recipe for style.
I’ve recently been on a spring cleaning kick that has morphed into more mindful decorating. I have become a lot better at letting go of “things” that make my space feel crowded. Instead, I am opting for light decoration and organization to allow for increased negative space for more positive vibes. As I do this, I have realized that there is a lot of intention that goes into curating the perfect, cohesive space; from the floor to the ceiling (quite literally) in every room you take on.
For my first foray into home design and decorating inspiration, I wanted to share my ideas for a living space that is often busy with activity and can be overwhelmed with details: the kitchen. Whether for family dinners, homework study sessions, a quiet space to collect one’s thoughts over a cup of tea or a quick lunch for two before weekend errands are underway, I feel as though kitchens can sometimes be overlooked as the cornerstone of living space. In an effort to make the kitchen more conducive to all the things it could and should be used for, I’ve been watching quite a bit of HGTV lately to collect ideas. And, as all good lifestyle bloggers do, I’ve created a pin-board to organize the things I love. While it was hard to choose, here are a few of my favorite components to the quintessential minimalist kitchen (sprinkled with some inspiration from my real life):
A cool canvas: Starting with a white or grey background, I feel like there is a lot of room for creativity. Whether you choose to balance out a soft neutral with a bold color or implement soft shades to accent statement decorations, there’s so much you can do with a clean base color as your starting point. Even with just a simple detail like a bouquet of fresh flowers, a single dishtowel or a decorative vase, a basic background keeps things looking fresh and versatile from season-to-season.
Creative metalwork: I grew up in a kitchen that was very rustic and romantic. The modern appliances we had always stuck out to me as they were much more contemporary than the wallpaper and baskets they were housed against. Growing up, I’ve come to appreciate metallic finishes and how they can enhance clean lines. Modern details are especially interesting to me as they provide a bit of a retro feel without being too antique.
Pattern play: Another creative way to work whimsy into a space you want to seem thoughtfully organized is to implement geometry. Whether you mimic the rectangular outlines of a cabinet in a wooden mail holder or highlight the exposed wood grain of a countertop with other natural wooden finishes, there are so many original ways to personalize your design theme. Grid lines are reminiscent of cooking sheets and checker-print while stripes serve as a classic and timeless design you can pair with almost anything else. (Think: Gingham & stripes.)
Go natural: And while we’re talking about wood, why not incorporate something natural into your space? I love flowers but for those who find them a little morbid, there’s nothing like hanging plants or succulents on a counter to decorate a room the way Earth elements do. I love the idea of bright flowers against an all-white table or naturally soft-rubbed stones as doorstops. Exposed brick, wood and other substrate-like textures are unexpected raw materials that are about as back-to-basics as you can get. For example, quartz is an extremely durable surface that is twice as hard as granite, low maintenance, heat-, bacteria- and stain-resistant, as well as chip- and scratch-resistant. Overall, it is a high-performing surface that would make for a creative countertop that is luxurious and low maintenance. It’s all about prioritizing what you appreciate most about natural details.
Show your colors: Despite my inclination for a cool background, it doesn’t mean that everything needs to feel simple or stark. If vibrant bohemian curtains are your “must have”, consider draping them artfully over a solid beam or two, using them as a table runner or displaying them in a window with minimal and neutral-shaded decorations around them so the focus is entirely on them. I like to keep my colors cool but boldness can be treasured well with the right context. For summer, I’d recommend soft shades of peach, daffodil, mint or cool blue hues. Think summer florals, ethereal greens and other natural hues and textures.
With these tips for a more a styled space, you can evaluate what it is that is absolutely essential to decorate a place where you can eat, play, work or celebrate without feeling crowded. Of course there will be sentimental pieces or aspects you will want to tie in and having a minimalistic space you can build on will offer lots of options as you collect and redesign your space with treasured mementos, party decorations or maintain the feel of a room for days and weeks to come.
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