There are certain kitchen “themes” that are fairly predictable, such as the standard oak cupboards look.  Or the oak or maple cupboards with semi opaque glass on a few of the cupboard doors.  There is the white cupboard look and the white appliance look.  And in recent years, the shiny silver appliance look has become quite popular.

 photo wacky_kitchen_zpsa0f4b3ef.jpg

These are all…nice.  They are comfortable.  Familiar.

Many people like nice, comfortable and familiar.  But some people like exciting and exotic.  Some people like to travel places and visit new worlds.  “But we are talking about kitchens,” you say?  Yes, because you can’t travel every day (unless you are this month’s lucky lottery winner).  But you can visit your kitchen every day.  So come with me and over the next few minutes we will visit a few kitchens to take you places un non-lottery-winners can only get occasionally, and in some cases, never.

Tropical paradise

 photo tropical_zpsf3e50734.jpg

Is there any place you would find more relaxing than a tropical beach?  If you could come home from work to a tropical beach, would that not be an upgrade to your life?  So why not step into a tropical paradise when you step into your kitchen?

Hold the sand; that could get messy.  But you could work in a beach umbrella in a corner or over the kitchen island.  And you can have window dressing made from tropical themed fabric.  A custom paint job on the walls or on cupboard doors could set the scene.  And every room feels friendlier with a plant, so why not something that calls to mind a palm tree?

And don’t forget to decorate the appliances, too (some great ideas here).  The fridge and freezer are particularly important to decorate.  Your local travel agency can probably give you a very classy tropical beach poster.

Is anything missing?  Yes – sound.  Pick up a disc of relaxing sounds with waves and occasional birds chirping.  You could try turning on A Soft Murmur to give you those sounds, and create a truly relaxing ambience.

Who needs mess ol’ sand anyhow?

Bonus point: Wear your swimming suit to dinner to really get in the mood!

Cottage life

 photo cottage_life_zpse2ba5d6d.jpg

A beach is not everybody’s dream of relaxing. Some people live far enough outside the city that they come home to a wooded lot with the house in the middle.  It’s like coming home to the cottage every day.  For the rest of us, we can come home to the cottage every day by simply redecorating our kitchens.

Start by ditching the standard table and chairs and replacing them with patio furniture or with a pic nic table.  Cottage decor is usually wooden, so you might want to panel the walls, and avoid shiny metallic appliances.  It can look more rustic if you hand pots and pans and stuff with hooks on the wall.  If possible, a wood burning stove would add to the cottage appeal.

Sounds, well the birds chirping would be good.  Tree leaves rustling in the wind, perhaps.


 photo spain_zps23137107.jpg

Or Mexico.  Or anything Spanish.  Why?  Because the colors associated with a Spanish look are bright and sunny, uplifting in every way.  Start with tiles of red, orange and yellow.  Add window dressings in matching colors.  Look for stickers of suns that you can place on small appliances.

Remember, the key is to have plenty of splashes of bold, sunny colors.  Just how bold you want to get depends on taste.  You might just want to tone down the walls and cupboards if all that color is too much of a good thing.  Or, you might just like covering the entire kitchen with sunshine.

I am not sure what sounds would work well for this.  Even just a few birds and the occasional sound of a light breeze should do it.

Off-world adventure

 photo outer_space_zps3d081aa8.jpg

Why not make your kitchen look like a space station.  This works best if you have metallic appliances, and you will want cupboards to match.  Have metalic kitchen tools on the counter. Aluminum foil can be used generously to cover smaller surfaces that cannot be procured in metal.

Look at all the Tardis themed nick-knacks that can decorate the kitchen for space and time travel.  Just to make the atmosphere a little more futuristic, you might consider standing a robot in the corner.  There are plenty examples of such robots here and here and…oh my,… maybe not here (that could get just a wee bit crowded at dinner time).

Try adding a round “window” on the wall, where you can see a landscape shot of the planet’s surface outside (which would be painted on).

Space always seems so quite, except perhaps for the hum of machinery.  Your refrigerator probably has the sounds covered off for you there.

There are an infinite variety of kitchen themes to choose from.  Think of your favorite movie or book.  Think of somewhere you visited that you would love to return to.  Invent a world of your own.  The only limit is your imagination.

Jen Maven doesn’t live in black and white.  She is an amateur designer and a professional writer, and she likes to share her love for eclectic design with readers around the Internet.