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Design

We’re Shooting Caitlin’s Kitchen In 3 Weeks – But How Are You Supposed to Decorate Above A Stove? (+ 5 Styling Options)

HELP! Home chefs, kitchen connoisseurs, gourmands: today’s post is a desperate plea for your advice. You see, I’m currently running off the momentum of my recent living room revealan object in motion stays in motion, as they say – and I’ve managed to grab some time with the dream team (alternatively known by their real names, Emily Bowser and Sara Tramp) for a kitchen shoot on May 30th, but y’all…I’M NOT ACTUALLY DONE YET.

Okay. Maybe that’s a little alarmist – it’s 90% of the way there, and I have 25 days to make a minor decorating decision. I’ll live! And while the kitchen has made leaps and bounds since I first moved in – I’ll catch you up on some of the design progress below – there’s still a ludicrously capacious space above the stove that is in dire need of some ~pizzazz~. I want to make this spot functional, but if I’m being honest…I’m not great at cooking (yet, she wrote, brimming with cautious optimism), and I don’t really have the skill set to know what constitutes being functional.

To that end, I’ve researched a ton of vintage kitchens and have consistently come across the same 5 decorating formulas for that awkward space above the stove. They’re all beautiful options that would look awesome in my home, but I do need help deciding which is the most livable (i.e. I don’t want something that looks good in photos but is a nightmare to maintain). So if you enjoy cooking at home (or if you have strong feelings about shelving, sconces, pot racks, and the like), please read on – I’d really appreciate your opinion here! But first…

Where We Started

move-in day!

HI, WELCOME TO THE WORLD’S LARGEST GALLEY KITCHEN. (Joking, but also not joking.) She’s about 15′ long, 8′ across, and somehow contains more cabinets and drawers than any one person should be allowed to have. You know how Carrie Bradshaw had to store sweaters in her stove? I could store Carrie Bradshaw’s entire apartment in my kitchen cabinets with room left over. THERE IS SO MUCH STORAGE.

The floors (linoleum, difficult to clean, impossibly noisy), appliances (old, but it’s a rental, so c’est la vie), and 90-year-old tile countertops (I mean, enough said) all leave something to be desired…but honestly, I’m just nitpicking. Over the past few years, I’ve learned that I feel most comfortable when I’m designing around some immovable elements – they feel like built-in bumpers that keep me on track. I do not do well with a blank slate, so I’m grateful to have some parameters to work around. 🙂

The In-Progress Transformation

She’s been a work in progress for a long time, folks! Here’s what’s been done so far:

  • Wallpaper: It’s ‘Orange Blossom’ by Cole & Son and IT’S SO CHEERY. Hanging this wallpaper took the kitchen from “old and tired” to “vintage and charming.”
  • Glass Knobs: I wanted to honor the 90-year-old original cabinets with something a little more period appropriate – these were splurge-y (part of why this reveal has taken so long, ha!), but they’re also timeless and so, so, SO pretty. I’ll be using these for the rest of my life, I think.
  • Window Treatments: Conversely, I didn’t splurge on these – grabbed two of my favorite cheap $40 wooden roman shades in ‘Deer’ (a blonder, subtler wood color than the ‘Squirrel’ I used in my living room).
  • Modern Lighting: I LOVE a modern/vintage mashup, especially when it improves the functionality of a space! I fell in love with the shape of this fixture (inspired by leaves and petals, which feels fitting with the blossom motif), but I also love that it’s convertible – I’m using it as a semi-flush in my kitchen, but I could use it as a chandelier in a future home! (More brands should make lighting like this! It’s genius for renters, IMO.)
  • A New Runner: SO CUTE. It’s jute! It’s scalloped! It’s a 10′ runner that only cost $130! FYI, this Etsy is a treasure trove for super sweet, super affordable rugs – comparable pieces on Chairish and Mainly Baskets go for 3-5x the price. Check here first!
  • Updated Switchplates: I’ll be covering the switch and outlet covers with wallpaper so they blend into the wall. (How many tears will be shed as I attempt to achieve the perfect wallpaper lineup? You’ll find out when we share the reveal in mid-June!)

Enter: My Problem Area

GET A LOAD OF THAT OPEN SPACE. If you’re also struggling with the design around a free-standing oven in an old home, I SEE YOU. There’s no backsplash, no hood, NO NOTHING in this corner – just a big expanse of wall in need of something. I love the way my wallpaper brightened up this corner (standing here staring at a blank wall felt like a punishment previously, TBH) but it’s definitely pretty graphic and in dire need of some visual balance.

This is where I turn to you, my wisened kitchen pals, to ask a simple question: which of the following five decor layouts would you opt for in your own kitchen? I’m not a great home chef yet, but I’d love to choose a setup for this area that’d be enjoyable to use once I get better at cooking! Options are coming in hot below…please advise. (But like, in a genuine way, and not in a passive-aggressive email way.)

Option 1: Two Shelves

I have to admit that I do love how simple and clean this layout is. It’s classic for a reason, you know? A pretty light oak shelf like this one would bring a little warmth to the sea of white while speaking to the lighter tones in the wallpaper. There’s also a lot of flexibility with this type of open shelving – I could store spices, dishes, cooking utensils, a tiny lamp, etc. up there! – but on the other hand…do I really need more storage in this room? If you have an open shelf above your stove, has it been a positive experience for you?

