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Fresh & Unique Kitchen Ideas

by | May 7, 2012 | Decorating Inspiration, Kitchens

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Fresh & Unique Kitchen Ideas

Traditional Home – kitchen with cheerful blue chairs and charming oversized light

Kitchens with Charm and Personality!

If your kitchen makes you yawn, maybe there is something you could do to give it a little more of a WOW factor!

How about a big oversized light?
A fresh color on the cabinets or walls?
What about colored furniture or a new patterned fabric?
Or maybe a unique design element?

Fresh & Unique Kitchen Ideas

BHG – fresh color on lower cabinets

I think a kitchen should have something about it that grabs your attention and that makes you happy every time you see it. I mean, think of how often we are in our kitchens? Um, several times a day? Or more? I want to LOVE being in my kitchen.

Fresh & Unique Kitchen Ideas

Traditional Home – unique orange banquette fabric

I love to see design that is fresh and fun and not the same ol’ same ol’ white cabinets or predictable popular fabric. I like a little charm, a little personality and a little eye catching something that makes me fall in love!

I don’t really care whether the attention grabbers are furniture, fabrics, lighting or the cabinets themselves, I just love seeing something that shows the owner’s personality, creativity or love for their home. It doesn’t take a lot of detail to make a kitchen special and unique!  A little thought and creativity will go a long way towards making your kitchen YOURS.

Fresh & Unique Kitchen Ideas

BHG Colorful tile backsplash and painted cabinet backs

I’d love working in a kitchen like this!
A fun backsplash
and painted cabinet backs make this
kitchen charming and cozy!

Fresh & Unique Kitchen Ideas

BHG – windows behind glass cabinets

The windows behind these glass cabinets
caught my eye! They definitely
make the room special and unique!
Not exactly sure how you’d clean them but
I’d be willing to figure it out
in order to have the benefit of the cabinets
with the light streaming in the room like that!

Fresh & Unique Kitchen Ideas

BHG – colored cabinets and orange accent wall

No predictable white cabinets and walls here!
The color combo warms up the kitchen and
gives it a charming personality all its own.

If you are wanting to freshen up a kitchen you already have without gutting it and starting from scratch, it really helps to be open to the unique. Anyone can redesign an entire kitchen with a big budget and make it charming and lovely, but if you are on a budget you can create a wonderful new-to-you kitchen using simple and affordable tricks such as color and accessories! I’m definitely dreaming up affordable charm for my own kitchen!

What design elements grab your attention in a kitchen and make you want to stay awhile?


  1. Maria

    I LOVE the windows behind the cabinets. What a unique idea!! Thanks so much for sharing. :-)

  2. Kim Porter

    That light in the first picture is fantastic!!

  3. molly

    omg where did you find that lamp in the 1st pic? I need one!!

  4. Wanda Styrsky

    Love the green cabinets! I have a 1960’s galley kitchen and no foreseeable way to update as I was just laid off my teaching job! I am always looking for ways to make it more loveable!

  5. Brooke

    you are SO RIGHT about needing something to “pop”! We did a kitchen renovation and I loved it…but it need something else…something dramatic…something to make it “pop”. So we got rid of our round pedestal table and replaced it with a bright red farmhouse table…it was just what our classic, white kitchen needed.

  6. Ann

    The first one looks real charming.
    I love a kitchen with charming colors and accents.

  7. Susanne

    Good Morning. In our little budget we have room for repainting the kitchen. I have lived with swatches for months. Finally, I’ve been cajoled into deciding that we will have a coffee light every morning and all day long on our walls. I know it’s not traditional. We have a only a few white cabinets. Emphasis on a few. Approximately 4′ of old white counter, white tile, white trim, white appliances and 2″ white faux wood blinds on only 2 (less than bright windows) and tons of empty wall. Such is the layout of an original oddly laid out 1940’s kitchen. My friends are all in favor of the latte theme. All have ideas how to lighten and brighten with deco. Okay, I’m leary, loaded with’s gets dark early in the winters of New England, but here we go… bring on the coffee….lol.

  8. Jen

    All very pretty. I’ve never seen the cabinets in front of windows before, very cool and different. Thanks for sharing! Have a fabulous day!

