Flicking through house beautiful magazines gives us a rather idealistic view of what our kitchen’s should look like and in an ideal world the countertops would always be clutter free and beautifully minimalistic. However we all know that with the kitchen often operating as the hub for the family it can actually become a bit of a dumping ground. Thus we relish the chance to free up some work top space so filling it with a pretty vase or plant might seem like rooky error.
But this is where my first step comes in, I order you all to PURGE! I’m not talking a quick dust off and wipe down. No, I mean a serious de-clutter. The best way to be ruthless with this is to remove everything from the kitchen and place it either on a table or island in one pile. Then with each item really consider its purpose and use before giving it a home (special mention to Marie Kondo here who is the absolute queen of this, if you haven’t given her book a read you must get your hands on a copy!).
My top tip for deciding on decorative items would be to always go bigger. An eye catching vase or a large fruit bowl will look much more effective than a collection of small cluttered items. As a general rule of them try not to use anything smaller than an apple. It is also effective to group objects together, leaving worktop space free and making them look purposefully styled. Carefully consider each cluster and make sure to allow space to create a balanced composition. A good tip for achieving this is to group things on a tray, for example keep oils, salt and pepper on a small tray by the side of your cooker achieves ultimate practicality and efficiency whilst also looking curated. Also remember to utilise what you’ve already got. When having a serious spring clean you might actually discover that you have a pretty cake stand or even some interesting glasses. Use these in your styling and place then on display – but make sure they’re things you actually use otherwise use the space for something more practical that you reach for often. Don’t worry about things being all matchy, an eclectic mix of different serve ware will add personality to your kitchen.
Having lots of beautiful accessories may look fab but ultimately your kitchen needs to operate smoothly and efficiently. The key difference between your kitchen and those beautifully minimalistic ones in magazines is that you actually cook and use yours! I actually think a kitchen thats properly used is the best kind. Without even trying they ooze life and personality. That being said you still want the room to feel slightly curated rather than one big cluttered mess. So try to opt for decorative objects that can also serve a purpose. For example eclectic jars look great but can also be used to store foods, keep these on the side and fill them with the things you tend to grab daily. Vases are always a must and having a fresh bunch of flowers instantly adds colour and life to your space. Or for something a little more practical have some potted herbs. These smell great, are really handy to have to hand as well as looking good! Chopping boards are another great multipurpose item, not only is it good to be able to grab them easily but wooden finishes add depth and texture to your design. Also I think in most people’s kitchen’s there always appears a spot where all the letter, lists and other random bits and bobs get thrown down, so let’s be smart and pre-empt this by adding a storage basket or tray.
So finally remember that there aren’t really any rules that are set in stone. You understand how your kitchen works so use your own personal taste and preferences to design a space that works. And don’t be scared about getting it right first time. Editing your space is such a big step to getting it right, so move things around and live with them for a bit to see what works and what doesn’t. At the end of the day, your kitchen needs to work for YOU, so always keep in mind the goal of creating a space that is designed with the intention of practicality.
I hope these tips have inspired you to inject some love into your kitchen and make it your happy place. After all we spend a lot of time in these spaces so they need to feel right! I’ve got a Pinterest board full of lots more kitchen inspiration so head on over there!