Today I am joining a talented group to share some ideas for styling your kitchen space. Most of us have had a LOT of time at home and the new year is a great time to change things up. Have you had the same things on the counter for the last month, years- or more? Well maybe it’s time for a lift…
My Top Tips for Styling the Kitchen..
- Declutter. You need visual calm and that means less. Store oils, spices, etc out of sight if you can.
- Choose 2-3 colors and repeat them in the accessories in this space.
- If you’re going to have a lot of things- i.e plants, cookbooks- try to group them together.
- Use unusual and pretty catchalls or baskets to bring a little style to utilitarian items.
- Replace kitchen towels often, and try to stay in a color way or two.
- Add a piece of art to the kitchen to bring a homey feel, less scullery.
- A small counter lamp adds a warmth and an ambiance to the kitchen overhead lights just can’t.
First of all, do you have a lot of clutter? Things that you use daily, but you have them on the counter? Try putting some of them away for a while, for some visual calm. Yes I use my olive oils and salts daily, but they are in the cabinet. Less clutter means more zen and less to manage/dust too. If you need those within reach, maybe rearrange cabinets and drawers? The new year is a good time to clean each drawer out, throw away things that haven’t been used in the past few years, (egg slicer I’m looking at you,) and generally rethink the space usage in your kitchen. There are no musts, only possibilities. We get stuck in ruts. Break out and reconfigure the kitchen drawers. You can change!
Start with what inspires you and add it to the kitchen. Maybe it starts with something pretty you see you adore. I fell in love with this vase, brought it home then searched my cabinets and pulled out a cheese board with grey-blue tones, towels in the same color and a pitcher with blue to give the kitchen some cohesiveness. The vase gave me my starting point and got me excited to change things up.
Cookbooks are great and I have a lot, but I usually have just a few out I am currently into. They are good to give height to things with open shelving too. You can place a bowl on them like I did here with an easy air plant, or lemons or a clipping from your yard.
I have a big serving board that is hard to store, so my solution is to keep it on the island. It makes the plant and a bowl with some citrus have more impact and height. The ceramic bowl is a special gift from a dear friend. I think styling the center of an island is tricky. People tend to have large things in the center, but as we eat on here a lot, I like to have something that’s moveable.
I like plants for the natural element.This asparagus fern is what I have now with a pot from my local OSH store. Below I had a plant from a shop in Santa Cruz previously.
I have my utensils corralled in this container from Target. Many of these are olive wood spoons from trips in France and are dear to me. I think finding a unique crock is a way to show some flair in the kitchen. Last year I was using a large black lantern from Crate & Barrel. I have also used pots from the garden section, baskets, garden urns and silver pieces. Whatever holds what you’ve got and works with your decor. I have even seen small waste baskets that could work too. Get creative!
On the open shelving I have plates from the Joanna Gaines collection from Target in black and off white and a set of nested baskets I use frequently for serving bread, etc. The plant picture I think keeps the California feel.
I just added the faux plant to fill in space at the top left where nothing else would work. I am generally not a faux plant person, and intended to rip the plant out and just keep the pot, but it seems to look kind of cute here so I left it. Faux plants are great in those spots with little sun and are hard to reach.
My corner sink has a space for plants and they love the light here and extra splashes of water! I tried to keep them in white and light colored pots to unify the space and make it visually cleaner.
I’ve been using this basket for our paper towels since the day one accidentally fell in there and fit perfectly!
On the other perimeter counter I have a Serena & Lily tray with towels and lemons, a bust planter from Anthropologie and my lamp. I sometimes move this tray to the top of the stove.. It’s another space we don’t utilize and it can look cute with a tray and a vase of flowers even. Just remember not to use them on a warm stove!
UPDATE: I found a source for these cute towels that were a gift from Ireland. They are by Ulster Weavers and can be bought in the U.S. at British Importer, The Bee’s Knees . Ulster Weavers has a shop on Amazon, but currently the towels are not in stock, yet they have a matching tea cozy.
