When people think about the holidays, many things come to mind: family, kids, warmth, gifts, and – most unforgettably – decorations! When it comes to holiday decor, a lot of emphasis is placed on the outside of the house, the living room and the dining room, with the kitchen being generally neglected. Kitchens, however, are great places to display holiday cheer, and with the following advice your home’s dedicated cooking area is sure to be a holiday hit:
Kitchen tables often serve as the focal point of the kitchen, and they are also great for holiday decorating. Using table cloths is one of the easiest ways to transform a table for the holidays; a bright colored table cloth will instantly liven up a room. Pair this with coordinated seat cushions to create a cohesive theme at the table.
Centerpieces allow for all types of creativity. They can range from a simple decorative statement to ones that are grand and ornate. Traditional centerpieces can be green, gold or yellow candlesticks surrounded by pine cones and fruit. A nice natural look could consist of a miniature Christmas tree arrangement. For those who celebrate Hanukkah or Kwanzaa, a menorah or kinara candles could fulfill a similar decorative and cultural function.
If the kitchen features modern furniture, perhaps decorations with a more experimental flair would be better suited. One idea is to place a mirrored tray at the center of the table, then place votive candles and beaded fruit on top of it. Even unlit, the arrangement will look amazing. If the votives are lit, the candles’ reflection in the mirror will create a neat ambiance.
Place settings and chairs are other aspects of the table that can change to reflect the season. Switch out the everyday plates for ones that are cranberry or copper-colored. Christmas purists may even want to go with a pattern that features berries or Santa and the elves. There are also clever decorations for chairs; hanging ornaments, ribbons or stockings can easily transform a chair into eye-pleasing seating. Slip covers are another quick idea to enhance the appearance of kitchen seating arrangements.
Walls and Windows
Walls and windows provide an excellent canvas for holiday decorating. Walls can easily be decorated using removable decals or stickers. There are an array of styles and sizes available. You can decide to adorn your walls with images of snowmen, or perhaps with a nativity scene if you’re more religiously inclined. The truly adventurous may opt for a total wall mural depicting a winter wonderland.
Holiday-themed window treatments can convert the average window into a visually pleasing one. Adding a brightly-colored valance or curtain is an easy way to enhance a window. Furthermore, matching the curtains with colors or patterns used on the kitchen table can create a consistent theme. To complete the window, add seasonal flowers to the windowsills; poinsettias and Christmas roses are flowers traditionally used at this time of year. Wreaths are another way to highlight a window. If the window is large, add a big, lighted wreath to its center. If the kitchen is full of smaller windows, mini wreaths are more appropriate. These wreaths can be embellished with lights, berries and holiday ribbon.
Don’t forget about the lighting! If the kitchen has chandeliers, use the chandeliers to make the room warm and inviting. Complementing chandeliers with lighted garland creates a particularly nice environment. If the chandelier is hanging over the kitchen table, hang ribbons and ornaments from it. If they are hung low enough, they can replace the need for a centerpiece.
Doors and Cabinets
There are countless things that can be done to give doors and cabinets a festive look worthy of the holiday season. Switching out the handles and knobs to ones that are a vibrant color – shimmery or decorated for Christmas – can add pizazz. Find small ornaments and hang them from the cabinet handles and drawers. Glass cabinets are perfect for decorative embellishments. Strategically place Christmas figurines or ornaments on the shelves. To make the decorations stand out, accent them with lights.
Don’t ignore countertops; they are great places for decorating. If your kitchen has a center island, create a centerpiece for it. The centerpieces can be a nice flower arrangement. If space permits, add a sleigh filled with presents or a couple of toy soldiers in the vein of the Nutcracker ballet. Small topiaries in particular are nicely accented by granite countertops. Find topiaries that have berries and lights and the countertops will look like they belong in a Christmas magazine! There are many functional home accents that will also give countertops a much-needed seasonal update. Cookie jars, nutcrackers and candy dishes are all useful decorations for this purpose. For added effect, place holiday cookies inside the cookie jar and a nicely-decorated basket of nuts near the nutcracker.
Other Kitchen Decorations
There are many smaller – and often overlooked – details to bear in mind as well; hang Christmas dish towels on the towel holders, and replace any rugs with ones that reflect the holiday cheer. There are many coordinated Christmas dish towel and rug sets available which will help to make matching easier. For atmospheric purposes, a small radio can be kept handy for playing popular Christmas songs. Don’t forget the refrigerator, either! There are holiday wraps specifically designed to cover refrigerator doors. Another idea for refrigerators is magnets; the addition of a Santa magnet to a fridge door can add a bit of fun to a much-visited piece of household machinery.
Kitchens are often forgotten when it comes to holiday decorating, but using any of the previously mentioned ideas will make the room look and feel as festive as the rest of the home. Happy holidays!