8 Creative Kitchen Decor Ideas (That Involve Zero Renovating)

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They often say the kitchen is the heart of the home: You use it for lounging, socializing, cooking and everything in between. However, if you can’t stand the way it looks, you’re probably prone to avoiding it altogether—and what a waste of square footage that can be.

This versatile space can encompass so much, incorporating a number of different styles depending on what you’re looking for. No matter whether you want a family-friendly space to gather or simply an area in the home where you can get your sous vide on in peace, there’s always a way to create a kitchen that’s stylish and functional. Even if you’re limited on space. And even if you can’t undertake a massive reno. To help you out, we asked interior designers for their top kitchen decor ideas, along with no-effort purchases to make those concepts a reality.

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lauren nelson image credit bess friday
DESIGN: Lauren Nelson Design/PHOTO: Bess Friday

The Right Cabinet Hardware Can Make Your Kitchen Look More High-end

“New cabinet hardware and natural stone make inexpensive cabinetry look anything but cheap,” says Lauren Nelson, owner and principal of Lauren Nelson Design. “For our studio kitchen, we almost bought fancy custom cabinetry, but then decided to go budget on cabinets. We splurged on my favorite stone for the countertop and backsplash, creating an elevated, old-world look that complements the more modern cabinets.”

Even if you can’t spring for new countertops or a backsplash, you may find a fresh coat of paint and upscale knobs and pulls can make a huge difference in refreshing the room overall. Here are three options to consider:

kitchen decor ideas cabinet pull

1. Amerock St. Vincent Center-to-center Polished Nickel Cabinet Pull

This easy pull’s angular lines and metallic finishes give it a polished feel.

kitchen decor ideas lucite knob

2. Lucite Knob

A trendy combination of steel and Lucite, these knobs would really pop in a two-toned kitchen.

kitchen decor ideas edge bail pulls

3. Flattened Edge Bail Pulls Black/gold

A gold-finished bail hangs from polished black brass to provide a look that’s simple, yet stylish.

BUY IT ($43)

kitchen decor ideas bar cart storage

Chic Storage Can Help Keep Your Countertops Organized

“Kitchens are arguably the hardest working spaces in your home and should therefore be beautiful and functional! We recommend keeping the accessories to a minimum, so work spaces are always clean and clear,” says Maggie Griffin, founder and lead designer of Maggie Griffin Design. “We love to use a simple crock for utensils and a pretty tray for those items we use every day, such as olive oil, salt and pepper. Creative items like bar carts work too!” With that in mind, these three styles will liven up just about any space:

1. Oscarine Lucite Bar Cart

An art deco-inspired piece with solid brass and reflective Lucite, this easy bar cart looks just as good tucked away in the kitchen as it does in the center of attention at parties.

kitchen decor ideas baguette trolley
One King's Lane

2. Schorr & Dobinsky Baguette Trolley

This vintage piece is perfect for storing everything from loose pots and pans to all those linens you bought that year you got really into tablescapes.

BUY IT ($995)

kitchen decor ideas wood canister

3. Acacia Wood Canister, Decorative Magnolia Lid

Both practical and decorative, this canister is perfect for stowing sugar, flour—or all those matchbooks you’ve pocketed from restaurants over the years.

meagan camp interiors rikki snyder
Meagan Camp Interiors/PHOTO: Rikki Snyder

Use Linens For A Pop Of Color

“I'm a firm believer the kitchen space is a room dedicated to function, and therefore the accessories should be kept utilitarian,” says Meagan Camp of Meagan Camp Interiors. “Linens are a different way to bring in color and personality. I love French vintage dish towels, or a set of Turkish dish cloths. Pretty kitchen towels look equally great folded neatly at the edge of a sink, as they do crumpled up on the counter!”

kitchen decor ideas nancy dish towels

1. Nancy Dish Towels, Set Of 2

Striped with a tufted edge, these simple dish towels are machine washable for easy cleanup.

kitchen decor ideas kitchen towels
Sur La Table

2. Deruta-style Linen Kitchen Towel

Old-school but elegant, this charming linen kitchen towel’s designs are inspired by the Italian countryside.

kitchen decor ideas magnolia

3. Hand Towel, Heart & Hand With Magnolia

Alternating pink and grey stripes make this hand towel stand out, and the extra-long hem makes it all the more attention-getting. While it may technically be for a bathroom, using it near your kitchen sink works just as well. You design rebel, you.

BUY IT ($8)

kendall wilkinson design paul dyer
DESIGN: Kendall Wilkinson Design/PHOTO: Paul Dyer

Ceramic Platters Are A Fun Way To Mix And Match

"Kitchens have always been and will always remain the heart of every home, no matter how technologically advanced we get, or how virtual we may start to live,” says Kendall Wilkinson of Kendall Wilkinson Design. “Using ceramic platters and dishes highlights the food and allows for mixing and matching over time. As a mother to two teenage boys, things often break, and it's nice to know that everything works together, so I don't get hung up on perfectly matched items. Vintage Italian and French pitchers and platters can also be a fun way to add character and texture to your islands.”

kitchen decor ideas ceramic platter

1. Blue Lily Ceramic Platter, Rectangle

Each piece is made by hand, creating a one-of-a-kind focal point for your countertops.

kitchen decor ideas fruit bowl

2. Juliska Le Panier Footed Fruit Bowl

Working as both a centerpiece and a serving piece, this crafted bowl features a timeless blue basket weaved motif that makes the otherwise all-white piece feel a little fancier.

kitchen decor ideas farmers pitcher
One King's Lane

3. Farmer’s Pitcher, Natural/white

Ina Garten would totally approve of you using this classic water jug as a vase, so consider it a dual-purpose investment in your decor.

