20 kitchen decor ideas designed to bring joy to this practical space

1. Lift your decor with a touch of tomato red

Use the food in your fridge as inspiration when it comes to choosing kitchen accent colours. We love how the playful pop of tomato red brings an otherwise white, sterile kitchen scheme to life.

Add a dash of yellow – hot dog mustard style – and you've got a vibrant kitchen decor idea that doesn't involve having to figure out the best kitchen paint to use on your walls.

2. Look for unusual kitchen shelving solutions

It's often the smallest of details that catch your eye in a well-curated kitchen design. Whether it's an unusual handle on cabinet doors, or an unexpectedly placed shelf to store chopping boards, it's the addition of these items that add character.

And it's something we need to do more of, says interior designer, Tara Rodrigues. "With open-plan kitchens, we demand more now from the space than ever before, they are no longer a place solely for meal prep and cooking.

3. Use materials that remind you of your favourite places

When advising clients on choosing decor, Tara often asks them to think of places they've travelled to so she can incorporate these ideas into the scheme. "Use a worktop inspired by places you've visited," suggests Tara. "Perhaps some Carrara to remind you of a trip to Italy, Thassos marble from Greece or granite as a memoir from a holiday to India.

4. Have some fun with your kitchen lighting

Even though it's lovely to walk around a kitchen showroom and be inspired by the sleek and sophisticated designs, when it comes to feeling comfortable in your home, there's nothing wrong with adding a dash of fun to your kitchen lighting ideas.

5. Mix and match contemporary with traditional

"Mixing styles of furniture, such as contemporary with antiques is a fun way to add character to a kitchen," says Tara.

6. Wow with wallpaper

"I love wallpaper in the kitchen," says Will Plowden, founder of The Roost, "but it's important to choose a hard-wearing, wipeable wallpaper that can withstand the many splash hazards a kitchen presents." It can also be a quick and easy fix if you are looking at a kitchen renovation project suggests Will.

7. Colour drench in darker tones

If you're seeking a sophisticated kitchen-diner idea, we think you'll love using this colour drenching technique as your main kitchen decor idea. Opt for walnut wood and dark grey cabinets and painted walls and you'll be guaranteed a kitchen oozing with style. Just remember to ensure add enough lighting so that you have the right combination of practicality and atmosphere that doesn't leave you trying to cook up a storm in the dark.

8. Look to other rooms in your home for lighting decor

Although it can be instinctive to assume kitchens should be filled with ceiling spotlights, under-cabinet lighting and nothing else, thinking outside the box is a great way of adding detail to your kitchen according to the experts – especially if you are considering including a kitchen island idea in your space.

9. Dine in style on mid-century furniture

You simply can't fail when it comes to investing in furniture designed by mid-century style icons. Pair minimal kitchen cabinets with Eero Saarinen's tulip chairs and dining table and you'll have a kitchen decor idea that will stand the test of time.

10. Wrap wood around your walls

For a nature-inspired kitchen decor idea, use wood on your walls, not just for your kitchen flooring ideas. Keep it polished for extra shine but match it to worktops for a streamlined transition between surfaces and walls.

11. Define your kitchen zone with Crittall-style doors

Although you may not want to block the view into your kitchen – especially if you've spent hours choosing every last detail – it can be one of the noisiest and smelliest rooms in the house.

12. Inject fun to your kitchen decor with blackboard paint

Always searching for a scrap of paper to write down your shopping list when you find the fridge empty? Use blackboard paint rather than a standard kitchen splashback idea and you can jot down your shopping list for everyone to see.

13. Opt for contrasting decor styles

If farmhouse kitchen ideas leave you feeling a little uninspired, we think this scheme featuring Caesarstone worktops is a great example of how adding a touch of industrial chic can turn traditional into trendy.

14. Pick colorful tiles for a pretty but practical splashback

Bored with the range of traditional kitchen colours or still secretly dreaming of a Barbiecore interior? Live out your decor dreams with a pink tiled splashback.

Using tiles to create the look means that even though the colour is paler, it's still a perfectly practical solution for an area where splashes and spills abound.

15. Embrace dopamine kitchen decor in full

If a pink splashback simply isn't enough to fulfil your fantasy, then turn to dopamine decor for a pure hit of pastel inspired joy. It's the ideal solution if you're considering painted kitchen ideas but want to retain some of your original wooden doors. Paint some of your cabinet doors and your kitchen island pink, add aubergine-inspired purple to your walls and source a purple patterned rug as a finishing touch. Perfect!

16. Add an arch to break up your linear cupboard layout

It's hard to escape from the linear nature of kitchen design. And while adding round tables and curved cabinets can provide some relief, arches are also a good way of adding an extra element of detil.

17. Commission a signature art-inspired splashback

If you're keen to stand out from the crowd, Tara says one way of achieving this is to choose a signature piece for your kitchen. It's advice we feel this show-stopping art-inspired splashback from Red Dog Glass Design demonstrates well.

18. Add simple stripes for an elegant kitchen decor idea

Often reserved for living rooms or bedrooms, stripes are a simple way of adding a classical feel to any room. Kitchens are no exception to the rule.

19. Use your kitchen walls to display artwork

If you don't have a window view above your breakfast bar, turn an empty kitchen wall into an art gallery and display your favourite pieces to enjoy while your sip your morning coffee or enjoy a quick bite to eat.

20. Tap into coastal colours with blue, white and wood

If you yearn for something more nature inspired in your kitchen decor, you're not alone according to the experts, and where better to look for inspiration than the coastline. “In 2024, we’re embracing a nature-inspired colour palette," says Ruth. "This is all about taking it back to nature’s roots by incorporating tones that reflect the natural world, offering a sense of serenity.

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