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15 Kitchen Decorating Ideas and Interior Design Tips

May 31, 2023
Wood tone kitchen with blue island at Rundle 24 at Creekstone by Brookfield Residential in Calgary AB

Everyone wants a gorgeous kitchen at home. It’s perhaps the most used space and where you nurture, nourish, and entertain friends and family. The kitchen is the backdrop for fond memories like baking with the kids, romantic date nights at home, and holiday meal preparation.

Kitchens set the tone for your home, and your choices are important. It needs to be functional and organized, but also reflect your style and design preferences. However, while trying every décor idea for your kitchen may be tempting, it’s crucial to emphasize functionality. The last thing you want is to clutter your counters or lose valuable cabinet space, leaving no room for cooking or storage. Less is more – edit carefully and remove items that don’t serve a purpose. The result will be a stylish and functional kitchen.

We’ve put together our favorite 15 kitchen decorating ideas without the need to change major components like cabinets and backsplash. After all, if you purchased your Brookfield Residential dream home, your kitchen will be perfectly designed on day one.

1. Paint

Kitchen at Pinehurst by Brookfield Residential in Toronto

Paint is the quickest and easiest way to change up any space. Whether you want a punch of color or a tranquil sanctuary, paint instantly sets the tone. While your cabinets and backsplash will be the most dominant part of your kitchen, the right paint color will pull the space cohesively and elegantly.

A classic accent wall adds depth and visual interest while creating a focal point. Draw the eye upward by painting the ceiling with a contrasting color or pattern to add a surprising element. The space will feel more dynamic, and you’ll create a one-of-a-kind experience when your guests first walk in.

For a unique twist, try painting your pantry door with chalkboard paint. The top half can serve as a menu planner or family calendar, while the bottom half can be for the kids to play with and color.

2. Bring in a runner

Kitchen in Hudson 14 at Chappelle Gardens by Brookfield Residential in Edmonton AB

A runner is a quick, easy, and inexpensive way to add a new design element to your kitchen. Laying down a colorful or patterned rug in front of the sink or stove area instantly adds warmth and a little extra elegance. You’ll want to find a runner that is slim enough to show the flooring on either side so as to not feel cluttered, and one that is non-slip and easy to clean.

3. Add ledges or open shelving

Bright white kitchen in Hillsboro at Regatta at Auburn Bay in Calgary AB

Open shelving creates depth and openness in the kitchen. It provides a great opportunity to curate a stylish collection of your favorite things, such as cookbooks or flower pots. The key to a cohesive design is to treat your shelving like a gallery wall by layering each level with beautiful items, framed art, or vacation trinkets. You’ll want the pieces to feel cohesive and well-thought-out while feeling personal and unique.

4. Add wallpaper

Wallpaper has had a resurgence of popularity in home design, and thanks to the wide variety of patterns, textures, and colors, there’s something for everyone. It will significantly impact your kitchen while adding style, warmth, and depth that paint cannot achieve.

If you have open shelving or glass-front cabinets, add wallpaper to the back. Doing this will create an eye-catching display and enhance the items in front. You can also line the inside of the drawers for a surprise pop of color or pattern every time you open them.

5. Focus on your light fixture or pendants

Kitchen in Tealight 4 by Brookfield Residential in Denver CO

One of the most overlooked upgrades in a kitchen design is the lighting. Adding stylish pendant lights or a chandelier above the kitchen island creates a focal point and enhances the overall ambiance. A classic glass fixture won’t inhibit the sightlines; a woven shade adds texture; a dramatic fixture makes a bold statement.

6. Utilize window treatments

Bayberry Plan 5 Kitchen at The Groves by Brookfield Residential in Whittier CA

Window treatments instantly elevate a space. Dress up your kitchen windows with attractive curtains, Roman shades, or valances. The kitchen is a great area to incorporate fun fabrics and patterns that complement your existing décor and add a touch of personality.

7. Showcase your spices or baking elements

A basic bag of flour or sugar isn’t going to create an interesting moment in your kitchen. A cute collection of containers grouped stylishly on your countertop, however, adds a pop of color and keeps your necessary ingredients within reach.

Use open shelving or ledges to create an eye-catching spice rack. You can use vintage tins, glass jars, or ceramic containers to add a visually appealing touch while keeping your kitchen functional. Be sure to keep your spices and baking ingredients in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight to maintain their freshness.

