Via Inside Out
Kitchen countertops are a major design feature of kitchens that tend to be overlooked. To many this kitchen element is viewed as the most dreaded area of the home to tackle.The key to decorating kitchen countertops is to have the right balance of practicality and design. Too many things and the space will look overwhelming and cluttered, but not enough accessories looks sparse and unfinished. With that in mind, there are ways to arrange your kitchen essentials and decorations, meanwhile getting maximum usage of the surface area you have. Here are a few simple tricks to guide the styling of your kitchen counters:
Via My Scandinavian Home
Plants are a simple way to make a space feel more lived-in and relaxed. Incorporating a touch of greenery in an out-of-the way spot like a corner display or playfully bunching a few together, allows you to decorate without sacrificing any useable counter space. To add a bit of extra convenience, decorate your go-to cooking herbs in a lovely terracotta or ceramic planter. If your kitchen doesn’t get much sunlight, try opting for a low-maintenance plant like succulents.
Via Country Living
2. Tea Towels
Instead of stashing your tea towels in a drawer, try draping your tea towels over your sink or countertop. The placement allows you to fully utilize your tea towels while giving you an excuse to show off your favorite towel.
Via L’Appartment Living
Trays are the perfect solution for displaying a collection of your frequently-used cooking items in an organized and aesthetically pleasing manner. Combining cooking oils and spices with small decorative touches gives you the perfect balance for your countertop vignette. Cutting boards also double as the perfect tray if you want to give your display a bit more practicality.
Via Bon Apetit
Make your kitchen utensils just another part of your kitchen decor. Placing large utensils in a vase will be easily accessible and contributes to the room’s style while serving a practical purpose. When decorating with utensils, color and material are crucial for achieving the aesthetic you want. Metals like gold, coppers and stainless steel work great with ceramic, marble, or wood. Don’t be afraid to mix and match with these materials!
Via Adore Magazine
Rather than hanging your artwork on the wall, opt for making your art a part of your counter space. Be sure to pick pieces that complement your kitchen design without overwhelming the space. Place your artwork somewhere that doesn’t get in the way of cooking, like against the kitchen back splash. Layering larger and smaller frames with each other is perfect for adding visual interest and depth to a space.
Via We Are The Brauns
Countertops are one of the best places to store/display your favorite cookbooks. Besides being easily accessible and conveniently located, cookbooks can add a much needed personal touch to your kitchen. Incorporate your other kitchen decorations to your book display to give the space a truly authentic feel.
Via SF Girl By Bay
With a current trend of kitchen appliances placing a focus on design, appliances have become decorative pieces themselves. Incorporating your countertop appliances into your kitchen décor leaves your countertops looking pretty without sacrificing function. It is important to repeat the color of your appliance in your decor to make your style appear seamless. Pairing one or two matching accessories with a copper fruit bowl or your favorite plant will do just the trick.
Kat Stidham/ SG Contributor
I will always be a fan of traditional wood flooring, always. It’s classic, beautiful, and it provides lots of warmth and texture with its natural grain. And who doesn’t love the creak of an old wooden floor beneath their feet? Honestly, it only gets better with age.
But sometimes a little change is good. And with the huge variety of flooring available these days, there’s no shortage of options to choose from. Whether it’s a bold tile pattern in the bathroom or smooth concrete floors in the kitchen, there are plenty of ways to change things up from the norm…
Image: Lean Timms
Can I just gush for a moment about polished concrete floors? Seriously crushing on them. They’re tough-as-nails, super easy to clean, and they always make any space feel instantly modern.
Image: Suzy Hoodless
The world needs more home libraries. Specifically ones with black built-in bookshelves and Moroccan tile floors. I mean…c’mon.
Image: Bungalow Classic
Have you guys seen the long rectangular tiles that are made to mimic the appearance of wood planks? To be honest, I wasn’t completely sold on these in the beginning but the concept is starting to grow on me. Especially if it’s laid in this beautiful herringbone pattern.
Image: Elle Denmark
Brick floors! Where have you been all my life? I know, maybe not the easiest thing to clean with those deeper grout lines, but you have to admit it’s gorgeous. Like something you would find in an old Italian hotel.
Image: Bo Bedre
Ok, so I did throw in one wood floor. But, in my defense, it’s one that’s not very common. Whitewashed wood floors are definitely on my favorites list. I love the minimalist feel, but it’s not too white. And there’s just enough of that lovely grain peeking through. Dreamy.
