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How to choose art for your kitchen

How to choose art for your kitchen

Arguably, introducing art into kitchens has more impact than it does in any other room in the home. Kitchens are, by definition, functional spaces with wall areas often being ear-marked for storage or shelving. But bringing artworks into a busy, hardworking kitchen will transform the room from a practical, utilitarian zone into a welcoming, personal space.

While gallery rules for displaying art still apply – art works should be hung so that the middle of the frame is about 145cm from the floor, for example – kitchens allow for a much looser interpretation of what constitutes an art piece, and also offer an excuse to introduce personal pieces such as children’s drawings or granny’s hand-written recipes. Here are some ways to bring an artistic flourish into the heart of your home.


Wall space is at a premium in a kitchen and you’ll probably only have room for one or two focal pieces of art, so make them matter to you. In open-plan kitchen-diners, art works can help to zone the space, defining an eating or living area away from the functionality of food prep and storage. But art doesn’t need to be restricted to the walls. You could interspace small, framed pictures on open shelving, propped up amongst piles of plates and bowls for a more informal, decorative feel. Or, a high-ceilinged room, might be able to take a sculptural figure centered above the cooker hood.

Colour directions

Just as in other rooms, kitchen art works can inspire a colour theme. While the cabinetry might be one solid colour, shades and hues in a favourite piece can be carried through to upholstery, accessories, even a tablecloth to create a cohesive look. What’s more, paintings will introduce pattern, depth and detail in what is often a practical, wipe-smooth space.

Artistic styles

Kitchen walls lend themselves to artworks which reflect the function of the room, so paintings of fruit or vegetables and botanicals suit the space. Our new Pantry collection of prints, taken from original oils by Daisy Sims Hilditch, are perfect for setting the tone of breakfast rooms or dining nooks. Similarly, framed vintage food labels can bring an industrial edge to a space. At the other end of the scale, unexpectedly grand, gilt-framed oil paintings will add contrast and drama to the kitchen, as Neptune customer Louise achieved in her Chichester kitchen.

Get creative

The most successful kitchens are designed to be efficient and streamlined, so to balance that, they’ll benefit from some creative decoration. While you might have a gallery wall of family photos in a hall or stairwell, you could try a gallery wall of vintage plates or textured wooden chopping boards in a kitchen space or even introduce a bespoke tile painting as a very personal splash-back behind a range cooker. Our friends at Marlborough Tiles will paint any scene you desire onto their kitchen tiles. Even a chalkboard offers the opportunity to double as a place for ever-changing doodles and artistic flourishes.

Make it personal

Kitchens are the inner sanctum of the home and, as such, a reflection of the family who live there. A framed hand-written recipe, passed down through generations, will add an intimate note, while a naive child’s drawing brings sweet humour to the space. After all, introducing artworks into your kitchen is all about personal expression and surrounding yourself with what makes you happy.

Explore our wall art collection.