Kitchens are often called the most important room of the house. The beating heart of any residence. Food is prepared in it, the kitchen table is used for everything from sorting bills to revising for exams and when you just fancy an informal get together with friends its often the location for shindigs and dinner parties. Despite its importance, in terms of decoration its often the least loved and certainly the least individual space in many homes.
There seems to be an unwritten rule that a kitchen should be above all functional. Clean lines, no nonsense work surfaces and pale colour palettes. Sure you might want to inject some fun with a retro toaster or bright coloured utensils but not much more.
When I decided to give my kitchen a make over a few years ago I decided to throw these guidelines out of the window and create a space that reflected my love of bright pop art inspired colours. I also wanted to use upcycled items where possible and mix new and thrifted items seamlessly.
Here are some of my ideas for creating a kitchen which is as individual as you are.
Create A Moodboard
|Moodboards like this one from Pinterest really helped me decide on the look I wanted|
I've always loved the American diner look and also the Shaker style/Cath Kitson twee country look as well. I knew I wanted to pull these styles together but was keen it all worked and didn't end up looking like I had idea vomited everywhere.
|I found inspiration in items I already owned like these polka dot tea cups and custard yellow saucers.|
I found creating a moodboard which included pictures of kitchens I loved, photos of items I already owned and wanted to make a feature of really helped. I also looked to pinterest for masses of inspiration.
I had always dreamt of having a pink kitchen but was really keen that it looked vibrant, not sugary. Researching paint samples from the fifties was hugely inspiring and I ended up using a Laura Ashley shade called Geranium because it was such a close match to the Veton Orchid colour I liked.
|If you know your history|
My kitchen is north facing so gets very dark and keeping it bright and light was a really big consideration. The pink works so well. In the day its crisp and at night it looks warmer and more inviting.
If you cant afford a fitted kitchen-Go Open Plan And Work With What You Have
I inherited a fairly ugly fitted kitchen. Far too many cupboards attached to the walls, tatty looking but quite functional. Rather than rip it all out which seemed both wasteful and expensive I decided to use the bones of it to create a space that worked for me. First of all I took down all the eye length cupboards. I wanted to be able to see what I had when cooking and really liked the idea of my cooking ingredients and crockery acting as ornamentation. I had some old railways sleepers which had been left in our garden by workmen so I decided to paint these and have one long shelf instead.
|originally used by workmen rebuilding a wall-these railway sleepers make great open plan shelves|
I had new kitchen doors hung on the bottom cupboards and a new counter top cut from a piece of wood that was left at our local tip.
Choose One Item To Create Your Scheme
|The picture that started it all|
The Green/Turquoise colour also really helped balance out the pink so there was no hint of little girls bedroom.
White Goods Don't Have To Be White
As well as getting a new kitchen counter fitted I also needed a new cooker as the existing one had come with the house and after many years of faithful service had totally given up the ghost. Rather than go for a standard white one I found a duck egg blue one at John Lewis which was no more expensive than a white one.
|Microwaves, kettles and utensils are such a great way to add pops of colour|
Allow Your Kitchen To be Grand (even if its tiny)
|A room can house a chandelier and a laundry rack|
When I was thinking about lighting for my kitchen I knew I needed something that would really blast the room as it has a tendency to be dark. i started off looking at beautiful but conventional choices, fisherman pendent lights or simple big shades. I kept returning to a photo I had ripped out of magazine of a multi-coloured chandelier and decided that yes my kitchen might be in a little terrace house but it could still carry off some theatre. With this in mind I found some lovely turquoise chandeliers from Sainsbury's homebase. They are such a perfect fit and give the kitchen a lovely injection of glamour.
Don't be afraid to have ornaments and bright plates and crockery on display. I change mine around all the time. It freshens up the space and allows me to enjoy things that don't work in other rooms.
|The Reading Nook or "BritPop Corner" as Nicky calls it.|
One of the biggest mental blocks people have about creating beautiful spaces in their home is that they think they need to buy lots of stuff. Not only is this not the case, the constant purchase of cheap homewares from places like Primark is creating a disaster of landfills and pollution.
|tatty but happy-both the chair and the cat|
Get Crafty And make Do And Mend
Upcycling gets a bit of a bad press sometimes but with a little work you can turn items destined for the bin into really great functional items. take this shelving unit-its just a reworked wine crate. It stores all our CDs and a place to put our herbs on. For a quick tutorial on how I made this click here
|Storage doesn't have to come from Ikea|
I also made a letter rack out of some old pallets I fished out of a skip. It took about an hour and now works brilliantly to store all that paperwork that tends to gravitate to the kitchen table.For my quick tutorial on how I made this click here
|You don't need to be "creative" to upcycle-its just planning and execution|
Even my tablecloth is upcycled. It was a lovely but yellow hand embroidered one which I tie dyed using eco dye at a workshop I attended with the Wild Dyery.
|My tablecloth was dyed using natural indigo and rubber bands.|
I hope this post has given you the confidence to create interiors that are true to your personal style and encourages you to reuse, recycle and rework existing items. For more ideas and projects visit my Crafts Page
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