Bolton Chalklin Architects, original photo on Houzz

By Sean Lewis, Houzz

Personally, I dream of having a kitchen inside a greenhouse where plants overflow and the ceiling and walls feature abundant glass. But let’s be real — not all of us are in the position of transforming our kitchens into greenhouses that also have cabinets and cooking gear.

Still, we can steal plenty of good ideas. Here are seven ways to get that greenhouse or garden vibe in your own kitchen. The first several you can do without remodeling. The rest you might want to plan for as part of a kitchen remodel. Which is your favorite way to bring the outdoors into your kitchen?

freshen up your kitchen

Trevi Studio, original photo on Houzz

Ideas that Don’t Involve Remodeling

1. Incorporate large houseplants. Nothing beats real foliage when it comes to creating a nature theme. If your kitchen gets natural light, consider adding large plants, like the ones occupying the unused spaces of this kitchen.

Tropical plants like the one shown in this kitchen are nice options, because big leaves feel lush and look clean. Decorating with plants is a great way to fill awkward spaces with color and nature.

freshen up your kitchen

Traditional Dining Room, original photo on Houzz

2. Add greenery with nature-themed plates and pitchers. What better backdrop for your salad or pie? Nature-themed china can bring greenery to your kitchen minus the challenge of keeping plants alive. Try displaying plates and pitchers in glass cabinets to keep the garden inspiration visible year-round. Even with a simple table setting, this kitchen table resembles a garden party with cabbage china by Bordallo Pinheiro.

3. Buy cut flowers or force bulbs. Cut flowers can add foliage and colorful blooms to your kitchen, even in the depths of winter. When purchasing flowers, look for bouquets with green foliage as well as bright flowers. Forcing bulbs is another way to get long-lasting color and foliage in your kitchen.

Or purchase a few large leaves to create a foliage bouquet. Regularly buying cut flowers can get expensive, but consider splurging for holidays, special occasions or stressful weeks where you can use a pick-me-up. Inexpensive blooms can be found at farmers markets and grocery stores.

freshen up your kitchen

Cocoon Home Design, original photo on Houzz

4. Use grasscloth on walls and window shades. Grasscloth is a beautiful and natural material often used as wallpaper and window coverings, and it can bring texture that feels warm and organic. Grasscloth window shades filter light similarly to tree foliage overhead. Here, blue grasscloth wallpaper evokes water with its subtle varied colors.

freshen up your kitchen

Bolton Chalklin Architects, original photo on Houzz

Ideas if You’re Planning a Remodel

These ideas aren’t the kind you can incorporate immediately, but you might want to start thinking about them if you’re planning a kitchen remodel.

5. Add a skylight to let in the sun. Skylights brighten your space, and the infusion of sunlight in winter can warm your kitchen and lift your mood. If you’re in a very sunny spot, consider an automated shade. This kitchen has a beautiful view of trees and sky, giving the kitchen an easy garden theme.

freshen up your kitchen

Doran Construction and Design Inc, original photo on Houzz

6. Bring in live-edge wood. A “live” edge means keeping the natural shape of the tree on one or both edges of a wood slab. This creates a naturalistic look that contrasts well with foliage and light. Some woods, like cherry and walnut, have beautiful grains that reflect light. Live-edge woods make great shelves, counters and tables. In this modern kitchen, the live-edge counter has the look of a fallen tree.

freshen up your kitchen

J.A.S Design-Build, original photo on Houzz

7. Design your kitchen around a carved-stone sink. If you are planning a remodel, consider a carved-stone sink. Stone is rock and thus a natural element for your kitchen. Carved-stone sinks feel utilitarian, like something you would find in a potting shed.

The beautiful patina of this soapstone sink adds the element of age. The bright, cheerful yellow cabinets contrast with the natural stone, much like a flower against a stone wall.

Related Links:

Stylish Plant Stands to Hold Houseplants
How to Choose the Right Kitchen Countertops
Add a Retractable Awning to Your Skylight for Privacy