Option 2: Classic Pot Rack Or Peg Rail

Two more super classic configurations: the pot rack and the peg rail. I do worry that a pot rack may be a little too visually busy with the wallpaper – there’d be a lot of small bits in one area! – but I love how practical it is, and I do also think that seeing my cookware encourages me to use it more. I think I’d be eyeing a brass rail like this, but I’m open to recommendations if anyone has a more affordable option that they love!

I also like the peg rail as a sweet, period-appropriate alternative to the pot rack. If I went that route, I’d do something in a light wood – a piece that speaks to the blond window treatments and jute runner – and while I think it’d be AWESOME aesthetically (case in point: this Reath Design kitchen), I worry that it’d be less functional long-term than a rack in this particular space.

Option 3: Joint Shelving And Pot Rack

As Hannah Montana once said: you get the best of both worlds! I loved how Sara mounted a brass rail to her floating shelf in her kitchen reveal, and I think it’d be nice to do something similar here. The same concerns still stand from before, though – will it get too busy? Is it hard to clean? Is it possible to have too much storage in a kitchen? (No, right?) GOOD COOKS, PLEASE HELP. I’M OVERTHINKING!

Option 4: Mirror/Art + Sconce

I do have an outlet right above my stove (in case you haven’t noticed, ha) and it would be a great candidate for a plug-in sconce. It’d be helpful to have more light while cooking, right? (Seriously, I’m asking!!!) A mirror might be a nice option here too – I loved the old federal mirror Jess hung near the stove in her old kitchen, and I don’t necessarily need more shelving…thoughts?

Option 5: Ceiling Rack + Decor

OH BABY, SAVED THE WILDEST FOR LAST! I spotted this exact layout on oldhouseonline.com (can you tell I’m a kid who grew up watching Antiques Roadshow with my mom???) and it’s AWESOME in person – click through and check out the photo! I know there’s a lot going on in the graphic, but the idea is pretty simple: pop a ceiling-mounted pot rack up top, and give myself some space to play and experiment with the styling down below. I know this would look beautiful and interesting, but am I setting myself up for a cleaning nightmare long-term?

This is where I’ll open up the floor for discussion, and I’ll happily welcome any and all constructive feedback. Which option would you choose? (And if the answer is “girl, none of them,” I’d love to hear your suggestions!) Will hanging something above the stove make my life a nightmare? (Insert footage here of my sweet boyfriend Dennis, calmly explaining the physics of melting butter and grease to me in an attempt to dissuade me from placing precious art above the stove.) Are some materials, textures, or colors better or easier to maintain than others when it comes to cleaning off kitchen grease? I can’t be the only one who’s struggling here – let’s all help each other out, yeah? HAVE A GREAT WEEKEND – I’ll be looking for your tips in the comments. xx

Opening Image Credits: Photo by Sara Ligorria-Tramp | From: Caitlin’s Long, Dark Hallway Makeover

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Fiona
1 year ago

100% greasy dust will go up and soil whatever is above the stove top. So put things that you can live with getting greasy and dusty between cleanings, or things you use all the time so they are being cleaned frequently. The last option is actually really good as the pots and pans will be used frequently and therefore cleaned often, and the plates and sconce light can be cleaned periodically (I would skip the art though, unless it’s behind a protective sheet of glass). The sconce is a good idea, extra light is always handy when stirring a sauce.

MKK
1 year ago
Reply to  Fiona

Posted a prior reply w/out reading through the comments. I think people mentioning the shelves being to the left side wall are on to something. I would then put the artwork (w/glass/plexiglass) behind stove, since it is an easy wipe of any splatters w/ a plug-in picture light above artwork. The cord runs behind frame and plugs into artwork.

MKK
1 year ago
Reply to  Fiona

Oops, meant plug-in to outlet.

RM
1 year ago
Reply to  MKK

Yes! totally agree. But instead of a shelf to the left I’d do a vintage medicine cabinet to store spices.

Suzanne
1 year ago
Reply to  RM

Love the medicine cabinet idea!

Tina
1 year ago
Reply to  Suzanne

Would a recessed medicine cabinet work on that wall?

Margaret Cantlon
1 year ago
Reply to  RM

Spices would get Hot, super dry and flavorless!

Laura
1 year ago

To the medicine cabinet idea, which is genius, I would add a peg rail to the left wall for spoons/spatulas. I hate surface clutter and notice that your old pic had a spoon holder on the stove. But then it’s in the way or you have to walk 4 steps to get to it. I’d much prefer to have it where I need it, and there are some cute options out there (even a rod with a hanging spoon bucket would work). Frees up counter space, looks less cluttered, you don’t have to reach over steam (danger!) to grab a instrument, and as others mentioned- it’s stuff there will be used enough that there’s won’t be added cleaning to keep the grime off.

Cris S.
1 year ago
Reply to  Fiona

I have an unframed piece of vintage art to one side of our stove/cooktop. One thing I did to protect it was to put several layers of oil painting specific varnish on it before hanging it there. That way it is easier to gently wipe it clean, it is protected by the varnish from absorbing anything else, and, as a bonus, it really revived the colors on the piece too! I wouldn’t do it with anything precious, but its a fun vintage piece that fits right in there.

Rita
1 year ago

I would be placing a rangehood above that stove, but then I cook a lot. Shelves would look great. The wallpaper is to die for. Love your home.

Suze
1 year ago
Reply to  Rita

Agree with this! Can’t underestimate how much steam and grease will float up from the stove. The wallpaper is genius for that space!

