There are many kitchen decorating themes on which you can base your design. But there lies the problem.

What exactly do we mean by a 'theme'? How do you decide which theme to go with?

This article will give you a clearer idea of how to go about selecting a theme and using it in your kitchen decorating.

To simplify the task we've split the themes into different groups. Some themes are heavily influenced by necessity, such as what type of kitchen units are available to you. Others, like color, are completely under your control.

In many situations you can combine different themes when deciding on your decorating.


Decorating themes

These are kitchen decorating themes based on features which you may either want or you have to accept. Here are some examples.

Cook's kitchen

If you're an expert cook and you want your kitchen to provide you with specialist features, the resulting design will be different from a normal family kitchen. Your cooker will be a professional one, and you'll probably have other equipment not normally found in the average kitchen.

In a Cook's kitchen everything should be done to minimize unnecessary work, such as walking from one area to another. Often the room won't just have units arranged around the outside walls, rather there will be a central 'island'. A mobile unit on castors can be very useful as well.

A serious cook will need instant access to items in storage units, so units are often fitted without doors. You don't want to get dust and grease from cooking all over the insides of the units, so a good heavy duty ventilation system is necessary.


open kitchen units

This photo shows a kitchen where the units have open fronts. This type of unit is often the choice of serious cooks, although in this case it's also the result of using a fashionable design.


The surfaces you have in a well used kitchen will need to be strong and robust. Stainless steel is a favorite of chefs, because it is tough, easy to clean and hygienic. This is a good example of how a 'Cook's kitchen theme' can influence your choice of work surface, and therefore the look of your kitchen.

But don't think that a chef's kitchen has to be modern and utilitarian. There's no reason why a traditional design couldn't be used. You just have to make sure you include all the necessary equipment and arrange the space to make life easy for your expert cook!

You can apply this 'usage' idea to other situations.

  • A kitchen where all your family gather
  • Informal meals are served
  • You use it for your flower arranging
  • Your young children play while you work
  • It's your home office

These can all be the basis for your kitchen decorating themes.


kitchen diner

This kitchen and dining area is quite compact. Rather than just use normal kitchen units, the units are of high quality, with frosted glass doors. The straight lines are broken up by using open shelve sections and an under cabinet.

When combined with the dining table, upholstered chairs and rug, the result is to emphasize the dining room and play down the kitchen.


Country kitchen

This is a favorite for many people. It's one of those kitchen decorating themes which is best suited to a house or preferably a cottage set in a rural location. But its essential elements can also used in an urban or city setting.

The theme here is that everything you use should look as though it has a detailed past. You can still use modern equipment and all the necessary bits and pieces for a modern kitchen.

The most effective way to give an impression of a country kitchen is to use old items which have seen a lot of use over many generations. They can either be hand-me-downs from elderly relatives, or things you've bought from second hand shops or argued over the price at car boot sales.

Another trick to get this sort of style is to make different parts appear to have been added from time to time, and not give the impression that everything was installed all together. This leads onto the another idea: separate items of furniture lend themselves better to a country kitchen, rather than having a complete 'fitted' look.

As you can see, themes can be based on a particular decorating style, and you can find out more about interior decorating styles here.


Available units

Perhaps you've got a set of units which you really like, or just can't afford to replace. The style of the units may give you a guide as to the theme of your kitchen. If they have a Victorian look, then go with that. If they're modern and sleek, there's a modern theme waiting to be developed.

Remember, you can always paint or use some other finish if you want a change for your cabinets.

Another option is to keep the carcases, and replace the doors with new ones.

On a small budget?

One of the key points to a great looking kitchen is expert fitting. A ham-fisted idiot can make top quality units look as if they were rescued from the garbage dump.

I've seen great kitchens which were actually inexpensive flat-packs (no names!), but were very well fitted. So get an expert to fit it, or if you're doing it yourself, take your time and make sure you know exactly what you're doing at every stage.


Your choice of color can heavily influence your kitchen decorating themes. If you go for a soft yellow or blue, it may suggest an older style of design. Whereas if you want a bright violet or purple, this would indicate a more modern color, and therefore a modern design.

If you're installing a completely new kitchen, you might think this gives you an opportunity to select the kitchen color of your choice. Well, to a certain degree, it will. But you may find the range of colors available for new kitchens to be quite limited.

You'll tend to get more variation in texture rather than color. So don't pin your hopes on finding exactly what you want. Rather, go with an open mind, ready to be guided by suitably qualified sales people.

To dictate the exact color, your best bet is to have a kitchen built for you. Or find a company who will supply the cabinets unfinished, which can then be painted, stained or polished to your requirements.


red kitchen theme

For anyone who has a liking for the color red, and modern kitchen units, this arrangement would be ideal. Notice the individual touches, such as the red grout separating the tiled back wall, and the red table top to match the cabinetry.



Mirror smooth finish, shiny enough to see your face in it?

Deep wood grain finish, bringing a touch of the outdoor into your home?

Cleverly painted finish, with a designer touch?

There's no end to the textures you can get for kitchen decorating themes. And the best way forward is to go and see some real examples. Brochures are ok up to a point, but you'll never be able to appreciate the full texture effect from photos, no matter how good they are.

Personal themes

You can always 'do your own thing' for your kitchen decorating themes. If you have a particular garden theme, you can work this into the room. Use the dominant colors of your garden to extend the themes of nature into your kitchen.

Perhaps your home has been decorated with a certain theme in mind, using color, for example. One easy way to incorporate the kitchen into the theme of your home is to have the walls the same color as adjoining rooms.


kitchen window view outdoors

The color theme for this kitchen has been chosen to blend with the outside views. The cabinets and walls are a soft yellow beige, with work surfaces in natural colors.


Or you may have an interest in a particular historical era, a hobby, or a club or society of which you're a member. While these may not readily lend themselves directly to a suitable theme, they can become the catalyst which nudges your ideas in directions about kitchen decorating themes you may not have considered.



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