Food is a joy of life, and we spend a lot of time working things around it. Christmas and Thanksgiving dinners, birthday cakes, dinner and a movie with popcorn during the show…it takes center stage in our lives, and is a key part of special occasions. Which is why it isn’t a surprise that so many make it a focus point of interior design, especially in kitchens where all the edible magic happens.
If you have been thinking of finding creative uses for food motifs in your design, no matter what the room, here are ten easy tips that can help you do it.
Walnuts make a great decorating item. Cheap and easy to blend into any colors in the background, they bring a sense of rustic charm to any room and bring to mind quaint cottages and country family homes. The most basic use is to put them in a bowl on a table or counter surface to offer a bit of natural color and texture. But you can find other creative uses. I knew someone who used an electric drill to make a small hole on either side and strung them as the hanging charm on a wind chime. The effect was rather nice, offering a different sound than the usual clanging of metal tubes.
2. Flower Petals and Candies
Something about flower petals and candies just seem to go together somehow. Maybe it is the colors, or the romantic attachments we have in our minds about both. It is hard to say, but whatever the cause it gives us a chance to decorate by utilizing the two in tandem. One simple way is through filling a vase with both for a purely decorative look. I have seen someone take deep red petals from a silk rose and the green from fake leaves and mix with in a large vase with peppermint candies as a Christmas decoration for their mantle. Simple and affordable, but so effective. You can also make the petals the candy. Candied petals are delicious, simple to make and gorgeous.
For both decoration and function, nothing is quite as lovely as pasta out in the open. Taking some clear glassware jars or containers, you fill them with spaghetti noodles like angel hair, macaroni and rotini. They can be either plain or rainbow colored. They make a fantastic addition to any counter top, and are easy to use and then refill as needed.
When they are in season, pumpkins can make an excellent decoration. They are long-lasting, able to sit for a month or more without rotting. You can get small ones to put on the top or your stove or along any surface, and if you are feeling extra creative you can paint them. But best of all, once they get closer to their rot time you can break them open and cook with them. Extremely nutritious, they offering various vitamins, health benefits and an unmistakable taste that you will be sure to enjoy. You can make more than pumpkin pie: muffins, cookies, sauces, baked seeds and more are all possible.
5. Onion and Garlic
There is nothing more satisfying than seeing a string of small onions or garlic on a string. Or seeing a bowl filled with them on the counter, or a small container of cloves. We use them in so many dishes, and they can be great to always have around for decorative use, as well. Of course, this is mainly a kitchen item, and so won’t work well around the rest of the house. Not unless you are really going to get creative.
6. Potted Herbs
If you are like me, you love fresh herbs. The taste they give to a dish is indescribable. They don’t just have to be purchased from a store, you can grow your own. No matter where you put them, potted herbs are gorgeous and provide a touch of color and natural beauty to any room. Even if you just have a box on your window sill. When you harvest them, you can even hang them upside down to dry, offering you yet another way to decorate using them.
7. Coffee Beans
Coffee is one of the greatest substances ever discovered, and I challenge anyone to try to take my mug from my hands. A clear container filled with whole coffee beans can be a great way to liven up a kitchen. I have seen some interesting set ups in this way. One person I found on a forum once had created a hanging plastic tube with a door at the bottom. When she wanted fresh coffee she would open the door and collect some of the beans for grinding. But just keeping them on the counter works, too.
Whether on a spice rack or on top of your stove, the look of a large number of spices give a kitchen a more homey, used feel. As though a chef lived in the house. I have always been partial to hanging spice racks myself, as they save counter space and look rather nice on top of a wall. But there are any number of ways you can decorate, and plenty of styles to choose from.
9. Decorated Empty Containers
A few years ago I found some great little containers of plain black with lids in a second hand shop. Taking them home, I took out my craft supplies and decorated them with little motifs for different rooms of the house. The smaller ones were used for potpourri, with meadow scenes on each one for every room. The larger had cooking designs and were used for flour, sugar and rice in my kitchen. Simple and personalized, decorated containers work wonders.
If you want to use more actual food in the decorating, you can always can and pickle items to put on your shelves. This is also a great way to keep emergency supplies. My favorite way I have seen these displayed was on a couple of shelves over a dining room, with ribbons tied around the lids for color.
There are plenty of ways to decorate using food. What are some of your ideas? Let us know in the comments.
Article contributed by Jessy who is a food junky and creative blogger for