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Inexpensive Decorating Ideas for Your Kitchen

by Craig Barrett
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The kitchen is the heart of the home. It’s the central place for cooking up new recipes, enjoying meals with family, and even entertaining guests. However, it can be one of the more expensive spaces of the house to bring to life.

Not everyone has gigantic budgets to fully update and renovate the kitchen, but quite frankly, you don’t need one. We’ve put together a list of practical, inexpensive decorative touches to transform your kitchen without breaking the bank.

Declutter

Do you know the key to having a gorgeously decorated kitchen? No junk and clutter spread all over it. According to this study, a messy kitchen will make you want to snack often and feel the need to buy more food, spending more of that money you’re trying to save.

Before you start thinking about decorating, the first step is to start with a clean slate—your rule of thumb should be to donate anything that hasn’t been necessary in a long time. After all, the best look for a kitchen is a clean, organized one!

  • Evaluate the need and utility of each item. Look at the things you own and ask yourself if you use them, if you need them, how many you actually have, and if you’d buy it again. This will make you more aware of your spending habits and what is worth keeping.
  • Maximize cabinet space and shelves. You should only keep dining ware, appliances, and other items that you use often or have a need for. Consider donating the rest. With open-windowed cabinets, a plethora of unnecessary items can create visual pollution. Take advantage of open cabinets to showcase nice glassware, bowls, and other dishes that could add a pop of color. 
  • Remove items that seem out of place. The counter is the easiest place to leave mail, used dishes, and other clutter. Counters should be kept open with only items that you need easy access and are difficult to take out for each use. 

Change your colors.

It’s obvious to say that the colors will make or break your kitchen. Walls can make a big difference without taking much of your money, which is why that’s the first item on our list.

It’s all about picking the right tones according to what you have in mind for your kitchen. 

Now, there are specific colors that work better with certain rooms. For example, blue, red, yellow, green, and greys work nicely for kitchens. Warmer colors are said to stimulate the appetite, making them a great choice.

White is also definitely a go-to if you’re looking for a fresh new look. It wakes you up as soon as you walk into the room and it gives you more possibilities to create contrast with other elements. 

  • The brighter, the better. Clear colors will make your room look bigger and a lot more expensive, while dark colors will do the opposite. 
  • Don’t go big if you don’t want to. Going with a minimalistic, clean style without too many shining tones is a great choice when you do it right. This gives you the opportunity to add small spots of color wherever you want, creating that “spotlight” effect.

Let there be light!

With the right tricks, you can use lighting to bring the kitchen to life. First things first, white light is your best bet to make your kitchen look more open and wider, which will make it look more expensive.

  • Illuminate key spots. Do you have a dinner table or center island that you’d like to stand out? This is where you should keep your light focused. Pendant lights are a great way to do brighten the space and add some personality to the room.
  • Focus on the ceiling. Needless to say, your ceiling lights will set the ambiance for your kitchen. Make sure they are well-distributed around the room– this alone can make it look better without almost any effort. Dimmer lights are a great idea if you want the ability to change the mood of the space with brightness. 

Open shelves, open shelves all the way.

Open shelves will widen up your space, in addition to making for great storage. If your kitchen is not that big, this is a golden trick to make it look like it is. 

Of course, having open shelves instead of closed cabinets requires more organization and a thoughtful display of your dishes, or it will get you a cluttered-looking kitchen.

With a bit of patience, they’re not that hard to work with! 

  • Organize by usefulness. To be practical, use the lower shelves for items you use the most and need easy access to and use the higher shelves for items you don’t need that often.
  • Likes with likes. You don’t want dishes looking like they were randomly thrown together. Line up at least a few bowls before adding a cup, for example, to make sure they don’t look out of place. You can also look more organized by separating your open shelves into sections. One shelf for baking supplies, the other for your favorite mugs, and so on.
  • Floating shelves for additional storage. These are a great addition to create more storage space in the kitchen. Adding stacked dishes, glasses, or artwork to floating shelves will add more dimension to the space, as long as it done tastefully without cluttering the shelves.

Add some artwork.

We’re not talking about huge, expensive art pieces. You can create beautiful décor with your own hands, if you want to! There’s a lot of room for DIY when it comes to this.

