Kitchen Styling Ideas

When it comes to styling your home, kitchens can be a tricky part to really make your mark on, without splashing a lot of cash. There are quite a few big ticket items in there that most likely you’re stuck with (like the oven, possibly a dishwasher and maybe even the fridge). But that doesn’t mean that you can’t make it feel a bit more like you without a big budget. Here are some ideas for adding a bit more you, to your kitchen!

Kitchen Styling Ideas on Style for a Happy Home //Click for details

1. Mixer 2. Shaker Set 3. Cake Tin 4. Tea Towels 5. Olive Oil 6. Knife Set

Start with a wish list

It can be really tricky to get the look and feel of any room just right and I think even more so in the kitchen where things need to be functional and not just pretty. Dream budgets can get out of hand really quickly if you head to a store without first making a list and then setting a realistic budget. What I like about making the lists is that you get the chance to sit and think about what you’d like and what you really need.

In most cases the things you need will come first before the ‘would likes’ but it can be great to make that list and even see what you might be able to save for. I always have a bit of a kitchen wish list in the back of my mind and I’m not much of a cook!

Think small and then big

I’m a big believer that little things can make a big difference to the way your home feels. So even if the dream mixer is out of budget right now, you might be able to treat yourself to a great knife block set or some pretty tea towels that add some colour to your kitchen. Even some fun salt and pepper shakers can make your space feel a bit more fun.

Another thing you can consider adding is some framed artwork for the walls. A cute fruit print or even a great recipe in a beautiful font could really make the space feel more welcoming to be in.

Add (and remove) as you go

I think the trick to a smoothly running kitchen is that it works for you. You have the utensils that you need and they are where they should be. I’ve found that as I use my kitchen for more cooking and more varied recipes that I’m noticing the things that we are missing that would things so much easier. Sometimes they aren’t all that expensive to add (like a new rolling pin) and can be picked up on the supermarket run.

This can be better than going into a shop that has all the cool gadgets and picking them because they look so cool and then having to store all these things that you never really needed. I’ve been terrible at doing this in the past. It’s possible I have a gadget draw full of these little “make life easier should you ever need them” thingees.

There’s also nothing wrong with passing things on to others or donating things (in great condition) where you realise that you really don’t need it or you want to replace it with something more your style.

Don’t rush it

Allow yourself some time to come up with a colour scheme that suits you, whether it be bold and colourful like mine, or sleek and stainless steel or even somewhere in between. I like to keep my list in my phone and check for things on sale if I happen to be in a shop selling what I’m looking for. Sometimes you can get some real bargains on things that are considered ‘last season’ though there’s not much difference to the current season.

I think there’s something really cool in letting your home style develop over time. It’s great to have it all there for you, but as time passes we need different things, and it can be fun to see how that all evolves and tells the story of our homes in a cool way.

What’s the number one thing in your kitchen you couldn’t be without? What’s one thing on your wish list?

Pinterest Saturdays: 6 Australian Designers You Should Know

Hello! Happy Saturday! The year is getting away from us and this is the last Saturday in September and that means that this is the final in the Australia month series for Pinterest Saturdays. Don’t despair though as this is a great one! Today I’m sharing 6 Australian Designers that I think you should know. Most have been featured before because I just love their stuff, but here they are in case you’re looking for some new designers to love!

Pinterest Saturdays: 6 Australian Designers You Should Know on Style for a Happy Home // Click for details

  1. Madeleine Stamer of Little Circus Design These prints and artwork are just stunning! She does some really beautiful work! Buy It HerePin It Here
  2. Beci Orpin of Arro Home Beci has done lots of really awesome things, but I’m loving her homewares brand Arro Home! So much lovely stuff! (including this tea towel set) Buy It HerePin It Here
  3. Rachel Castle of Castle and Things Rachel designs some really awesome things from prints to towels, to cushions and even tote bags like this one! Buy It HerePin It Here
  4. Olivia & Camilla Tipler of MOZI I only recently found MOZI but I’ve fallen for the gorgeous designs in their ‘the market day’ collection including this awesome tea pot! Buy It HerePin It Here
  5. Alex, Kate & Hayley of Kip & Co Kip & Co have some awesome designs and their collections just keep getting better each season! I really love this rainbow cotton weave blanket. Buy It HerePin It Here
  6. Laura Blythman I first found Laura Blythman via her instagram feed but I just love her gorgeous artwork (like this one). If you haven’t seen her stuff, you should definitely check it out! Buy It HerePin It Here

Do you have a favourite Aussie designer? Which of these would you love in your home?

