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Decor Tips

7 Kitchen Wall Art Ideas: Simple Tips & Tricks

The kitchen has always been the most magical room of the house. When we’re feeling under the weather, it gives us nourishment. When we feel like celebrating, it gives us indulgence. And when we’re flat-out hungry, it gives us satiation. Why not give a little back? Show a little love to your kitchen through wall art! These kitchen wall art ideas are the easiest, fastest and most affordable ways to freshen up that most ‘magical room of the house.’

1. Coastal Variations

This painting of a seaside resort is just one example of what coastal kitchen wall art can mean. Subjects like boats, oceans, tropical fish, piers and surfboards are popular in wall art and make the kitchen all the more fun to be in. Perhaps this is because such decor reminds us of sweet family vacations – or perhaps they’re simply pretty to look at. Either way, incorporating some scenes from the coast through photographs, artwork or even coastal plants instantly creates an easy, relaxed kitchen mood. Of course, most modern kitchens don’t have a lot of wall space, thanks to the popularity of wall cabinets. If the storage takes up most of your wall space, you can still incorporate art! Try leaning a large canvas print instead of hanging – or opt for smaller wall accessories like signs and metal wall decor that can fit anywhere. Check out these decorative objects designed for hanging to infuse a small-space kitchen with a splash of “art!”

Kitchen Wall Art and Décor Styling Tip: If you really want to highlight an art piece, accessorize it! (Yes, you can accessorize a painting!) Hang the art above a shelf or counter, and along the counter place pieces that match the art. In this case, a beachy tray and vases on a weathered countertop bring to life the resort depicted in the painting. Along the side (if you can catch a glimpse of it), an indoor tree echoes the painting's greenery. If you wanted to take the extra step, you could also swap the white wall paint for a pale blue.

The Abstract Painting. Remember, wall art is more about how it makes you feel than what it actually portrays. For this reason, you’ll find that most paintings designed for the home aren’t really of anything; in other words, abstract. So, if an abstract painting of blue and white brushstrokes makes you feel like you’re surrounded by waves, then for all intents and purposes, it is coastal wall art – and perfect for the kitchen! Running with this train of thought – don’t just buy a painting because a salesperson or its price tag told you it’s “coastal;” if the painting doesn’t completely and utterly transport you to a serene spot on your favorite beach, then for all intents and purposes, it’s not coastal wall art!



2. Culinary Art (Fruit and More!)

Let’s just get this out of the way: Food shows and Instagram accounts are popular. Very popular. The general public seems to agree on one thing; there’s just something about the visual image of delicious food being cooked that makes one salivate like a dog with a bone. We’re not sure we’d call the feeling happiness. Like the majority of the public it seems, we’re not even sure why we’re so drawn to these shows and accounts. The fact of the matter, though, is that food lust is real – and watching these shows and following these accounts seems to somehow, at least temporarily, scratch the itch.
It’s often thought that the reason we love food media is the same reason we want our breakfasts, lunches and dinners to look aesthetically pleasing. (And if you don’t think you fall into that camp, we urge you to think back to when you were in grade school and the lunch lady plopped a heaping pile of a green-grayish Meatloaf Surprise onto your tray!) Food presentation signals to our brains that the food is good and tasty. It whets our appetites, prepares our salivatory glands, activates our gustatory cortices – you know, the whole enchilada. (Speaking of enchiladas, mmmm!)

So, get those tastebuds ready with images of food and drink. Think fruits and veggies, loaves of bread, candy, coffee, milk, wine and dessert. The more food decor in your kitchen, the better!

(Note: Images of food, of course, aren’t always about appetite. Sometimes, the sight of a fresh pineapple or bowl of fruit can also invoke feelings of health and vitality.)

3. Kitchen Wall Accessories

There’s kitchen wall art, and then there’s kitchen wall decor. Kitchen wall art is any one of photography, canvas art, prints and other flat mediums. Kitchen wall decor is often 3D. It’s little objects that can be hung from a hook, placed on a shelf or drilled into a wall. In this section, we’re going to talk about kitchen wall decor – the trends, how to choose a style for your kitchen, what to look for before buying, and the idea of decoration rotation. Let’s dive in!

