Do you love looking through the latest design magazines for kitchen decorating ideas, but don’t have the time or budget for a major remodel? We’ve got some quick and easy decorating tips on how to give your kitchen an update worthy of a home magazine. The best part is that these kitchen decorating ideas can mix and match beautifully — use one or a few together.
We naturally see things at eye level first, and one of the most noticeable changes you can make is to decorate your kitchen walls. Most kitchen decorating efforts are placed on the appliances, countertops, and cooking gadgets. But the walls are where you can make a big impact with an easy DIY project.
Take a quick glance at your kitchen. What do you see first? A dingy, boring wall? Or worse, an outdated faux paint job complete with ivy or fruit-themed stencil work? It’s time to make a change.
Updating your kitchen wall decor with easy, design-savvy changes will transform your cooking and dining experience. Here are 5 kitchen decorating ideas that take your kitchen’s walls from tired to inspired:
1. The Three-Color Palette
Color is one of the fastest and most inexpensive ways to update a room. But great kitchen wall colors don’t happen by accident. The secret is in the three-color palette:
- Color 1: An existing kitchen color that can’t be changed. This may be the color of the countertop or cabinets.
- Color 2: A neutral of your choice. Use it for the new kitchen wall color that complements color 1. It’ll serve as your decor backdrop.
- Color 3: The color that makes your kitchen unique. It’s often a bold and unexpected color that works with your palette. Color 3 adds pop to your kitchen. Use it as a statement piece for your accessories like bar stools, vases or cookware.
The best way to find the perfect three-color palette is to grab paint swatches in the shades you like and shuffle them around until you’re happy with the combination. Once you find your signature three-color palette, keep a set of paint chips handy for accessory shopping.
2. The Best Kitchen Decorating Ideas Start With a Focal Point
Try to see your current kitchen decor the way a visitor would view it for the first time. Walk into your kitchen and think about what you notice. Is the first thing you see something you like? If not, what would you rather notice first? Make that spot and the closest wall your focal point.
Focal points are eye-catching and visually jump out at you. Compared to the rest of the kitchen, the focal point is bold and unique. To create a focal wall in your kitchen, try one of these techniques:
- Paint your focal wall in the bold shade you chose for your kitchen’s three-color palette
- Hang a large piece of art on the focal wall
- Use textured, patterned, or vibrantly-colored wallpaper
Be fearless when dressing up your focal point — it’s just one wall.
3. Open Shelving — the Latest Trend in Kitchen Wall Decor
If you’ve updated your kitchen decorating with fresh, fashion-forward colors and a focal wall, it’s time to add layers. The latest trend in kitchen design is open shelving, instead of cabinets. This look lightens a kitchen up by creating visual space, but requires you to hide all the tupperware and mismatched glasses in fewer cabinets.
Instead of tearing out your upper cabinets, try updating your kitchen wall decor by placing 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 color-coordinated for a magazine-ready look.
For a bigger change, take the doors off of one or two kitchen cabinets and paint or wallpaper the back of the cabinet. You now have a new open display shelf. To give your new display life, add LED under-cabinet lighting to highlight the items. Battery-powered lights are available if cabinet wiring is an issue.
4. The Carefully-Curated Kitchen Wall Design
Set your kitchen apart by adding touches of your personality. Gallery wall collections are popular with designers and magazines because they’re unique and make a boring wall interesting. Gather favorite objects together and use them as kitchen wall decor.
Modern kitchen decorating ideas for a gallery wall collection include:
- Framed album covers
- Framed wallpaper or fabric swatches
- Vintage dishes
- Empty antique frames of different shapes and sizes
- A variety of mirrors
There are no absolute design rules to creating a kitchen gallery wall. Symmetrical, patterned or freestyle placement are all good approaches. To save time (and extra nail holes on the wall), arrange your collection on the floor before hanging for the best spacing and placement.
5. Personalize Your Kitchen Wall With Chalkboard Paint
A can of black chalkboard paint is inexpensive and a great way to dress up an accent wall in your kitchen. Black is a bold, eye-catching wall color and the perfect backdrop for your ever-changing chalk art.
If you’re out of wall space, a door or cabinet surface is another great chalkboard (and dinner menu) in the making. Remember to layer. A floating shelf or gallery wall collection on your chalkboard wall adds to the unique look of your new, inspired kitchen walls.