Daria
1 year ago
Reply to  Rita

i wonder if that’s a solution better for someone who owns the space vs. just rents

Ali
1 year ago

I’d personally go with the pot rack and shelf. Or maybe pot rack and two shelves. Ver functional and a place to style with pretty things. Be careful of any art and frames in the area. The grease and spatter are real. Be sure anything in the area is easy to clean. Smooth hard surfaces, but not a mirror. I think the mirror would always look dirty.

Kait
1 year ago
Reply to  Ali

The mirror—totally agree! I have a mirror above my range and it’s one of my least fav things. You look at yourself while cooking and scare yourself, it’s constantly dirty, everyone comments on how odd it is… mine is glued to the wall so is a project to remove (thank you previous owners! Hahaha) but

1 year ago

I have a mirror behind my stove an I love it…it sits above a shelf an I have a few spice jars an oil bottles on the shelf an while I do have to clean the mirror once a week I feel it makes my small kitchen seem bigger

Colleen
1 year ago

The wallpaper is so fun! Is it holding up there? If I made even something easy like spaghetti, I splash stuff all over. Splattering oil and butter, for sure.

But if that is holding up for you, I like your two shelf combo the best. And the art should be in a glass frame so you can wipe it clean (not an oil painting or similar). But maybe I’m just especially messy! It’s nice to have a few things handy right about the stove even if you have a lot of storage.

Love the Evergreen Fog in your hallway— I used it last year for my laundry room/powder room combo. Thanks for the inspiration.

Cris S.
1 year ago
Reply to  Colleen

Another thing to think about it buying a high quality piece of clear acrylic and screwing it into the area directly behind and above the stove top or side (you gently cut a small x into the wallpaper, peel back the sides a tiny bit and then nail or screw into that tiny spot – then when removing it you don’t have a hole in the paper, but can put a bit of glue and lay it back down). I did this for our Cole & Son wallpaper that goes down behind a raised bowl sink/wall mounted faucet and handles as it protects the wallpaper from my kids’ enthusiastic splashing.

1 year ago

CUTE wallpaper glow-up! I haven’t had to decorate with a blank stove slate like this before, but I’ve hung art directly behind the stove in a rental. It gets FOUL the way we cook (lots of splattery sausage grease; I knew the risks and was fine taking them, but I would NOT do a mirror there, it’ll just be gross most of the time or annoying to deal with.)

I vote pot rack with shelf directly above, and art to the side. If you go a bit lower with the pot rack than what you’ve done visually, you can also lean some art up on the shelf without it being too high up and weird.

Have fun! I never improved rentals as much as you’re doing and it seems super satisfying.

Karen
1 year ago

I won’t comment on what would look best. Functionally, getting things off the counter is always key for me in kitchen. Seems like you have storage for pots and pans but maybe you don’t have enough drawer space for cooking utensils.
Anything above the stove gets dirty with grease, or steam entrapping dinner sheen. Since you’re wallpapered, you might want to think of a way to do a floating backsplash… it doesn’t have to be tile.

Karen
1 year ago
Reply to  Karen

Clear acrylic backsplash will let your wallpaper shine but keep it wipeable

katie
1 year ago

what if you did a sheet of brass and let it patina?

Jessica
1 year ago

I think I would do something wildly different. I can see installing a faux backsplash by adding paintable encaustic paper or that paintable beadboard wallpaper (see here: https://thekwendyhome.com/blog/how-to-fake-a-beadboard-feature-wall) and run it up the wall behind the stove to the same height as the bottom of the cabinets and paint it with a satin finish that is wipable and looks cute with the cabinets. You could then do the same peg/shelf combo in that link to top it off, or just put up a shelf for some cute stuff. I would 100% move the stove to the right so that it’s snug to the counter as mentioned in many other comments, or put up a shelf or small cabinet that fills the gaps on both sides of the stove so that you can put a cute crock with cooking utensils and also the stuff you’re cooking. And you should definitely snag that adorable chalkboard tray in a comment below by Kj that you can hang with a cute shopping list. You will definitely want any artwork that you put up to be framed with glass so that you can clean the inevitable grease buildup on it. I’ve lived with mulitple kichens… Read more »

Lauren H
1 year ago

My vote is pot rack or pot rack and shelf. Keep everything either brass or copper and it won’t look too busy — although I know that’s not always possible. If the shelf gets painted maybe try to match the darkest green in the wallpaper so it blends in visually. I think it is best to go for the most practical option possible.

Do keep in mind that depending on what you cook, without a vent, that area above the stove can get very sticky/grimy. That’s why I wouldn’t do open shelves with things like glassware. But a shelf with a pot rack where you keep olive oil and salt and pepper would be very helpful when cooking. If you want something on the wall to the side of the stove, maybe a wall hung spice rack of some sort? I’m sure there’s an attractive option out there somewhere.

Elaine
1 year ago

Thinking practically, and if you want to encourage those culinary skills, a pot rack is where I’d go – having cooking utensils/pots within arms reach is very handy and if you only stock it with what you need/use, then you’ll use it each time you cook. If the pot rack is metal it’s so much easier to clean than anything wood (cleaning wooden anything that’s covered in cooking grease is both yuck and a PITA!). I love the idea of art, but it’s soooo close to the stove and again, cooking grease and also steam…not the most ideal environment for art (read ‘hard no’ and Dennis is spot on!). So I’d put the put the wall plates (as art) where you’re currently considering art work. Can’t wait to see the reveal!

Ali
1 year ago
Reply to  Elaine

Love the idea of plates as art.

Jessica
1 year ago

Option 5! Functional and vintage cute.
I would not put a mirror above the stove, if only because it makes that area look like a bathroom vanity! (Also making hot food on stove = foggy mirror.)

