Art and IKEA in the Kitchen

Getting our art (and sometimes other stuff) up on the walls always makes an apartment feel like home to us.  So after living in our new place for a few weeks, the bare walls are starting to drive me crazy!  Chris has been super busy with his new job, and I don't want to make too many big art decisions without at least his input so I don't make any extra holes in the walls.  But, after verifying part of my plan with him, I went ahead and did my thing in the kitchen, because that room really needed more "us" in it!

There's really only one little area of wall in the kitchen, and the only things making that room feel like ours were the rug, dishes on the open shelving, and a few little decor items here and there.  At least all the other rooms have lots of our furniture in them, so they feel more finished without art, but the kitchen was starting to bum me out.

Love those adorable vintage Mr. and Mrs. tea towels my parents gave us!

So here's what I did with our little corner of open wall!  Back in July we made a big IKEA trip and picked up two of these Fintorp rails, along with two packs of hooks, and one wire basket for our last kitchen.  When that place didn't work out, we took them with us and luckily they fit perfectly in the corner around the stove to hold some of our most frequently used kitchen items, which is awesome for saving counter/cupboard space.  Then I worked around the rails to hang up a little gallery style selection of art.  And BOOM.  Now I love the kitchen!

kitchen art on Make A Gif

I even went crazy and put together this little gif of hanging the art on the wall for you!  It would have been even more awesome if I had thought of doing something with the bars for this... but I didn't.  Oh well, I still deem my first foray into the world of gifs a success... even though I apparently wiggled my tripod a little here and there.  Oops.

Oh, and please appreciate the lovely brown enamel teapot my dear friend Elizabeth gave us off our Etsy wedding registry.  Love it!

For reference, here's a photo of the kitchen from almost the same angle, which I posted when we first moved in.  As you can see, our kitchen already has a pretty vintage feel to it, what with the funky combination of shelving and the old enamel topped piece of furniture that acts as our counter, complete with a rattan-front cabinet.  In general, we mostly lean towards purely vintage items, but we do like to sprinkle in a little modern to keep it from looking too dated, and I think the additions to the kitchen wall do just the trick.

The IKEA rails are obviously new, but with nice shapely details that make them fit in well with older stuff, and I think the black color works well to break up that tall wall (the ceilings slope upwards, and are at their tallest point on this wall--about 8.5 ft), while coordinating with the black grates on the stove and the black drawer pulls.  We threw in our little vintage yellow enamel frying pan with all our spatulas, hot pads, measuring cups, and spoons, partly because we use it all the time so that's a practical place for it to be, and partly to add a little touch of vintage to that part of the wall.  And of course, we love color, so a few bright pops keeps everything fun :)

Keeping with the mix of modern and vintage, here's a rundown of the art on the wall, starting at the bottom, moving counter clockwise: a little vintage mushroom crewel, a colorful framed photo of a black cat by Jim Nilsen we bought at the Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts in 2009, our awesome letterpress 2013 calendar by Old School stationers, our IKEA clock we've probably had since our first apartment back in 2008, and an old print of a painting by Chris's great uncle, Bill Bagley.  I was originally planning to hang another piece of art over the other bar, but once I finished this wall, it seemed like too much to add more... we'll see if our thoughts change on that later.

Also, we've had that vintage red kitchen step-stool since our first apartment (picked it up at an estate sale for $4), but this is the first time it has actually been useful.  We don't have a lot of cabinet space, and half the cabinets are too high for me to reach (being the little person I am), so there's actually stuff I need to get to in there, and thus I use the stool all the time.

So what do you think of our kitchen so far?  Do you have IKEA rails in your kitchen?  Do you think about your vintage/modern ratio when decorating your home?  Do you need art on the walls to feel settled?


  1. I like it! It kind of makes the space look a bit larger. Maybe it's the arrow shape that the new rails make, maybe my eyes are crooked. Either way, it looks really good.

  2. I've been LOVING seeing the teapot in all your pictures. It is so gosh darn cute!! I may have to hunt for one myself. :)

  3. Nicely done -- I like the way the artwork hugs or brackets the bar.

    P.S. I think the wobble added to the charm of the gif.

  4. That looks so good! I used to be kind of reserved about cluttering up my walls, but now I'm over it and I feel the need to hang something on every bare wall. I really wish I could do the open shelving and Ikea rails, because it looks great, but everything left out in my house ends up covered in dust and cat hair. :)

  5. Looks great! And I'm terribly impressed that you made a gif!

  6. I'm curious about the bamboo panel on the cabinet. How do you open it? Is it on a hinge, or something? What did you use for the panel? Looks cool! Very funky!

    1. It has a hinge on the left and one of those child-proof latches on the right to keep it closed (though you can see in the photos that it never stays quite all the way closed). It just came this way in our kitchen, but it looks like it's just an old piece of plywood covered with that cheap reed privacy stuff you get at the hardware stuff to cover ugly fences (which I used to make a small fence to keep our dog in our area of the yard) and a few pieces of actual bamboo around the edges to make it more attractive. Simple, but it works and looks much better than the plain plywood!


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