The Trends.
 Modern kitchen wall decor trends include reclaimed wood shelves, hanging planters and hangable abstract metal shapes (like these). Farmhouse kitchen wall trends include vintage signs, sconces and chalkboards. Boho kitchen wall decor trends include tapestries, shadowboxes and flat rattan baskets.

Choosing a Style for Your Kitchen. Will that sleek hanging planter go with your kitchen décor? What about that hip wall shelf set, or those geometric metal shapes? Barring any obvious style indicators (if a sign has the word “farm” on it, you know it’s of the farmhouse style), it can be tricky to discern what will work with your style and what won’t. A simple trick is to focus on the finish; the bolder and darker, the more modern, and conversely, the more weathered and lighter, the more vintage.

What to Look for Before Buying. Whether or not you have the kitchen wall space! The last thing you want is a cluttery feel.

Decoration Rotation.Sometimes, it’s good to mix things up as the seasons change. If you already have your wall decor set with no wall space left over, you can still seal the deal on that sign or tapestry you’ve been eyeing – just take down your current decorations to make room for your new purchases! Then, in a few months, switch it back! Keep the rotations going for an evergreen feel.

4. Signs

A picture is worth a thousand words, but that doesn’t negate the fact that sometimes, words are just better. After all, what better way to make a statement than with… a statement? Farmhouse styles, including classic farmhouse, rustic farmhouse and western farmouse, fare best with sign décor. These styles love the vintage sign. Signs that say things like “Fresh Eggs” or “Homemade Bread” – echoing the ad copy storefronts and farms would have used centuries ago. There’s also the single-word sign featuring feel-good quips like “Gather” or “Home” – a common sight in all of farmhouse, country, cottage-chic and other vintage-inspired rustic styles.

That’s not to say, however that modern, flashier aesthetics are exempt from using signs. Lately, signs of the light-up, neon variety, spelling catchy platitudes like “Good Vibes” or “Love Is All You Need” have been known to grace many a trendsetter’s home.

Then, there’s the non-sign sign, or “wall art sign,” which is to say, canvas art with words, like these. Such make great options for when you want the words to feel a little more “permanent” or like a part of a greater piece of art – especially if you have the canvas framed or incorporated into a wall gallery.

Since the kitchen is the most frequently-visited room of the house, we can’t think of a better place to incorporate the written word, little friendly reminders to “Gather,” “Love” – or whatever sign you choose!

Mix and Match Tip: Mix and match signs! Nothing’s cuter than a metal sign, wood sign, hanging sign and leaning sign, all in one gallery. In terms of color, opt for different natural finishes like bronzed, gilded and varnished. Experiment with different sayings, subjects and art depictions; to ensure a true “eclecticism,” buy different pieces from different vendors. Shape and size are also considerations; make friends with both the big and small, square and oval! Even the font type, when mixed, can have the chicest impact. One sign in cursive, another in block lettering and still another in “typewriter” type; a mishmash sure to please any font-lover!


5. Plant Art

We’ll let you in on a little secret: The best kind of wall art is growing in your backyard! How can anything that grows be incorporated into a wall, you ask? Answer: Hanging planters, wall hooks and shelves.

Idea #1: Hanging Planters: 
Not only are these a thing, but they are probably the hottest trend in circulation. Mini planters with holes on the sides for a rope or chain that can be connected to a wall – and voila!, a hanging plant. In the kitchen, plants on the walls just make life better: The air gets a little cleaner, smells a little sweeter, and your kitchen looks a little chicer.

Idea #2: Wall Hooks: In the kitchen shown here, plants dangle from wall hooks, a beautiful, creative way to fill up blank wall space. Try using this space for plants you know you’ll need for recipes – like basil, thyme and rosemary. If you have a garden outside, you can even display your “fresh picks of the day!”