BUY IT ($58)

kitchen decor ideas christian mackie unsplash

Greenery Adds An Organic Feel

“Always incorporate live greenery in a kitchen [as well as] other organic elements,” says Dawn Hamilton of DawnElise Interiors. You can even use fake plants if you’re so inclined, and also hang up spices and flowers around the kitchen for a fragrant feel without resorting to synthetics.

kitchen decor ideas stella orchid planter decoration

1. Stella Orchid Planter Decoration

This faux orchid may not look exactly like the real thing, but it’s been designed by florists to ensure that it’s the perfect complement to any space. And it spares you the hassle of freaking out whether you’re watering too much or not enough (aka every orchid owner’s dilemma).

kitchen decor ideas tricolor fern plant

2. Tricolor Fern Plant 

A tropical fern with a delicate foliage, this plant changes color as it grows—from red to bronze to bright green. How cool is that?

kitchen decor ideas willow woven base wall mount planter

3. Willow Woven Base Wall Mount Planter

Consisting of a round woven basket that easily mounts on the wall, this faux plant adds a touch of green to even the smallest of spaces.

BUY IT ($15)

kendall wilkinson interiors joe fletcher
DESIGN: Kendall Wilkinson Interiors/PHOTO: Joe Fletcher

Play Around With Your Bar Stools

Another fun way to mix and match, according to Wilkinson, is through the use of bar stools. You can buy a number of different ones in varying styles—think boho, modern, farmhouse and the like—or you can keep changing them up by reupholstering your old ones as you tire (or wear out) the current design. It’s an easy way to keep the kitchen space interesting.

kitchen decor ideas leo tufted barstool
One King's Lane

1. Leo Tufted Barstool

Talk about royal: This navy barstool has ample padding for your back, while the long legs give it a regal feel.

BUY IT ($345)

kitchen decor ideas rumford saddle counter stool

2. Rumford Saddle Counter Stool With Wood Leg

Made from durable hardwood and trimmed with a nailhead border, this upholstered counter stool is great for gathering around the kitchen island.

kitchen decor ideas bar stools

3. Modern Square Pu Leather Adjustable Bar Stools

For more of a modern feel, this swivel chair is totally the way to go: A 360-degree turn, a chrome base and a sizable footrest allow for complete comfort.

kitchen decor ideas becca tapert unsplash

Show Off Your Cookbooks

“Don't forget your cookbooks!” says Camp. “Oftentimes, the photography is vibrant and colorful. Why not open up a page and prop the book onto a stand? The imagery will act as decor, while also providing dinner inspiration.”

kitchen decor ideas magnolia table

1. magnolia Table, Volume 2: A Collection Of Recipes For Gathering

If you’re inspired by designer/cook/lifestyle guru Joanna Gaines (and honestly, who isn’t?), her collection of classic comforts will leave everyone in the home satisfied and asking for seconds… even the pickiest eaters.

kitchen decor ideas healthyish

2. healthyish

If you work long hours and never have the time to put together a nutritious meal, this cookbook has the solution: Straightforward instructions paired with easy ingredients make healthy eating accessible for everyone.

kitchen decor ideas platters and boards

3. platters And Boards

Throwing a party? Want to feel like you’re throwing a party? These casual-chic spreads are designed for any number of people to share—and they’re super easy to make as well.

kitchen decor ideas good soul shop unsplash

Hang Up Certain Items So Your Island Stays Clutter-free

“Install a pot rack so you can store pots and pans, and hang herbs and flowers to dry out,” says Ginny Macdonald, principal and founder of Ginny Macdonald Design. “They not only look good, but they'll smell really fragrant.” This will also help save your countertops from unnecessary clutter, which is even more important if you’re in a small space.

kitchen decor ideas pot rack
One King's Lane

1. 12-hook Pot Rack, Graphite

Powder-coated steel gives this rack a polished feel, while the grid and hooks allow your pots and pans to be displayed with ease.

BUY IT ($69)

kitchen decor ideas storage rack

2. Provincial Basket Storage Rack

Made from crafted, recycled wood, this wall rack has buckets of varying sizes so you can store whatever knickknacks you desire.

kitchen decor ideas spice rack organizer

3. Kamenstein 30020 Revolving 20-jar Countertop Spice Rack Tower Organizer

Featuring a modern, stainless steel display with a revolving design, this is an easy way to store tons of spices for all your cooking needs. And access them all without causing an avalanche in your pantry.

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purewow author

Freelance Writer

Nikhita Mahtani is a freelance food, home and wellness journalist based in NYC. She has been writing about everything from viral wellness trends to trendy homes since she...