Kim
1 year ago
Reply to  Jessica

Yes the mirror and sconce idea immediately had me thinking bathroom! Noooooo!

Caitlin I think you have gotten lots of great advice. I would err on the side of not doing TOO MUCH. let the wallpaper continue to sing and have room to breathe, it is SO SPECTACULAR.
Good luck !

Harmony
1 year ago
Reply to  Jessica

Agreed. A mirror will also show the grease A LOT so you will be constantly cleaning.

I have a range hood that I don’t clean as often as I should and I’m always shocked at how gross it gets and I cook really boring non greasy things like boiling pasta or eggs.

Is there any chance your landlord would agree to install a hood or extraction fan?

Could you get a brass “peg rail” so it would be easier to keep clean? That would look lovely against the wallpaper?

Sonia
1 year ago

I personally like the last one best. It adds a charm that fits in with the rest of the vibe of the kitchen.it seems like the one that gives off the vibe of “it was always meant to be there” if that makes sense. You’ll definitely appreciate having a light source right over the pans when you’re cooking, especially when it’s nighttime.

Also, I can’t imagine the weirdness of having a mirror right there in my face when I’m cooking. Ugh. Especially when I’m stressed out because I’m worried that what I’m preparing won’t turn out right. Nope. Wouldn’t want to see my face.

1 year ago

These suggestions are quite practical. I think the design with pot rack with shelf and a piece of art is the best.

1 year ago

I wouldn’t put a anything above the stove that might encourage you to lean over it while the burners are on! Just personally, I’d have visions of reaching for a spatula and setting my t-shirt on fire. Maybe just me?
I think anything in the kitchen is going to get that special kind of kitchen dust on it, you know the kind that is somehow a bit sticky, and the nearer the stove the quicker it accumulates. So I’d avoid storage in the area. So maybe the sconce and some art? And if you could handle the busy-ness, a little rail to the left of the stove. Actually, the sconce could be really good, because unless you’ve got some good light coming from the right side, you’re probably going to be casting some shadow over the cooker.

Jen
1 year ago
Reply to  Awfulknitter

This was my experience having a shelf above the stove – don’t store anything you plan on using while you cook -unless you’re tall with longer arms, then it might not be an issue. I’m 5’2″ so that probably impacted. I hated leaning over the hot (gas) stove.

Kait
1 year ago
Reply to  Awfulknitter

I hadn’t thought of this! You could add a spice rack shelf to the right so you don’t have to lean?

Cheryl
1 year ago
Reply to  Awfulknitter

My first thought was also not to store anything above the stove that you would want to grab while a burner is on…(I’m also short, so maybe this isn’t an issue for taller people? lol.) I love the look of the pot rack, if you have pots/pans you want to display. Make cooking utensils and spices easy to grab on the side – you could even hang a cute spice rack on the wall to the left of the stove. I would also definitely recommend the sconce – we have a light in our hood and use it all the time when cooking in the mornings and dinner in the winter. It’s nice to have light to see by, but not have all the kitchen lights blaring. Excited to see where you land with this!

Sara
1 year ago
Reply to  Awfulknitter

This made me laugh out loud! I also like the suggestions! Love including a sconce here, and I think a fun, inexpensive, not precious piece of art behind glass and in an easy to wipe frame (metal vs wood, simple flat edges w/out nooks and crannies) under the sconce would be great. I got some funny vintage magazine ads for bathroom supplies (toilet paper, toothpaste, etc.), put black construction paper behind them (to ensure type on back wouldn’t show thru) and stuck them in inexpensive but nice looking frames from Target and put them in my vintage 1950s bathroom. Found the ads at an antique store for $3-5 a piece. Something like that (food/kitchen/cooking ads) could be fun here!

Cris S.
1 year ago
Reply to  Sara

There are really fun and camp recipe booklets from the 30s, 40s, 50s with great titles, bright colors and fun graphics. You could easily frame those (I have several from my grandmother that are really fun).

Emily
1 year ago

My vote is option 3. I think it’s the best opportunity for functional yet pretty. I would use larger pieces on the pot rack instead of a bunch of smaller utensils. Could be a fun opportunity to collect some vintage copper pots and pans if you don’t want to display the pieces you actually use to cook with. Either way, whatever you’re hanging there is meant to get greasy and be washed anyways so it’ll be easier to keep clean. And then on shelf, assuming it’s at an accessible height, olive oil bottles, salt and pepper, etc… would be helpful to have nearby.
Since you don’t cook a ton, I wouldn’t be TOO worried about what you display. Just pick things that can be easily washed when needed. Like if you were putting a lamp nearby, choose an all metal lamp that can be wiped down frequently, not a lamp with a fabric or rattan shade.

Sarah Lovinger, MD
1 year ago

I cook every day and I would not recommend hanging art near a stove. Artwork could be damaged by the heat and by boiling liquids like water or pasta sauce that could splash on it. Stick with durable metal or tile near a hot stove.

Sarah
1 year ago

Or tile or metal art that could be cleaned more easily.

Mara
1 year ago

The old house kitchen is such good inspiration! I was going to suggest installing a hood to whisk away odors but as a lady living in an old home, I also have no range hood and we’re fine (and we cook a lot!). I don’t fry things so maybe it’s an advantage?
I like option 5 and option 3. Option 3 for the practical storage of utensils and spices within reach. Option 5 because it’s aesthetically beautiful.

Can’t wait to read all about it!

