How did you "decorate" your kitchen

renormanAugust 16, 2012

It looks like we are finally going to move in to our new house. After making all those decisions for the kitchen I don't know what to do with it now! It's like I don't want to mess it up so I'm afraid to put anything in it. So, I am hoping to see how you decorated your kitchens after they were done. I have a few glass cabinets and would love to see what you did with yours. Also, what do you have displayed on your countertop? Thanks so much!

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Well, I abhor clutter, so my kitchen is relatively "undecorated." I like looking at my marble, so I keep my perimeter bare except for my mixer. :) however, my island does look naked without anything on it so I usually keep a large orchid on it when there isn't anything blooming in my yard, and (minimal) seasonal decor when it is a season (ie, 2 large white ceramic bunnies at Easter, etc.)

You kitchen is lovely! So crisp and adore all the silver (nickel ) and your herringbone backsplash!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 9:17AM
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I don't "decorate".

I cook far too much to have unnecessary clutter around the kitchen. Anything that is on my counters has a very specific use. If in the end it happens to look good, it's by chance and probably just the way I put things down naturally without thinking much about it( i.e. tomatoes placed on the windowsill for ripening, peaches in a Fiestaware bowl, a rose or two in a small vase from the garden, the handmade soap from a friend on a pottery dish, olive oils and sea salts ready at hand on trays purchased in Mexico, etc.). None of it, is there to be fawned over or to complete the room. I might even leave the roses there way past their prime; I kind of like the way they look withered and drying.

I also have a lot of appliances out. Toaster oven, stand mixer, 2 coffee makers, crock pot, bread maker. I use all of them regularly so there's no point in trying to hide them away (although honestly, the bread maker probably could be tucked somewhere, lately it hasn't gotten much use).

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 10:13PM
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I think once you have a few things on the counters and the dishes and such in the glass-doored cabinets, you won't really need to decorate. The kitchen in action will provide its own decoration.

It's a great looking kitchen so I don't think it needs anything added except food and people.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 10:37PM
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I have only 4 things on counters since I hate clutter too. One of them is temporary once we figure out where to store our extra wine! We only will have our lucky pig menu holder(given to my DH by his Mom who has passed:(, the paper towel holder, and toaster oven. I evn put away my coffee maker! It's very plain in there but I like it way:)

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 10:38PM
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I agree that your kitchen is wonderful and it needs very little. I think once you fill your cabinets, it's going to feel very different in there, much warmer than it does now. You'll be very surprised at the difference it makes!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 10:39PM
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Like "sivyaleah", we didn't "decorate".
Ours is a working kitchen and as a result, the things on the countertops are the things that get used most often.
Knife blocks (I have 3), coffee maker, vintage 50's toaster, stand mixer, that sort of thing.
The only things we have on "display" are a few pieces of china on the open sheling unit in our pantry area.
Here's a shot or 2.

That being said, If I had a space as large as yours, I'd be asking the same question.

BTW. Your kitchen is Fab.
Especially the floors.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 10:40PM
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OK no photos but I do have some "decorating" in my kitchen.

My kitchen is similar in colours - off white shaker cabinets some of which are glass, mid-tone maple floors, giallo ornamentale granite but the backsplash behind the stove is copper mosaic which shows the greens and golds of copper and my favourite colour is blue.

Sooo... I have a large hammered copper bowl which doubles as a fruit bowl, a frying-pan shaped copper clock hanging on the wall, the valance over the window is striped and the colours are the range of colours found in copper (copper, greens, rust and a soft blue), a trio of plant pots on the window sill below the valance (one is dark green, blue and and the third is copper) which then carry the colour of the valance down into the room.

I like rustic pottery and it ties in with the copper and so in the glass cabinets I have some pottery which has blues and copper in them and then one for shock value which also has orange and red stripes. In the sitting area I have a blue chair (and a neutral couch) and a painting of a small vase with flowers that have some of the colours from the things I have in the kitchen.

(I'm so anal about c**p like this that the copper and blue are carried in small doses throughout the rest of the house) So figure out what colours you do like and just add them to your space until they make you happy._

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 11:08PM
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Sorry, but except for my KA mix master, a spice rack made by one of my DS's and the copper fruit bowl there is nothing on the counters.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 11:09PM
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A ceramic pie bird from my parents' old kitchen on the windowsill, but that's more for sentiment than decor. I agree that counters get jammed up enough without adding decorative flotsam. Framed prints are worth a thought if there's an appropriate wall.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 11:49PM
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Annie Deighnaugh

Mine is a working kitchen so counters are full of stuff that is used regularly. Including large wood boards on either side of the cooktop for my chop n drop cooking.

Decoration included the wreath over the cooktop to coordinate with the backsplash picture, balloon shade over the sink, plants behind the sink, dishes behind the glass front cabs, and the fishbowl with rocks and a candle which is required by DH so he can prop up his a.m. paper against it.

Looks to me like bar stools, something on the range hood, something behind the glass fronted cabs and maybe something decorative on the island are opportunities for you to personalize the space.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2012 at 11:54PM
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Your kitchen is stunning just the way it is.

I keep a decorative dog treat jar and maybe a vase of flowers somewhere. (OK. Truth be told, sometimes the mail "decorates" the counter. :) My sister keeps a beautiful and large art glass serving tray on her island and that is striking.

Your kitchen is stunning just the way it is. As others have said - once you get some pretty things in your glass cabs, and some stools, you should be about done!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 12:05AM
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Gorgeous kitchen! Can't wait to see more pics and details after you're moved in and settled!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 6:00AM
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No kitchen is complete without a family of wooden geese in bonnets "walking" across the counter.

j/k. (Sorry. I couldn't resist.)

