This is truly where our creative juices can make the profound difference in our most used spaces…our kitchens….and it doesn’t have to break the budget!
Is your kitchen a nurturing space for you or for others? Our latest, best nest, downsized home’s kitchen before photos shows how seriously void of any cheerful, nurturing, or meaningful elements were added.
Even in a what is called a builders basic kitchen with little to none architectural elements to enhance this space, here is what can be done to add warmth, interest, and meaning to any kitchen:
1. Show off collected treasures along with special accessories
I cannot repeat this concept too often for using what we have and showing off what we treasure. And for goodness sakes, why wouldn’t we do this in our kitchens where most of the gathering happens on a regular basis?
These sconces flanking the TV are Brunschwig and Fils purchased at Designers Only in Kansas City ages ago while I was working on a wonderful high end project in Mission Hills, KS. This was a go to showroom where designers consistently loved finding only the highest of highest fabric lines, furniture and accessories.
My treasured lovely blue and white English plates are cira 1850. An entire set was given to me by my special aunt who bought this rare set at a garage sale.
2. Set a pretty table for every day not only for special occasions.
Collect table runners, placemats, and tablecloths along with having plan of where to store linens and the like.
This is another one of those simple endeavors that really makes a difference. I believe this effort is worth it even if no one comments, it really does matter.
3. Replace kitchen desk with serving buffet area
How many of us hated that standard kitchen desk that many used for everything but a desk? The kitchen desk design albatross was used as the drop spot for piling up tons of irritating clutter as the majority of kitchens and homes were not designed with Design Smarts storage or mud rooms.
Now in our kitchen sans the desk, there is a lovely buffet/serving area, coveted smart storage with drawers to accommodate specific items, adjustable shelves behind the doors where I store tall candlesticks, platters, wooden salad bowls, and extra space for those special items that just don’t fit in the builders basic kitchen cabinets or basic drawers.
Note, this was one of the pricier upgrades but obviously was a smart spending priority.
And I absolutely am thrilled with the results!
4. Comfort is king in kitchens for bar stools and chairs
This table and chairs was purchased for the dining area in our first home in Wichita Ks about 1985. This set is Italian made of extremely high quality that is the earmark for chairs with comfortable pitch, perfect seat depth for most size bodies, quality seat cushions and fabrics that are as good today, never being reupholstered.
And the table has two 24 inch leaves so we can easily seat 8 if necessary.
5. Do not be afraid to paint fireplace mantles
You can see by the before photos how uninteresting this fireplace mantle used to be.
I did a blog post on painting this fireplace if interested.
As I started with post, doing this downsized kitchen on a budget dictated pulling out all the creative ideas to make a dramatic difference without spending a ton doing it.
Different life stage, different budget priorities.
6. LIGHTING is majorly important
In this eating / hearth area, how many types of lighting can you count?
There are actually 5 different lighting options plus six counting the battery operated candles on the sconces. All on dimmers of course!
7. Consider having a TV in this area
Normally, I struggle with TVs above the fireplaces unless there is ample distance to avoid needing a chiropractor for neck issues……:)
But this TV is often viewed by me, the cook, working alone in my kitchen. It was a Design Smart decision as I have enjoyed various programs like cooking, news, or weather channels etc. while doing the cooking which I do almost every day.
Because of having a fireplace in this loved and well used part of our kitchen, more time is spent here so adding the TV is another Design Smart decision.
Hopefully you all will be inspired to look at your own kitchens for the areas to add your own meaningful touches. This is so easy to do if the time and attention is given to this priority space.
Go for it even if it is just you. After all, don’t you count? I believe that you do!
Loving and Living Life Together,