Jen
1 year ago
Reply to  Mara

We don’t have a vent hood and the only time we notice is if we do something at really high heat, like if you cooked steak a lot. Or were searing meat.

Julie S
1 year ago

I also lived without a vent hood in two different kitchens for about 12 years. We did add one into the second kitchen as part of a facelift/for resale and it was actually nice to pull cooking heat out of the room in the summers. Other than that I didn’t notice a difference.

K
1 year ago

Maybe you can fit some flats for the subway in the ludicrously capacious space above your stove 😉😆

Champagne Supernova
1 year ago
Reply to  K

Well done!

Kelly Kestler
1 year ago

My only feedback would be don’t hang anything near the stove that you don’t want to have to clean grease off of. We get it all over our backsplash and upper cabinets, so I wouldn’t want anything very intricate I’d have to clean near the stove (frame with lots of nooks, etc). Also, I had a client use that wallpaper in a huge open kitchen/dining area and it’s beautiful!!

Mudrick
1 year ago

I love the ceiling rack/sconce option! I worry about pots and utensils scraping up against the wallpaper on all the other wall hung options, but you could screw a clear piece of acrylic to the wall which would have the dual effect of protecting the wallpaper and being wipeable.

OPTION 3: JOINT SHELVING AND POT RACK – FOR SUREIt’s the most functional, which you want directly around the stove, plus you could put a small piece of art or pottery on the shelf for something pretty.
Also. i am OBSESSED with the wallpaper in here! can’t wait to see it all done!

Laurel
1 year ago

I second this emotion! The shelf would allow you to store stuff off your counter that you want accessible (like a salt well) and pretty things.

Lee
1 year ago

So many great options. I’d lean for practical and having your tools nearby but make sure that you can reach everything. I would want pot rack with shelf. I can’t wait to see the reveal.

Elizabeth
1 year ago

Love the wallpaper!! I personally think it would be nice to have at least one shelf with the things i reach for while cooking often like salt and pepper and oil right there. You could do the pegs with utensils OR do a cute piece of pottery to hold most reached for spoons/spatulas (i like this option as it cuts down on visual clutter.). So i vote for option 1 or 3!

Emma
1 year ago

I hate to be negative Nancy, but anything that touches the wallpaper is going to scratch it eventually. I would nix anything that hangs onto the wall, including the peg rail and pot rack systems. My vote is for a hybrid: a single shelf for spices with a mirror and light above, and then a piece of art to the left (behind wipeable glass, and in a metal frame).

Susi
1 year ago

Thank you for that great post!. As I was reading, I was thinking, “a mirror!” so my vote is for option 4. ( Daniel Kanter had one in his 2013 kitchen Reno over a similar oven https://manhattan-nest.com/2013/08/26/the-kitchen-the-big-reveal/) I think all of the options are nice but a mirror would open the space and allow you to not stare at a wall while cooking. My old house had a mirror over the sink and it was nice. In that same house, I had a similar stove set up as you and we had a simple wall mounted spice rack above the stove. We did have to wipe things down but it wasn’t hard and they weren’t precious, so that’s another option. I think the simpler and easiest to wipe down the better. Can’t wait to see the whole kitchen!

Elle
1 year ago

I love that wallpaper! It looks so beautiful in there. The idea of a sconce with a cable running over the cooker is giving me the fear, I don’t know if it’s safe or not but it doesn’t feel safe. I know you get lights in extractor hoods but their cables are all safely behind the wall. I like the idea of putting up some art, so long as it’s washable (Dennis is right!) and a shelf, because you don’t need more storage but always want room for herbs/salt/oil/pretty things. I would add in that you need a splashback to cover the wallpaper just behind the stove or it’ll get ruined (ask me how I know) with grease spots that will not come out. You can get a rectangle of toughened glass for this and you’ll still be able to see the wallpaper but it’ll have a wipeable sheet over it. You can also do, for example, a sheet of aged brass/copper/mirror, cut to the width of the cooker and at least 75cm above it – at least, that’s what I’d need to add in the UK over a gas stove, but your mileage may vary. It has to be… Read more »

Philippa
1 year ago
Reply to  Elle

I cook every day and wholeheartedly second all of this, especially the parts about the debatable safety of a plug-in sconce near gas, and the splashback. Your kitchen is going to be lovely!

MKP
1 year ago
Reply to  Elle

If you put up a piece of glass/plexiglass on the wall behind the range I suppose you could also put art behind it too. Nothing framed obviously, but maybe a cool vintage print tacked onto the wall with the glass screwed in on top of it. I’m thinking bigger piece of glass/plexi with smaller print centered. Love the idea of a sconce and even a wall clock somewhere above the range or on the side wall. A clock in the kitchen seems very useful to me always.

Emily
1 year ago

I’d put the peg rail / shelf to the left of the stove where you have art shown in many of the options. Could be used for spices, cooking utensils, hot pads, etc. As for behind the stove I’d put the art there! Something you want to look at while cooking (vs a mirror – who wants to look at themselves??).

Angela
1 year ago
Reply to  Emily

Just my thought as well. Put a shelf with a small pot rack rail/hooks below it on the left-of-stove wall. And why not go all-in on the plates and fill that back wall with hanging plates instead of art. A light would be nice, but I would hang it as high as possible and careful of the cord draping over the stove; maybe run the wire to the right and then up the side of the cabinet to hide it and keep it out of the way. A crock on the shelf could hold your spatulas, ladles, and wooden spoons and you could lean a piece of art on the shelf.. As for cooking, I love my Mauviel 1830 9″ carbon steel crepe/frying pan-made in France. It is light weight, food doesn’t stick (if you use butter/oil) and it looks good. I would suggest only a few hooks for pans below the shelf. We have painted drywall behind our stove and I cook everyday; I think you can be fine without the plexi glass as long as the wallpaper can be wiped from time to time.