You can follow my A Cottage by the Sea Pinterest Board for more inspiration! And you can also follow me here, if you’d like!

Mini Makeover: Make a Serving Set with Chalk Paint™

Chalk Paint™ provided by Annie Sloan Unfolded Australia*

When I was approached recently to try out Chalk Paint™ by Annie Sloan, I’ll admit that I was a little bit reluctant. I’d only ever seen it used in a shabby chic way and that’s just not my style. But after attending their event at ProBlogger on the Gold Coast, I learnt that it doesn’t have to be done in that style and I was keen to give it a go! I wanted to try it on something that I would use in my home and didn’t already have so I decided I would make a serving set! Here’s how you can make one too!

Mini Makeover: Make a Serving Set with Chalk Paint™ on Style for a Happy Home // Click for DIY instructions

What you’ll need:

  • Chalk Paint™ by Annie SloanI was gifted 4 colours for this tutorial and had 2 that were in the goodie bag at ProBlogger. I chose to use all 6 in this tutorial, because I love colour. The colours I’ve used are: Emperor’s Silk (red), Barcelona Orange, English Yellow, Pure White, Anitbes Green and Country Grey
  • Annie Sloan Soft Wax – ClearI was given this for this tutorial
  • Serving TrayI got this from IKEA
  • Removable Poster TapeFrom Officeworks
  • Washi TapeFrom my collection
  • FrogtapeFrom Masters
  • Plastic TeaspoonsFrom the supermarket
  • Plastic CupsFrom the supermarket
  • Glass Bottle VaseFrom IKEA
  • Paint BrushesI was gifted the Annie Sloan Brush for this tutorial, I received one in the goodie bag at ProBlogger. The other brushes are from a pack bought at Officeworks that I’ve had for ages.
  • CoastersFrom the Craft section at Bunnings
  • Not Pictured: Butchers paper rollfor protecting your table when painting, from IKEA
  • Not Pictured: A clothfor wiping your brushes

 The Coasters

Mini Makeover: Make a Serving Set with Chalk Paint™ - Stripy Coasters on Style for a Happy Home // Click for DIY instructions

How to:

  1. Prepare your area for painting by laying down some butchers paper and use a small amount of removable double sided tape to tape your coaster to your butchers paper so it doesn’t move whilst painting. Get your brush and washi tape ready and choose your paint. I chose Pure White Chalk Paint™ for my first layer on all coasters. Note: I taped the butchers paper to the desk with washi tape so it also wouldn’t move.
  2. After shaking the paint in the pot, you can use the paint in the lid at first to start painting your coaster. I found it helped me not get too much on the brush right away. Because I was painting so many things I chose a smaller brush and saved the Annie Sloan brush for the serving tray, but it can be used for this too.
  3. Cover the top with the paint and then be sure to go around the edges too. This is where having it stuck down really helps as you don’t have to hold the coaster whilst it’s covered in paint. Leave to dry.
  4. Once dry, which is pretty quick, add your washi tape over the part you want to protect from the next layer of paint. Space them how ever you like. Make sure that the edges are completely stuck down as that’s how you will get your straight lines.
  5. Optional Step for different colours: I wanted a deep pink rather than a red for one coaster, so I used a plastic cup and two plastic spoons. For this colour I did approximately 1/2 a teaspoon of Emperor’s Silk and just a dash of white (just the tip of the teaspoon and mixed well.
  6. Optional Step: test your colour on some paper before using it so you know you’re happy with it.
  7. Paint over the washi tape and the exposed white Chalk Paint™ and don’t forget the edges. Leave to dry. Note: I used this ‘pink’ as well as 3 other coasters that used English Yellow, Barcelona Orange, and Antibes Green in the same pattern. I only mixed for the ‘pink’ shown in this tutorial. See the final photo for all 4.
  8. Carefully pull the washi tape up and reveal your white colour that was underneath.
  9. Once all washi tape is removed carefully pull your coaster from the butchers paper and remove the double sided tape underneath
  10. Voila!
  11. Step not shown: add clear soft wax to the coaster tops to protect them by following the instructions on the tin

 The Serving Tray

Mini Makeover: Make a Serving Set with Chalk Paint™ - Serving Tray on Style for a Happy Home // Click for DIY instructions


 How to:

  1. Prepare your space for painting by putting butchers paper over your table. Take a clean Annie Sloan brush and a pot of Country Grey Chalk Paint™. Note: I chose to use the Country Grey paint as an undercoat as the sides of the tray were a different colour to the tray base. You don’t have to have an undercoat with Chalk Paint™, I just decided to.
  2. Start painting your tray. This brush allows you to do some big strokes and get a good feel for the paint. The brush strokes will look messy when wet but dry quite nicely.
  3. Continue painting until the tray and sides are all covered and leave to dry. I did two coats.
  4. Once it’s dry, Flip it over and paint the edges. On this tray I found the edges were much easier to paint than the white plastic base and was glad to have the undercoat.
  5. Make sure all the edges are covered and leave to dry.
  6. Now it’s time for your top coat colour. I wanted a lime green so I used a plastic cup and plastic spoons again, this time with Antibes Green and English Yellow. I initially did 3 full teaspoons of both colours (so 3 of green and 3 of yellow), but I needed to then mix another 3 of both to cover the tray fully twice. Mix them together with a small paintbrush and test the colour.
  7. Make sure your paintbrush is clean and doesn’t have any other paint still on it and get ready to start painting.
  8. As before, start paining in the middle and then work your way around to the sides. make sure to get in those corners as they can be a bit tricky with the bigger brush. It will go on a very bright green but will dry a bit darker.
  9. Once you’ve covered the top with two coats, leave to dry.
  10. Now it’s time to flip it over and paint the outsides. You can see the contrast between the two colours here.
  11. Paint around all of the outside with two coats and leave to dry.
  12. Once completely dry, you can prepare your space for applying the soft wax which protects the chalk paint from getting chipped.
  13. With a clean and dry paintbrush you can apply the soft wax as per the instructions on the tin. Note: Do it in a well ventilated area as it’s got a strong smell
  14. Ta-da! Your serving tray is ready to go!

The Glass Bottle Vase

Mini Makeover: Make a Serving Set with Chalk Paint™ - Glass Bottle Vase on Style for a Happy Home // Click for DIY instructions

  1. Prepare your area by laying down some butchers paper and getting your frogtape ready. Start by wrapping the frogtape around the vase about half way down the vase, remembering that you will only paint what it below the frogtape. Try to line the tape up so it is the same distance from the bottom of the vase all the way around. Make sure that the frog tape edges are stuck down so you get a nice clean edge.
  2. Then take a clean and dry paint brush and carefully paint around the bottom end of the glass with the Barcelona Orange Chalk Paint™. Start anywhere on the side of the bottle.
  3. Once finished the sides you can leave it to dry. If you like you can also paint the base of the jar and leave it standing upside down to dry. Do a second coat if needed.
  4. Once it’s completely dry, remove the frogtape and voila! Your new vase/cute milk jug is ready to go.
  5. Optional step: add soft wax by following the instructions on the tin

Now you’re ready to have a tea party!!

Mini Makeover: Make a Serving Set with Chalk Paint™ on Style for a Happy Home // Click for DIY instructions

Thoughts on the project:

I really enjoyed working with this paint. I’m not a confident brush painter (I prefer the more forgiving spray paints) so I was pleasantly surprised at how fun it was. I really liked how easy it was to come up with colours that were a little more ‘me’ than the traditional paint colours I was provided with. (They are excellent too, but you know how I love bright colours, especially bright green!) I felt like they let me put my ‘stamp’ on it.

The Chalk Paint™ is quite forgiving too, and you don’t have to stick to using the brush only in one direction and you can feel like it’s going to not look great and then it dries looking awesome! What I think I love best about this project is that they are things that I can use again and again! The vase might get a flower, and the serving tray was something that we didn’t own, but will definitely come in handy. And we don’t really have many coasters either so I’m sure they will get put to good use soon too!

Do you have a serving set? What would you have chosen to paint?

If you do try this, I’d love to see a photo or hear about how it went! Tweet me your pics at: @danniellecresp or instagram me at: @dannielle with the hashtag: #styleforahappyhome

*Disclaimer: I was gifted Chalk Paint™ by Annie Sloan to try. For this project I was given 4 sample pots: English Yellow, Pure White, Barcelona Orange and Emperor’s Silk, as well as a pot of the Soft Wax and a brush. I also had two sample pots: Antibes Green and Country Grey and a brush that were in a goodie bag from their event at ProBlogger. I chose to use these colours in this post because I wanted to create something with all the colours that I had. I bought all the other materials myself and was not compensated for this post other than with the product mentioned. I only work with brands that I think are a good fit, and this tutorial was very fun to create. x D