Well, we weren’t the big lottery winners on Saturday night, but we did decide that IF we won, I would keep blogging (goes to show that I genuinely love it!) but we would definitely be taking vacations and traveling more. I think we only went out of town once last year for Spring Break. Did you play? I can’t believe no one won!
I posted a picture on my Instagram over the weekend of a small spot in our kitchen, and a Jennifer and Cindy commented that they’d like to see a kitchen styling post. I’m all for that since I’m always arranging and rearranging things. In fact, I figured I’d make it a whole series and show how I style things around our home in general. First up will be the kitchen, and let me know which room you’d like to see next or if you have specific questions.
Over the years, I’ve learned that adding accessories and personal touches are the elements that make a room look complete and lived in, even though I enjoy erring on the minimalist side when it comes to accessories. Less is usually more for me.
Styling, especially in the kitchen, is a balance between beauty and function, right? How much of your “stuff” do you want to see everyday? What do you really need to keep out (even if it’s not the prettiest) because it’s much more convenient than having it stashed away?
Especially in January when I’m craving a fresh start, I tend to lean toward having more things put away than out on the counters because it just feels more airy and clean. But, our kitchen is large with lots of storage space, so it might be easier to do that here. Even if you don’t have as much storage or a smaller kitchen, just keeping out the necessities can be made to look nice if you use pretty vessels and trays.
Remember that bowls and containers can have multiple uses also. I think this marble bowl is meant as a fruit bowl, but in the past, I’ve used it in our “drop zone” to hold keys, sunglasses, spare change, etc. The bone inlay tray has been in different rooms in our home as well, specifically, the bathroom where it held beauty items.
If you don’t have a pretty tray, wooden cutting boards also make good ‘trays’ and go well in the kitchen. I always alternate between keeping our cutting boards out or putting them inside the bottom drawer in our kitchen island. For now, they’re put away and the other seasonings I use most often are up in cabinet above.
Your kitchen utensils like wooden spoons and spatulas can look gorgeous when stored together in a nice container. We keep the ones we use most often in our Williams Sonoma jars (with the wooden and white in one, and the black and metal in the other).
At your kitchen skin, keep out only the necessities for a more streamlined look. We have the liquid dish soap and hand soap within arm’s reach, along with maybe a plant and/or vase of fresh flowers for the pretty factor. I’ve decanted our liquid dish soap into olive oil jars in the past, but function won because these Method pump dispensers are my favorite, and with as much dish washing that goes on around here, I’m fine with using this plastic bottle.
Our hand soap is in a colorful container from World Market, and even though the soap ran out a long time ago, I just keep refilling it with inexpensive hand wash. Keeping both the dish soap and hand soap on a small tray helps keep it tidy.
Another thing I’ve conceded we need to keep out are our dish washing sponges. Although they’d be prettier kept under the kitchen sink, I’d much rather have them out so I don’t have to keep bending down to reach them – especially at 32 weeks pregnant now! This wire basket is pretty discreet. I do actually think about the color combos I’m using though- notice the green soap and blue and green brushes. Totally intentional because I like those colors in the kitchen.
Tulips are a flower that look so gorgeous in a kitchen and really liven it up. Actually, any flowers can do the trick. Here, I put two grocery store bunches inside a non-traditional vase, a white ceramic pitcher.
Open shelving or glass cabinets are another opportunity for styling. In our glass cabinet, I painted the back dark grey and then styled it with our white ceramic dishes. They really pop against that dark background. Mason jars make good flower vases too and carnations are inexpensive and last forever.
I try to keep nothing on our kitchen island except maybe a vase of fresh flowers. In the picture below, I framed a page from an old calendar- worked nicely as a piece of art!
HOW TO STYLE SMALL APPLIANCES
Let’s face it, most small appliances just aren’t that beautiful to look at. You could put them away in a cabinet or pantry, but means more effort in pulling that thing out when you need it. Especially in the morning, ain’t nobody got time for that!
Things we choose to keep out on the counter are small appliances we used daily: 1) coffee maker, 2) Vitamix blender, and 3) toaster.
The coffee maker is a no brainer. Both my husband and I use it every morning and it’s too big to fit anywhere else. Also, it’s one of those fancy coffee makers that was a Christmas gift from my husband to us a couple years ago, so it’s been an investment.
We keep our fresh whole beans decanted in a big Ball jar right by the coffee maker and the to-go cups we often use in the morning. Those are placed on a white cake stand, along with sweetener, tea, and a fox tea bag holder. Cake stands can act like trays to keep your things nicely corralled.
When we used the Nespresso more, we had it out and the colorful pods decanted into a white bowl with the coffee mugs and saucers sitting out on a cutting board.
Live plants and flowers always add life and charm to any space you’re styling. And be mindful of what you put your plant or flowers in – those are great opportunities to add color or like, here, texture with a woven basket.
In the past, we had our old coffee maker in this spot, with coffee grounds and sweetener in glass containers. I also kept my oatmeal decanted in glass containers. Decanting is much more beautiful than seeing the store’s boxes of stuff. Keeping your containers all in similar colors, sizes, or shapes will add cohesiveness to your styling, but it’s all a matter of preference or taste. If you prefer bright red canisters, go for it!
The Vitamix? I’d love to keep that big thing under the cabinet, but my husband makes smoothies everyday and it’s just easier to keep out. It’s problematic though, because it’s too tall to fit under out cabinets without taking the lid off. Bummer.
Our son eats raisin toast almost every morning for breakfast, and I don’t mind seeing the shiny toaster (it’s in good condition) out, so it stays visible everyday too. So now, our counter above the microwave looks like this:
I like the pop of green the Pellegrino bottles add, even though we don’t drink them!
And I couldn’t resist updating our butter dish when I saw this cute floral one at Anthropologie. Do you keep your butter in a dish too or in the fridge? I didn’t realize that even your butter dish could be so cute. We had a plain white one before.
Our kitchen is a real life kitchen, just like yours. We cook (a lot) and there are always dishes, pots and pans and counters to clean. Not to mention, the constant pile up of paperwork, mail, and other general clutter that comes with day-today life. It’s difficult to appreciate pretty styling in a dirty kitchen, so I made sure to photograph when things were looking good! We still do the evening 10-minute pick-up and that helps keep things in order.
If you’re ready to style your kitchen, start with getting it clean, then think about what things you can put away so that you can style the rest in a way that looks good to you. Use trays, containers, bowls, vessels, and cake stands as unique storage. Bring in fresh flowers or plants to breathe new life into your space. Have fun arranging and rearranging until you find what works best for you!
I tried to link everything in the post in case you’re interested, but let me know if I missed something you want to know more about.
Is your kitchen ‘styled?’ Which Home Styling area would you like to see next?!