Debbie
1 year ago

Love the wallpaper! First, I would definitely go with a sconce because it’s important to have good light above where you cook. I have a brass rail right now above my range and love it. I like Sara’s combined shelf with rail system. I think if there is room, it would be cool to add some tile over the range in a solid color that compliments the wallpaper. I know you can buy stick on tile, or maybe there’s another alternative this isn’t permanent but looks good and is easy to wipe down. I don’t think you need art that close to the stove top, especially with the wallpaper.

erin
1 year ago

caitlin, this is just stunning. that wall paper with those vintage cabinet are warm and inviting. i’m am similarly living in a vintage kitchen i’ve been slowly updating–painting the cabinets, new knobs, etc.–and i also have a free-standing stove situation. no hood. i don’t think it matters what you do over the oven, there will be clean up–a few well-placed mesh covers over the splashy bits will do wonders to keep the grease at bay. i’ve also taken to doing my periodic steak with an oven method just to keep the grease down. whatever you hang there has to be easily washed up if you don’t want to spend a lot of time cleaning (but you will spend some time cleaning). i’m a fan of decorative plates on the wall–i just take them down and rinse them with soap and water periodically ( i don’t even take off the plate hangers). and the sconce will be a relatively easy clean if you use a washable shade. [i purchased a sheet of un-lacquered brass online, took it to a local guy to machine some holes in it for hanging. it’s wipes easily and is aging nicely.] whatever you choose to do… Read more »

MKP
1 year ago
Reply to  erin

Are you suggesting a sheet of unlaquered brass hanging behind the range as a backsplash bc if so, that is an amazing idea! Would be so pretty and functional too.

erin
1 year ago
Reply to  MKP

i am!

GM
1 year ago

Hi there! First of all, I think your kitchen is going to be wonderful. In terms of practicality and aesthetic, I think the shelves make the most sense. You will have more options for styling on a flat surface than a hanging surface. For instance- you could store pretty serving bowls AND lean a painting above the stove (best of both worlds, indeed) whereas the pot rack feels like you will be trapped into one kind of storage (that you don’t particularly need). And I personally would not love staring in a mirror while cooking- it’s one of the rare times where I can sort of disappear into my own thoughts and I don’t think looking at myself would help get to that meditative cooking state. Excited to see where it lands!

LouAnn
1 year ago

Option 3: pot rack with shelf and big piece of art.

As someone who cooks in a galley kitchen that hasn’t been updated since the house was built in 1947, and has a free-standing oven (we’re practically twins!), I added a pot rack with shelf above my stove and it looks good, is not hard to keep clean, and keeps all of my most-used kitchen utensils and salt jars (etc) handy and within easy reach.

Jenny
1 year ago

It needs a vent hood – I would demand landlord to install one for health reasons. Anything else would be covered in greasy dust before too long.

Jackie
1 year ago
Reply to  Jenny

100000%

Lauren
1 year ago
Reply to  Jenny

yeah this is what i was thinking – where is the exhaust? it needs to go somewhere and there’s a reason for hoods! It looks ‘off’ because there is a very necessary thing missing!
(not that it won’t be lovely when it’s done no matter what! but imho instead of adding visual clutter that will get greasy and gross, add the necessary, practical and safe thing)

Cathy
1 year ago
Reply to  Lauren

venting hoods need to be vented to the outside to work properly. In an interior wall relatively deep into the house, figuring out how to run the ducting to the outside can be tricky, especially if the ceiling joists don’t align with the placement of the ducting. This is really not a renter-type dyi situation and may be more than a landlord would want have done either.

Eleanor
1 year ago
Reply to  Cathy

California Ventilation Building Code
405.4 Kitchen Exhaust.
A mechanical exhaust directly to the outdoors shall be provided in each kitchen. The fan shall run intermittently (on demand) or continuously. A readily accessible manual control designed to be operated as needed or an automatic control shall be provided for intermittent operations.

Abi
1 year ago

What a cute kitchen, I can’t wait to see the reveal!

I don’t cook a lot but I always want my oils, salt and pepper, utensils and a clock near the stove. So that’s what I would prioritize making room for. The combo shelf and hooks immediately appealed to me the most because of that.

I think the last option is very fun but I am definitely wary of hanging art right over the stove because of how grimy it would get. But leaned on a top shelf it would have more protection. I would not worry about plates as much since they are designed for food mess and could be cleaned easily.

I know you said you don’t need extra storage but have you considered 1 or 2 slim rolling shelves that could fit between the stove and the wall or cabinets? That also might make it feel less like it is floating in the corner, now it has some buddies!

Whatever you choose, I am confident in you and the Dream Team to make something beautiful!

