Wall decor isn’t necessarily the first thing that comes to mind when designing a kitchen, but just because it’s not as functional as, say, the oven or sink doesn’t mean it isn’t a crucial element in a happy cooking space. Although storage space and natural light on the walls are priorities, there are many ways to be economical with kitchen wall decor. So we’ve rounded up our favorite examples. As soon as you see the 20 designer kitchens with stylish and creative works of art in front of you, you should make the decoration of the walls a priority, stat.
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Veggie still life collection
With a natural stone backsplash followed by a divider shelf, the artwork, sconces and figurines are safely displayed above the splash zone in this deVOL kitchen. A touch of green color contrasts with the deep teal cabinets peeking out in the lower right corner. If you’re not sure what kind of art you want in the kitchen, you can always count on a product theme.
In this kitchen designed by Kim Dempster and Erin Martin, a cupboard is covered in chalk paint for notes and reminders, but doubles as a canvas for creative expression!
Hanging pots (and pigs!)
Are you forced to store your pots and pans outdoors due to limited storage space? All the more reason to invest in good cookware that is also pretty. In this Sheila Bridges kitchen, the hanging cookware is further enhanced by contrasting artwork and shimmery blue wallpaper (those cast-iron pigs are cute too!).
Statement pottery and glassware
Decorative objects and carefully curated barware on the exposed shelves bring depth and intrigue to the wall in this kitchen designed by Arent & Pyke. If you like a collected, eclectic vibe, Zellige tiles and a mishmash of artworks and objects are a good route.
Sure, the kitchen might be small, but where there’s a wall, there’s a way. In fact, even a few inches more wall space is enough if you have a ladder. The bright wall art in this kitchen by Commune Design is proof.
Designer Dee Murphy added a custom brass shelf between the Hellman range and the hood to place knick-knacks and a mirror that makes the room appear larger. She mentioned that staying clean isn’t nearly as high-maintenance as you’d think, either.
Asymmetrical floating shelf display
Ultra-smooth cement floors, stainless steel counters and backsplashes, and a gray stone island get a dose of warmth from the red stools and wood finishes, but wall decor really puts the finishing touches to this kitchen by Arent & Pyke. Because it only sits on a small portion of the wall, the floating shelf stays consistent with the minimalist look. Plus, the asymmetry is undeniably cool. Plus, plus: The painting almost looks like a still life of the actual room.
If your kitchen wall is lined with windows, you might want to consider a pretty treatment that doesn’t block the light entirely, such as an emerald green. B. Cafe curtains. This brings a more personal style even if you have limited wall space to hang items. And if you keep your shelves open, you can display a little work of art behind the coating, like Heidi Caillier did here. This also protects it from splashes.
Disco dancing for breakfast lunch and dinner? Yes, please. Designed by ETC.etera for LA’s Firehouse Hotel, this kitchen features a mirrored tile backsplash that contrasts nicely with the casual wicker stools. A metal light fixture and contemporary artwork make it stand out even more.
Designer Karen Swanson limited the number of wall units she installed in this English countryside-inspired kitchen, explaining that “so many people want to cover the wall with cupboards, but that can make a kitchen feel heavy and claustrophobic.” Instead, she opted for sleek glass-fronted storage columns lined with matte oak to highlight the crockery, which also freed up wall space for larger artworks and better diffusion of natural light. A colorful tile mirror also serves as a wall decoration.
A cute little surprise is a tiny framed nautical painting above the cabinets. Since the top covers almost the entire wall in this coastal kitchen designed by Kevin Isbell, the glass cabinets get a little fun with the patterned fabric lining.
A large scale statement piece will do the trick, as exemplified in this contemporary California kitchen by Romanek Design Studio. The inky backdrop is a nod to the modern steel-framed windows, while the shades of green speak to the lush views beyond. If you’re working with a similarly light and airy space, consider a similar selection of artwork.
Site Specific Pieces
Designer Gary McBournie used Benjamin Moore’s Covington Blue to evoke the 1930s and ’40s, “something from an old Bette Davis movie,” he says. And since this kitchen is on the water, he chose nautical artwork that speaks to the surroundings.
Intelligently scaled graphics
Reclaimed wood shelves create a contrast –and necessary storage space in this deVOL kitchen. The most beautiful items are displayed on the exposed wall-to-wall shelves and shelves, allowing the less attractive essentials to be tucked away in the closets, and the rest of the wall is extended by a landscape painting that makes the space appear wider.
Painted bricks and tiny frames
Heidi Caillier painted the cabinets an ice blue hue and the brick walls white for a lighter aesthetic, then secured a small piece of art to add some moody depth. The brass fittings and mountings speak to the gilded frame.
Leaning frame and accessories
A glossy finish on these cabinets reflects light back into the space, and a small raised shelf between the cabinets and wall-to-wall windows allows for decorative freedom. Andrew Flesher took a cue from an antique still life and then added a candelabra and plant for an extra punch.
Scott Meacham Wood used all of the available wall space in this tiny kitchen. A trio of three-dimensional objects frame the archway and a clock brings old-world charm.
If you don’t want to overdo it with the wall decoration, you can use tiles as works of art. In this deVOL kitchen, the unique abstract backsplash acts as a décor and is easy to clean. Take it a step further with a striking paint color.
Create a gallery wall out of plates like Anna Spiro did here. Not only can you use them to display your collection of family heirlooms or unused but lovely crockery, but they are easy to wipe clean, while most other artworks don’t give you that option. (See how to hang a panel wall here).
A wall sculpture on the adjoining corridor wall and two small parts in the actual kitchen do their job here. If you’re worried about damaging art or just don’t have enough wall space, lean on sculptural lighting for a fun accent in the kitchen. Tamsin Johnson chose a pretty sconce just above this art in the back right corner.
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