen with new counter tops.

Are your cabinets looking tired and worn? Dated, perhaps?

If new cabinetry is possible for you, great! Just be aware that you can spend a LOT of money on custom kitchen cabinets. Or, check out the options in preconfigured cabinets to see if that might work for you. If you need to keep the costs way down...

DO THIS Consider painting the cabinets as part of the kitchen decorating ideas on your list. You’ll want to do your homework and find out how to paint them properly, of course, so check out your local paint store for some experienced advice.

If your decorating style is casual, such as country, cottage, shabby chic, french country, etc, distressing the cabinet doors could be a perfect way to go.

More contemporary styles might want to go with a high gloss finish.

Consider removing some of the cabinet doors to display dinnerware and/or collections.

THE RESULT Again, you can transform the entire space with the use of color, cabinets included.

What type of lighting does your kitchen offer? At a minimum, make sure all of the existing fixtures are in good working order.

DO THIS If you are looking for some lighting for effect, consider installing crown molding above the tops of the cabinets and put lighting behind it. It is not task lighting, but will provide some ambiance to the area, and is definitely a kitchen decorating idea to be considered.

Add some can lights to the ceiling if your budget can is great task lighting and if wired appropriately you can turn on just the lights needed. We have the option of turning on the can lights over our snack bar, in the entire kitchen area, or both. The former is a softer lighting option; the latter is great for food preparation.

Kitchen Decorating Ideas for Contemporary Styl

Also, consider adding some lighting to the area, such as a small lamp on the counter or pendant lights over the snack bar. The kitchen is no different than any other area of your home, and needs different types of lighting.

THE RESULT You will be able to light up the kitchen area in a variety of ways, depending on how it is being used at the time.

More great Kitchen Decorating Ideas

kitchen in gray, black and white, casual style


1) The best and most budget friendly decorating ideas for the kitchen! Do you need some help decorating this functional space? No worries! Find tips and ideas for your kitchen decor.

2) Galley kitchen design ideas and tips to help you create a functional space that lives large. Advice for selection of colors and related elements; read more about designing and decorating a galley kitchen.

3) Small kitchen design ideas that will help you create the best workspace in your home. A small space doesn't have to mean cramped working space if you take the time to plan well. Read these design and decor ideas for your small kitchen.

4) The kitchen is the hub of many homes, and you want to plan wisely for your budget and the function of the space! Great design ideas for your kitchen

5) Don't forget about the walls! Wall decorating ideas for your kitchen to finish off the space with style.

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Candi Randolphon

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Candi Randolph Design Consultant

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