From the outdated fridge to the wooden cabinets you can’t stand, many of us are stuck with the kitchen we have. Perhaps a five-figure renovation is off the table, we pick up and move house a lot, or we’re renting our homes.
Still, there are plenty of small changes that can add up to a big statement. No matter what your fixtures and appliances say, make it clear that the kitchen is your domain with these eight tips to pretty up a boring or broken room.
- Spring for the nice soap – and candles.
Standing at the sink should offer something more than a pile of dirty dishes. Pay the extra few dollars for that special fragrance or attractive decanter. From there, offer yourself a little aromatherapy with a fresh-scented candle you can burn as you while away the time cooking and cleaning up.
- Display all of the art.
Of course, your finest oil paintings may not love a poorly-ventilated kitchen where marinara regularly flies through the air. You should still consider skipping the expected – and often corny – “kitchen art” so often seen in favor of your favorite prints, posters, and photography. Just make sure it’s under glass, and you have your own private gallery.
- Create a station highlighting your best.
Do your meals begin with a knob of garlic, a pool of olive oil, a splash of balsamic? Is that pricey Dutch oven your go-to? Arrange these things in one spot, perhaps on a nice ceramic tray. It’s a personal touch that adds character and displays pride in your taste and personal traditions.
- Frame sunny spots with greenery.
If you’re lucky enough to have that kitchen window, fill it with plants, pronto. You can create a balanced look with topiaries, or simply stick a few pots of succulents on the sill. The combination of sun and moisture from water and steam keeps lots of varieties happy and thriving. And if your kitchen is drab, it’ll immediately inject it with life.
- Don’t buy a kitchen rug.
At a lot of stores that carry home goods, kitchen rugs look the same, there’s a small selection, and you typically have to buy three of them to place in the usual spots (in front of sink, in front of fridge, in front of door, etc.). Upgrade as you streamline this by purchasing one antique-look runner in rich colors. It won’t show every little stain and crumb, and makes your kitchen look more inviting.
- Make use of apothecary jars.
Apothecary jars aren’t just for faux flowers, colored marbles, and other attractive-yet-completely-functionless items. Buy a few in varying sizes and shapes, and fill them with what you’re all about. Maybe it’s treats for your pet, dried herbs, lemons, cookies, or pasta. Either way, it’s a beautiful way to put your life on display.
- Treat yourself to one really fancy gadget.
Some of us spend a lot of time in the kitchen hanging out with a glass of wine, or engaging in major hobbies like baking. It makes sense to splurge on one item that really takes the experience up another notch and speaks to what we enjoy. So go for that upscale stand mixer, a wine cabinet, copper pots, or a vintage espresso machine.
- Use fresh herbs and flowers.
You may not see the dining room every single day, but it’s hard to avoid the kitchen. Morning coffee, evening meals, weekend cleanings – it’s integral to our daily lives. Avoid letting things get stale by placing fresh bouquets on the counter. Keep your fresh herbs in a glass of water to be picked and added to plates and dishes at will. Your space will smell better and look a lot friendlier.