Archive: August 2015

The Orchard’s Tips for Creating Your Shabby Chic Kitchen

August 19th 2015 by .

Creating a beautiful shabby chic kitchen look doesn’t have to cost a fortune or involve redoing your entire kitchen. Matt Brown, co-founder of the homewares company The Orchard, shares his top ways to easily and simply change the character of your kitchen and get a shabby chic look.

1. Change your worktops

Changing your worktops can instantly give your kitchen a whole new feel.  Choose laminate style for a cost effective option or go all out with granite or natural wood tops.

shabby chic boxes

2. Update your floor

Go for the country feel with a laminate wood style floor or choose large square tiles to give a feeling of space.  Whoever type or pattern of floor you choose it can refresh and update the scheme of your kitchen in an instant.

3. Improve your storage

Decluttering and rearranging into clever storage solutions can transform a kitchen, giving a feeling of greater space and style. Get clever with concealed storage or show off what you’ve got with open shelves for a shabby chic look.

shabby chic shelves

4. Create a feature wall

Patterns and wallpaper are bang on trend, so bring some colour and vibrancy with a patterned wallpaper. Alternatively choose patterned tiles to create a feature. Go the whole way and add a fresh lick of paint to complement and complete the look, but make sure it is heat and steam resistant.

Not into patterns? Why not go for a gallery wall or blackboard to draw the eye and add interest.

5. Change your cabinet doors and handles

One of the easiest ways to revamp your kitchen is to either change your cabinet doors completely or paint them. Then for the finishing touch, update your handles to complete the look, whether it be contemporary, country or shabby chic.

shabby chic flowers

6. Using homewares to create a new look

Whether your kitchen is large or small, it can be easily enhanced by adding accessories to compliment your style.  Remember these are small features, not clutter. Don’t let them take over, just a few carefully chosen pieces should do the trick.

They don’t even have to be expensive. You can find some great items to give a shabby chic look to your kitchen by scouring charity shops and antiques fairs.

A collection of vintage coffee, and tea tins will compliment a shabby chic/country style kitchen.

Use old fashioned style milk bottles to display a few freshly picked garden flowers. Make a feature of your kitchen, whatever the season.

milk botle

Use kitchen appliances to add an accent colour to your kitchen.

Choose open shelf storage to display colourful crockery, adding colour and vintage style to your kitchen. An antique wooden dresser is the perfect way to put your crocks on display, but if you don’t have room for one you can put up shelves or a plate rack.

Fill clear glass jars with pasta, beans, and nuts. These work well as an open shelf display, to add texture and a focal point.

Store utensils or display flowers in a pitcher to compliment the style of your kitchen, whether it’s enamel for county style or zinc for a more contemporary feel.

Accessorise with wicker or wire baskets, to store and display napkins and cutlery, pretty tea towels, plants and dried flowers, fruit and vegetable or kitchen utensils.

wicker basket with fruits

Create a feature wall or focal point by storing pots and pans hung from the wall.

List menu items on the blackboard and make a feature of it by hanging it from a wall or stand it on a small easel.

Use coloured glass bottles and vases to accent the room.

Food posters on the walls can be coordinated with your colour scheme to create a striking gallery wall.

The Orchard stocks a carefully selected range of vintage-inspired homeware.

What are your top tips for getting a shabby chic look?

Author: Mat Brown. Co-Founder, The Orchard.



Kitchen Décor Tips from Angie, Of Life & Lemons

August 4th 2015 by .

Today we’re talking kitchen decor tips with Angie from Of Life and Lemons. Angie produces bold and witty kitchen prints and tea towels – and balancing her design business with looking after two young children, she’s the perfect person to ask about how to quickly and easily refresh your kitchen’s look!

kitchen towel


What are your top tips to update your kitchen’s look?

“I really struggle when it comes to homewares as one half of me loves the Scandinavian minimalist look while the other half adores big, bold retro patterns.

We are hoping to extend our house shortly and we will be completely re-doing our kitchen. I’ve been using Pinterest to collate all of my favourite looks and the kitchen board is currently a sea of whites and greys.

But I will most definitely be bringing in colour through sets of brightly patterned tea caddies and utensil holders, open shelves full of colourful retro crockery and a bright enamel kettle.

Refreshing your accessories can completely change the feel of the room and bring in new colours without having to do any major decorating. It’s an area you can really have fun with and it’s an inexpensive way of experimenting with your kitchen.

I’ve loved the recent Orla Kiely for Douwe Egberts jars – and it’s been a good excuse to drink more coffee!”


Orla Kiely Jars


How can you use prints creatively in your kitchen?

“A large part of your day can be spent in the kitchen and for a lot of it you’d rather be somewhere else!

Having two young children, I seem to always be in the kitchen preparing food and it’s important to me that the kitchen is as fun and stylish as the rest of the house.

You wouldn’t hesitate to use prints as decor in another room and I don’t see why the kitchen should be any different. I started out designing prints around fun sayings and quotes about tea, coffee and wine (mainly because I’d just had my first child and they were the only things keeping me going!), but also because I strongly believe in kitchens having a sense of fun.

Prints can also be used to separate the different areas of the room, especially as more and more people are opting for the more open plan style kitchen.

I am currently in the throes of moving my business out of my home into a studio. In the kitchen area above the kettle I have my ‘Given enough coffee I could rule the world’ print, justifying ANOTHER coffee break!”


What inspires you to create your prints?

“I used to work for the fine art publishing company The Art Group as a researcher. For ten years I got to travel the world looking for up and coming artists, photographers, and illustrators while visiting amazing galleries and archives.

During this time I met so many talented artists who set themselves up working from home around their children and it seemed like the perfect lifestyle. Towards the end I found myself becoming increasingly envious of these artists, so when I left to have my first child I decided to have a go at starting something myself.

I actually did a painting degree and had no grounding in digital art but time was of the essence having a newborn and I found it quicker and easier to create something on the computer during nap times!

There was also a strong emergence of typographic art at the time and I discovered it was something I had a real interest in. I came across the quote ‘Given enough coffee I could rule the world’ and it seemed so apt considering my situation with a newborn that it became my starting point.

Of Life & Lemons grew from there and I continued to source phrases and quotes around everyday life. My inspiration is the mundane. I love taking something really ordinary used in everyday life and changing its meaning with a quote, recently I have been working with train tickets and road signs and making them meaningful or humorous. ”


You can find Angie’s designs as prints, tea towels and more on her website.

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