Homes and Garden Journal

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Decorating With Kitchen Canisters

We all know that kitchen canisters are useful for storing dry goods such as pasta, flour, sugar, coffee and other similar items. You can actually also use them for storing and organizing little kitchen nick-knacks as well if you want such as rubber bands, twist ties, or any other small miscellaneous items that look messy if left out on counters or get disorganized when left in kitchen drawers and yet are used on a very regular basis in the kitchen. Yet perhaps one of the best uses for a kitchen canister set is to use it as decorations around the kitchen.

As I have several other posts about kitchen canisters and canister sets that cover a lot of good information on choosing canisters for storage, I thought with this post I could cover different décor ideas solely. There are some absolutely stunningly beautiful canister sets available, many made from porcelain, that would simply look great sitting in any kitchen.  The great thing is, if you are using them primarily for decorative purposes you do not have to be overly concerned about how well they seal either–though probably you will want to use them both for décor and food storage, especially if space is a little limited in the kitchen.

Color Choices: First of all, decide on the color that would best accent your kitchen before buying your kitchen storage canisters. If your kitchen is predominantly brown, for example, burgundy looks great.  However, almost any color goes well with brown so you have a wide range of canisters to choose from.  Try color coordinating your dish towels, hand towels and canisters and throw down some similar colored kitchen mats as well.  This will not only look good but the coordination will also help your kitchen look more organized.

Style: There are many different styles of kitchen canister sets to choose from as well.  If you want to go for the country kitchen look, you can choose canisters that have an old-fashioned appeal. Of course, do not forget the infamous rooster design–which is guaranteed to add a touch of the ‘old world’ to your kitchen setup. Another quaint old style canister is the style that resembles old cans, replicas of the actual cans or containers that dry goods were sold in, in the past. Floral designs on the canisters also fit well with a country style kitchen. As far as accessorizing your kitchen, you could choose a predominate color that is present on the canisters and coordinate your towels, cloths, curtains and mats with that same color. If you like variety you could choose two or three different colors and buy matching accessories, and then switch all accessories as often as you like–although you would likely need to stick with the same curtains, so perhaps choose those with a background color in mind.

European style canisters are often a hit too. Look for those with a decidedly French or Italian design and lettering. For some reason French seems to be a favorite, and the labels are usually similar enough to English that you, or anyone else working in the kitchen, should be able to distinguish exactly what canister is used for which ingredient.  My personal favorite is Mexican designed canisters, or Talavera Pottery. Match that with a white tablecloth on your kitchen table that has delicate Mexican embroidery and some other Mexican decorations; including Mexican style curtains and other odds and ends around the kitchen and you will have an instantly transformed kitchen that is just waiting for you to roll out the tacos!

If you have a modern designed kitchen with stainless steel accents you may want to go for either stainless steel or glass canisters; both look great and match the other décor and kitchen utensils well.  Another idea, if you want to add some color to the kitchen–which is not a bad idea if there is a lot of stainless steel–is to buy some colored ceramic or porcelain canisters that are either one solid color or that feature some kind of geometric designs.  These will add a dab of color and give you something to base your other accessories on.

Of course, you can go with whatever theme you desire. Look for antique canisters and design a Victorian kitchen for example. Or add a Mediterranean flavor with grape covered kitchen canister and olive green mats and towels.

You do not have to invest a lot of money in canisters. While I prefer the heavier ceramic or glass canisters, you can also buy many different acrylic or plastic canisters that look great and have fantastic designs on them as well.  In fact, some people prefer plastic as it is cheaper and it is not as liable to chip or break as either porcelain or glass.  It does tend to retain odors, though, so if you put dry ingredients in a plastic canister; especially some that have a very distinctive smell such as some herbs and spices, you will not want to switch and use it for sugar at a later date, for example.

When possible it is best to try to buy all matching kitchen canister sets. They usually come in different sizes and you may not be able to find both larger dry good canisters and smaller spice canisters that match exactly, but usually with a little shopping around you can at least find something that complements.

Have fun choosing your kitchen storage canisters and decorating your kitchen with them.  A small item that can make a big difference, it really does add color, life and warmth to your kitchen to keep décor in mind when adding kitchen accessories.

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