As the season gradually shifts, I am slowly making changes around the house. Here are four easy ways to add cozy charm to your kitchen this fall!
Fall Is Around the Corner
I can’t deny it.
Fall is just around the corner.
And while I am still enjoying “late summer”, I am certainly starting to think about fall.
And the loooong cozy time to come here in Maine.
As the season gradually shifts, I am slowly making a few small changes around the house.
Darker colors. More texture. Warmer fabrics.
Inspired by some favorite creators and ideas I have seen on social media, today I am sharing a few changes and additions I recently made to the kitchen as we head towards the cooler and darker months.
Here are four easy ways to add cozy charm to your kitchen this fall!
Plus one to add some whimsy all year round!
But first — do you remember when I painted the blue and white checkerboard pattern on my wood floors? You can read all about it, plus how I added peel-and-stick wallpaper to the back of my cabinets, in my post A Painted-Floor-Inspired Coastal Cottage Kitchen Refresh.
And I shared All The Details On Our Coastal Maine Cottage Kitchen Design in another blog post.
Okay, now let’s get to the new stuff!
A kitchen has a lot of hard surfaces — cabinets, countertops, appliances.
So I am always looking for ways to add some softness.
And of course some pattern!
I have loved the look of a sink skirt in the kitchen for a while, and finally decided to add one to mine.
So, I ordered some linen dish towels from Etsy, and sewed one up!
Well, actually a friend sewed it for me, because my sewing machine is broken. But I could have easily done it myself. And you can too if you can sew a straight line!
We just cut the dish towels to the desired length and sewed a pocket along the top for the curtain rod. We didn’t even sew the dish towels together. And there was no need to hem the sides or bottom since they were already finished. The fringe on the bottom is a wonderful detail. And I added a little ruffle along the top. Just because!
I probably would have preferred if the skirt were a little fuller. It could have used an additional dish towel, but the seller only had three.
Then I removed the cabinet doors and hung the curtain using a tension rod.
There are many lovely cafe rods out there. And I might switch to one of those eventually. But this was a no-risk way to give this a try. I can easily add the doors back if I tire of it.
But for now, I am loving the look!
I chose a simple brown and blue stripe for fall. It might be fun to change it up for the holidays. And next summer I will definitely go with something lighter and brighter.
A vintage embroidered tablecloth also makes a great sink skirt! I made a flirty little “mini skirt” for the downstairs bathroom vanity a few years ago.
Another thing I have noticed on social media recently is countertop lamps in the kitchen.
I have to admit I was not sold on this trend at first.
But I spend a lot of time in our open kitchen/dining area — cooking, working at the island, sitting in the comfy chairs next to the fireplace.
And as the sun sets earlier and earlier (sigh…), I find myself wanting the cozy warm light of a lamp.
Of course I will still use the overhead and task lighting for work. A countertop lamp is more of a focal point and for ambiance.
The tricky part about a countertop lamp is finding one that is small enough. Even though I didn’t place mine underneath the cabinet, I wanted something petit.
I poked around a bit online, but anything I liked for our kitchen was more than I wanted to spend. Since I was really just giving this lamp idea a try, I didn’t want to invest a lot.
At the same time, since it would be a purely decorative addition to the kitchen, I wanted it to have the right look.
Though I wasn’t exactly sure what that look was…
And then last Saturday, I was at our local transfer station (aka the dump) to drop off my trash and recycling. (We have no trash pickup…) Our transfer station has a resale shop, full of lots of junk… and a few treasures.
And lo and behold, I found a sweet little lamp, which together with the basket the plant is in, set me back a cool $5.
I should say that I envisioned it could be a sweet lamp. You can see that it was rather sad looking when I brought it home.
I got right to work painting the base and top white with some leftover paint.
And then I covered the shade with fabric I had on hand.
This is not the first time I have covered a lamp shade, but it is the first time I did the fabric binding for the edges. The fabric was very thin, so gluing it was a little tricky — I used a combination of spray adhesive, liquid stitch, and a hot glue gun.
The result is certainly not perfect, but I generally prefer the charmingly imperfect. And it is certainly full of charm.
Oh, and can you believe the lamp is actually made out of plastic??! Doesn’t the twisted part look like old wood? It does in person too!
I would say I am now happily seated on the kitchen-countertop-lamp train! All aboard for warmth, ambiance, and even a touch of pattern!
I am linking some online options below. You might also consider making your own or having a lamp made from a small vase, pitcher, or candlestick. Also be sure to look at thrift stores for one you can upcycle yourself, like I did!
Don’t forget to check the size on any lamp you choose before you bring it home!
Often I come up with design ideas on my own.
But sometimes I
shamelessly copy, um, am inspired by others.
I shouldn’t feel bad, I guess. Inspiration is exactly what magazines, social media, and blogs are all about, right? And imitation is, after all, the sincerest form of flattery. Or so they say!
One constant source of inspiration for me is the amazingly talented Marian, from Miss Mustard Seed.