8. Create a specialty beverage nook

Kitchen in Sereno at Cranstons Riverstone by Brookfield Residential in Calgary AB

Whether you’re a coffee aficionado or a wine connoisseur, a dedicated area in your kitchen for your favorite beverage is a charming and functional touch. You can show off your mug collection or create an eye-catching display of your bar glassware and prized bottles of wine. Include all the necessary accessories, such as sugar, drink stirrers, cocktail napkins, or bottle openers, and stylishly display everything.

9. Drape a tea towel or two

Tea towels are an instant upgrade. No, not the average dish towel or hand towel, but tea towels. How do you know the difference? The most notable distinction is the material: dish towels are commonly made from terry cloth, while tea towels are made from durable linen or high-quality cotton.

Tea towels are a quick and easy way to bring a fresh pop of color by draping them over the oven handle, hanging them from decorative hooks, decorating bread baskets, or draping them over mini ladders. Using pieces with floral designs, checkered or plaid patterns, and fringed edges increases dimension and breaks up the space.

10. Bring in nature

Cira Plan 3 Kitchen Details at The Landing by Brookfield Residential in Tustin CA

We love a good pop of nature in the home. It’s a design trend everyone seems to love, and the kitchen is a great opportunity to bring in natural elements for warmth. If you love freshness in your food as much as you do in your home design, use potted herbs to decorate. Plants like chives, parsley, oregano, rosemary, and basil are popular in recipes and pretty to look at.

If your green thumb is still a work in progress, you can incorporate natural elements you don’t have to maintain, such as wooden cutting boards, serving trays, or bowls. Faux or dried flowers are a great addition to an oversized vase, or use something on-trend, like branches and twigs.

11. Add new hardware

Swapping out the hardware in your kitchen upgrades the appearance without a complete makeover. Start by focusing on the desired material, then consider finishes and forms to tie your design together. You’ll want to consider the color of your cabinets and the overall theme of your kitchen to ensure a cohesive look. You’ll have an easier experience if you stay within your current shapes, meaning you don’t want to swap a single knob for a pull, as the holes won’t line up.

12. Incorporate art and small décor pieces

Residence 3 Kitchen at Hyde Park at Boulevard by Brookfield Residential in Dublin CA

While kitchens may not be the first place you think of when showcasing art, they’re definitely having their moment! Adding art instantly elevates the space and can dramatically alter the mood if selected carefully. Don’t go cheesy with framed pictures of food. Instead, choose abstract art or sketches to add character to the space.

Ceramic or glass pieces, such as bowls or vases, are classic additions to the kitchen because they’re easy to clean, resistant to temperature changes, and have waterproof surfaces, eliminating any mold or mildew issues.

13. Decorate the top of the upper cabinets

White kitchen with wood flooring in Brooklyn at Easton Park by Brookfield Residential in Austin TX

If you have the space, decorating the top of the upper cabinets adds an extra layer of visual interest and enhances the kitchen’s overall look. This void or gap can look unfinished, and adding decorative elements makes the space feel more intentional and complete. You can display decorative items, like pottery, sculptures, baskets, and plants; just be sure to be mindful of safety. You don’t want easily broken or heavy items, as they may pose a risk of falling and causing damage.

14. Display fresh items

Cira Plan 2 Kitchen Details at The Landing by Brookfield Residential in Tustin CA

Your kitchen is the perfect place to display fresh things. Whether it’s the cake you just baked or your latest haul from the farmer’s market, appealing items belong in the kitchen.

Colorful fruit like oranges, limes, and lemons can be stored in tall apothecary jars and vases. Store apples, bananas, or avocadoes in decorative bowls on the countertop. Keeping produce readily available may encourage your family to make healthier choices and help prevent things from rotting before they can be used.

If you prefer to indulge your sweet tooth, a classic cake display stand looks perfectly at home in the kitchen. Having an enticing treat for your guests to easily enjoy may help it get eaten sooner, reducing the temptation for yourself.

15. Carry a theme throughout

The key to a well-designed kitchen is cohesiveness. Unless your whole home’s vibe is quirky and eclectic, a kitchen that doesn’t tie together won’t feel well thought out. If you’re mixing up different elements, stick to a single theme or core tone so everything pulls together visually.

Bright white kitchen in Cypress at The Orchards by Brookfield Residential in Edmonton AB

When You’re Done

Keeping the kitchen clean is the best thing you can do to make it feel welcoming. Being clean and decluttered is key, so keep the décor simple, tuck away any appliances you can when they’re not in use, and keep the space immaculate. To learn more about cleaning or decluttering, read our blogs on how to declutter your home and the important cleaning tasks you may have forgotten.

You can also explore where we build and connect with our sales team when you’re ready to learn more. We’ll be expecting you!