How to Style a Kitchen That’s Both Functional and Fun

How to Style a Kitchen That’s Both Functional and Fun
Getty

I don’t know about you, but in my view, a well-designed kitchen is one of the biggest draw-cards a home can have. Not only is this the area where you prepare your meals, but it’s also where morning discussions over coffee tend to happen, and where Friday night gins are poured. It’s a social space that, if styled well, is as inviting as it is practical.

And while most kitchen design updates tend to come in the form of major renovations, there are plenty of ways you can elevate this part of your home with the use of DIY and clever styling choices.

As I’ve done with bedrooms and living rooms before this, I’ve consulted emerging trends on Pinterest along with the design brains of some of the best home decor resources around and have pulled together a list of the best styling tips for kitchen design right now.

Let’s take a peek.

Less is more

If you’ve been exploring design trends this year, you’ll likely know that minimalism and the Japandi aesthetic are very much still a thing.

Pinterest trends indicate that searches for “Japandi” (a blend of Japanese design and Scandinavian minimalism) are up 100 per cent internationally. In Australia specifically, Pinterest reports that “modern minimalist kitchen” is trending, with year-on-year searches for the term up by 115 per cent.

What that looks like for kitchen design is that we’re seeing interest in simple sleek lines (smooth cabinets or minimalist handles), raw wood finishes and neutral colour palettes. Something to keep in mind if you’re looking to update your furniture choices in the kitchen.

Curate your shelving to match your aesthetic

As we’ve seen pop up in other spaces like the living room, open floating shelves are getting a lot of attention this year. Pinterest trends state that interest in “kitchen floating shelves décor” is up by 130 per cent while “plate racks in kitchen” has doubled in search volume.

You put a lot of thought into the kitchen items you purchase so why not put some striking pieces (say like stylish glassware) on display? It shows off your style and forces you to keep bowls and glasses tidy, rather than tossing them in the back of a cabinet.

Introduce a little colour with your splashback

Sure, minimalist kitchens may be a vibe at the moment. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still play with a little colour in the space. Bunnings suggest using your splashback as a way to bring a little more personality to the area.

If you’re using tiles, you can play with texture here too. However, if you’re looking to update an existing splashback, you can use paint to change it up. You can find a full guide to painting your splashback with Bunnings here.

Another sweet little hack you can use here is throwing peel and stick tiles or wallpaper on your existing splashback for a low cost, simple DIY option. See it in action with TikTok creator @emilyrayna below.

@emilyrayna

is my kitchen the coolest room in my apartment? Maybe #tiktokdiy #careeradvice #renterfriendly #fyp

♬ This Magic Moment – Drifters

If you’re unsure about colour choices, Apartment Therapy recently chatted to a real estate pro about this and the top three shades for kitchens appear to be white, greige (beige/grey) and lighter shades of green.

Kitchen lighting matters

As this is a practical space where you’ll be completing some kind of cooking project at some stage (even if that’s just buttering bread), you need to ensure the lighting is functional in your kitchen. Having your workspace, the kitchen bench, appropriately lit is a necessity.

But more than that, you can use lighting to introduce warmth and character into your kitchen design, too. Bunnings writes on its website that “a pendant light is an opportunity to make a strong statement and really set the tone of the space”.

Alternatively, downlights and LED strip lights under your cabinets may work better for you, as this Bunnings project highlights.

Bring some life into your kitchen design

Don’t forget to add touches of personality and life into the space with elements like plants (living or fake), fun fabrics or even pieces of art.

Designer Eleanor Trepte recently told Apartment Therapy, “Kitchens can be full of hard, cold surfaces, and a runner in a fun color (sic) or fabric can really bring a bit of softness and design flair to an otherwise entirely functional space.

“It’s also a great way to inject some print and color (sic) into your kitchen while keeping the overall design clean and bright,” she said.

All of these small touches are easy to introduce and remove if your preferences change so it’s a nice option when looking to play around with the overall theme of your kitchen design. Plus, who doesn’t love a room full of plants?

Anyone else craving a kitchen makeover project right now? Share your styling ideas with us in the comments below.

Log in to comment on this story!