Renovation inspiration - the kitchen

What's in your dream kitchen? Mine* will have floorboards and white cupboards and wooden benchtops and a big, fireclay farmhouse sink. It will have a gas stove and a big oven that doesn't leak, is easy to clean, and is up high so curious little hands can't get into trouble. My new kitchen will have LOADS of storage and, even though I love the look of open shelves, everything will be closed off inside cupboards because there's nothing worse than that sticky grime-dust that gathers in cooking places over time. But all those cupboard doors will steal a lot of personality from my dream kitchen. How can I inject the character back in? Here are five ways I've been admiring from around the Internet of late.

Lights↑↑ I think these utilitarian light fittings would be perfect for a kitchen that's a bit rustic, like mine. There are some amazing vintage and handmade light shades in this style that Mr B and I have been admiring, but those can cost thousands of dollars, and you can get something pretty similar from Ikea for $29.99. So...

Clockwise from top left: white vintage shades via Manhattan Nest; black rustic shade via Design Sponge; modern (vintage-look) red shade via Design Sponge; handmade 'tram light' via Life Space Journey


Greenery↑↑ Plants add a sense of warmth to the kitchen (as well as adding oxygen), and bring a little of the garden inside, especially if you have the light to grow edible herbs inside. My new kitchen will only have a small window, so I'm not sure how well herbs will grow in it. Alternatively, I'm also rather smitten with these dried herb posies, in the cupboard or hanging from a piece of driftwood on the ceiling.

Clockwise from top left: driftwood herb and pot rack via Poppytalk; dried herb cupboard via Bright Bazaar; garden shelves in the window via Design Sponge; plants on the wall via Old Brand New


Walls↑↑ Because I've opted for all white cupboards and no open shelves, I was thinking a bit of wall decor might be the way to brighten up my kitchen and give it some colour and personality. I thought these were pretty cute ideas, from chalk-board 'windows' to removable wallpaper (and how cool is that brown paper shopping-list scroll?).

Clockwise from top left: renters' wallpaper via Oh Joy; chalkboard wall and 'window' via Poppytalk; neon pink cuckoo-clock via Design Sponge; shopping-list scroll via Ebb & Flow


KitchenAccessories↑↑ How fun is the pastel-and-neon phase that's going on these days? I'm also loving all the geometric shapes and patterns. And when you combine them with handmade techniques and natural elements... winning!

Clockwise from top left: many-coloured ceramic canisters via bfiess; neon-painted wooden bowls via Nicole Porter Design; colourful, geometric coasters via brika; geometric mugs via Barbara Bestor

Vintage↑↑ For the past I don't know how many years, I have been on the lookout for the perfect vintage kitchen canisters. They have to be enamel, but have good working seals still in place, no rust, and great colour. One day I will find them and they will sit happily on my kitchen bench. Meanwhile, here are some other great-looking (and brightly coloured) vintage finds I've been loving on Etsy of late.

Clockwise from top left: retro cowboy spice canisters via Tangerine Toes; vintage Dutch kitchen rack via Smeerling Antiques; polka-dot Soviet enamel milk can via Riga Vintage (more of my Soviet-era polka-dot finds here); vintage French tin canisters via Vintage French Linens

OK your turn. What would you have in your dream kitchen? What would make you happiest?

* If you're new to this blog, we are renovating our house. This is what it looks like from the outside. This is what it looked like inside, a couple of weeks ago.