There's usually a lot going on in a kitchen--countertops, backsplash, appliances, lighting, wood stains and paint, etc., etc. And we've talked before about how a kitchen is becoming more and more of a gathering place. How the functional pieces in it can be a little more furniture-like instead of so neat and tidy. Adding personality in a kitchen can bring it to life and make it a really well-used, well-loved space. But how do you direct your attention. Where do you put the focus in the kitchen? You need to have a focal point, a direction, or else your kitchen will feel haphazard and disjointed. Many people think that the backsplash is the only place that makes sense for a focal point in a kitchen but that's not true. There are other areas that are just as well-suited for attention!
Yes, the backsplash is an obvious focal point in a kitchen. But if you're really going to make it a focal point, do it right! Don't just use a simple tile that only goes up under the cabinets. Pick something bold and interesting that covers the entire wall! A good backsplash tile can be the wallpaper of the kitchen, adding color and pattern. Just be sure to make the rest of the kitchen blend in a little more if you have a bold backsplash tile. You don't want anything competing!
Another large surface that can be used as a focal point in your kitchen is the countertops. The can be a great marble or granite with lots of movement that's really interesting or even 2 different materials that coordinate. A fun island countertop always makes for a great focal point in a kitchen because it's in the center of the room. Many people go to butcher block but something more bold like a slab of olive wood would really make a statement!
Don't forget about the furniture you have in your kitchen, either! Many people have barstools or some other small seating--this is a great area to bring in fun patterns and color. If the seating is upholstered, you've got a world of possibilities with the fabric choice. Or, if it's a solid material, consider the texture. Don't be afraid of bold colors, either. Just be sure the rest of the kitchen doesn't fight it!
Obviously, lighting can create some of the greatest visual interest in a space and the kitchen is no exception! Pendant lights over an island or bar can absolutely make the space! We consider lighting to be art so something sculptural could be just what your kitchen needs! If we've said it once, we've said it a hundred times, don't underestimate the power of lighting! It can be your best friend if you do it right or your worst enemy if you do it wrong!
Finally, don't forget about your walls! Maybe your kitchen is what it is. You don't have any sort of special countertops or backsplash material and you really don't have the money or desire to change it. Well you've still got the walls, don't you?! Bring in some art to liven up the space. Make sure it flows with the feel of the kitchen and you've instantly put the fun in functional. Like we said, the kitchen has become much more of a gathering space so it's absolutely ok to put art in it!