This month, we worked with designers and professional organizers to transform a four-bedroom penthouse in the Prospect Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York. In the apartment's stunning kitchen, Donna Garlough, the style director at Joss & Main, shows us simple, low-effort ways to make a prettier, more functional kitchen. 

By Katie Holdefehr
Updated September 14, 2018
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Even if you're not planning a major kitchen renovation anytime soon, rest assured that there are some much easier (and more affordable!) ways to make your kitchen both stylish and functional. At the Real Simple Home, an entire apartment full of brilliant decorating and organizing ideas, Donna Garlough, the style director at Joss & Main, helped decorate the dream home's beautiful kitchen. To start, the space was gorgeous and modern, but with the addition of some warming touches and organizing must-haves, the room is now also homey and functional. Watch as Garlough gives us a tour of the stunning kitchen, pointing out 7 simple tips you can work into your own kitchen.

Related Items

1 Introduce a Pop of Pattern

In the Real Simple Home, Garlough added an accent wall with removable striped wallpaper (it's this wallpaper from Joss & Main). The painterly lines give the modern space a handmade touch, while the neutral color palette helps it look cohesive with the rest of the space. To work this idea into your own home, consider installing a touch of zero-commitment removable wallpaper. 

2 Add Pattern Inside the Cabinets, Too

To give your kitchen some personality, go ahead and add pattern in an unexpected spot, like inside the cabinets. Again, removable wallpaper makes the install relatively easy and you can always switch it out when you need a change.

3 Don't Forget the Art

The kitchen counter probably isn't the first place you think to add artwork, but Garlough points out that introducing personal touches like art can really warm up an otherwise cold kitchen. An added bonus: when strategically placed, the art can also help conceal electrical outlets.

RELATED: 10 Perfect Paint Colors for a Kitchen

4 Install Suction Hooks

Add a suction hook anywhere you need an extra spot to store a dish towel, oven mitts, or spatulas. The best part is that they're easy to remove and reposition, so you can adjust them as needed.

5 Choose the Best Bar Stools

If you have an open floor plan, then it's important to choose bar stools that work with the decor on both sides of the room. In the Real Simple Home's kitchen, Garlough selected these gorgeous bar stools ($325, that were modern, but with a curved back to soften the look. Plus, the seats swivel so those seated at the kitchen counter can easily turn to chat with those sitting on the living room couch. 

6 Squeeze Storage Into Every Corner

No matter the size of your kitchen, we all want to fit in more storage. Garlough recommends a clever shelving unit designed to fit into that empty corner of the room. Now, an underutilized space can hold knick-knacks, photos, and cookbooks.

7 Always Add Plants

No room is complete without a house plant. In this space, Garlough opted for a hanging plant that will trail down as it grows. Consider your own kitchen, then choose the plant that would work best for your space, whether it's a small windowsill garden, a hanging pothos plant, or a large fiddle fig.