Striking the perfect balance between a kitchen that looks Instagrammable and one that you can actually cook in can be pretty tricky. Flip through any catalogue of perfectly-staged kitchens and the mind reels at how anyone could keep a kitchen that pristine for any amount of time. You know what though? A lot of those perfect kitchens have probably never even had food in them, let alone kids. You’re doing just fine.
We shouldn’t have to shy away from the fact that we *gasp* cook in our own kitchens. They should look like we use them regularly and enjoy it. Let’s celebrate using our kitchens for things other than taking photos by using functional kitchen accessories in our décor. Here are ways to turn your regular old kitchen stuff into part of the whole room.
Not your grandmother’s china wall
Remember how your grandmother used to have a wall dedicated to an assortment of evenly-spaced china plates? Even if she didn’t, you know what we’re talking about. It may be a dated style, but that doesn’t mean you have to hide your cute dishes away in a cupboard or cabinet. With a simple plate hanger, you too can decorate with your dishware, bringing the look into the twenty-first century with a little asymmetrical styling.
Group plates, bowls, serving dishes or baskets of all different sizes in a cascading pattern on your wall. For the best look, stick with a colour theme, use an odd number of dishes and space everything out on the floor before putting it up on the wall. Then watch your friends admire your DIY wall art and casually replicate it in their own homes while insisting they were planning on doing this for a long time.
Don’t have enough decorative dishes? Hit a thrift store. There are any number of vintage finds to be made there.
Open the door to your best accessories
Stop hiding your pretty kitchen items away. Get some open shelving either new or from a thrift store (a coat of paint works wonders at reviving old shelves) and display the items that you love and use often. If you drink tea every afternoon, keep an assortment of mugs within reach. If coffee is your pick, keep the French press and a pretty can of coffee out. Put out some spoons or other silverware in a Mason jar or pitcher. Use open shelving to make your space more functional while also displaying the things that would otherwise be tucked away in a cupboard.
Finally, a use for those tea towels that are “too pretty” for drying dishes
Do you have a tea towel (or five) that you bought, but just can’t bring yourself to use because it’s too pretty? It’s fine, we all have them, but what good are those “too pretty” towels doing in a drawer? Bring them out and use a little DIY magic on them to turn them into gorgeous wall art. Wooden dowel hangings are an option but don’t underestimate the classic look of just hanging your towels on some simple hooks.
Use a display tray for your specific needs
Trays are objectively adorable, especially when you load them up with cute cups and a tea pot. If you drink a lot of tea, why not set yourself up with a tea tray holding a few cups, saucers, a tea pot, sugar bowl and tins of your favourite tea blends? If tea isn’t your thing, use the same concept for whatever works for you. Coffee, hot chocolate, popcorn popping supplies, even small plants or candles would look sweet.
Cake plates aren’t just for cakes
Have a cake pedestal that spends most of its cake-free time luxuriating in a cupboard? Put it to work and use it to hold your salt, pepper and napkins on the kitchen table. Or put it on the counter and have it hold oil and vinegar bottles, your most frequently-used spices and finishing salt.
“I just thought it was pretty”
Embrace the prettiest things in your kitchen and just put them out. Is the balsamic vinegar bottle cute? Put it out. Are you in love with your Twinings tins? Leave them on the counter. Are you absolutely in love with a vintage pitcher? Use it to house your utensils by the stove. Embrace the things you want to leave out and just do it. The easiest décor to use is the stuff that’s already tucked away in your kitchen. Find what’s pretty and put it out.