Dress Up Your Design: Accessorize an Empty Kitchen

Each month, a lucky reader wins accessories from Etsy.com to complete a room. For May's winner, Peggy, designer Claire Watkins selects the accessories and shares why she chose them to update this kitchen.

  • Before: Barren Kitchen

    \"With minimal decoration and perfectly styled cabinets, Peggy's kitchen is a perfect blank slate for design. Right off the bat, I noticed her affinity for all things beachy in her use of seashells. Well, I love the beach, so I selected Peggy's kitchen for this month's mini makeover,\" says Claire Watkins.

  • Etsy May Lampshade on Dress Up Your Design

    Aqua Lampshade

    \"The first thing I want to do is incorporate elements that translate Peggy's love of the beach into more of a feeling than the literal translation the shells were giving the room. Needing some oomph, I started with a graphic pendant lamp over the dining room table in a water-colored hue, a classic nautical hue that will look really nice with the existing black countertops,\" says Watkins.

  • Etsy May Seafood Sign on Dress Up Your Design

    Coastal Wall Decoration

    \"To continue the incorporation of black and blue, I found some vintage sign-inspired artwork to hang on the vertical wood panel behind the island, most likely the side of a cabinet,\" says Watkins.

  • Etsy May Utensil Holder on Dress Up Your Design

    Black-and-White Utensil Holder

    Watkins suggests a preppy-patterned earthenware utensil holder in the same palette to replace Peggy's existing utensil holder.

  • Etsy May Roman Shade on Dress Up Your Design

    Custom Roman Shade

    \"A simple Roman shade will dress up the window behind the sink. Next, I want to consolidate all those seashells above the windows and countertops into the jar on the dining table, so they look less like clutter and more like an element of design,\" says Watkins.

  • Etsy May Striped Towels on Dress Up Your Design

    Turkish Bath Towels

    Watkins suggests creating a striped table covering made up of two machine-washable, oversized, flat-weave towels.

  • Etsy May Dish Towels on Dress Up Your Design

    Hand-Printed Linen Dish Towel

    \"Throw in a hand-printed dish towel and a striped table covering made up of two machine-washable, oversized, flat-weave towels and the result is a casual, fun area for cooking and dining — seaside or not,\" says Watkins.

  • Cape Cod Chic Dining Room

    After: Subtle Improvements

    Peggy added the lampshade to her kitchen's adjoining dining room where it adds a spunky touch to the classic nautical look.

  • Cape Cod Chic Kitchen

    After: Cape Cod Chic

    Just a couple of well-chosen accessories, like the bright dish towel, black-and-white utensil holder and the seaside sign took this kitchen from bland to smart and curated. Peggy's love of the beach comes through without seeming kitschy or themed.

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