Tips and Guides

4 Design Ideas to Liven Up Your Small Kitchen

These must-dos add cheer and charm to your plain kitchen


Many homeowners are stuck with a bland kitchen space—complete with plain tiling and boring cabinetry—with no room (or the budget) for improvement. Not to worry, there are many ways to create a charming kitchen with minimal effort.

Main photos from Decorating Your Small Space and Maker Crate.

Put everything on display

Whether you have a collection of lovely tea sets or a slew of hardbound cook books, put them out there for everyone to see. Simply remove the doors from your kitchen cabinets to create open shelving that allows you to display your dinnerware, jars of ingredients, or even a collection of tinted bottles.

Make use of hooks or slats to make your shelving arrangement more interesting—hang tea cups or display plates on its side. You don’t have to get décor to add character to your kitchen; you just have to make use of what you have.

Photo from Domaine Home.

Add potted herbs or plants

You can never go wrong with adding greenery to your home—this goes the same for the kitchen. Since herbs don’t rely on direct sunlight, the kitchen is actually a great place to let them thrive. Not only do you add a decorative touch to your space but you have easy access to fresh herbs when you’re whipping up a homemade meal.

Try to be creative with how you display your plants. You can keep them potted on a shelf or hang them near a window. Of course, you don’t have to limit yourself to herbs. You can make use of any plant—succulents would do great in a kitchen environment.

Photo from Maker Crate. 

Display some art

Just because it’s a place for cooking, doesn’t mean you can’t make it into a home gallery. If you often spend time in your kitchen, then why not put art on display where you can see it the most?

Your art doesn’t necessarily have to be a contemporary painting. It can be as simple as family photographs, your kids’ school drawings, or even craft pieces. Just make sure to place them where they won’t catch fire. 

Photo from The Turquoise Home.

Add a personal touch

A kitchen looks the most charming when it looks like it’s actually being used. Kitchens that look exactly like the ones in catalogs are nice but they’re the least inviting. When you spend time in the kitchen, you unknowingly leave behind personal touches that add character to the space.

Photo from Decorating Your Small Space.

Maybe it’s a half-filled pasta jar, a sprig of herbs drying on your windowsill, your favorite hand soap near the sink, or a jar of homemade cookies resting on the counter top. You can also purposely add these touches. Great examples are a mounted note pad for your grocery list or a chalkboard wall. 

Photo from George & Willy.

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