A while back I received an email from a reader named Lindsey, a nurse who happens to live in Kansas City, as I do. She asked:
Any chance you will help a non-creative mom out with decorating ideas for my kitchen?
I emailed her back to gab about the fact that my daughter’s name is also Lindsey and to ask what she wanted help with. She sent me a few pics with this explanation:
The kitchen, the hearth room and the dining room are open concept so I’m trying to make them blend. I have wine bottles collecting above the cabinets but its not coming out the way I was picturing. I dont like plates, or fake plants up there so its harder. I am going for a romantic Paris theme but not girly.
I want it to be comfy and warm with a taste of sophistication to it. I think I will need to change the chandeliers to help it come together.
We have already remodeled the kitchen with new appliances, backsplash, new sink, and granite countertops. Oh and we painted the walls to give it some warmth. Then I hit the preverbal wall and what you see is where I am stuck at now.
When she said was going for romantic Paris, but not girly, the thought that immediately came to my mind was a Paris bistro.
But here’s the thing about themes: it is so easy to overdo them. So easy.
So my suggestion to Lindsey was to come up with a nod to a Paris bistro, without investing in a lot of things that actually said Paris or bistro on them. Know what I mean?
I started with Lindsey’s wine bottles, because what says Paris bistro more than wine? Lindsey didn’t like them lined up along her cabinets so my idea was to put them in wine crates instead. It looked like there would be room to put a wine crate or two above the cabinets along the refrigerator wall.
I found a couple of examples to give her an idea of what I was thinking of. Like this one from Amazon.
That still left quite a bit of room above the cabinets on that wall, and decorating above cabinets can be tricky. Since the kitchen is such a large space, with a vaulted ceiling, I felt like it could use something strong. I happen to like posters with strong graphics, and there are some good vintage travel-themed ones that came to mind that would look cool framed and hung above the cabinets.
Here are the suggestions I sent to Lindsey. All are from Art.com and can be ordered in a variety of sizes and framed or unframed.
For the other kitchen walls, I found these Paris prints, which have colors similar to Lindsey’s and – again – are obviously Paris but don’t scream Paris. These are also from Art.com.
Another thing that Paris bistros often have are chalkboards, which are also at home in modern kitchens.
This one from Amazon seemed like a good fit to me. It could be used to make shopping lists, display a menu for a dinner party, or even for Lindsey’s small son to draw on.
And while it’s not strictly decorating, I also like the idea of having glasses and dishes in the kitchen that a French bistro might use. The good news is that because of their simplicity, these are also very affordable. This is what I had in mind, all available on Amazon.
Again, these suggest a Paris bistro, and give the kitchen that feel, without having the theme come on too strong.
So those are my ideas for Lindsey. What kind of suggestions would you give her, based on the look and feel she is going for?
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