Interiors: How to display art in your kitchen

Great kitchen design should be about more than efficient storage, built-in appliances and gleaming worktops. It’s the heart of the home where you want to feel visually inspired to create delicious meals, have sparkling conversations or just sit quietly with a cup of tea. Art can do all that and more. Rather than keeping art out of the kitchen, be bold and create a visual feast right there in the middle of it all. From holiday photos to traditional oil paintings, everyday kitchen tools to iconic designer objects, art can take many forms. The important thing is to make it a part of your everyday life. Use your creativity to design something unique and beautiful, something that will enhance your kitchen beyond the merely functional. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:

Large or small

Considerations of scale are always important. Depending on the space available and the size of the artwork you want to feature, you can make a big statement with a diminutive work of art as much as with a huge canvas.
Balance a bold oversized installation with pared back cabinetry in neutral tones for maximum effect. Petite prints or paintings can be given a larger presence with an oversized mount or chunky frame, or featured with accent lighting.
It’s important to bear in mind that artworks can be fragile and may need extra protection in a kitchen environment. Water, steam, oil splatters or dust can all damage delicate creations, so either place your artwork well away from possible danger or take precautions.

Kitchen art
[image credit]

Gallery style

If you have a collection of prints or paintings you wish to display, there are different ways they can be arranged. You could try a cluster filling a feature wall, perhaps on a blank space at the end of a run of wall units, or above a breakfast table. Lay everything out on the floor first to decide on how to group and space individual items before you install them on the wall. Alternatively, hang a series of pictures in a neat row or grid.
Try grouping your items together around something they all have in common – same subject matter, colour scheme, technique or style of art to create a sense of unity. Why not use your artwork to guide and inspire your kitchen design and colour schemes rather than the other way round? It’s a thought.

More than painting

Art can be so much more than a fine art print or a professional photograph flatteringly displayed. Allow your eyes to open wider and use whatever is around you to inject a bit of colourful fun into your kitchen. Vintage wall charts of botanical drawings, old family recipe cards, advertising posters and food packaging can all be used to stunning effect to lift your kitchen beyond the ordinary.
What about a chalkboard where you can make your own art, again and again? Don’t forget that words can be art too. From inspirational kitchen quotes to single feature words, display them prominently if you can. Art is what you make it.

Colours and textures

Of course, art doesn’t have to be in a frame at all. Visual excitement in the kitchen can come from colours, patterns and wallpapers, fabrics and furnishings, even a vase of fresh flowers. From William Morris to Cath Kidston, rustic chic to uber slick, there are countless ways to incorporate art into a kitchen scheme.
Tie in your colour schemes across design aesthetics to produce a unified result anchored or enhanced by a piece of artwork in the kitchen. Don’t forget to include table linen, kitchen tools and appliances to provide colour accents.

Sculpture – think 3D

Who says that art has to come from a gallery, or be two dimensional for that matter? Any item of furniture, kitchen gadget or home furnishing can be art if you let it!
A wall of shelving can be a showpiece of everything your kitchen holds dear – colourful cookware and tableware, sculptural objects and little quirky finds. Interesting contrasts are best achieved by juxtaposing priceless porcelain with innocent toddler creations for a unique family collection that never gets boring.
Kitchen gadgets and appliances can double up as sculptural objects. From Alessi’s iconic Juicy Salif citrus press to Elica’s Celestial chandelier cooker hood, no-one can deny that the artistic qualities of these functional kitchen items would make a stunning addition to the hub of any home.

Feature nature

Finally, if you have outside windows or doors in your kitchen and a view you love outside, make the most of it. Keeping your walls and interiors plain, use kitchen windows or patio doors to frame the beautiful natural scenery – or vibrant urban vibe – outside. Who says art even has to be tangible?

This article is courtesy of Dakota Murphey, working alongside London based interior design specialists Halcyon Interiors.


2 thoughts on “Interiors: How to display art in your kitchen

  1. Great tips! I’ve always wanted to put up some art (ones that aren’t of vegetables or fruits) up in the kitchen but have always been on the fence about it because I wasn’t sure how to make it work!

  2. Great article, Lauren. My wife and I just moved into a new apartment in Brooklyn, and we have a pretty basic kitchen. These art ideas will definitely spice it up. I’ll try a few of them this weekend, would be a fun thing to do with the wifey! 😀

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *