My Appearance on Martha Stewart Radio - Holiday Kitchen Decorating!

On Tuesday, (today) November 26, just after 8 am, I'll be a guest on Martha Stewart Radio talking about decorating in kitchens and dining areas. There are SO MANY great ways to express your personal style in the kitchen during the holidays that both Kelly and I came up with for whatever your version of holiday is. 


Below are a boatload of tips on holiday kitchens along with some images of a Scandinavian style holiday from Bolig Magasinet and Skona Hem.

I suggested that I chat with the hosts of Morning Living, Brian Kelsey and Betsey Karetnick about tips for decorating the kitchen as well as tips for helping the kitchen function better. I definitely got carried away and brought with me way too many tips than time allows for - but that's what this blog is for, to fill in the blanks!


Pick a theme! Modern, traditional, natural chic, farmhouse, urban - coordinate with the theme of your home's existing design OR add a small mix of another style if you want a fresh look.

Remove the artwork in the kitchen on one wall - hang a collection of wreaths fairly close together to appear as one arrangement, of various types and sizes to add lots of texture and interest!

Bring winter nature inside - birch branches, evergreen cuttings, pine cones in bowls, any kind of branches will do. I often cut evergreen cuttings from the back of a shrub and I just recently cut down some dead cattails for a stunning indoor display. I will add white twinkling lights inside the tall glass vase!

Spray paint pine cones and simple twigs a metallic gold or silver for a little holiday bling.

Arrange oranges studded with cloves for fragrant pommander in decorative platters or bowls.

Add small kitchen utensils to garland draped around cabinetry - a single theme of different shaped/sizes of wooden spoons around a large wreath, or a mix of utensils in red and silver or blue and silver - or all white looks festive. 

Add a string of lights and/or garland around the bottom of the kitchen island

Add big, gold, red, silver, white or blue bows to the back of kitchen chairs and stools

Collection of 10-20 glittering ornaments on ribbons, hung from one point in the ceiling so they fan out - put them in front of a window, over the island OR add them separately, hung from the ceiling, for a look of charming chaos.

Above the kitchen wall cabinets, add brightly wrapped boxes for a clean, bold, look.

Have some extra space in the breakfast room? Put a small tree, decorated in white lights in a worn gray metal bucket.

Gather silver serveware and arrange the pieces in a collection. Add metallic ornaments, tinsel and other festive ornaments plus a touch of evergreen or red.

Candles, candles, candles - especially in small kitchen pitchers, clear coffee cups, glasses.

Tea lights in mason jars with red ribbon tied around the mouth of the jar.

Branches wrapped in yarn, placed in a vase with felt ornaments hung on it.

Pitchers with an assortment of outdoor greens, cranberries, metallic touches and/or spray painted branches add life to the kitchen - make the arrangements as tall as the receptacles allow!

Put ornaments in and around a decorative bundt pan and wrap the bottom with pieces of small green garland. 



Keep serveware at the ready.

Bring out holiday dishes and after the holidays, use them all season, not just for gatherings.

Bake a few batches of cookies and muffins to freeze for impromptu holiday gatherings or gifts.

Purchase or make a cutting board to cover the cooktop to add additional counter space, especially for entertaining, when the cooking is done. Make it a bit wider than the cooktop on sides and front to back, and a bit taller than the cooktop for a seamless fit.

Cook meals that can be served in the same pot they were cooked in via stove to table cookware such as Le Creuset or Staub.

Clean the countertops and hood filter in anticipation of heavy use.

Clean the countertops and reasses what really needs to be there with the goal of finding more counter space for intense cooking sessions!

Arrange spices in alphabetical order!

Arrange pantry items in categories - baking, cooking, snacks, cereals, etc.

Gather together measuring cups, spoons, baking equipment and other like cooking equipment and store near point of use in the kitchen for easy access.

The holidays are a hectic time, but with a little organization and a festive environment, the cooking, baking, prep and cleanup process may lower your stress level and allow for FUN to become one of the most important ingredients in the kitchen! Bring on the cookies!



Decorating For Christmas In The Kitchen!

I've been thinking quite a bit about decorating the kitchen for Christmas, and that does not mean that it has to be this big, ambitious, undertaking. Chances are you already have nearly all the "ornaments" that you need on hand to do the job.

Prior to decorating my own kitchen for Christmas (disclaimer, we moved to this home 3 years ago and have not yet renovated the kitchen so it's definitely not "me") I was a guest on Martha Stewart radio on Monday, December 2nd to talk about this very topic. So, let's get on with the ideas! 




Around the same time, I had a lovely offer from Balsam Hill, retailer of artificial Christmas trees to use some of their products in my home. Of course, since the kitchen is usually the poor step sister in terms of Christmas decorating, I thought it was a great topic to share. Here we go!

1. Frame a kitchen window with greens and twinkling lights - or a huge, oversized wreath!

2. Change out dining chair seat cushions, placements and other easily changeable fabrics with holiday colors/motifs.

3. scan the kitchen collectibles on display and replace with holiday themed colorful and decorative items.

4. Don't forget the floor - replace the kitchen rug or runner for the holidays to have a fresh look! 

5. Add small twinkling holiday lights around the base of a kitchen island or on the sides and back of an island for a holiday glow.

6. Add a grouping of bulbs to hang just below the bottom of the kitchen table light fixture.

7. Add roping around the kitchen: above the cabinets or under the wall cabinets and tie in dime store kitchen utensils in your favorite holiday color.

8. Gather branches from outdoors, keep natural or spray paint in a holiday color and bundle together with twine and/or add ornaments to the arrangement.

9. Use Japanese Mashing Tape (Washi tape) and tape up past family photos or greeting cards on a wall in the shape of a Christmas tree (a simple triangle shape.)

10. Lots of candles all over - we LOVE the idea of an ebelskiver pan to use as a candle holder when not in service on the stovetop! 

11. Hang ornaments or bells on cabinet hardware (ok, not toooo many bells).













12. Paint cardboard fit to size in your holiday color and fit it to the rear of glass door cabinets for a holiday pop of color, easy to remove after the holiday. 

In my kitchen, I really enjoyed digging through my kitchen drawers (and combing through the local five and dime store) to find lots of small kitchen utensils to hang on the lovely roping from Balsam Hill. The two small Christmas trees came from them as well, and I think they are a perfect anchor for the shelf on each side.

Of course, anything goes, keep it simple or ambitious, but above all, don't stress! Have fun! The kitchen will thank you for it (it would be nice if it were grateful enough to clean itself...)