How to Decorate Your Kitchen in a Spanish Style on a Budget

A kitchen with Spanish-style design calls for bold colors, texture and workability. Achieving this on a budget simply means assessing what you already own, acknowledging what you might not be able to change (if you're renting or have other considerations) and letting your creativity take over. Before you get started, search your basement, closets and storage areas for leftover paint, forgotten bright linens and old flower pots. Then, visit thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales for key wood, wicker and iron pieces. Lastly, stop by your local grocer for wine, cheese and fruit.

Walls, Cabinets, Countertops and Floors

A warmly decorated kitchen.

Stuccoing or whitewashing walls will give your kitchen an immediate Spanish feel. Another option is to paint your kitchen walls a harvest gold or rust red. To add a focal point, stencil a large Moorish design in a contrasting color. Staining your wood cabinetry a dark shade will create a warm and brooding feeling when paired against dark walls. On the other hand, contrasting dark wood with all-white walls will transform your kitchen into a more austere and rustic setting. You might also consider removing cabinet fronts to display pottery or glassware on the shelving. Ideal floors for a Spanish kitchen are wood or tile, but many linoleum patterns are designed with a faux tile look. Countertops in butcher's block, tile or laminate are all affordable options that complement the Spanish look.

Furniture and Fixtures

Earthy materials such as wood, wicker and iron belong in a Spanish-inspired kitchen. Hit thrift stores for plain or deeply carved dark wooden tables and stools, baker's racks or benches. Luck may present you with a wrought-iron bistro table and chairs with woven backs. Less-than-perfect finds can be painted black or tomato red--or, they can be covered with colorful woven textiles. If you have the space, black metal plant stands or gilt tray tables will enhance your Spanish-style design. Don't pass up wrought-iron scroll chandeliers or over-the-stove pot hangers. Less expensive lighting options include pendant lights with chain work and glass bulbs, or a pair of medieval-style sconces.

Found Accessories

Some of the smallest items can inject the most Spanish style into your kitchen. A tile backsplash is not overly expensive if you do it yourself. Or, for a similar effect, mount tiled trays on an empty wall. Vintage straw trivets, decorative Arabesque grates, cork or woven placemats, and rustic dishtowels and throw rugs can also help create a Spanish atmosphere. Repurpose terracotta pots into napkin or gadget holders. For a quick work of art, staple cloth or fabric with a bold, repeating pattern onto a wooden frame. Old, black hinges and drawer pulls found at flea markets can enhance your kitchen's overall Spanish vibe.

Plants, Food and Wine

A Spanish-style kitchen is meant to be used and enjoyed. Setting out pants, wine and food can transform the room. For example, a simple wooden bowl filled with lemons or clementines can add a warm touch that draws the eye. Herb plants on the windowsill and succulents in glazed earthen pots will give the kitchen a natural, lived-in appeal. Don't forget to show off pretty bottles of olive oil. You can also display Spanish cheeses on wooden trays under glass domes instead of hiding them in the refrigerator. Your favorite Spanish wine, sherry or madeira, especially those in bottles with woven straw coverings, can grace your counter or a wrought-iron wine rack.

About the Author

Cynthia A. Mulcahy has been published in Portsmouth, New Hampshire's "Accent Home & Garden Magazine", a home decor publication. She also provided copy for the magazine's website and copy edited a 2009 issue. Mulcahy holds a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and a minor in justice studies from the University of New Hampshire.