Whether you’ve just renovated your kitchen and it’s looking slick but devoid of character, or you’re living with a less-than-lovely cooking space because you’re renting or saving up to redo it, there are easy ways to add character to kitchens of all persuasions. The goal? To add your own personality to the space so it doesn’t look like everyone else’s. See which of these ideas appeal, and you might just be inspired to make some positive changes at your house.
1. Add a quirk or two
Sleek, contemporary kitchens may look up to the minute, but without a dash of something special or different, they can end up looking a little ho-hum. Adding a quirky vintage item, artwork or accessory – or several – will give your space the spark it may well be missing.
A blackboard is nothing new, and can look downright messy. Not this one though. A simple shelf painted in the same blackboard paint creates an opportunity for a quirky vignette complete with arrows pointing to the items. Imagine the same kitchen with a plain white wall instead…
Retro relics can add quirk galore, and if they spark joy when you look at them or use them, you’ve made the right choice. Turning on this radio when you’re cooking dinner is sure to make it a whole lot more fun – no matter what your singing voice is like. And the good news? This radio may look like it’s straight out of the 1950s, but it’s actually brand new.
2. Add an element you want to touch
A little texture can make a kitchen infinitely more welcoming and certainly more interesting. The touchable tiles on this splashback have become the star in this kitchen because of their unexpected texture and colour. Yes, I want to run a hand along them to see what they feel like too.
Adding texture needn’t involve making lasting changes to your kitchen. Updating the stools or pendants with texture in mind will achieve a similar result.
3. Add a bit of bling
A glimmer of gold, copper or bronze can take any kitchen upmarket. Luckily, there are more ways than one to introduce metallics to the zone – changing cupboard and drawer handles is an easy one, but accessorising is even easier. Consider placing condiments on a shimmery tray, grouping wooden spoons into a copper vase, displaying fruit in a golden bowl. More than one accessory in the same shade will tie the scheme together.
Copper-lined pendant lights can completely transform a kitchen, especially if the kitchen is otherwise all white. By day, they add a touch of colour and shine, but by night they really bring a kitchen to life. A sleek, modern kitchen risks feeling cold and sterile at night, but these pendants add a warm and welcoming glow.
4. Add the unexpected
Cookie-cutter kitchens are nice, but who wants nice when you can have a kitchen that wows? The tiles on the front of this island bench give this kitchen character galore, without deviating from the Hamptons style of this Sydney home. Imagine the same bench in black or white. Still fine, but not nearly as lovely.
A bright blue fridge in an otherwise light kitchen? It’s unexpected, but somehow it just works.
5. Add meaning
If you’re pretty happy with your kitchen (and your fridge), why not personalise the space with a gallery of family photos? Washing the dishes is much more fun in the company of loved ones, after all.
This elaborate light can be personalised in any number of ways; it comes equipped with sheets of Japanese paper to be attached with paper clips. Pen a poem or an inspirational quote, or encourage guests to leave a little something behind when they go in the form of a handwritten note.
6. Add a homemade touch
Open shelving is ideal for showing off treasures and curated displays, but when those items are made by hand, the display is all the more meaningful. Hand-crafted ceramics add an earthy touch, or why not give the little ones in your life a confidence boost by giving their creations pride of place? Wonky craft pieces made by eager little hands have an appeal all their own.
This may be going a little far with the kids’ artwork for your liking, but look how much character it adds!
7. Add colour
A brightly coloured rug or mat can work miracles in a contemporary kitchen. Have a selection on hand so you always have a clean one to grab if another is in the wash or drying on the line.
Accessories that are as useful as they are colourful do double-duty in any kitchen. Bunch them into a wide-mouthed canister on the bench for easy access.
It’s the chairs in this kitchen that make it feel so cheery, wouldn’t you agree?
8. Add artwork
The reason we display works of art on the walls of our homes is to add colour and personality, and the kitchen should be no different. This beautiful kitchen becomes unique only with the addition of art.
A show-stopping painting hung on the wall between the kitchen and living area brings colour and life to a contemporary white kitchen.
How have you added extra personality to your kitchen? Share your tips in the Comments.
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Credit: Joanna Tovia 5 October 2016
Houzz Australia Contributor. Freelance journalist specialising in interiors, travel and social issues. See more: www.joannatovia.com