A couple of years ago, I was travelling through the North-Eastern state of India, Arunachal Pradesh. During our stay at Ziro, I was invited for dinner to a local Apatani family’s home. The first thing that struck me about the home was that the kitchen was central to the home’s layout. As in, when you enter, the kitchen is where you find yourself. A large, wood-fired oven holds centre stage, with the cooking done right behind it. They consider the kitchen to be the heart of a home. How true, and beautiful! The place where an entire family’s food is cooked, to nourish and nurture them, should indeed be the hero of a hearth. Back home, it made me rethink my own kitchen. I spend at least a couple of hours there, every day, cooking for my family. I realized it needed some serious love and care. And a dash of décor to create a space that vibrates with positive energy – the perfect ground for creating Soul Food for your loved ones.
Kitchens are mostly designed as utilitarian space. But a touch of décor like open shelving, plants, interesting textures, and art on the walls can give every kitchen a nonchalant, welcoming vibe. It’s easy to implement décor ideas with large kitchens that are dramatic and beautiful. But today I’ve rounded up a selection of tested ideas that will also work for kitchens that are on the smaller side. The best part is that these kitchen decorating ideas can mix and match beautifully — use one or a few together.
- You might be okay with the banal knobs, handles and pulls you have now, but a little play with currently trending metallic, or some orate ones will uplift the entire look. This minor but significant upgrade works especially well if you are living in a rental, and cannot make permanent changes to the décor.
- For the most part, all of our kitchen floors are put in place keeping functionality, not aesthetics, as the prime focus. Fresh, colourful tiles, or if you have the space for it, a new rug will infuse a breath of visual fresh air into your kitchen.
- Since we tend to see things at eye level first, some of the most noticeable changes you can make in a kitchen involve the walls. But most kitchens, I notice, suffer from vast amounts of unused, dead wall space. A neon painted peg board or even a beautifully framed mirror will light up that wall. Both these options are functional and a mirror can even make a small space appear larger. You could also mount a set of kitchen prints in matching frames to dress up your bare walls.
- I am an ambassador for tiny, pretty indoor plants. Nothing else gives a space that feel of a life-nurturing vibe like a small, potted plant. Place one in a well-lit corner, give it a little love, and watch that sweet spot of green add to the beauty of a special space. Tiny but hardly succulent are your go-to greens if you aren’t particularly green-thumbed.
- Let your counter space breath by mounting a metal rod with hanging wire baskets and caddies on your backsplash, and using it to store the usual knickknacks like sugar, spices, tea can etc.
- Ditch the all-matched-up mindset and mix up the cabinetry to create a unique, modern space. Play with a combination of semi-transparent upper cabinets to make the top space feel spacious, while the dark lower cabinets can help ground the cooking room.
- Use a single shelf to serve as a display space for your china, or place some floating shelves right over the windows. Just be sure to limit the items you place on the shelves to things that are worthy of being on display.
- Open shelves are the latest trend in kitchen design. It does create a fetching visual space, but requires you to hide away all your mismatched stuff and plastic jars in fewer cabinets. A far more practical idea is to place one or two floating shelves on an open wall. Floating shelves come in many styles and are easy to install. Keep the floating shelf display items minimal and colour coordinated to compliment your kitchen décor.
- An inexpensive can of chalkboard paint is a simple and quick way to dress up a kitchen wall. You can use this bold, eye-catching backdrop for your ever-changing chalk art, or to create a stunning gallery wall for your kitchen. If you don’t have enough wall space, you can cover a door, a cabinet surface, or even your refrigerator with chalkboard paint.
- Paint the insides of your cabinet in a cheerful hue that will brighten your day every time you open a door to reach out for a regular ingredient or a cooking pot.