If you’ve ever toured a late-Victorian mansion, you probably noticed that it was filled to the brim with lovely things that didn’t exactly match. The mindset of the time (for the wealthy, at least) was to choose the best of everything, which led to houses full of clashing patterns and stripes and colors. Were the homeowners bothered by this eclectic-ness? No way! In their minds, *gesturing from the floor to the ceiling to the furniture* “Pretty! Pretty! Pretty!”

Now, in terms of your kitchen, we’re not suggesting that you go hog-wild and cram a whole bunch of random things into the space, but there are definitely ways to incorporate your unique style tastefully. Your kitchen probably gets the most foot traffic of any room in your home, so why not design it to fit your taste?

Here are some interesting (and unusual) ideas to help you give your kitchen that little extra something.

Ceiling

Let’s start from the top. Gone are the days when popcorn ceiling (or worse – popcorn ceiling with glitter *shudder*) was all the rage, but there are certain things you can do to help add interest to your ceiling. Traditionally, if you were going to paint anything in your kitchen, you would paint the walls and leave the ceiling white. Instead, you might consider painting the walls white and adding your splash of color to the ceiling. Using a bright color can add pizzazz, but a dark color can add drama.

If you happen to live in a home that currently has a popcorn ceiling, you probably know how difficult it is to remove the texture and have the ceiling still look good. If you’re not willing to put in the time to spackle and sand, you might want to look into ceiling panels. They have some amazing metal and pressed material paneling that is meant for ceilings – think Downton Abbey. Very cool and very unique.

Color Palette

Your kitchen’s color scheme says a lot about who you are as a person, so if you’re looking to add a little bit of spice to your life but keep a low budget, you might just need a coat of paint. Two ways to add color to your kitchen include:

  • Cabinetry: If you aren’t opposed to painting your cabinets, they provide the perfect opportunity to add a pop of color. Instead of going the standard white, black, or brown, you could just paint the face of each cabinet door or drawer and leave the frame and box a different color. Or you could paint the entire door and drawer the same color and paint the box a whole other color. If you want to go really funky, no two doors could be the same color!
Kitchen Color Palette

(Image credit: Pinterest.com)

  • Design: Like the Victorians, don’t be afraid to mismatch! Mix and match colors, patterns, stripes, and swirls in ways that are aesthetically pleasing to you. Color blocking can be a bold technique to introduce multiple colors in a very controlled way. If you’re not quite ready to paint your cabinets or walls, you could always use colorful knobs or paint the backboards to the open shelving or china hutches that are displaying dishes in your kitchen.

Wall Coverings

Paint isn’t the only way to add color to your walls. It may seem antiquated, but there are a lot of magnificent wallpaper options out there that, contrary to how it used to be, are very easy to adhere to your walls. You might also look into incorporating mosaics or large, colorful tiles as a backsplash. Similar to the ceiling tiles, you can also get metal backsplashes that have exquisite designs and patterns.

Style

Your personal style shouldn’t have to suffer at the hand of function or cost. With a little bit of planning (and perhaps a little bit of scrounging), you can design your kitchen so that it screams “YOU!” while sticking to a budget.

  • Rustic: If your style is rustic, there are some relatively easy things that you can incorporate to make the space more country-chic. Talk to your local cabinetry shops to see if you can purchase any of their drop material or reclaimed wood at a discount. You can also keep an eye on online marketplaces for old, cheap furniture that you can upcycle to fit your space.
    Some neat design elements to help you achieve a more rustic design include distressed or reclaimed wood in white or multiple colors. Exposed brick or stonework, corrugated tin, and anything rusty (but smoothed and protected so that it’s safe in the kitchen) also adds some of that rustic charm. Additionally, using a long, smooth birch branch to hang pendant lighting can give off that country vibe.
  • Retro: There are some really neat, unique retro kitchen designs out there, so if that’s what you’re into, you’re in luck! If you can design your kitchen from scratch, try to incorporate curvy countertops instead of straight ones, and see if you can get cabinets with custom made curved doors. You should also look for colored appliances, and if you’re interested in laminate countertops, some manufacturers have designs that are expressly retro-themed.
  • Modern: If you’re more into a more modern kitchen, you can incorporate geometric shapes and color blocking into your color scheme. Don’t be afraid to add stripes or patterns to your wall coverings, and angular metal or clear seats are always a good choice.

Miscellaneous

Of course, one surefire way to add color to your kitchen is to update your upholstery with bright or patterned fabric. Additionally, you don’t have to stick to brown, black, white, or wood grain floor treatments! There are so many colorful, crazy-patterned tiles on the market that even if you only change your flooring, your kitchen may feel like a completely new space.

One last trend that we’ve seen is people creating compartments for specific, non-kitchen-related items. Sure, there are wine displays and china hutches, but now people are incorporating lit-up areas for botanical components or even mini, built-in aquariums!

Countertops

No matter how you add color and pizzazz to your kitchen, there is a granite countertop that can fit the bill. Granite has the uncanny ability to blend seamlessly into an eccentric background or shine as the showstopping element. You simply cannot go wrong with granite as your countertop choice.