30 Eclectic Kitchen Decorating

When decorating the house, many people don't really adhere to a centralized theme; you always see the things you really love put here and there with no rhyme or reason. Another item may be conventional, while another item may be new or country-specific. Today, it is completely acceptable, even recommended, to decorate in an eclectic style if you do it right. Below you'll find a lot of tips and ideas to combine many home styles in a kitchen that looks amazing.

Tile wall art helps to create a focal point for the kitchen Every room has a focal point; this is a specific area of the space where the eye is attracted when someone enters the room immediately. Metal wall art can be an amazing focal point for the kitchen. Flowers, butterflies, musical notes, trees and abstract designs are just a few of the hundred choices you will find in metal wall art. If you have one large wall, consider hanging a very large metal wall art piece in the same or similar design, surrounded by smaller accents. Wall planters look spectacular when put around windows and doors and can be lined with ivy, silk flowers, hanging vines, daisies or any other plant of your choosing. If you have multiple windows, put wall planters on both sides of each casement for a totally romantic feel.

Wall mounted candle sconces can be placed on both sides of a big clock or print with your metal wall art, or wherever you choose to add them to the room's decor. Use scented candles to create a warm atmosphere in those aromas you would normally find in a kitchen like spice, vanilla, and pumpkin. A touch of wrought iron adds elegance Love to an arched doorway's almost romantic appeal? Using wrought iron, you will do most things. If your door is a typical rectangular type, consider hanging a wrought iron accent in the form of a half-moon directly above the door to give an arched doorway feel. You might also choose to like the idea of sconcing wrought iron wall, or maybe a pot rack hanging over the island displaying your best cookware. An exotic look makes shopping and decorating your kitchen much simpler because you can mix and match those decorations and pieces that really stand out for you, without knowing you have to adhere to one style. It helps you to give a special personalized, cozy appeal to your kitchen that just makes you feel at home. Remember this rule when it comes to your kitchen: there are no rules! When you love signs of glass, wooden crates, metal wall art, and wrought iron, using each to the core of your soul. Not only will you want to lounge at the kitchen table over a cup of tea, your guests will be delighted by your special sense of style.

There are few things more satisfying on a chilly winter's day than a warming soup served in a chunky bowl. And what is it about drinking tea from delicate china that makes us sit up that little bit straighter? Every day we use tableware to serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, but we rarely consider the huge effect it can have on our enjoyment of the food or drink we're about to consume. Modern lifestyles have had an influence on the way we eat, and we're much more casual diners than our grandparents or even our parents were. The slow but steady demise of the dining room has also played a major part in the way we serve our meals, with families and friends more likely to gather round the table in an open-plan kitchen than make time for a formal feast. 'Social norms have relaxed so much,' says Australian chef Bill Granger. 'It's ironic that in sophisticated urban environments, we're dining more like French peasants did 300 years ago.' Fashionable foods Trends in tableware are influenced by fashionable foods and the way in which we eat them. 'Restaurants and their menus have a huge bearing on what people buy,' says Dik Delaney, head of design at Royal Doulton.

'Often food lovers are keen to see how chefs use tableware before taking the ideas home and recreating them'. Gone are the days when 'proper' dining meant dusting off granny's best china and serving up on a full dinner set. Now we're more likely to take our cue from a local gastropub and enjoy hearty British recipes from rustic earthenware, or an Asian pick 'n' mix banquet from glossy lacquered bowls. Think of jewel-like nigiri or seaweed-wrapped California rolls served on a round dish - somehow not right? Graphic foods like these look best lined up in regimented rows on square plates. 'They're still the only appropriate shape on which to serve sushi,' says chef Bill Granger. Plain and simple Tables of chic eateries everywhere have increased the popularity of simple white serving ware in our kitchens (think back - it really wasn't so long ago that a matching set of patterned plates was everyone's table staple at home). A favourite with the majority of chefs and restaurants, a plain white plate can provide a 'frame' for food, transforming even the most basic beans on toast into a culinary delight, while still proving the perfect foil for more adventurous dinner party dishes. As a result, chefs are increasingly being asked to collaborate with tableware companies when they're developing new products - take Jamie Oliver's collection for Royal Worcester and the new Gordon Ramsay range by Royal Doulton. For the latter, a design team visited the TV star's restaurants to study how both chefs and customers used their plates. The resulting tableware is both glamorous and functional. The new essentials 'We don't need complete dinner services any more,' says Wedgwood design and creative consultant Francesca Amfitheatrof. 'Attitudes have changed and we can be adventurous with a less formal mix-and-match approach.' Instead, it's all about customising your crockery, so compile your ultimate wish list before investing in some good-quality basics. Space and storage limitations make today's kitchen essentials work harder and, as a result, you're more likely to need flexible items and dishes that can double up. Don't waste your funds on cups and saucers just because tradition dictates if you know you won't use them.

On the other hand, if you're a coffee lover, proper espresso cups will be a good investment if they make your morning shot that much more enjoyable. Above all, it's essential to think about your particular needs and cooking style when choosing crockery. o Large dinner plates will give food room to breathe. According to John Lewis, the size of tableware has increased over the last few years, and many plates are now 30cm whereas the standard is 27cm. Also think about pieces that can work for starters, sides and desserts. o The experts agree that multifunctional, medium-sized bowls are an essential. A favourite with foodies everywhere, they can be used to serve anything from soups and salads to pasta and puddings, with deep versions being ideal for casual eating when food is balanced on laps. o'Go for some supersized serving dishes so that everyone can tuck in,' suggests Thomasina Miers, Masterchef winner 2005 and author of Cook. 'Bountiful plates and bowls are becoming an absolute must for people cooking at home'.

Choose porcelain serveware that can go straight from oven to tabletop. Share and share alike The popularity of foods from around the world means meals are far less likely to be brought ready-plated to the table, as in many countries the act of sharing with your fellow diners is integral to a meal. Instead large platters and bowls allow everyone to help themselves, a trend that translates well into contemporary social settings. 'Sharing is key in Chinese and oriental cooking, so I usually make an array of small dishes that allow guests to sample a little of everything,' says Ching-He Huang, author of China Modern. 'It's a lot less formal, especially when you have groups of friends that are new to each other. Colour and texture 'The classic white plate is the white T-shirt of the tabletop world,' says Donna Hay, Livingetc's contributing food editor. Donna suggests thinking of your tabletop in the same way you think of fashion. 'Adding colour or texture is easy to do with dipping bowls, platters and other smaller items. Just as with fashion, these are those inexpensive accessory purchases that are easy to part with after the trend has passed'. Another way to introduce personality is by mixing basics with well-loved, vintage hand-me-downs or flea-market finds. 'We're definitely getting more eclectic,' says Bill Granger. 'I used to have cupboards full of white plates, but now colour and pattern are creeping back in.


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