Kitchen Art Ideas: How to Choose Art for Your Kitchen

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When you're finding the right art for your kitchen, you also have to work around appliances and color themes. Unlike areas with endless blank walls, the kitchen requires a much more precise sense of style. Placement, color matching and theme all play parts in the coming together of a newly decorated kitchen. Kitchen art connoisseurs must be equipped with an eye for detail, and the patience to hold out for the right piece.

Sizing Up

You've arranged all your appliances, put away all your dishes and stocked your cabinets with carb-heavy snacks. It is now time to make your walls your own. Before you set out on your kitchen art hunt, measure the walls you are going to decorate. Since most of the wall space in the kitchen will be functional, you will generally have one wall that will hold the bulk of your artwork. Map out a plan for this space before you start making purchases. Decide whether or not you want to focus on one or two large pieces, or several smaller pieces.

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Pick a Theme, Any Theme

Nothing will make you appear like more of a novice than a lack of theme. No one wants to walk into a kitchen that has a giant picture of baby giraffes, a set of Roman columns and a funhouse mirror adorning the walls. The best part about decorating a kitchen is that it doesn't have to coincide with the rest of your house, unless you want it to. Kitchen themes can be almost anything; you can choose to include some still life with fruit or to line your walls with fancy dinner plates. Here are a few popular themes that can get your decorating juices flowing:

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  • Contemporary - It's almost effortless to make the kitchen look sleek, sophisticated and contemporary. Add a few stainless steel appliances, and throw some black marble countertops in the mix, and you're set. When it comes to accompanying these pieces with complementary art, remember that less is more. A contemporary kitchen is all about the white space. A few abstract art pieces, or even hanging sculptures, will be welcome additions to a contemporary kitchen. Black-and-white photos can also drastically define a contemporary theme.
  • Country - Country kitchens are probably the easiest to shop for. One of the most popular themes in kitchen decorating, country kitchens give you a bit more wiggle room than contemporary kitchens do. Farmhouse decorations and vintage signs are an easy addition to a country-themed kitchen. Milk crates, vintage brand memorabilia and framed pictures of barnyard animals are all perfect accoutrements for any country kitchen. Decorating in red, white and blue can give it a rural American feel and add further specification to your theme.
  • Gourmet - If you're the type of person who spends all your time in the cookbook section of the bookstore, then a gourmet kitchen may be your best bet. Focus mainly on the culinary aspects of your kitchen space. Expensive and elegant appliances look best beside food-themed photographs and paintings. Framing your favorite recipes, or pictures of your own culinary adventures can really personalize the space.
  • Old World/Mediterranean - Widely regarded as the X on the culinary treasure map, the Mediterranean can provide great inspiration for the theme of your kitchen. If space allows, then displaying your wine collection in a nice rack or shelving unit can add sophistication to any kitchen space. Decorating in earthy tones and deep reds and purples will give a classic family home feel, such as that of Greece or Italy. Adorn your walls with geographical pictures and photographs that represent the culinary and social culture of the region.

Art Within Your Means

Nice artwork can be one of the most expensive things you buy for your home. If you're decorating on a budget, however, there is no reason you need to compromise your style or your chosen theme. Thrift stores, garage sales and discount department stores offer endless options for kitchen design on a dime. If you're the creative type, then you can try your hand at making your own artwork. If you take a kid-friendly approach to decorating, use your children's artwork. You can turn it into a family project. Set yourself up with a budget, and don't go crazy! If you want to make sure you don't go overboard assign a spend limit to each wall.

There's no reason you can't have a great looking kitchen, regardless of space, budget and theme restrictions. Make a plan before you hit the stores, and remember to personalize your space as much as you can. Impressing guests is great, but remember, you're the boss, boss.

Last Updated: March 19, 2013
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About Chanti Burnette Chanti was a freelance writer for

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