I have shared Marian before on this blog. She is a writer, painter, crafter, and designer.
Marian recently wrote a blog post about her “bouquet of dish brushes”, as she called it.
Upon reading her post, I immediately knew that I needed such a bouquet in my life too.
I love a good brush to wash my dishes (though somehow my children all use sponges…). And the fact that these brushes, with their natural bristles and wooden handles, are also beautiful makes them absolutely perfect to me. Form and function are my favorite combo!
There is a big soft fluffy one for glasses. A long skinny one for bottles. A stiff one for scrubbing stubborn leftovers. And a couple for general use.
And from a design standpoint, I love the natural texture they add to my countertop, especially heading into fall. Give me all the texture this time of year!
If you too feel an inexplicable small rush of delight upon seeing this grouping of brushes, I encourage you to read Marian’s post. She links all her brushes there. (Credit where credit is due…)
I have linked a set I purchased from Amazon below.
A Vintage Wool Runner
When I first painted the floors back in June, I ordered a fun wavy-edged jute runner for the floor. Paired with the blue and white floors, it felt light and fresh.
With summer soon ending, I am now looking to add cozy layers to the home.
Time to bring out the vintage wool Turkish runner I have used for years in the kitchen. I was worried, though, that it would look dark and heavy with the bright new floor.
But, I was pleasantly surprised! In combination with the new sink skirt, it adds just the right amount of warm texture and pattern.
I have shared before that I have ordered a number of vintage Turkish rugs from Etsy. Some of them come directly from Turkey. I definitely recommend Etsy as a great source for a wide variety of well-priced one-of-a-kind rugs!
And if you are worried about a wool rug in the kitchen, one of the great things about a vintage rug is that it is already broken in. And the natural oil in wool is a stain repellant. I once spilled a large amount of olive oil on this runner. I blotted up the excess oil and within a few weeks, you couldn’t even see where the spill had occurred!
A Touch of Whimsy
I mentioned last week that I cleaned out some drawers and cabinets.
One of the things I unearthed was a sweet fabric pennant bunting made by fellow Maine resident Ellie, from Elliebugmakes.
As well as buntings, Ellie makes the most delightful tooth fairy pillows, tea cozies, bucket bags, “mug rugs”, bookmarks, and more from the prettiest printed fabric. Her creations are sure to brighten your day! You can find her on Instagram and shop online in her Etsy shop! Give her a visit and tell her I say hi!
Then I was inspired by another talented Instagram friend, Leslie from @lemongrovelane, to hang the bunting in my kitchen!
I just love all the inspiration I get from my fellow creators out there!
Leslie lives in the Pacific Northwest and just did a complete renovation on her home. She now has a beautiful European-style kitchen. In addition to her home being an inspiration, Leslie shares the most delicious recipes on her feed. Think lemon pasta, strawberry jam muffins, peach panzanella salad, blueberry muffins (with a secret ingredient!), baked brie, and so much more! Leslie also shares entertaining and seasonal decorating tips. You will definitely want to visit her Instagram page and also her blog!
Back to the bunting…. I have always thought the flag bunting Leslie has hanging in her kitchen added such a whimsical touch!
I hung mine over a window using two little sticky gel adhesive circles. (These hold tight and remove without any residue.)
I am looking forward to changing the bunting through the seasons!
Sometimes it is the small touches that bring joy to everyday life!
This Week Into Next
I can’t believe it is September!
You know we haven’t had the best summer here in Maine — so much fog and rain. Just this past week we had a foggy day followed by almost 2 /12 inches of rain in 24 hours!
But today as I finish my blog post, it is spectacular! With more beautiful weather to come over the holiday weekend and into next week.
September is really a beautiful month here and I am looking forward to it!
So what did I make when my college friends came for lunch earlier this week? Since I am vegetarian, unfortunately (or fortunately!) my guests eat vegetarian too. Here is the menu:
Bon Appetit Tomato Galette I shared in a previous post.
Quick Orzo With Fennel, Almonds, Capers and Olives from Anna Jones The Modern Cook’s Year.
A simple arugula salad with pine nuts and a lemon/olive oil dressing.
To drink: Hibiscus iced tea infused with strawberries and basil.
One friend brought fresh fruit and another a lemon tart.
It was all yummy, but most importantly, we had a wonderful time sitting on the deck overlooking the water and catching up. Time spent with old friends is certainly nourishing for the soul.
… and next
And time with new friends keeps us young — next week I am meeting two IG friends for lunch!
I have no big plans for the holiday weekend.
An art walk in town on Friday night, reggae music at a local brewery on Saturday.
And I need to refresh the outdoor pots for the fall, so a trip to the nursery is on the schedule.
I am also looking at some new pillow covers for the living room as we transition to fall. Time for a little refresh!
I will certainly have the U.S. Open tennis on in the background, whatever I do.
What are you up to this weekend?!
Whatever it is, have a good one and be well, friends!