  9. Lisa

    I dream about how my kitchen will look every day…but we rent right now so I don’t want to put any money into a house that isn’t mine. However when I do have my house….I love colorful tile backlashes!! Especially in bright green. I also love the 2nd picture. Gorgeous! Kitchens should be warming, spacious, the gathering place of the house! (Okay I won’t dream on here! lol) Love your website!!!

    • Melissa

      Thanks Lisa! It is fun to dream :-)

  10. Jill Flory

    I really like that light in the top picture! I like a mix of warmth, industrial, and vintage. I would love to be able to plan a kitchen from scratch someday :)


    The backsplash in the first kitchen is interesting and great!

  12. SueAnn

    Cabinets or the most inviting kitchen island. That just sings to me

  13. Sherry Poer

    I ALWAYS am excited to read your new posts! Would you mind cking out my “trying to be blog” of my paintings and let me know what you think-I would be thrilled!!! Thank you thank you thank you!!! Your avid fan…Sherry Poer. Blog is Fat Juicy Art.

  14. Garden, Home and Party

    Hi Melissa,
    These examples are certainly fun and colorful. They all seem youthful, can a kitchen be youthful? :-)

  15. teresa

    Thanks Melissa I needed a little creative kick today- I plan to take my all white shades down in the Cottage kitchen and add a little bamboo…..thanks
    Have a wonderful day- hope Jack is behaving himself =)

  16. Debbie

    Haha…I’d have to say appliances that all work at the same time! We are getting ready to paint our cabinets, get new backsplash and flooring…looking forward to some new goodies in the kitchen. The good thing is my hubby creates cooking magic in our kitchen, and good memories are made no matter what appliances are working at the time! Big smile.

  17. Sonya

    So many options and many to love from each one. I think I’m really crushing on the window behind the glass cabinets though. Very unique.

  18. Franki Parde

    Hey! That red table sounds “exciting!” I’ve got a round pedestal table that I “was thinking of” staining gray…hmmm, maybe RED! franki

  19. mary timmers

    I LOVE predictable white cabinets with white countertops! Classic, timeless, and open to changes of color in everything else. Plus, living where I live,(Minnesota), light is at a preumium, so I say “Bring it on!”

  20. Ashley

    Love these ideas! I especially love the rustic light and blue chairs in the first picture. So charming!

  21. Jamie

    Loving the windows behind the cabinets. I would have never tries to install cabinets over a window, but it actually works beautifully!

    I’m going to try to paint my insland a different color, either blue or brown. I’m liking the blue more and more…

  22. Meaningful Nest

    I love having a different pattern in fabric, a cool light, or a splash of unexpected color in a kitchen. So many white kitchens are beautiful (that’s all I seem to have posted on my Pinterest kitchen board!) but many look similar. I love the kitchens you featured for their unique elements. My favorite is the first picture with the light and colors.

  23. Anne

    I love the window seat with the orange fabric. I would definitely have this in my kitchen but my style of house won’t go well with it. Perhaps I can adapt this for another area. I really liked the way it looks.
    Kitchens are important places in any home. Like you said, we spend so much time there. I recently did an article about kitchen storage and realised that there is so much I still need to learn about that topic.
    Great and fun article.

  24. Liz

    I love this post, and especially the pops of bright colors. I’m over all the white kitchens… I think I liked them when they first made their return to the scene,because they were at the time unusual, but to me, they’ve become the new “cookie cutter” look, which is unfortunate. It is interesting that you refer to them as “predictable” – I remember a debate a few years ago about whether the latest white kitchen look would ever look “dated” or tied to the 2000s, and I thought yes, while no one with a white kitchen would admit that, and believed each to be classic yet unique at the same time. (What bothers me is that on message boards and such, people with new white kitchens often take a tone of superiority as though only “builder grade” oak cabinets could be cookie cutter. No, when everyone jumps on the bandwagon – any bandwagon – the look can become cookie cutter and associated with a certain time period. This is too bad for people who independently decided they likes a white look.)

