Back in the days of your first apartment, furnishings were whatever you could liberate from your parent’s basement or attic. Hand-me-down tables, chairs with wobbly legs, curtains from the 1950s, and TV stands with only a few scratches and dings were all greatly appreciated. When there was no budget for something as frivolous as matching furniture or a coordinated look, eclectic was good. Besides, it made you appear very hip, bohemian, or anti-bourjeois, whatever the word in use was back then.
Fast forward five, ten or even fifteen years. Those early days of struggle to pay the electric bill and students loans have faded into the past, but your furnishings don’t necessarily reflect your newfound prosperity—especially in the kitchen. Are you still using the table with one short leg and four mismatched chairs? Are the curtains still bath towels with a rod pocket sewn in? Are your pots and pans that thrift store find from ten years ago?
Creating a grownup kitchen space to match your grownup lifestyle is not as difficult as it may seem. The first step to do so is to determine what kind of mood you want to create? Are you into the industrial look of stainless steel? How about a country kitchen? Or what about Shaker style? What do you like?
Start by keeping a folder of magazine clippings of kitchen ideas you find appealing. This can include colors, full kitchen displays, a photo of a single plate or a bouquet of flowers. Perhaps, it’s a ruffled curtain or a brightly colored valance. Once you’ve collected several handfuls of clippings, spread them on the floor and see what items or colors have been repeated. Repetition is a sign that it’s something you’ve really liked. Pull those clippings out and put the others back into the folder for later.
Re-evaluate your clippings for styles. Perhaps, you’ve discovered that you prefer the clean lines of a contemporary kitchen or the warm tones of a country kitchen. Find the style that makes you happy and then find a table and chair set that reflects that style. As far as furniture goes, a table and chairs are about it for a kitchen. If there’s room, you might add a china cabinet, a baker’s rack or barstools for a counter space.
The remainder of creating a grown up kitchen space has to do with fabrics and accessories. Match your kitchen window coverings to the décor. A modern kitchen needs a modern window covering such as blinds or a tailored valance. A country kitchen needs a ruffled valance with tiers and a shade with a scalloped edge for privacy. If you’ve chosen an industrial theme, perhaps window tinting is a better choice.