Mindy Bucklew/ SG Contributor
Last week I showed you a glimpse of my kitchen concept. Well, here it is folks! Finally I get to post our kitchen renovation. And OMG, was it a reno or what!!! When we first looked at this home to buy, I remember thinking that the biggest transformation needed to be the kitchen. It was dark, too enclosed and feeling very 1990’s. Below is the before.
It was really REALLY dark with only florescent lighting to rely on, which makes your food either look orange or green…just what we wanted. Also, if you look towards the back, you’ll notice that the washer and dryer was also in the kitchen. I mean, I guess it could make your job a little easier. Just cook up some eggs, turn around and put in a load of whites!
The kitchen is a galley kitchen and we wanted to keep it a galley kitchen. We really liked the structure and scale. Also, because my husband did almost all of the work himself, he didn’t want to move any plumbing or electrical around.
Yay for the new kitchen! And like I said before, the layout is the exact same (minus the washer and dryer).
There is original hardwood throughout the home that is gorgeous but for some reason, a layer of UGLY hardwood was added in the kitchen and dining room. We tackled with the idea of ripping it out and starting over, but we didn’t want to take the extra time and money. So we ended up painting over the hardwood with this floor and patio paint from Benjamin Moore. You guys, I am obsessed with this stuff! The finish is perfect, it doesn’t stink at all and it’s super durable. The instructions say that you can drive a car over it! In a moment it changed the look of our space.
Next item to note- MY NEW FAVORITE COUNTERTOPS ARE SOAPSTONE! Seriously you guys, when these counters were being installed, I was passing out. And that waterfall?!?! OMG. The beauty of these slabs are unbelievable. The crazy thing is that they start out a cement grey and the more you wax them (or you can use mineral oil) the darker they become. My soapstone came from Polycor, which has been providing natural stone solutions to North America since 1987. They made the whole process very easy and provided me with only the very best quality.
Below is a few before and afters just for you to get a true glimpse of the transformation.
On the right side of the kitchen, there was a wall that went into some upper cabinets. We removed the wall and all of the uppers which opened up the space tremendously.
We swapped where the fridge originally was and placed it where the washer and dryer once lived. That also opened up the space.
The dining room is right next to the kitchen and we wanted it to feel like one open space, so taking the wall out and placing a range hood created that look.
There was once a giant china cabinet that blocked the kitchen from the living room. That came out and now that whole space is one giant entertaining dream.
For our appliances, we chose the black stainless collection from KitchenAid and I couldn’t be happier with this decision. I designed this kitchen to make a design statement, yet to be practical in it’s every day use. KitchenAid helped me achieve this quickly. And the beauty of black stainless is that it’s not only gorgeous to look at but it doesn’t smudge at all…YAY! (See our specific appliance picks at the bottom of this post.)
This brings me to the next topic. Doing most of the work ourselves saved us thousands and thousands of dollars. My husband grew up around this type of work. His dad is a jack of all trades, so it came easy to my husband and his dad. Now, I understand that this is not the case for many, so I think the biggest key is figuring out what you can and can’t do and investing in what you can’t. If you can’t do any of it, no worries! Spend the money to make it exactly what you need and want. We couldn’t do the counter installation or the electrical, so we hired out. Counter Culture did an absolute job installing our soapstone counters and Stephen’s Electric took care of all of our electrical needs.
I have always wanted an farmhouse sink, but I wanted something a little more modern for this space. I chose this stainless steel apron sink from Kohler and paired it with this matte black faucet, also from Kohler.
Also, as you can see, we opted out of having a backsplash. I may or may not regret this decision, but for now, I love it! I love the clean look that gives. And one day, if I decide to add something, it will be much easier than taking down something that I don’t like.
To give this wall some character that was missing from not having a backsplash, I added these two sconces from Schoolhouse Electric. I love the warm glow light that they give off at night!
We needed a little more storage for mail and kids school papers, so I took the classic Alex drawer unit from Ikea and painted it the same color as the cabinets just to make it look a little more cohesive with the rest of the kitchen. It’s also a great place to display my coffee machine and favorite mugs.