A small counter lamp adds warmth to the kitchen. When the cooking and cleanup are done, this light is on and the overheads are off. I can’t stand the surgery bright cap lights on, and they destroy any ambiance in the house in the evening too. They are great for tasks and that’s about it. In the early mornings it’s nice to have the warm light and in these dark afternoons as well.. Look for a one that can fit on the counter and find a lower warm wattage bulb to bring a cozy feel to your space. Lots of great small lamps here.
I have tried to generally stay in the same blue-grey and chartreuse type tones with the kitchen towels. I go with the Marie Kondo stacking method when I am motivated!
My two rugs are the hardworking Serena & Lily Seaview Runners in grey. I just ordered the second one for the other side of the island. They clean so easily and take a lot of wear.
One other thing that makes things look cleaner is hiding outlet covers. I do so using vases, cutting boards, etc like below…
This was fun and I hope I didn’t drone on about the kitchen. I’m never sure if I am sharing too much or not enough! I am no expert, but I do enjoy making the space look nice. I am working on a separate page with all the house materials from the remodel coming soon to the blog!
If you have questions about today’s post, here a few of the things I used or are similar to my kitchen…
Lillian Medium Vase, Grey Seaview Runner, Spinnaker Tray, Balboa Counter Stools, Caravan Linen Tea Towels, Gold Utensil Holder, Stonewear Dinner Plates, Bust Planter, Amara Table Lamp , Footed planter ,Teak Spatula and Spoon Set, Ceramic Stoneware Bowl, Braided Handwoven Bread Basket,
More ideas for styling your kitchen today on these wonderful blogs..
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I loved this post Kim and honestly it’s just what I need at the moment! 😊
As always, lovely to see your gorgeous kitchen. It always looks so bright and fresh. I love the idea of a corner sink too. You have such a good eye for design, textures, colours etc.
So helpful that you’ve not just described your kitchen but suggested great ideas on how we can improve the look of our kitchens, easily and relatively inexpensively.
Such a good idea to suggest “Start with what inspires you” … Your vases, bowls and lamp are lovely. Great details!
I love having Art in my kitchen … and changing it around occasionally.
As you say, simply being more organised, keeping counters clear and thinking about colours and some coordinating pottery, all make a positive difference. As does the positioning of plants.
I particularly like the idea of disguising power points and having a lamp on the counters to create a peaceful ambience.
I’m definitely going to rotate a couple of my nicer cookbooks on my open shelves and look for a space that’s not on display for the others. I don’t actually have many on the shelves but some are definitely well used! Just removing the dust jackets may be a good idea!
Also, probably a good time to pass on some of the pretty much unused ones to a Charity Bookshop … 😊
Thanks for the links to the other blogs … looking forward to reading them too!
Hope you’re having a good week!
Rosemary you are so nice. Wow thank you I am just glad this post seemed inspiring! I think it’s a good time of year to work on changing this space up- since we are inside more now. All the things you said are exactly what I did, just rotate, remove those dust jackets, (donate I need to do),spiff up things a bit. How nice you have art too! It’s those parts that make the kitchen more welcoming and personal. You have to send me a photo. Hope you enjoy the other blog- so many good things. Have a great day! xo
Your kitchen is absolutely one of my alltime favorites. If I were building a house I would copy your floor plan entirely. It is so practical, fresh and pleasing. Nothing is overdone, it is just fabulous! Miss getting together. Hopefully we can soon! I am trying to get a vaccine everywhere I can think of!! P.S I am stealing your paper towel idea. I hate paper towel holders, and I have a basket just like that for bread. DONE!
Cindy, Thank you for saying that. I loved your post today and the chance to see more of your cool kitchen! I wish I had all those amazing baskets and crocks. So much to love! You inspired me to get some monogrammed towels too. The paper towel holder.. Isn’t that funny? I hated the other ones. Thanks agains for letting me be part of this! It was a lot of fun. x
Kim … I can look at your kitchen all day. It’s not only beautiful … its calming. And we all need that these days. You did a beautiful job renovating and styling your kitchen … and your entire home. Placing a lamp on the countertop is a wonderful and unexpected touch. I’d like to do something similar in our kitchen. I love how you use a basket as a paper towel holder … so clever. You’ve inspired me today! xo
Juliet, Thank you the lamp is a essential to me. I cannot deal with those bright lights! I loved your post and everyone is going to fall in love with your pretty kitchen when they see it today! Wasn’t this fun? xx
Carla Aston says
I love all these ideas, especially the paper towels in the basket. I seriously have never thought of that and I hate those stands that are always on the countertop. You have a lovely kitchen! 🙂
Hi Carla, Thanks very much. I got so much out of all your lovely kitchen you have shared too. Fun doing this together! xx
classic casual home says
Kim, this is so great! I want new dish towels and I will straighten up my drawer the way you have! Your open shelves are beautiful…what great plates from Target, too!
