interior decoration / Kitchen / Room-by-room / Wall art

A half dozen recipes for making the kitchen yours with art

I have a special affection for the kitchen as a place to feature artwork. In apartments, where there is usually very little wall space available, it’s a great place to hang small pieces that would look lost on a big wall elsewhere.

For the kitchen it’s best to select pieces that are easy to clean regularly. A print framed behind glass is ideal. Plexiglass works also but tends to scratch more easily than glass when you clean it. Original paintings or hanging sculptures without protection could get damaged by accumulated greasy dirt or harsh cleaning products.

Having a large framed print at the end of the narrow corridor created by the kitchen furniture gives instant life and character to this kitchen:

I created a group on the Fine Art America website for artists to submit their work that they think is most fitting for decorating kitchen walls. Check out the over 1500 kitchen decor art images that have been proposed or my collection of kitchen decor art photographs. Most prints are very reasonably priced and the service allows you to order them in a selection of sizes, framed and ready for hanging. It even gives you a preview of how the frame and matte you choose will look.

In the obligatory exception to the rule, I enjoyed the way this blogger is working on making her house a home one little change at a time. To make the mostly white kitchen more personal, she hung an antique neon sign. The blog entry even tells you how to build the shelf supporting it yourself.

An antique neon sign lends personality to this kitchen.

An antique neon sign lends personality to this kitchen.

If your kitchen doesn’t have any free wall space, consider personalizing the kitchen cabinets or the backsplash with pictures. You can have the the doors or backsplash custom-made, screenprinting or laminating an image behind glass. In the cabinets you can create a lightbox effect with lights inside the cabinets.

If you want to adapt your existing cabinets, have the images printed on a removable vinyl sticker. The vinyl is available in both opaque and transparent versions, so you can adapt this idea for doors with or without glass. The surface does have to be smooth (and preferably glossy) for the vinyl to stick well. TIP: print the image a little larger than the door size and cut off the extra with an exacto knife or cutter after applying it. If the doors are glass, apply a translucent vinyl to the inside so that it doesn’t get rubbed off by cleaning. Make sure you tell your printer that you plan to use the sticky side out, so the sticker will look good from that side. Here are some basic instructions for applying the vinyl sticker.

Another alternative is to use novelty tiles as a backsplash. I used some large tiles featuring silverware in one of my projects that included an open-plan kitchen. I also used the floor as a canvas, including a patterned tile “rug” in the middle.

loft kitchen photo

Kitchen with tile “rug”, adding art to the floor.

Kitchen tiles planning image

Mock-up of kitchen backsplash with silverware tile detail.

In this cool kitchen design, the owners strategically hung artwork on both sides of the stove and also added artwork even to the floor, painting the white details on the parquet before varnishing:

Please share your ideas for decorating kitchen walls or email me pictures of kitchen art projects that you have done to feature!


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