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 8:09AM
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Your kitchen is so lovely! I am with the others in that I don't decorate the counters, and try not to have clutter. I have a bowl filled with ripening fruit, which is always pretty (the fruit bowl by Eucalyptus Stoneware allows the fruit to breathe and also can do double-duty as a heated bread basket - comes in a lot of colors and shapes). Two cutting boards propped on their sides against the fridge wall, and a coffee maker, paper towel holder, tea kettle on a trivet, small white radio by Tivoli Audio which has a minimalist look. I also have a narrow rectangular tray which holds jar of honey, salt and pepper grinders, and timer. I put my food processor in the pantry cause I don't use it enough and it takes up space.

Keep in mind that if you have decorative items on your counters or island, that is more to clean around. Crumbs get under there, things splatter on them, etc. So it makes for one more cleaning chore. I am frequently amazed when I see kitchens in magazines with all kinds of stuff on the counters, even right next to the sink, like big plants, tall vases, even lamps. I always wonder if those things are gone as soon as the photographer leaves.

In my glass uppers (I have four), I keep my "good" china and wine glasses.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 8:38AM
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So decoration means you don't have a "working kitchen?"

How about asking what the OP wants?

Obviously that kitchen is not finished. At absolute minimum, it needs stools and something in those glass cabinets, unless the suggestion is to fill them with plastic funnels and balls of rubber bands.

renorman, what kinds of things do you like? Is there anything that catches your eye--pottery, glass, Italian or French items, horsey-preppie decor, what? Do you want color, or do you prefer to stay with the neutral palette you have?

If you go neutral you could consider cream/brown art glass.

If you wanted more traditional, a grouping of brown transferware might be nice.

Whatever you do, pick a scale that's large enough and repeat motifs rather than cluttering up with a bunch of little unrelated things.

I might start with the fabrics. Are there windows that need treatments in the kitchen?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 9:15AM
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Wow, gorgeous kitchen! Is this a new build or remodel?

Like Marcolo said, start with counter stools, get some nice containers for oils and cooking wine, maybe some fruit or veggies in an attractive container on the island.

Search for counter stool ideas or kitchen decor

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 10:02AM
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I don't have a lot of counter space so I only have things out that get used Knife block cutting board toaster coffee maker and kitchen aid mixer.

I do how ever have things on the walls that reflect a wine theme. I have curtains with a graPe vine pattern. Overall I will look real nice once the updates are done. Plus it does not look girlish either it's more old world looking and gender netrual since it is a mans kitchen Flowery stuff is not allowed

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 10:04AM
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It's OK to decorate with decorative items. It's your HOME! You should express yourself! Your kitchen is so neutral, you could really do ANYTHING.

In magazines, I've noticed people carrying through one or two colours throughout the kitchen, so maybe just pick your favourite colour and start there.

Decorations will give your kitchen personality so I strongly advise it :-)

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 11:10AM
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I built a shelf in as part of my hood, too, and am always changing out items up there as it suits me. It'd be much better if it were as wide as yours, though. Mine's only 42" and between a bunch of windows on each side, so it doesn't read as large, more light and airy. Yours is telling me it wants to start with a small, rather dark painting in a nice old frame to bring in some contrast. Marcolo's ideas all sound terrific, plus I'm thinking old silver would look lovely up there.

I also have a nice bowl of fruit and veggies I intend to use quickly and a ceramic squash that holds kosher salt, which work great, so I'd recommend a couple of similarly pretty and functional items for the flat surfaces. Your kitchen looks so fine that I really feel it would not be visually improved by more, and your storage is so great that there's no compelling functional reason to keep stuff out, either.

I personally love colorful foodstuffs behind glass doors in a kitchen--as decoration--but somehow I really don't think that's the way to go in your lovely kitchen. :) I'm guessing you'll end up putting one-color (white) dishes and perhaps nice glassware up there. Most people do, but that's because that looks so good. A someday option for more flexibility would be to shirr fabric behind the glass--if you ever wished to move other stuff in.

For windows, some pretty fabric allowed to drape loosely (maybe even blow free?!) in an otherwise totally rigid environment?

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 11:21AM
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The nice thing about adding stuff to your kitchen (whether you think of it as tools of the trade or decoration) is you're not stuck with it. Try it out, leave it or remove it.

I'm with the people who leave out toaster, coffee maker, knife block, etc. They're not in my way nor do I think them unsightly. I have my salt and pepper and olive oil in evidence. Initially my kitchen felt a little alien to me so I needed a few of my tchotchkes to know I was in the right house. :) One day in February, after I'd moved back into my kitchen and it was feeling decidedly stark and unfamiliar, I stuck a jar of happy daffodils on the counter and my mood altered considerably. It was so easy. In my neutral kitchen a pop of color (red or yellow) was all it took to give it a wink and not take itself so seriously.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 11:30AM
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Beautiful kitchen. You will love having it come together so it speaks your name.

I agree that it will decorate itself as you move in. You will try this and that behind the glass doors and on the counters and find what pleases you. I personally would want to use things I already have and love instead of buying objects for that purpose.

Since you asked for examples, here's my only decoration. Behind the glass doors, I placed white teapots and pitchers. The picture shows this before I had decided to use these there, so only one shows. I designed the staggered top of my cabs specifically to showcase my only kitchen ''decoration''--part of a collection of old green tavern beer or ''glug jugs.'' The other colors in the kitchen were chosen in part to complement the jugs.

I like the repeated form, variations of size, shape, and color (there is actually one red jug, partially visible to the right of the bottom image) of the fish and teapots. As Marcolo said, you will find objects with the colors, scale, and pattern that please you--and as I said initially, they should be objects that ''speak your name,''

    Bookmark   August 17, 2012 at 12:03PM
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