I want a paper towel basket! Our holder is too small for the larger size. Loved this…off to shop and pin 🙂
Hi Mary Ann, Thanks I still love the towels you gave me too! The paper towel thing was a fluke! Your post was great today. What a stunning home. Thanks for asking me to join you all. xo
Linda Fant says
OMG… this was a GREAT post!! So many helpful hints and ideas that we may not have considered before. AND I’m glad I am not the only one who likes to hide electrical boxes… and heaven forbid an ugly cord is showing in my house😂. Your groupings seem so much more impactful that a single object😍. Thank you for giving us a terrific read!
Linda you are so nice! Thank you. Hey I hate the cords too.. Did you see I have them tucked away? The guys hate that, especially by the cutting boards, but so what! Thanks so much.xoxo
Carol Heartfelt Whimsies says
I really enjoyed this kitchen post! We are currently do a modestly budgeted reno and I definitely agree with your tips!! Love your styling —organic and uncluttered!
Hi Carol! Thanks so much! I hope you share about your renovation! xo
LA CONTESSA says
WELL, I FLUNK THIS CHALLENGE!
GET RID OF STUFF ON MY COUNTERTOPS………….NO WAY BABY!!!!!!!
TOO MUCH?YES most likely but I have no where to store it!What I find as I age is I need it ALL HANDY!I donot want to be walking back and fourth to the pantry.
When we did out kitchen remodel years ago…………actually it was an ADDITION I was to have a table in the middle for dishes and pots and pans………that never came to FRUITION as the OLD ANTIQUE BALUSTRADES I bought from THE HOME of the owners of the MARK HOPKINS HOTEL in SF need to be stripped of LEAD PAINT!
THE ITALIAN started the project but quickly gave up!What I realize now is my kitchen would need to be even BIGGER to accommodate this VISION!I am thinking about DUMPING ONE CHAIR that belonged to MY DEAR FRIENDS MOTHER as it was her KITCHEN CHAIR growing up.I use it to dump the clean laundry on!
BASKET is CUTE for PAPER TOWELS…………I USE A SILVER CHAMPAGNE BUCKET!As I have collected those for YEARS!
I KNOW I KNOW…………WHAT WORKS FOR ME does not WORK FOR MOST!
MY DECOR IS MORE PERSONAL THAN STORE BOUGHT……….EVERYTHING HAS A STORY HERE!
I DID clean out the dish towels about a year ago but now the drawer doesnot want to close AGAIN!IT’s HARD TO TOSS THOSE BELGIUM LINEN GORGEOUS DISH TOWELS…………….that seem to FIND their way to me!!PLUS< BANKSY THE HOUSE PET PIG likes to PULL THEM DOWN AND REST HIS HEAD ON THEM!!!!
YOUR KITCHEN SHOULD BE IN A MAGAZINE OF CALIFORNIA LIVING!
Okay well you get a special exception to the counter STUFF!! Your kitchen is gorgeous and I want to share it on here. The silver champagne buckets are so beautiful for the utensils! I have always loved that. DO NOT change a thing. It’s your style and beautiful!! What I am against is generic style.. The more unique the better. Everything in your house is used creatively and with special pieces that mean something. I love that Banksy gets the towels. He’s have a field day here with all the boys and their towels, etc. Maybe every kitchen needs a Banksy? xoxo
LA CONTESSA says
OH THAT WOULD BE SUPER FUN!
PEOPLE HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE MISSING OUT ON WITH A PET PIGGY!
KIND, MANNERED,PATIENT unless I am late with supper than he tips things over!Just to let me KNOW!
