Decorate with Crafts

Rise and Shine

This custom kitchen gets a springtime pick-me-up when Country Sampler stylists mix in some colorful country accents and creative organizing ideas.

Amy and Jake Link built their Portland, Indiana, home in 2005, aiming to expand it in the future. Two years ago, they finished their long-sought addition, including the kitchen of Amy's dreams. Multiple types of wood, including pine ceilings and walnut countertops, give the space a warm and cozy feel, along with painted and distressed custom cabinetry built by a local Amish craftsman.

Amy, who describes her design style as country primitive/industrial, says she's crazy about the natural beauty of wood. "I think we have 15 different species throughout the home -- but it all complements each other," she says.

In the kitchen, the wood tones are balanced mostly by metals, such as stainless-steel appliances and wrought-iron drawer pulls, and the creamy paint finish on the cabinets and stove backsplash. "White is my favorite color," says Amy, noting that she's been trying to find ways to move out of neutral.

Just in time for spring, Country Sampler stylists Debbie Plantery and René Haines helped make Amy's kitchen blossom, incorporating ideas to keep the space both welcoming and well-organized. "Changing up accessories is a great way to experiment with new colors and patterns without overcommitting," René adds. "And what better time to do it than a season that is all about fresh starts?"

Keep on reading for 20 clever and colorful ways to give your kitchen a spring spruce-up!

Rise and Shine

1. Center stage. "A centerpiece can have more than one element," Debbie says. Here, she paired a pitcher of roses and peonies with crochet-trimmed tea towels fan-folded and tucked into a mason jar, grouping both containers together inside a painted tin bucket.
2. Taste tester. An old chicken feeder does dual duty as a candleholder and a serving piece. Fit tall shot glasses into the openings and fill with tiny treats. Place a battery-powered candle inside the mason-jar feed container.
3. Trace of lace. Turn a fabric scrap into an instant table runner by stitching a strip of lace trim to each end. For added interest, layer it over a contrasting tablecloth.

Rise and Shine

4. Sweet showcases. Pastries look even more tempting when arranged on small colorful dishes and cake stands and topped with clear glass cloches. "Layering cake stands is a great way to add visual appeal to a food display," Debbie suggests. For an extra hint of color, she wove a strip of ribbon through the openwork edge of the large cake stand.
5. Fork it over. A garden fork rack with hooks is mounted above the stove to corral culinary tools close to the cooktop. It also lends a rustic touch in contrast to the shiny stainless steel.
6. Scaled for storage. A vintage-style scale provides a handy perch for often-used cooking spices, seasonings and oils.
7. Smart board. A recycled barnwood cover not only camouflages the stovetop but also expands counter space and doubles as a serving tray.
8. Color pop. Debbie added a bright green tea towel over a white one to pull in bits of green used elsewhere in the room, including the topiary ball above the stove and the olive oil bottle on the scale.
9. Mold breaker. A fluted gelatin mold makes for a cute candleholder when filled with a flameless pillar candle accented with a pretty gingham bow.
10. Cool spools. Antique spools are perfect for filling in above-cabinet display space. Leave them unadorned or top with a small candle.

Rise and Shine

11. Checks and valances. "A small picnic tablecloth makes a wonderful temporary valance for spring," says René, who simply folded and draped this fringed checked cloth over a curtain rod. You could also use other kitchen linens to fashion an impromptu window treatment."
12. Soap station. A galvanized soap dish keeps a lidded jar soap dispenser and scrubbers contained near the sink.
13. Name dropper. Keep kitchen goods organized by grouping them together. René gathered cutlery into petite pails and cookbooks into a whitewashed box, and then labeled each container using printed script and a packing-tape transfer method.
14. Mixed metals. Iron, tin and galvanized metal elements, such as this paper towel holder accented with chicken wire, lend a down-home touch and complement the room's wood tones.
15. Pots and pins. "Sometimes collections need a boost," says René, who brought attention to a grouping of decorative cast-iron skillets by hanging them from an old rolling pin.

Rise and Shine

16. Chalk talk. René repurposed a thrift-store picture frame into a chalkboard. She painted and distressed the frame, and then coated the backing board with chalkboard paint. For a crowning accent, she stenciled a cow on the board. Cup hooks attached to the bottom allow for hanging coordinating farmhouse mugs.
17. Tray chic. "I love the look and convenience of organizing related items on little trays," René notes. "Having things right where you need them is a big time-saver." Here, one tray holds a French press and jars of ground coffee grouped in an old cheese box, while another contains breakfast goodies.
18. Salvaged storage. Scrap wood can be recycled to make handy boxes. Whitewash or apply a colorful distressed finish that coordinates with the other kitchen decor.
19. Add-on character. Newer boxes, tins and canning jars gain instant age when festooned with primitive-style peel-and-stick labels.
20. Fabric fancies. Bring in pattern and texture with lace- or crochet-trimmed tea towels and doilies to dress up everyday surfaces and containers.

For more information, visit our Craft Fair online.

Homegrown metal storage basket and Fresh Fruit towel set, Retro Barn Country Linens
Battery-operated candle light, Gainers Creek Crafts

Lancaster Co. metal scale and Ol' Cream realistic battery pillar, Heart-N-Hand
Iron rake with hooks, Home Decor For Your Style
Stovetop cover, Geneva Country Store

Happy Picnic tablecloth, Retro Barn Country Linens
Pint mason jar soap/lotion dispenser, Geneva Country Store
Galvanized tin buckets, Home Decor For Your Style
Chicken wire paper towel holder, Great Lakes General Store

Farmhouse 16-oz mugs, Home Decor For Your Style
Prim label, Blue Cupboard Primitives, LLC
Weathered wood and metal trays, Homespun Blessings

Written by Lisa Sloan
Photographed by Scott Campbell
Styled by Debbie Plantery & René Haines