Let us start out by saying that hyper-functional kitchens deserve purely aesthetic design moments, too. All too often, this all important room is approached with a more utilitarian mindset – focused on storage and appliances over character and soul. We get it, you have meals to cook after all. While we’re all for a good organizational hack, we also believe there is ample opportunity to infuse warmth, personality, and charm into these heart-of-the-home spaces.
Take the below kitchen decor ideas, for example. From one-of-a-kind vintage rugs and unique vignettes to statement seating and eye-catching lighting, there are countless ways to personalize your cook space. Even a stack of cookbooks or an open shelving situation can balance out the purely functional tile, counters, and cabinetry.
Ahead, Havenly designer Kelsey Fischer dishes on all of her favorite ways to spice up a kitchen, from wallpaper to greenery.
Kitchen Decor Idea #1: Vintage Rugs
A vintage rug not only brings color and lovely texture to your kitchen, it also adds personality and a sense of history. It’s the perfect accompaniment to an otherwise neutral space. Layer as a runner in front of your sink or cabinetry, or even add to your breakfast nook.
Kitchen Decor Idea #2: Colorful Accents
To add color to your cook space without making a long-term commitment (like retiling your backsplash or painting your cabinets), consider vibrant accents. From decorative vintage bottles of the same hue to a bold set of canisters or bright, decorative bowls, these lightweight accessories make a bold impact (and are easy to swap out).
Kitchen Decor Idea #3: Wooden Touches
Whether you opt for bar stools or countertop cutting boards, adding wooden accents to your kitchen is a surefire way to warm up this traditionally utilitarian space. It doesn’t have to be a big purchase, either — pick up a wooden fruit bowl for your counter or artfully display wooden spoons in a ceramic vase.
Kitchen Decor Idea #4: Checkerboard Tile
Classic black-and-white check patterns are making a comeback (check out the other trends that are so hot, and what’s not here), and we especially love this bold look for kitchen tile. It’s such a chic and timeless way to add personality and pattern to your space. Pair with colorful accents for a more playful vibe, or weave in vintage decor for a Parisian Modern feel.
Kitchen Decor Idea #5: Statement Lighting
Skip the standard countertop pendents and go big with a statement light fixture, like the starburst-style piece pictured above. Lighting is one of the easiest ways to completely transform an otherwise neutral kitchen. Pro tip: consider swapping out lighting in your rental for a more custom aesthetic that suits your style. Just make sure to switch it back before you move.
Kitchen Decor Idea #6: Unique Artwork
What’s the best way to make your kitchen feel more warm and inviting? Add artwork. But think beyond the cliche wine paintings and feasting-themed word art and opt for pieces that are truly meaningful – like a vintage portrait or canvas discovered while traveling. You can even lean a few pieces on your countertop or open shelves to add verticality and character.
Kitchen Decor Idea #7: Bold Seating
Why not have your chair double as a work of art? If you want to add a real “wow” factor to your kitchen, consider ultra luxe brass counter stools or sculptural dining chairs (pro tip: select a finish that complements your paint color, as pictured above).
Kitchen Decor Idea #8: Statement-Making Wallpaper
Nothing can bring life and personality to a space quite like wallpaper. Use it on the walls, ceiling, under the kitchen island, or around your cabinetry to create a unique design moment — the possibilities are endless!
Kitchen Decor Idea #9: Bold Window Treatments
A lot of people overlook kitchen windows entirely — but window treatments are actually a great opportunity to add some design flair! You can add color, pattern, or texture with roman shades, cafe curtains, or bamboo blinds.
Kitchen Decor Idea #10: Open Shelving
Open shelving is definitely the kitchen trend of the moment! If you have gorgeous cookware that’s too beautiful for a cabinet, like a KitchenAid stand mixer, vintage crock pot, or even beautiful plates, give them their due spotlight. These gems are both functional and beautiful.
Kitchen Decor Idea #11: Texture on Texture
Due to the limited space and a pragmatic mindset, kitchens can often be devoid of texture. But organic accents like wicker stools, woven pendant lights, and even a simple wooden cutting board are surefire ways to warm up a cook space (especially if you love the white-on-white look).
Kitchen Decor Idea #12: Personal Vignettes
Create little display opportunities in your kitchen to showcase your personal style. Even a small open shelving situation, or a thoughtful countertop moment, allows for a cute, curated vignette that can really add to your space — show off your favorite cocktail glasses, cookbooks, and even a vintage bust.
Kitchen Decor Idea #13: Decorative Plants & Greenery
From a trailing Pothos plant to a fresh bouquet from your local farmer’s market, greenery in the kitchen will never go out of style. Consider displaying a few herbs on your windowsill or investing in dried florals for an inviting touch.
Looking to style the kitchen of your dreams? Our designers are standing by — start with our style quiz!