Each week, Mansion Global takes on a theme with elite designers from around the world working in luxury properties. This week, we’ll look at how to add just the right amount of tool kits to liven up your kitchen.
In many homes, kitchens are the heart of the home, serving as gathering and feeding places where families and friends create some of their cherished memories. This focal service spot can be as fun as it is functional, and incorporating some kitsch elements can help you create a fun and playful space and make the prospect of cooking more inviting.
“You can bring kitsch into any design style,” said Houston-based interior designer Lucinda Loya. “There is simple kitsch, objective chaos, and organized chaos; it is what you want it to be.”
Since kitchens are already oversized spaces, the key is to ensure that functional design is not compromised. These tips from design professionals can help prevent your kitchen decor from clashing or looking too tacky.
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ease in it
‘Choose one or two pieces or standout items like a ceiling lamp, refrigerator, or floor. Break up strong patterns and colors with worktops, cabinets, or neutral walls.’
“Start with small accessories first. Choose playful patterns on curtains, tea towels and tablecloths rather than floors and tiles, as they are easy to remove if you go wrong. Then when you nail your kitsch style and feel more confident, move on to bigger changes.”
“If you’re starting with a completely blank palette, start by defining your primary color scheme and style. Everything else can work around this. Determine the overall look you’re aiming for. Is it rustic kitsch, fifties or seventies or Mexican kitsch? Select exactly What to aim for first.
“Don’t dip the kitchen in one color or too many contrasting colors. The kitchen needs to be relaxing enough to cook and eat without causing a headache. A couple of pastels or pops of one bright color work better than a kitchen full of orange, yellow, and purple.”
“Kitsch patterns tend to exaggerate shapes, so add definition to your cabinets, furniture, and appliances with rounded corners, clean lines, and modern geometric shapes. Choose a single pattern or idea to tie everything together.”
“It’s important that we strike a balance between style and function. Large items, such as cabinets and floors, need to stand the test of time and work with future changes. For example, a black and white square pattern using tile or vinyl works well with kitsch designs and has an added edge.” It is practical and timeless.”
– London-based interior design expert Sylvia James
Mix up your decor
“Kitsch is fun by nature and kind of tongue in cheek and welcomes vintage things that don’t take themselves too seriously. It’s always good to add items like these because we don’t have to take designs too seriously, especially in our kitchens.
“Try to find vintage kitchen gadgets with a comical feel, like a cookie jar or lunch box or even a solid color realization. The kitchen stuff, but from a certain era, is a good way to embrace kitchen utensils in the kitchen without needing too many, while still continuing to Show off your personality.
“Sometimes people take comic items and pump up their color too much. Try pairing it with other things that are more subdued in color. A neutral background will actually help the kitsch stand out more.”
“It’s really easy to take kitsch too far because of how much fun it is, and then you end up with comic stuff all over the place. Pick what you think is an important piece and mix it up with other things that probably aren’t comic so that they feel like it’s part of a more diverse group.”
“Plants and textiles are a great way to soften some pieces that you might find super demolished and layered pieces from different eras can prevent overloading.”
– Interior designer Jessica Davis of Atlanta-based Atelier Davis
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Kitsch for permanent fixtures too
“I love playing with fun backsplash tiles to make a bold personal statement. It’s a great design element that you can add without taking over the entire kitchen and the square space of the backsplash can be contained by the worktop and any cabinets or shelves above it. It’s also a functional necessity in the kitchen where one cooks.”
“Retro kitchens really take a moment. I always like to bring any aesthetic pleasure in the kitchen to function first. I suggest starting with appliances—refrigerators from brands like Big Chill, and even countertop appliances like toasters and electric kettles from Smeg, double serving as useful and nostalgic.” to the past.
“Avoid falling in love with anything you see online without viewing it in person, wherever possible. I’ve asked customers to decide on their refrigerators based on appearance and brand, only to find out they don’t fit a pizza box inside.
“While I will always love composite stone or quartz countertops, advances in laminate and hard surface materials are allowing retro fans to explore the aesthetic, even on their counters.
I also like accentuating the lighting fixtures on the kitchen island, and since lighting should only provide light, you can take some aesthetic liberties here and choose one of the fixtures that makes your wildest kitchen fantasies come true. “
– Interior designer Noz Nozawa of San Francisco-based Noz Designs
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Take an unconventional approach
“I love approaching kitsch by going against the tide. Adding art to a kitchen in a clever way or in an unexpected way definitely leans toward kitsch. Just because it is a kitchen doesn’t mean you can’t have artwork like an oil painting that has nothing to do with food.”
‘Try to make the space feel less like a kitchen by placing appliances and obvious things like cutlery sets and introducing some unexpected items. Kitsch in kitchens doesn’t have to be just cookie jars and tea towels. It can also be books, window treatments, rugs, sculptures and crafted objects. Handcrafts and even pictures. Walk around the house and get a few trinkets and things that bring you happiness. If they look good elsewhere in your home, they will probably look good in the kitchen. Focus on bringing out the utilitarian side of space and beauty in it.
“If you’re a coffee lover, pay attention to your coffee shop and change containers. Instead of revealing the brand name of your whipped cream, put it in a pretty jar. Even salt and pepper shakers can be artful.”
“I’m not sure you can go abroad with kitsch. If your philosophy is ‘more is more’ and that makes you happy, go for it. Find joy where you can and if it means surrounding yourself with more of the things that you love and make you feel good, Do it by all means. Sometimes the accidental perfection of intelligence allows itself to be revealed.”
– Interior designer Lucinda Loya of Houston-based Lucinda Loya Interiors
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