Thursday, January 14, 2010

Day 929: making kitchens livable

Since I posted this Montgomery house, I've been thinking about kitchens that are less-kitcheny. Some of you were concerned about that kitchen for utilitarian reasons, and believe me, I'm all for a useful kitchen. But I still want it to be beautiful. So unless you can completely start from scratch like Mark and Richard did, how can you make a normal kitchen feel a little more like the rest of your house?

How about adding some artwork (like above)? These are well out of the way of potential spills and splatters, which is an obvious concern.

Kitchens are full of so many hard surfaces, a little fabric goes a long way to soften them up. Pretty shades or curtains, skirted tables, or even skirted chairs (like these, from Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles) can help to break up the expanse of horizontal and vertical lines.

I've posted about this before, but I still love the idea of borrowing a rug from another room. The oriental rugs in this Barbara Westbrook-designed kitchen are an unexpected touch.

Lighting is another element of the Montgomery kitchen that set it apart. Instead of the usual pendant, why not try a chandelier? Or even two if you've got the space (like this kitchen, photographed by Chris Little for Southern Accents).

Have you done anything to your kitchen to make it less kitchen-y?


Ally said...

I absolutely love the kitchen in the last photo from Southern Accents! Wow!
Ally@Tales Of A Fourth Grade Nothing

Danielle and Clint said...

I really love how the kitchens are matchy matchy. Great collection of pictures!

La Maison Fou said...

I am looking into re vamping my kitchen this year, there are the 3 walls that will stay, but with one already down to the studs, ( water issue ) I think it will go back together with more thought. I would like to see more unique lighting fixtures, cabinetry finish, and a personal touch with the island, coushions for the bar stool chairs ( already snatched up this winter ). I am also thinking of where & how I can incorporate more art into the space, of course I consider art to be many media & some fragmental pieces that otheres would consider not.
I will keep up with the progress on the blog this year.
Thanks for the inspiration.

Erin said...

LOVE the chandelier idea!

Mark Leslie said...

Thanks for enjoying our kitchen. If you'd like to see the rest of it from a different angle, please check out my blog and this direct link to the photo:
Also, you can see more of the chandelier, which I think is helpful. I enjoy this blog and was surprised when our house became a talking point. Fun!

Gail said...

I totally agree that a kitchen should not only be functional...but Beautiful! Or really any room for that matter. If a room doesn't make you want to dance & sing when you go into it...there's something wrong. :)


MollyO said...

We have a favorite rug from Crispina Ffrench ( that we relocated to our kitchen a couple of months ago. It makes our standard university housing apartment feel much more homey --like a real apartment. Of course I worry about spills, but the rug is easy to clean b/c it's made from old sweaters.

Eleanor said...

Love this pictures! Do you have a source for the timberframe kitchen with the skirted bar stools? My parents are building a timberframe cabin and we are looking for more photos like this one for inspiration! Thanks! Eleanor

Alla said...

I also love the kitchen in the last photo, imagine having a dinner party for 20 at that table.

To make our kitchen less kitchen-y we hung up various artwork collected during travels.

Catherine said...

I just posted on my kitchen shelves (transfer ware) and mentioned THIS post! I just love that first image - so comfy cozy delicious! xoTrina

Tammy said...

I took a mirror that went to a buffet at some time in the past and turned it into a pot rack. It adds a different element and has a shelf above it that I put pictures on and some other fun things.
Take a look :

sarah said...

check out this awesome discount for tinsel trading!


Jen of MadeByGirl said...

WOW that bottom pic...that kitchen is HUGE!! It's almost like a kitchen you'd find in a castle ...with a modern twist. I think the only thing I've done to make my kitchen less- kitcheny is place a large chalkboard on one of the walls...

Jen Ramos
'Cards & Prints You'll Love...'

Shannan Martin said...

I have framed art up on my open shelving, too. I also have a desk/hutch combo that really breaks up the "kitcheny" in my kitchen. :) Great post!