3 Design Lessons to Become Fearless in the Kitchen

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Image: House Beautiful

This space, designed by Beth Martell and Enda Donagher, proves that kitchens are all about what you make of them. Take not of these three lessons to broaden your design horizons and bring your kitchen to life.

1. Be fearless and choose colors that move you

Kitchens tend to be a little more permanent than other design choices, which may explain why we shy away from adding color. But, as with any project, paint is paint, meaning it can always be changed. Yes, it requires more prep work (and perhaps the touch of a professional hand) but like wall color, kitchen cabinetry can be transformed into a powerful statement and later neutralized all with the swipe of a brush.

To ensure the color is livable, pick a color inspired by something you love. With the help of technology, you can easily match anything—artwork, a favorite flower, or, in the case of this kitchen, old wooden candlesticks. Bold hues seem less intrusive when they elicit good feelings. And as an extra precaution, temper your color choice with an element of visual relief. This kitchen uses white Caesarstone countertops, letting the eye rest among brilliant shades of blue.

2. When it comes to seating, “cram in and slide around”

3 Design Lessons to Become Fearless in the Kitchen on the Interior CollectiveImage: House Beautiful

For a kitchen to be the heart of a home, you’ll want to make sure there are plenty of seats available. This kitchen maximizes space with a well-placed, multifunctional banquette. Banquettes are ultra-efficient in that they fit more people than a set number of chairs- just “cram in and slide around” as Enda Donagher notes. Besides, what could be more fun than packing into your personal version of a restaurant booth? Add a few more seats at the breakfast bar, a must-have in every home, and your kitchen will quickly become a favorite hangout spot.

3. And finally, decorate with what you love

3 Design Lessons to Become Fearless in the KitchenImage: House Beautiful

Now that we have an inspiring color to set the mood and comfy seating for all, give your guests something beautiful to look at that reflects your style and personality. We rarely see people dare to decorate their kitchens with anything found outside the designated aisle of a home goods store. But why limit yourself?! Offset the utilitarian nature of a kitchen with thoughtful art and objects. As seen above, this kitchen features a hand-painted mural, blue-and-white china from years of collecting, and the French blue candlesticks that inspired this vibrant design.

You’re only limited by your imagination; it’s trite but true! Ready to rethink your kitchen?

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Desiré is a designer, blogger, and lover of all things glamorous. Though primarily a self-taught decorator, Desiré studied at The Art Institute, where she honed a distinct aesthetic largely influenced by the Modern Glamour movement, the theme of her popular design blog, Sukio. Not only is she considered a "closet fashionista," discreetly stashing handbags and shoes whenever possible, but, as an MIT graduate, she’s also an undercover nerd. Fashion, nerdom, and several years as a Washingtonian have combined to shape her unique perspective on interior design.