    My favorite kitchens are by far eclectic kitchens. I like kitchens which have many of the elements you would find in other parts of a house – wood floors, Oriental, Persian, or kilim rugs, books, non-kitchen furniture, etc.. I think this preference is the result of having grown up in an old house in New England which didn’t originally even have a kitchen (or bathroom) as we know them today. The kitchen had hookups to the chimney (original cookstove would have been wood-fired) and ONE built-in almost furniture-style cabinet. When the house got running water and a kitchen sink was added, another similar cabinet was built around the sink. My parents added some customer-built solid wood painted cabinets in the same style (not at all like today’s built-in cabinets – not even the so-called “farmhouse style” – they’re more disjointed and furniture-like.) The floors are wide pine planks, the room is rather small, and the kitchen stove and refrigerator are free-standing with no cabinets surrounding them. This, to me, is normal, even though it wouldn’t seem at all normal to anyone with a suburban (or new home) upbringing. Anything too “matchy-matchy” or CONSCIOUSLY un-“matchy-matchy” looks overdone and contrived to me.

    I now live in a new house in New England, traditional in style but with everything builder-grade (at least originally, we have bit by bit upgraded and customized.) Believe it or not, I actually LIKE my builder-grade oak cabinets. I’ve painted one of my oak bathroom vanities, and I like that too, but I don’t want to do it to my kitchen cabinets because it would be impossible to return to the original finish at some point in the future. Fortunately, my cabinet doors and fronts are solid wood, and only the top, bottom, and sides of the cases are fiberboard (which, by the way, is what many higher-end cabinets cases are made out of, too.) My cabinets have simple recessed panels, like Shaker cabinets (no ’80s arches), and the color is not too light and not too dark, so there’s really nothing “offensive” about them aside from the natural wood grain, which a lot of people hate. With wrought-iron hardware, they look great. My walls are a buttery yellow, my floors are also wood (oak gunstock – which I chose because of the strong wood grain.) The room gets a ton of natural light (opens out onto an elevated deck) and the view in every direction is of woods (very bright green in the spring) in close proximity. I’ve brought in additional colors through green plants and pots in saturated colors (primarily blue and terra cotta) and books, and I have a colorful kilim rug on the floor which ties it all together. Despite the oft-vilified “builder grade” cabinetry, the look is really quite unique. It seems like a cheery farmhouse/cabin/cottage kitchen to me. To me, this is the look that works best in our particular setting. If I were to change it, I would paint the cabinets an actual color.

    I love the look of the windows behind the cabinets, but as you say, it seems like it would be very difficult to keep clean. The look would not remain so crystal-clear for long. It also makes those cabinets useless for anything except display pieces (although I suppose that’s the same with any glass-front cabinets.) And, it seems it would disrupt the look to install any kind of window covering (outside the house, at the back of the cabinets, or in front of the cabinets.) So, this would work best without neighbors close by.

  25. Grace

    I love the colours in the last one. I would only be brave about painting walls and cabinets, not putting up wild tiles as I would grow tired of them and they are so hard and expensive to change.

  26. Carla

    We are just about to get the keys to our first house which is in definite need of a kitchen gut. Both of us a fans of dark cabinets. I’m liking that idea of a bench by the window…might have to add that to the maybe list. Need some time to settle and do some other more pressing upgrades before we even think about the kitchen much though.
    The cabinets by the windows are neat but I’m far too lazy to empty and then take out the shelves to clean the glass lol

  27. Michael - Innkeeper

    That light fixture in the first image is fantastic! I’m in love! Beautiful inspiration.

    I love an all white kitchen with pops of fun color and touches of the past. Kitchens are such a magical space!

  28. Alicia

    I love the last one. The grey cabinets and the orange wall look fun and unpredictable. I could actually make that work in our house!

  29. Rachel

    Hi Melissa,
    We just painted an accent wall in our kitchen Benjamin Moore Copper Kettle and I’m looking for a gray/blue for the other walls – saw this picture of the orange accent wall with gray/blue cabinets and was wondering what color they are? Or if you have a suggestion for a color to go with this. The rest of the space has browns, blues, rusts, green, cool beiges…Thanks!

  30. Maggie

    Great ideas. Love the light in the first pic also. I really think I should have been a kitchen designer because I’m so into kitchens. Sorry I’m still in love with white kitchens. I had a cherry kitchen for years and always looked too dark. With white you can bring any color into it via accessories.. I love the two tone white on gray also.. So pleasing to the eye.


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