Speaking of cabinet colors! We decided to use our existing cabinets and re-paint them. If I had more money, I would have invested in all new cabinets. Honestly, it wasn’t our main need so these cabinets will do just fine! I chose to paint them using Benjamin Moore’s, Raccoon Fur 2126-20. Yes, that is the name of the paint. My cabinets have raccoon fur on them…haha. The pantry wall cabinets are painted Ultra White CC-10, also from Benjamin Moore. On all of the cabinets, we used BM’s ADVANCE, which cleans up beautifully with soap and water. I chose Semi-Gloss.
The cabinet hardware… This is a funny subject. I couldn’t decide what I wanted and kept ordering the wrong choices for this kitchen. So late one night I made a trip to Home Depot, found $1.50 black drawer pulls, took them home, sprayed them gold and fell in love. They are nothing fancy, folks! If you attempt to do the same thing, find a spray paint that is both primer and paint in one. You will thank me for this decision.
One area of the kitchen that I am so so proud of is this wall that serves as our pantry wall. It sits next to our KitchenAid double oven (which I am obsessed with). My husband literally made this entire unit in one day. The dimensions of the space didn’t fit anything pre made, so he went around town, found some random units at different stores, placed them together and created a pantry for me. Husband of the year award goes to…
The kitchen window is original to the house, so it needed a little updating. Counter Culture added a strip of the soapstone to the ledge of the window, which updated the window perfectly. For a window treatment, I wanted something minimal and clean that went away when it wasn’t being used for privacy. Claudia Clobes Yudis of Urban Loft Window Treatments helped me achieve that and sourced the perfect shade for this space. Honestly, she’s a window treatment genius and I highly recommend her for any window treatment project that you have!
I LOVE open shelving in kitchens. We didn’t do any in our kitchen, but I still wanted to display my everyday dishes and glassware. I found this unit at World Market for $80 (it’s since been discontinued). It fits perfectly between the counter and refrigerator.
There is something so special about a beautiful rug in the kitchen! I chose this beautiful rose colored runner from Momeni. It fits this space like a glove. I scotchguarded the heck out of it so that stains won’t even think about staying.
There you have it, friends! I finally have a kitchen and I couldn’t be prouder of it! The biggest thanks to my incredible husband, Shane, for single handedly creating this amazing space. And another huge thanks to Counter Culture and Stephen’s Electric!
Double Oven, Dishwasher, Refrigerator, Island Hood, Rug, Countertops, Window Roller Shade, Apron Sink, Sconces, Wall Color, Cabinet Color, Faucet, Flatware, Dinnerware, Ikea Storage, Coffee Maker, Mint Green Flower Vase, Pour Over.
Also, a huge thank you to the vendors that gifted or discounted product for this kitchen. These are all vendors that I believe in and will continually work with to create more content that inspires.
Photos by Karen E Photography and Kirsten Grove.
Image: Chris Loves Julia
When I think about subway tile the word “classic” instantly comes to mind. Specifically, white subway tile. I know, we’ve definitely been seeing a lot of it in both kitchens and bathrooms in recent years but, honestly, I think there’s good reason for that. The look is clean and minimal, it works well with practically any style, and, c’mon….it’s cheap! That word is music to anyone’s ears when they’re in the midst of a home renovation, am I right??
But aside from those reasons, subway tile is so completely versatile. By simply changing up the pattern or grout color, you can come up with a number of different looks…all of which are good! I tell ya, it’s a true style chameleon. Care to see what I mean? Take a look below…
Image: Sarah Sherman Samuel
Yes to this bathroom! Using a gray grout with a straight herringbone pattern really puts an unexpected twist on this tiled backsplash. The tiny hex floor tiles are an excellent match.
Image: Fresh Home
Ok, this tile pattern is sleek. Referred to as “stack bond”, it really doesn’t get cleaner or more modern than this. White grout is the perfect choice for keeping everything super fresh feeling.
Image: Bicker Design
When things get boring it’s time to turn everything on its head. This linear vertical pattern isn’t one that I see too often, but when it’s done right it is SO very good.
Image: Nordic Design
Can you ever go wrong with dark grout and a traditional offset pattern? Not in my book. If there’s one way to make subway tile “pop”, this is it.
Image: Inside Out
It really is true that the pattern changes everything when it comes to subway tile. This diagonal herringbone variation is so soft and pretty, don’t you think? I have a few bathroom renovations coming up in the near future and this is a strong contender. Tons of fun possibilities to think about!
Mindy Bucklew/Simply Grove Contributor