Three of the most basic solutions are also the most important:
1. Hide the ugly or clashing, display the pretty (a no-brainer for sure, but so often overlooked)
2. Establish a color scheme for serving dishes, utensils, and mini appliances.
3. Invest in attractive containers.
When I first saw Sarah Humphreys' apartment (picture 1), featured in Martha Stewart, all three points struck me. Her 307 square feet living space seems so much bigger, largely due to the way her kitchen has been redesigned and her kitchen gear has been displayed. She extended her kitchen storage into her living room with a pair of parallel shelves flanking the fireplace. One side holds books and office supplies, but the side closest to the kitchen holds utensils in pretty containers, attractive cookware and serving dishes, and small random kitchen extras like sprinkles in matching storage boxes. Obviously, a lot of styling went into the photos, but nonetheless there are some helpful everyday tips we can glean from them. Sarah's apartment certainly makes a convincing case for color-coding, and it also shows how not to overdo it. The dominate colors of her kitchen pieces — the pots and pans and mixing/serving bowl)— are reinforced in her book groupings, making for an overall sense of cohesion. Without the books— a mix of cookbooks and regular reads— the kitchen supplies in the living room may have looked totally out of place, but their color tie to the books make them fit in almost seamlessly.
What visual solutions have you found for making utilitarian essentials fit into your decor?
Image: Martha Stewartt