Stacy
1 year ago
Reply to  Abi

I was thinking that too! My parents have a similar setup and they pushed the range against the cabinets and built in some shelves between the range and the wall for cutting boards and other slim items. It’s a nice out of the way spot to store a utensil crock and olive oil, etc, as well. I hate cooking on a range in a corner, it feels so cramped and using the burners closest to the wall can be tricky if you’re dealing with handles. If you move it over you’ll still have plenty of room for whatever decor moment you like. Personally I like options 1 and 3 best!

anotheremily
1 year ago

always love your posts!
I cook a lot (for 4 people, every day), and we redid our kitchen a couple of years ago, so here are my thoughts: do the pot rack/anything functional on the left wall. you don’t want to be reaching over a hot stove top to get the pepper mill! the hanging pot rack is so dreamy, and you have the ceiling height for it. but since you don’t have a hood, pots hanging directly above the stove will get greasy and gross.

you could also do a backsplash that would save your beautiful wallpaper: either just a sheet of brushed aluminum (easy to find online or at restaurant supply places, can stick magnetic stuff on it), or a sheet of glass would be cool too, mounted behind the stove.

it would be good to have a big container of cooking utensils that lives somewhere near the stove. that could be part of your setup, or it looks like it could sit on the countertop? I’m left-handed so I always want to reach to my left…

one more thing: definitely do a light somewhere! that’s another thing a range hood offers that you can dupe.

Amanda
1 year ago

As a cook (and not a stylist), I would consider putting a few little shelves on the wall next to the stove, not over it. You’ll be able to reach for spices or whatever without catching your clothes on fire. Also, remember that if you do cook, the space over the stove can get greasy/grimy, so having something simple back there–like a mirror–makes it easier to wipe down. Good luck!

BC
1 year ago
Reply to  Amanda

I agree with all of this. If you are looking for something functional and actually plan to cook, I would install a sheet of clear plexiglass or glass on the wall behind the range to protect the beautiful wallpaper. Then maybe get some clear acrylic shelves for the left hand wall to keep frequently used items like salt, pepper and olive oil and to continue letting that wallpaper shine. Maybe add a small framed piece of art in a shelf there? If you don’t have cooking storage for cooking utensils in a drawer to the right of the stove, maybe place a crock on the counter by the stove for this purpose.

However, I am looking at this from the perspective of someone who cooks daily and needs a functional kitchen that can clean up easily. If you rarely cook, just do whatever makes your heart happy!

Jen
1 year ago

Sconce-yes! An old kitchen with an outlet right there; it must be done. The evening glow from my kitchen sconce is such a pleasant vibe in the evening, and helps signal it’s time to wind down. My brain twitches at the pot rack/peg rails for here with adding that much visual movement to that wallpaper… but some folks could make it amazing! But, cleaning it… ugh! I think you’ve taken away some of your free time in life with this choice. To help with brainstorming… what about a large cutting board and 2-3 simple patterned plates? Texture but less pattern, less number of items, and all are easy to clean. You live in CA. Don’t squash your sunshine time!

🥰 Rusty
1 year ago
Reply to  Jen

LOVE the cutting board idea!!!!

Mari
1 year ago

Love this post and love the wallpaper! I say definitely go for the last option or a version of the last option without the pot rack if you are worried about it being too busy. You are great at maximalism so I think you can find a good balance 🙂 However, with all of these I do think one thing that would help with cleaning is a simple piece of clear plastic or glass that can help protect your beautiful wallpaper from any splatter/grease. If you don’t cook on the stovetop much (or mostly boil water), you may get away with only a thin piece right above (notice in the reference photo the beadboard is kinda acting like this, pushing the decor up). There may be some trickery getting around the outlet with a glass/clear plastic piece, but I think you could make it work! Also, this may be obvious, but it likely would be best to put frames with glass/plates/decorative tiles that are easily wipeable rather than something like an unframed canvas over the stove. I think a shallower pot rack may also allow for less cleaning if you are mostly cooking on the front burners, tho I am… Read more »

Monica
1 year ago

Oooooh this is gonna look so good!!! Exciting. From personal experience, that ceiling pot rack in option 5 is your best bet, imho – you get the shelf space and the hanging space of the shelf/rail combo, but more out of the way *and* more useful storage.

I wonder whether the sconce under that hanging rack is a good idea, though – will you need that space for hanging things? Art and plates will be out of the way enough, but the shade may stick out too far?

If you do want a light, an option I didn’t see here is mounting a recirculating fan light/hood above the stove so you have that functionality and it helps defines the space so the floating stove doesn’t look as out of place … you have an outlet above the stove that could be moved up in the wall to accommodate the hood? (Prob an idea better mentioned before the wallpaper, but might still be worth considering!)

Happy designing!

A
1 year ago

Yes to sconce! No to mirror! (Seems bathroom to me?) Since you don’t have a range hood you’re going to be cleaning grease off whatever you put up there, which makes me lean art with glass over it or plates! Easier to clean 🙂

Sylvie
1 year ago

Hi Caitlin! Your choice of wallpaper is so pretty! Amazing colours. Since you have no hood, I would not hang “precious art” in that corner. But how about a piece of art in a frame protected by glass? I don’t think this would be too hard to clean. This would be on the left wall. Then right above the stove, one shelf for your S&P shakers and maybe a small battery-operated lamp or a piece of crockery or ceramic. The shelf may or may not have hooks underneath to hang a few utensils. Whatever you choose will be great, I’m sure!

1 year ago

Caitlin, in theory I love all of these (and love your kitchen!) In *practice*, (almost) all of them look like cleaning nightmares. Greasy art! Sticky pepper grinders! So for that reason, I’d vote for hanging things you’ll actually be using (pot rail option). I also LOVE extra light when cooking, so though it would need frequent cleaning, I’m also into the sconce idea!

1 year ago

Everything you’ve done so far (to the whole place) has been just so darling and “you.” What you will need at your stovetop are spoons and spatulas, salt & pepper and light. I like the idea of art on the sidewall, but make sure it’s nothing precious. As someone said below, plates are great b/c they are so easy to clean. I would stick with “simple & clean” lines, as the wallpaper is doing a lot of heavy lifting on it’s own. Best of luck, girl, and breath!

