We're looking at ideas for the kitchen. When it comes to your garden party, you're bound to get guests straying into the kitchen - either offering to help out with food preparation, standing and talking to you whilst you work, or chasing paper towels because they spilt their glass. Often, the kitchen is the way out to the garden - so guests will have to funnel through it anyway! So let's look at some ways we can update your kitchen, to help bring it up to date.


Introduce A Theme: Go Coastal

The coastal / nautical theme is making a big comeback right now. You'll find it in all the interior magazines. The mix of pastel blues, creams and whites - combined with rope, seashells and lighthouses - adds a refreshing, relaxing vibe that instantly ferries us away to memories of being at the seaside. The sand between our toes; the smell of the sea salt; the squark of a seagull, taking off into the cloudless sky. It's a fantastic theme to incorporate in any room through the house, and we have some great ideas for bringing it into the kitchen.


Coastal kitchen look


First thing's first. You need to get the background right. Base tones of white and pastel blue work well for a coastal scheme; watered down versions of traditional sailor colours. For this, we recommend using Eton Gloss Rustic Metro Tiles. Unlike your standard metro tile, they have an unbevelled surface, with gentle muted tones, and a bumpy rustic surface; adding an aged, antique, vintage appearance. Use them to create a splashback, to help set the scene. What's a splashback?


Shanty Chic: Adding Accessories

For a bit of fun, you can use our Scrabble Tiles to spell out a nautical-themed word, such as 'AHOY'. You can stick this to the wall, frame and mount it, or scatter it across the kitchen table as a themed coaster set!


Scrabble Tiles Coastal Theme


As mentioned earlier, rope plays a huge part in the coastal interior decor trend. Why? Because rope is so prominent when you visit a seaside harbour; in mooring lines, and on the boats themselves. You might think it would be rather unappealing to introduce rope into your home, but you'd be wrong - there are some very stylish ways you can inject a little rope into your kitchen.


Firstly, you can make a rope place mat. All it takes is a length of rope, a glue gun, and five minutes of your time. Simply fold the end of the rope over and keep on coiling - gluing as you go. Here's a great tutorial for making a rope table mat:



Once you've made a few, dot them around your kitchen table or breakfast bar for instant coastal relief! Another way you can incorporate rope into a kitchen is to wrap it around the outside of an empty paint tin (gluing it on, of course). Once your tin is wrapped in rope, sit a small glass jam jar inside it. Into this, add water and flowers cuttings, and sit the whole thing on the kitchen windowsill - or in the middle of the kitchen table, to act as an attractive centrepiece.


You could also try these Rope Heart Candle Holders from The Contemporary Home.


Coastal rope candle jars


For another fantastic coastal decoration, take a glass vase or large jar and into it, sprinkle some sand, pebbles, seashells and starfish! This will look great sitting on the windowsill, opposite your rope flower holder!


Love seafood? Invest in this Enamel Mussel Pot from Coastal Home...


Enamel mussel pot from Coastal Home


When it comes to covering over a kitchen window at night, or when the sunshine coming through it is too glaring, a blind is the only way to go. Curtains just aren't safe in a kitchen. You want something flat against the wall, which is tucked away for most of the day - sleek and compact. Blinds are a great way to help advance a decor theme or colour palette. John Lewis sell this fantastic coastal blind; pinstripes in white blue and red (reminiscent of a beach hut):


Coastal pinstripe blind from John Lewis


Let there be light

There's been a reason boom in the emergence of trendy pendant lighting. If you visited the Ideal Home Show this year, you'll have been faced with instance after instance of bespoke, unusual bulb surrounds hanging at the ends of lengthy cords. Pendant lights are a very trendy alternative to traditional bulb fittings, and they help to break up airy, open plan spaces. Like blinds, they're also useful for enhancing decor schemes. Shop around, and you'll find cool nautical bottle pendant lighting options, like the one below, which looks like it's come straight out of an old shanty shack! Try these Coloured Glass Pendant Lights from Rigby and Mac...


Coloured glass pendant lights from Rigby and Mac


Next week in the Summer of DIY 6 week guide to transforming your home, we're looking at updating those bathroom spaces.



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