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8 Items That Don’t Belong in Your Kitchen, According to Designers

How do you style your kitchen, and what things should you not bring in there?

As a backdrop to the day-to-day routine, the kitchen deserves to be styled with thoughtful objects that make it as beautiful as you imagine. No matter the size of your kitchen, you will want to make an effort to design it so that it best serves your needs.

According to designers, the first step in doing so is saying farewell to things that just don’t belong in this special room of the house. We asked some experts to share items that people commonly place in their kitchens but shouldn’t, and they chimed in with a bunch of no-no objects, which we’ve detailed below.

Get ready to style your kitchen!

style your kitchen
Photo by Jin Odin from Shutterstock

1. Televisions

All three designers we spoke with agreed that the kitchen just isn’t the place for a TV. Jessica Davis of Atelier David says that she hasn’t seen a television in a kitchen done well, and she believes that they should be relegated to lounge spaces.

She also added that all the TVs she’s seen in kitchens wind up taking up counter space. If you’re looking for ways to declutter and style your kitchen, the TV should be on your list of things to remove from there.

Bradley Odom of Bradley Odom Interiors points out that kitchens should be for music, cooking something delicious and a glass of wine. He also believes that a television si best kept ou of this room, as it takes away from the conversational and familial atmosphere that designers always try to create in the energy and layout of the kitchen they make.

In other words, experts say that the focus should be on the food and the family, not on some movie or reality show.

2. Pricy rugs and runners

It may be tempting to lay down a lovely, investment-worthy piece in the kitchen, but designers point out that you’re better off choosing a more budget-friendly pick in this room of the house.

According to Logan Miller of Logan Elizabeth Designs, splurging on expensive rugs may seem tempting if you want to style your kitchen because you think it will look just fine, especially if the rug has some nice patterns. However, she firmly believes this isn’t a practical choice, and she explains why.

As kitchens are high-traffic areas prone to spills, durability becomes a top priority. If you want to style your kitchen, purchase a durable jute rug—this is a better alternative that is known to stand the test of time. Plus, there are lots of options available on the market at affordable price points. Here are some great options from Amazon.

junk drawer
Photo by Carolyn Franks from Shutterstock

3. A junk drawer

Gone are the days when the best place to store the junk drawer was the kitchen. Everyone needs this drawer somewhere in the house, but you’re best off not having yours in the kitchen. Why?

As Michelle Lynne of ML Interiors Group explains, if it’s junk, why keep it in the busiest area of the house? We all know how easily the kitchen can get cluttered, so it’s best to not make things worse.

If you keep your junk drawer in the highest-value real estate of your house, you should plan to find a better place for it.

4. Anything artificial

If you want to style your kitchen, you’re best off not keeping artificial fruits and plants in there. As Heather Garrett of Heather Garrett Design suggests, your kitchen is the place for things that live, so opt out of the baskets of fakes in exchange for something resilient, such as a potted succulent. Since most kitchens have enough natural light, you can keep natural plants there, and they will thrive.

Rebecca Bridges of House of Drennan also agrees that faux greenery is a big no if you want to style your kitchen. She explains that these pieces can often quickly look dated, especially between dust and sun fading.

So the best thing you can do is to go for live plants, and there are many great picks that are easy to maintain in the kitchen area—a pothos plant is nearly indestructible, and a ZZ plant is too!

5. Your dog’s crate

Make a home for your furry friend outside of your cooking area, urges Aston Moody of Aston Moody Interiors. For dog owners, having the pup’s crate in the kitchen may seem convenient and tempting. While it’s important to place the crate somewhere in the house where the family spends a lot of time so your pet feels safe and secure, the kitchen isn’t the best setup.

Not only does it detract from the look and block traffic, but it’s probably also somewhat unsanitary. So, style your kitchen and find another spot for your dog’s crate (the family room is a much better place, for instance).

6. Knickknacks

If you want to style your kitchen and add a dose of decor to it, make sure to keep it to a minimum. Interior designers agree that a handful of special and tasteful knick-knacks can look great, but they point out that, in a kitchen, these decor items look like clutter.

The cooking area is a utility space, and a well-stylished one doesn’t need a lot else. That’s why experts suggest keeping most of the family photos and personal effects in other places in the house.

Too much clutter on your kitchen countertop attracts dust and distracts from your kitchen finishes, like lovely backsplashes and stone countertops. That’s why a clean island with one large, beautiful vase or bowl is much easier to remove than plenty of small accessories if you’re entertaining and want to use your countertop to serve buffet style.

So what should you display instead to style your kitchen without overdoing it? Experts shared with us that cookbooks, glass canisters filled with cooking ingredients, or wooden cutting boards are great examples of lovely items you can place on your countertop.

scented candles
Photo by Breezze from Shutterstock

7. Fragrances

Style those diffusers and candles in the living room, bedroom, or powder room—not in the kitchen. While some candles may look great in this area of your house, adding a dose of decor, keep them for other places.

According to experts, the fragrances of those mixed with the natural aromas of cooking won’t result in a pleasing scent. Moreover, there will be too many smells. So, style your kitchen and keep those candles and diffusers out of this room.

8. The fridge, if possible

Fitting a fridge outside of the cooking area may not be possible for many, but if the layout of your house allows for this kind of setup, it can prove very beneficial, says Casey Sanford of Casey Sanford Interior Design.

When Sanford designed her own kitchen a few years ago, she placed her refrigerator in a small room off the kitchen, which then allowed her to incorporate a 60-inch range and plenty of counterspace on either side.

Not only will positioning the fridge elsewhere help you style your kitchen, but it also lessens the foot traffic in the area while someone is cooking or washing dishes.

If you liked our article on how to style your kitchen and which items you should remove from this area, you may also want to read Bedroom Paint Colors: 7 Gorgeous Shades That Will Rule in 2024.


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