Maybe one can rent a pig for a week and see how it is!! xx
I love your kitchen and it is styled to perfection. Everything is so clean and calming and just looks so good! My kitchen flunks the uncluttered test, and yet I love it. I may go in there later and change up a few things, but I keep stuff out on my counters and when they are cleared and empty the kitchen seems to belong to someone else! I would like to get rid of a few small appliances that are out, but my family would never remember to put them away when they were finished with them, it would be a constant battle and just not worth it!
I, too, love a counter lamp and my little ceramic bird in celadon green keeps a nice glow going in there all day. I have a small lamp in the guest bath, too! Something nice about that extra light that’s down low. I hate these new bright glaring lights and avoid them always!
I just realized that my kitchen is 20 years old and except for wall color hasn’t changed much at all since we remodeled it! So I must have done something right for me to still enjoy it. And because I stuck with classic timeless details, I don’t think it looks outdated.
Great post Kim!
Heidi, It’s not perfect, but I do love to move things about. I don’t think you flunk at all! I love your beautiful kitchen. The little bird lamp sounds lovely! Did we have when we did the blog about your home? It says everything that you still love it and that is what matters and I agree it looks not dated! I also love the lamp in the bathroom you have. I agree ambient light is everything. I can’t deal with these new overhead and overly bright lights that make your home cold and like a hospital. Everyone needs more lamps!! xoxo
Keven Jaros says
HI Kim! Thanks for sharing your good ideas. I love the sheep tea towels! Where can I find those?
Thanks so much! The sheep tea towels were from a dear friend’s trip to Ireland! I did search and it’s called by Ulster Weavers found a U.S. supplier – Here is the link to a British Importer called The Bee’s Knees here : https://www.thebeeskneesbritishimports.com/dotty-sheep-cotton-tea-towel/
Hope that helps. Ulster Weavers also has a shop on Amazon with a cute tea cozy that matches, but looks like the towels are out of stock.. Tea Cozy here: https://rstyle.me/+fXGM-11auwOM-nJmodAdsA
Linda R Salazar says
Love the basket for the paper towels…a happy accident! I have the exact same light, bought it deeply discounted years ago at Williams Sonoma Home. It’s currently on a bedroom dresser. Maybe when we finally get around to our kitchen remodel I will move it in there!
Hi Linda thank you. So funny isn’t it about the paper towels! That light I adore and didn’t know the source. I bought it at an estate sale a few years back. Good to know it’s a quality item! I knew it was heavy and well made. I can see it in a bedroom and I bet it’s pretty! xo
Francesca B. says
Beautiful kitchen so restful and serene thank you for sharing Kim!
Martha foss says
Your kitchen looks great!! I loved the paper towel basket!! That was a great idea. For years, I kept my paper towels in an old crock I picked up in England, but sadly the crock broke and I relegated my paper towels to one of those stands. Now I’ll be on the search for the perfect basket.Thank you for the beautiful inspiration.
Hi Martha, Thank you. Lol Isn’t that funny how the paper towels worked in there? I do love the idea of a crock for paper towels also! Thanks for popping over here Martha. xx
Annie Diamond says
Kim, I adore your kitchen! From the open shelving to the Serena & Lily Balboa counter stools. I love seeing details like your drawer with beautiful dish towels folded so perfectly. I love how you add bowls, baskets, plants, cookbooks, wood round boards that all bring that collected over time look together. And your pretty collection of plants behind the kitchen sink too! I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before!
Hi Annie, Thank you.. I do think the sink corner is kind of good for plants …More water and light! As far as the shelves, I have to edit. I love my things, but hate clutter so it’s hard to know what to put out. I try and rotate things. I was honored to do this with all you ladies and honestly got great tips from all the posts. I loved your Conneticut family’s kitchen you shared. It was so fresh and pretty. xo
Sarah London Style says
Such a light relaxed space Kim, can u come over and design mine? 🤣
Hi Sarah, You are so nice. I would love to come to Australia!! LOl. xoxo
gayle Olson says
I love your cabinets and the countertop material. Can you tell me what it is? Everything is lovely.
Hi Gayle, Thank you so much. The counter material is a natural stone. So if you are looking for a similar slab you want Quartzite in Dolce Vita color. I hope that helps! xo