If you love looking through the latest design magazines for kitchen decorating ideas but don’t have the time or budget for a major remodel, we’ve got some quick and easy decorating tips on how to give your kitchen an update worthy of a home magazine. The best part is that these kitchen decorating ideas can mix and match beautifully — use one or a few together.

Since we tend to see things at eye level first, some of the most noticeable changes you can make in a kitchen involve the walls. But most kitchen decorating efforts are placed on the appliances, countertops and cooking gadgets while the walls are sadly left ignored.

What’s looking back at you, a dingy, boring wall? Or worse, an outdated faux paint job complete with ivy or fruit-themed stencil work? It’s time to make a change.

Updating your kitchen wall decor with easy but design-savvy changes will make a big visual impact. Here are 5 kitchen decorating ideas that take your kitchen’s walls from tired to inspired:

1. The Designer’s Secret to Color

Color is one of the fastest and most inexpensive ways to update a room. But great, colorful kitchens don’t happen by accident. The secret is in the three color palette:

Color 1: An existing kitchen color that can’t be changed. This may be the color of the countertop or cabinets.

Color 2: A neutral of your choice. Use it for the new wall color that complements color 1. It’ll serve as the kitchen backdrop.

Color 3: The color that makes your kitchen unique. It’s often a bold and unexpected color that works with your palette. Color 3 adds pop to your kitchen. Use it as a statement piece for your accessories like bar stools, vases or cookware.

The best way to find the perfect three color palette is to grab paint swatches in the shades you like and shuffle them around until you’re happy with the combination. Once you find your signature three color palette, keep a set handy for accessory shopping.

2. The Best Kitchen Decorating Ideas Start With a Focal Point

Try to see your kitchen the way a visitor would for the first time. Walk into your kitchen and think about what you notice. Is the first thing you see something you like? If not, what would you rather notice first? Make that spot and the closest wall your focal point.

Focal points visually jump out at you. Compared to the rest of the kitchen, the focal point is bold and unique. To create a focal wall, try one of these techniques:

– Paint your focal wall in the bold shade you chose for your three color palette

– Hang a large piece of art on the focal wall

– Use textural or patterned wallpaper

Be fearless when dressing up your focal point — it’s just one wall.

3. Add the Latest Trend in Kitchen Wall Decor — Open Shelving

If you’ve updated your kitchen with fresh, fashion-forward colors and a focal wall, it’s time to add layers. The latest trend in kitchen design is open shelf, upper-cabinet-free kitchens. The look lightens a kitchen up by creating visual space, but requires you to hide all the tupperware and mismatched glasses in fewer cabinets.

Instead of tearing out your upper cabinets, try updating your kitchen wall decor by placing one or two floating shelves on an open wall. Floating shelves come in many styles and are easy to install. Keep the floating shelf display items minimal and color coordinated for a magazine-ready look.

For a bigger change, remove a selected upper wall cabinet’s doors and paint or wallpaper the back of the cabinet. You now have a new open display shelf. To give your new display life, add LED under-cabinet lighting to highlight the items. Battery-powered lights are available if cabinet wiring is an issue.

4. The Carefully Curated Kitchen Wall

Set your kitchen apart using your personality. Gallery wall collections are popular with designers and magazines because they’re unique and make a boring wall interesting. Gather favorite objects together and use them as kitchen wall decor.

Some kitchen decorating ideas for a gallery wall collection include:

-Framed album covers

-Baskets

-Framed wallpaper or fabric swatches

-Vintage dishes

-Antique, empty frames of different shapes and sizes

-A variety of mirrors

There are no absolute rules to creating a gallery wall. Symmetrical, patterned or freestyle placement are all good approaches. To save time (and extra nail holes on the wall), arrange your collection on the floor before hanging for the best spacing and placement.

5. Personalize Your Kitchen With Chalkboard Paint

A can of black chalkboard paint is inexpensive and a great way to dress up a wall. Black is a bold, eye-catching color and the perfect backdrop for your ever-changing chalk art.

If you’re out of wall space, a door or cabinet surface is another great chalkboard (and dinner menu) in the making. Remember to layer. A floating shelf or gallery wall collection on your chalkboard wall adds to the unique look of your new, inspired kitchen walls.

Want more ideas for your Kitchen? Check out the following articles:

50 White Kitchen Ideas That Work
14 Creative Kitchen Backsplash Ideas
60 Beautiful Kitchen Island Ideas
Beautiful Outdoor Kitchen Island Ideas For Summer