Lark
1 year ago

Option 4 or 5!

Erica
1 year ago

3 or 5!!

Lisa
1 year ago

oooooh I am still SO excited for this kitchen that wallpaper is super pretty <3 If it was my kitchen – and I both cook regularly and am accident prone, so ymmv – I'd be worried that whatever I hang on there might damage/dirty my wallpaper if not thoroughly cleaned and dried every time before rehanging, although a small shelf to store oils and spices might be really really useful. Honestly I would be worried about staining my wallpaper mostly through cooking alone cause at least I definitely splash around quite a bit once in a while… Now I understand that this is a rental so you cannot tile on the wall and simply putting up a clear plastic sheet probably isn't very attractive… If you did want to put something else behind your wall Alexandra Gater and Team did a genius hack in one of their renter friendly makeovers where they tiled on a piece of plywood and secured that to the wall with a few screws, so there were only like 4 holes instead of tiles on the wall. I always thought that was genius! They also did something in another video where they put up wainscoating in… Read more »

Amy
1 year ago

I would remove the little dishtowel holder from the side of the base cabinet and slide the stove right up against the cabinet to make it feel more seamless, then get a slim cabinet to go on the other side of the stove to fill the gap between the stove and wall. If you can’t find a cabinet, consider just installing a “countertop” held up with brackets underneath, and put a crock with your cooking utensils in it, and a little vignette for your S+P, olive oil, etc on a cute tray. You could slide a trash can under the open space so it’s not seen but easy to access. This would make the stove look more “built in”. I would then put a mirror on the left side wall to bounce the window’s light around, and add the two wooden shelves with upgraded brackets in whatever metal color you have already in the space. The shelves would protect any little art, dishes, a lamp, etc from getting dirty with splatters or oil spray, plus you have a fun area to style!

Marie
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy

It is such a good idea to move the stove and to add a countertop o n the other side !

DonnaJ
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy

Moving the stove, making. acute strip on the left and adding and the mirror on the side wall are all great ideas. I’d put peel and stick wall tiles, or a brass backsplash – cut in an arched pattern- onto the entire wall behind the stove. If you do brass you you can hang another mirror, if you do peel and stick tiles you can add shelves. I’m not a fan of open storage at all, especially near a stove oir in a space with so much closed storage already.

Alice
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy

I would suggest not attempting to move an old gas stove. Damage the gas line and you’ll have fun for days.

DonnaJ
1 year ago
Reply to  Alice

Well, Its a less a move than a nudge – carefully moving the stove less than a foot to the right. If it were a pre 1960’s stove yes I could imagine that the stove might be hard piped right into the wall. But this stove is less than 30 years old, so it’s attached with a flexible gas line connector , which comes in lengths from 24-60″. She likely already has that slack built in. You can see this space used to hold a larger stove. When they put this smaller more modern stove in, they attached the flexible pipe then nudged the stove into the niche. Ive nudged old gas stoves before and its NBD as long if you are mindful of the connector pipe.

Brianna
1 year ago
Reply to  Amy

Wow, such a great idea to solve the feeling of the stove floating out there.

Lisa
1 year ago

That is the aforementioned video of the tile-hack by the way: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdPincjcoWc Also (also also etc.) I really enjoy having a well lit cooking area so I would definitely go for the plug-in scone! plus it’d look cute and give you hight!! So maybe: plug in scone, shelf for spices, herbs, and oils and some funky plates? 😀

Miriam
1 year ago

So hard to choose! I think the beauty of that amazing wallpaper is that all of them look great, but that last crazy one is the most appealing visually. Those lemons can take ALL the pattern.

Now the bad news: as you cook more you generate a sticky mix of dust, fine food particles and grease that coats EVERYTHING. Directly proportional to the amount of bacon you cook at home…. As someone who cooks a lot, I would honestly use that outlet for the worlds ugliest Kenmore ventless fume hood and be overjoyed.

Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

Jodie
1 year ago

don’t put anything on catty corner wall.
i vote brass pot rack, small and simple, and hang a few copper pots, small
less is more with that pretty wallpaper. don’t make it too busy by overstyling

Jodie
1 year ago

actually, hood is probably best idea.
all looks great!

Kathy
1 year ago

Pretty, pretty wallpaper! I would do a shelf on the left for a crock to hold handy utensils, salt and pepper and a pretty bottle of olive oil. I would gather up a collection of big, beautiful wooden cutting boards and create a bit of a simple but grapic display above the stove. The scone is a very practical idea.
It will be fun to see what you settle on.

Amber
1 year ago

Everyone has mostly covered the grease considerations, but I would strongly recommend putting a sheet of plexi or acrylic to protect the wallpaper behind the stove. You see this a lot in British kitchens and bathrooms. It will keep it cleaner and protect the paper from dings if you do a pot rack on the wall (which I strongly recommend — that or the hanging pot rack idea).

By the way, I suspect a pot rack might encourage you to cook more. It’s much easier to just make something when your pans are within easy reach.

I also like the idea of a sconce to light the cooking area. Even though you have nice windows, a lot of cooking happens at night, so it’s helpful to be able to see what you’re doing. The cord should be fine. People use appliances like stick blenders in and around stoves all the time.

I would not get a recirculating hood. They are mostly useless, and that’s a considerable expense for a rental. It is a good idea to open a window when you’re cooking though.