Idea #3: Shelves: If you want wall décor that’s chic and also practical, a floating shelf is always a good idea. These will fit mini planters, flower pots and other kitchen decor like jars, bowls, bottles and trays. But even if you place nothing on it, the shelf itself is a standalone decoration; look for ones in a color and material (wood, metal, etc.) to match your style. (If you think you don’t have a green thumb, just place a few potted succulents on a shelf; they’re easy to take care of and the whole aesthetic truly looks beautiful.)

Tip: When hanging stems or bunches of flowers you’ve just hand-picked, bundle them up! Tie a string of twine or rope around them for a chic touch. This will also make them easier to “hang” from hooks – and keep your kitchen counters cleaner (loose stems are more likely to fall/shed).

6. Clocks

When you think about the all the time we spend on screens, on our phones, tablets, laptops and TV, there’s something truly refreshing about an old-fashioned analog clock. Peaceful, even. It’s a testament to the days of yore, to the days before the boom of technology and when the dictionary defined “digital” as nothing more than “of or relating to the digits 0-1.” And with so many relying on smartwatches and phones for the time, a kitchen with an analog clock has become something of a unicorn – and when you do see it, you feel instantly at ease. A clock is, after all, antique, yet current; simple, yet incredibly complex. It’s also functional – a quick glance is enough to tell the time. One can even say that the physical act of checking the time on a clock vs. a phone serves as a grisly metaphor for the analog-digital divide. (On a clock, you look up; on a phone, you look down.)

Not convinced? Here are even more reasons why they work: Clocks come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, styles, materials, finishes and colors, and can serve as an art piece in and of themselves. Place one on a wall above your kitchen table, cabinets or windows – or incorporate a small table clock on a counter for functional decor. Shown here, a wood design with an iron hanging fits right into rustic decor; the bold, black numbers make it easy to tell time from a distance. Whether your style is modern, traditional or something in between, clocks are an easy way to bring familiarity – and make any house feel like home.

Tip: When choosing a clock, you might want to consider whether or not you’re okay with “ticking.” (Some people would rather be anywhere else than in a room with a ticking clock!) If incessant ticking isn’t your style, opt for a silent non-ticking clock or, even better, one without a second hand.

7. Wood Wall Decor

Art is beauty, beauty is art, and both are in the eye of the beholder. Your kitchen walls are yours, so decorate them however you wish. First, know the “rule” that wall art is traditionally canvas art – and then break the rule! Wooden wall ladders? Barn-inspired door frames? Vintage window panes?  All are fair game for kitchen walls. Consider the black wooden window pane shown here, which simply by it not being the ever-so-common wall canvas art, brings intrigue. It also adds authenticity to a rustic-inspired kitchen. Wood wall decor, however, isn’t limited to the rustic style; the options are endless. Here are a few of our favorite trends! 

Panels: Basically, a sheet of wood in the shape of a square or rectangle. When the natural grains are left exposed, it serves as true rustic decor. Hang it on any kitchen wall for a cozy touch.

Vintage frames: Frame decor is simple, fun and easy to hang (you don’t need a frame to hang it, because the thing itself is a frame)! To clarify, what we mean here is decorative structural frames; like of the aforementioned pane and door, or even mirror frames – without the mirror. You can also try a gallery of picture frames without the pictures!

Engraved art: Occasionally, when browsing art vendors, you’ll come across the engraved art form; elusive and rare for the simple reason that it’s difficult and time-consuming to create. With the right artist’s skill, talent and attention to detail, however, the product is always stunning. Consider an engraved wood piece, with a carving depicting a landscape or custom lettering, to showcase on your kitchen walls.

On Choosing a Type: Ok, so “wood wall art” can mean a whole lot of different things; one factor to look at when choosing one for your home and especially your kitchen is the type of wood. This can have an affect on the quality and appearance. A panel piece made entirely of particleboard, for example, won’t exactly stun. But solid pine with dark wood grains and rings spews elegance. If ring (rounded) grains aren’t your preference, you might consider strains of walnut or birch woods, both of which usually contain natural patterns of straight lines. In terms of color, darker woods include walnut, rosewood and cedar woods, and lighter woods include bamboo, teak and maple woods.

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