After all, there are amazing artistic items you can get—or even create—without spending too much, and here are a few tips in case you need inspiration:

  • Match (or contrast) colors with your walls. Art pieces that have similar tones to your walls will harmonize nicely with the rest of your decoration.
  • Gallery wall. Small picture frames of family, landscapes, or even inspiring quotes placed next to each other or staggered on a wall can give a personal touch to the kitchen.
  • Chalkboard. This is a good idea if you like to draw or if you want to add your favorite quotes. Not only that, but guests can write messages for you when they come over. 
  • Frame family recipes.  If you spend a lot of family time in your kitchen and would like to add a warm, welcoming vibe to it, this is a sure-fire way to accomplish that.

Small changes for big impact.

When you’re looking for decoration tips for your kitchen, be aware that you don’t have to buy a new fridge, stove, or a super stylish cabinet set. 

Good interior design isn’t necessarily all about the big furniture pieces – you’d be amazed at how much of a difference the details can make.

A few examples of important small details would be:

  • Faucets and cabinet holders. It might seem that these two things will go unnoticed in your kitchen, but just changing the color to a brighter one or maybe matching with your walls can help create that eye-catching difference that your space needs. 
  • Rugs. An inexpensive way to add more layers to your kitchen and also another pop of color. You can do anything you want with this, from neutral tones to super bright ones. Just keep the ambiance in mind.

Bring in the combinations.

One of the easiest ways to make your room feel harmonized is to add patterns and layers. Make it floral, vintage, or monochromatic— doesn’t matter! There’s nothing more pleasant than walking into a kitchen where all the colors and items complement each other.

  • Wallpapers. There’s wallpaper out there for every taste, and they’re a great starting point when deciding what your patterns are going to look like.
  • Appliances. Match/contrast your appliances with the tone you want for the room.

Focus on your appliances.

It’s common to get excited and go crazy with decoration – spending hours choosing wallpapers, fancy cabinets, the perfect color scheme, etc. However, if you’d rather be on the simpler side of things, you can get yourself some colorful appliances once you’re done with the rest of your kitchen design.

It’s an inexpensive and easy way to add personality to your space without feeling like there’s too much going on with your décor.

Not only that, but matching—or contrasting— your appliances with the other colors you chose for your kitchen can go a long way, minimal effort required. 

If you’re going with a light color such as white, for example, adding yellow or red items around your kitchen would make it look gorgeous. Or, if you’re not a fan of bright colors for your rooms, making everything black and white surely looks fancy! There are endless possibilities (and Pinterest boards) for you to look at. 

A plant or two.

If you’re not using plants for decoration yet, you’re definitely missing out. 

Plants can:

  • Clean your indoor air by absorbing toxins and producing oxygen.
  • Add color and life without conflicting with other tones in the kitchen.
  • Reduce noise levels and add more privacy depending on where you place them.

Other than that, plants are super cheap. You can always pick up the ones that are easier to take care of or even fake ones, in case you don’t have all the time to spend nourishing your greens.

Here’s a few ways to add them to your decoration:

  • Up on the shelves 
  • Countertop
  • On top of the fridge
  • Windowsills

If you’ve ever heard of the urban jungle trend, that’s also a sure-fire way to add more life to your kitchen. 

Don’t be afraid to use natural elements for your decoration—plants can be matched with almost everything.

You Got This!

After reading all of that, I hope you’re full of ideas of how to create a gorgeous design for your kitchen without breaking the bank. 

To summarize everything we talked about:

  • Decluttering. Clean up everything that isn’t useful before even thinking of decoration.
  • Wall colors. The decisive factor that will set the mood for the room. Get a clear vision of what you want your kitchen to look like and choose colors accordingly.
  • Lighting. Make sure the light is evenly distributed around the room, use white tones, and illuminate key spots.
  • Open shelves. Open up your kitchen and get great storage space, while also giving a more organized look.
  • Art pieces. The perfect way to add personality and you can even do it yourself.
  • Small details. Even something as small as your faucet can make for a unique spot if you pick the right colors.
  • Patterns/layers. These will make your kitchen seem welcoming, warm and friendly. There are many inexpensive ways to do this and you can be creative with tones here.
  • Colorful appliances. Simple, cheap and easy way to create spots of contrast in your kitchen if you don’t want to spend much time or money decorating. 

Plants. Easy to match, inexpensive, and looks great almost everywhere. Having plants around can help your health as well, not only your decoration.

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