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Kitchen design is a multistep process that includes making decisions about practical things like layout, storage, and appliances, but it’s equally important to focus on choosing finishes, decor, and accessories that will make this utilitarian space feel warm and personal. These kitchen decor ideas in a range of styles, sizes, and budgets will help inspire you to make everyone’s favorite hang-out space as inviting as any other room in the house.
For renters or those who like to change up their decor with minimal effort and investment, a peel-and-stick wallpaper backsplash like this neutral patterned wallpaper from Tempaper & Co. can change the look of your kitchen in a flash.
Display Everyday Objects
In this warm, rustic English country kitchen from Lobster and Swan, everyday objects from coffee pots to glass pitchers and jars filled with tea and herbs are displayed on reclaimed wood shelving, keeping everything visible and accessible while doubling as decor.
Decorate With Food
In this kitchen from Velinda Hellen for Emily Henderson Design, one end of the kitchen island is lined with shelving filled with identical jars of dry goods to create an accessible mini pantry that doubles as edible decor.
Choose Warm Earth Tones
In an era of kitchen decor still dominated by neutrals, a colorful kitchen is a memorable kitchen that will stand out from the crowd. This kitchen from House of G Designs has a warm and sunny palette of earth tones that includes a salmon orange retro fridge from Big Chill that gives it an energizing and inviting feel.
Use Reclaimed Shelving
Add Layers of Lighting
This New York City apartment from Maydan Architects has a streamlined black-and-white kitchen that is seamlessly built along one wall. A strip of LED lighting beneath the upper cabinetry lights the countertop while being a decorative feature of its own.
Hang a Wine Rack
A wall-hung wine rack is a decorative way to keep a small stash of wine on the ready, like this kitchen designed by Emily Bowser for Emily Henderson Design.
Add Cottage Style
Colorful green wall tile, soft pink paint on the walls, a lace-trimmed curtain panel, and a pair of geraniums in terracotta pots flanking the sink give this space from deVOL Kitchens a cozy, pretty, cottage look.
Try a Table Lamp
While it wouldn’t make sense to use a table lamp to light your whole kitchen or provide task lighting when prepping meals, adding a table lamp to your kitchen countertop is a simple way to make a utilitarian space feel more cozy, like this space from deVOL Kitchens.
Hang Your Cutting Boards
Studio Peake created a functional installation of wooden cutting boards in various shapes and sizes that fills the far wall of this London galley kitchen. A neutral patterned wallpaper makes the boards stand out, and turquoise cabinetry adds a fresh and bright feel to the narrow space.
Choose an Accent Color
Any easy way to make a big impact in a small kitchen is by painting it all in immaculate white and then choosing a single color accent that will make it come to life. A single color accent means that you will never have to overthink choices about decor, and will help make even the simplest of kitchens look more expensive and chic, like this U-shaped space from Leanne Ford Interiors that is accented with touches of tomato red.
Add Thrift Store Art
Ashley Montgomery Design leaned an unframed thrift store still life against the dramatic marble kitchen backsplash to lend the space some warmth, while a collection of mortar and pestles is both decorative and functional.
Black It Out
This small kitchen perched beneath a loft bed in a guest cottage from Sissy + Marley Interior Design is decorated in black from the walls to the cabinets, countertops, open shelving, and sink, making it recede and virtually disappear when not in use. White accents and a glossy black retro-style refrigerator tie the open plan kitchen in with the rest of the white-walled space.
Stick to Black and White
In this kitchen designed by Brady Tolbert for Emily Henderson Design, a black-and-white color scheme keeps things simple, timeless, and classic from the floors to the appliances to the walls, which include an assortment of art, photography, and wall decor that has a cohesive feel thanks to the two-tone palette.
Choose Retro Appliances
In this kitchen from Big Chill x Natalie Myers of Veneer Designs, retro appliances and patterned wallpaper give this kitchen a timeless and warm feel that evokes the nostalgia of days gone by while feeling fresh and current.
Dress Up a Breakfast Niche
Michelle Berwick Design added bold and colorful floral wallpaper to the small banquette seating breakfast nook in this white kitchen that creates a focal point and a feel-good moment that enlivens the space.
Add Country Elements
This country cottage style kitchen from Leanne Ford Interiors has a light neutral palette in shades of white and pale gray. Details like a vintage farmhouse sink with an under-sink cabinet curtain; black metal gooseneck sconces; and pegboard shelving to hold copper and silver cookware add timeless charm.
Mix Old and New
Desiree Burns Interiors stuck to a palette of black and white accented with wood and gold tones in this airy kitchen remodel. Decorative pendant lighting and wall sconces add polish and contrast with the rustic dark wood exposed ceiling.
Use Warm Beige Tones
This kitchen from Mendelson Group uses tones of beige from the wood cabinetry to the gleaming tile backlash to the stone flooring to create a warm and welcoming feel, and a pair of shiny brass pendant lights over the double islands give it a boost of light.
Add Wood + Woven Textures
This bright kitchen from Calimia Home has white finishes, silver fixtures, and wood and woven accents that warm up the space and complement the neutral patterned backsplash tile.
Display Colored Glassware
Colored glassware, tableware, and art mix on the open shelving in this London kitchen from Studio Peake, while the countertop is decorated with practical kitchen items like a cutting board and potted herbs.
