Five Easy Ways to Update your Kitchen

We want the latest countertops and cabinets, but who has the time or money for a kitchen overhaul?!

Luckily Studio 5 Design Contributor Lauren Oviatt says there are easier ways to punch up your kitchen.

Most of us spend a lot of time in the kitchen even if we don’t want to be there! Preparing meals and snacks several times a day for kids and family dinner each night means the kitchen really is our domain. Why can’t your kitchen be a reflection of your personality and why not accessorize your kitchen the way you would decorate your favorite space. You can do a lot more than you think… most kitchens are a blank slate just waiting for you to have fun with.

Here are my favorite five ways to punch up a kitchen:

Add a Touch of Texture
Most kitchens are a combination of hard surfaces like granite countertops and tile floors. Adding various textures can make for a powerful and noticeable statement. Though unexpected, I love the idea of using mirrored surfaces in the kitchen, like a tray, picture frame or vase – combined with under cabinet lighting it creates a beautiful sparkly effect. If you have a white kitchen with lots of cool color, consider adding warm wood tones back in – like a big butcher block you might use as a permanent display on your island or a collection of wooden utensils to re-introduce the warmth that wood brings.

Hang a Window Treatments
We all know how big a fan I am of window treatments… a kitchen is a perfect place to add a window treatment! It’s less daunting because you usually have fewer, smaller windows to deal with and guess what? No other fabrics or competing colors to worry about. My favorite treatments for above counter windows are roman shades, decorative valances or even cafe curtains. There is really no rule here – have fun a pick your favorite color/pattern to use.

Display Collectibles
It seems that many collectibles are items you might find in a kitchen, like vases, whiteware, cake stands, silver pieces or silver trays. There are many ways of displaying them. Consider installing a plate rack to show off your trays or nice china, hang plates in a pretty, symmetrical arrangement on a large wall, display vases in a window sill or grouped on a tray for impact. If you love them, you will be happier looking at them rather than hiding them in a cupboard. And they also become conversation pieces.

Beef up the Flora
It’s a treat to buy seasonal cut flowers to display in your happy place (or wannabe happy place) – but they have a short shelf life. I love creating a large, beefy arrangement of fresh potted plants and blooming flowers that can stand alone on a large island. These small pots can be as cheap as $3 each and look wonderful when massed together. Get a pretty urn or container to group them in and all it takes is a little water and plant food. It is a VERY chic and beautiful touch – that requires little effort and maintenance.

Pop that Color
In times when many are gravitating toward white kitchens, there is a great backdrop laid for adding color in many ways. Use the pattern you chose for your window treatment to set the groundwork for using lots of fun color. Painted barstools, colorful plates, glasses and ceramics make for a fun and energetic punch. One of the best things about this kind of decorating is that it isn’t permanent. You can even change things seasonally if you choose. It’s the perfect design idea for those self-proclaimed commitment-phobes.

Lauren Oviatt is a designer with Oviatt Design, 826 West Shepard Lane, Farmington.

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