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Kitchen Styling – Add Personality to a Functional Space

Satara Sales - Monday, April 30, 2018

It really doesn’t matter if you live in a brand new home with a generous kitchen or reside in a small rental apartment with a less-than-ideal kitchen space, you can still make this room a reflection of your style and taste. Finding that balance between adding personality while remaining practical in such a functional space is key. Form follows function as the old adage goes, which remains true here. Consider the following tips for making the kitchen a space that you want to be in.

Add Furniture

If you have the space, include a small breakfast nook or some barstools. These additions create atmosphere in the kitchen by bringing family and friends closer to the cooking action. Ensure the barstool sits neatly under the island bench and allows enough space for legs to be comfortable underneath. Timbers, cork, metals and woven materials are hardy and easy to clean. They will likely bring contrast to the kitchen materials too, softening stones and laminates. Consider the height of the backrest, you may not wish to have them too high, therefore possibly blocking a view into the next room or outdoors. Breakfast nooks are a sweet addition to the kitchen but require a little more space. Small, round tables work well with chairs that are made from materials that can withstand daily use.

Image by Satara via [] Featuring the New York Kitchen Stools

Make Useful Accessories a Centrepiece

While the majority of cooking and kitchen items can be relatively unsightly, there are a some which can be used as beautiful accessories. Depending on the style you’re going for, get some of the following items out of the cupboard and onto the kitchen surfaces.

Contemporary Kitchen

  • Designer pieces like a kettle or toaster
  • A sleek stainless-steel jug
  • A marble or metal utensil holder
  • Small collections of ceramic plates, vessels or cups
  • Canisters made from ceramics, glass or metal
  • Cook books, but only the nice ones!
  • Chopping boards made from timber or stone

Image via []

Classic Kitchen

  • Stacks of mismatched plates or glasses
  • Ceramic jugs to hold utensils
  • Stove top kettle
  • A Kitchen Aid or similar
  • Vintage kitchen scales and colanders
  • Mixing bowls and beautiful serving platters as a fruit bowl
  • Again, cook books work well here too
  • Chopping boards made from timber or stone

Image by Brigid Arnott, Stylist Vanessa Colyer Tay via []

The Island Bench Feature

If you’re blessed with an Island bench, you may be left wondering what to do with such a large surface. Layering works well, so start with a tray or platter. Contrast it to the bench top. Woven materials look beautiful against stone and add warmth while a dark stone tray against white bench tops packs a punch. Timber trays or bowls pretty much work on any bench top! Once you have selected your base, layer with other objects, such as a vase of flowers, a sculptural vessel, a bowl, a designer candle or some seasonal fruit. Groups of three always look good.

If you’re attempting a more minimal look, chose well designed objects that can stand alone well. Try a recycled timber bowl of lemons or a stainless-steel vase with bare branches or autumn leaves.

Styling by Justine Hugh-Jones

Art in Kitchens

Bare walls in kitchens can be rare, with storage filling most spare spaces. Even with loads of storage, modern homes tend to be open plan in this area, meaning less wall space. If you do have a spare wall (lucky you!) art could be the perfect way to accessorise the space. Large clocks are a great addition to a kitchen on a practical and decorative level, while a small collection of black and white photos or oil paintings can also create the feature you’re after. Be mindful of kitchen spills, oil splatters and other hazards in the kitchen. You may not want to place a wildly expensive artwork in the firing line.

Image by Michelle Adams

Plants and Foliage

The simplest of kitchens can be transformed instantly with a floral arrangement or the addition of plants. Of you have open shelves in your kitchen, place an indoor plant or two here layered with beautiful cookbooks or a candle. Talk to an expert at your local nursery for some ideas regarding suitable plants for your home. Pop them in gorgeous planters in materials such as woven rattans, gold or timber. Succulents or herbs in pots also work well placed on the bench if you don’t have shelves. Foliage can be extravagant or minimal. Bare branches, olive sprigs and leaves offer a sculptural and inexpensive look while flowers can add colour or a softer look. Change the water often and select in-season flowers to get more longevity on your floral purchases.

Have fun! Remember, you can really change the look and feel of the kitchen with only a few small additions.

Image by Martina Gemmola, Stlist Ruth Welsby


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