Add an Unexpected Detail
A scalloped hood vent painted in the same peach as the kitchen cabinetry gives this Canadian waterfront cottage from Michelle Berwick Design an unexpected detail that changes everything.
Source Vintage Pieces
Stacked vintage cabinets with a faded mint green patina add charm to this modern farmhouse style kitchen from Leanne Ford Interiors that neat rows of built-in cabinetry cannot.
Wallpaper the Ceiling
This kitchen from Mendelson Group uses kitchen wallpaper in an unexpected way that adds color and personality to the white space by wallpapering the ceiling in a green-and-white check pattern. Green accents throughout the kitchen pull it all together.
Hang a Modern Pendant Light
BHDM Design hung a sculptural pendant light over the banquette seating by the window that adds interest to the small galley-style kitchen that stays within the neutral palette of the space and doesn’t block views or light.
Warm the Floor With a Rug
Marie Flanigan Interiors added color and warmth to this bright modern kitchen with a vintage red patterned runner near the sink.
Hang Cafe Curtains
If you’ve got the space for an eat-in kitchen, create an at-home bistro vibe by hanging a row of cafe-style curtains on the lower half of the window and opting for vintage furniture, like this cozy space from deVOL Kitchens.
Add a Touch of Whimsy
One of the easiest ways to make a kitchen feel personal rather than cookie cutter is to hang an unexpected piece of decor on the wall, like this vintage model sailboat above the espresso bar in a space from Fantastic Frank.
Hang Some Wall Baskets
Decorative wall baskets add warmth and texture and fill the empty wall space above the tall built-in cabinets in this high-ceilinged London kitchen from Studio Peake.
Float the Console
In this kitchen designed by Emily Bowser for Emily Henderson Design, empty wall space is transformed into a coffee station with the addition of a floating wall-mounted console and open shelving. The midcentury modern style, walnut wood finish, and brass accents warm up the white kitchen.
Hang a Vintage Dish Rack
Ashley Montgomery Design hung a black metal vintage-style dishrack on the soft white shiplap walls of this modern farmhouse kitchen that gives it a nonchalant charm. Dried herbs hung from the base and a Roman shade in a softly colored floral fabric add to the homey feel.
Layer on the Color
In this kitchen from Big Chill and Old Brand New, layers of color from the bank of lower cabinets to the wall above the graphic backsplash to the patterned rugs and curry colored velvet sofa complement the white walls of the relatively compact space.
Mix Black and Blue
In this NYC apartment kitchen from Maydan Architects, a black one-wall kitchen is paired with navy blue furnishings that create a subtle separation between the seating area and the kitchen while preserving a cohesive feel in the open-plan space.
Hang a Pegboard Shelf
A timeless pegboard shelf hung on the back of the door in this cottage kitchen from Leanne Ford Interiors keeps kitchen shears and dish towels on display and at the ready, while rustic reclaimed wood shelving replaces upper cabinetry for a light and airy look.
These kitchen shelves styled by Leanne Ford Interiors mix stacks of plates and bowls with Champagne bottles and decorative busts to create an effortless feel that is perfect for people who love to collect whimsical objects and keep them on display.
Hang a Vintage Mirror
In this small kitchen designed by Jess Bunge for Emily Henderson Design, a shiny gold vintage-style witch eye mirror hangs on the wall to reflect light and enhance views while creating a focal point that takes the focus off the freestanding oven.
Add Color With Cookbooks
Built-in shelving on this London kitchen island from Studio Peake houses a colorful collection of cookbooks.
Mix White and Natural Wood
This Tribeca kitchen from Bakes & Kropp has floor-to-ceiling views of NYC that contrast with the mix of painted and natural wood finishes and traditional details of the open plan kitchen. The warm, neutral space includes plenty of light wood tones from the range hood to the hardwood flooring and antique china cabinet. A mix of matte white cabinets and walls with a high gloss ceiling to reflect natural light adds another layer of finesse.
Hang a Crystal Chandelier
Ashley Montgomery Design created a sense of old school glamour in this renovated kitchen by hanging a large scale crystal chandelier that gives the space a sense of grandeur and complements the intricate crown molding.
Mix Fresh and Dry Flowers
The country-style open shelving in this modern farmhouse kitchen from Leanne Ford Interiors are decorated with multiple bunches of fresh and dried flowers that add color and bring the outdoors inside.
How do you decorate kitchen walls?
You decorate kitchen walls with anything that strikes your fancy, from paint to wallpaper to wall art. Choose decor that complements the style of your kitchen or adds a stark contrast, depending on the look you want to achieve. Kitchen-related items like wooden cutting boards, baking molds, or copper pots can also double as decor when arranged with care and grouped in collections (like a gallery wall made of wooden cutting boards of various shapes and sizes).
How do you decorate a kitchen island?
You can decorate the sides of a kitchen island with paint, decorative tile, or wood cladding. If your kitchen island includes built-in shelving on one or both ends, you can decorate them with a collection of cookbooks or colorful tableware. Decorate the top of your island with anything from a bowl of fruit to a vase of flowers. Just be sure that your kitchen island decor doesn’t impinge upon counter space needed to prep meals or dine at the bar.