Small stools fill the often neglected space under a pass-through.

How to Decorate the Outside of a Kitchen Pass-Through

by Kris Gleba

Your kitchen pass-through makes your life easier, so treat the area with respect and decorate the outside of it. Yes, sometimes it serves as the place for your kids to precariously balance their backpacks and jackets, but it's often a resting spot for freshly prepared dishes to sit while you ask, or yell at, the children to set the table. Most importantly, the pass-through offers only a glimpse into the kitchen and allows you to pretend not to hear your beloved angrily ask if chicken is for dinner again.

1. Millwork for Food

Install molding, also known as millwork, to add drama to an otherwise plain space. Match the size, style and color of the room's existing molding to ensure continuity. If molding is non-existent, use a thick molding to frame the pass-through like a picture. However, don't continue the molding on the bottom of the pass-through if it has a counter. Match the color of the new molding to the room's current window and door.

2. Shutter Island

Increase the privacy of your kitchen by installing shutters on the outside of the pass-through. Choose functional shutters that allow you to both close the shutters when needed and push the closed shutters to the side when you need to use the pass-through counter space. Bi-fold or plantation shutters, either stained or painted, emphasis a country feel, while shoji screens lend international appeal. A barn door, with its hardware installed on the outside of the pass-through, lends a rustic vibe but cannot be used when the pass-through's counter extends to the neighboring living space.

3. Border Patrol

Create a decorative pass-through border with paint. Consider the decor of your kitchen and the adjoining living and dining spaces before doing your best Monet and painting a nature scape. A freehand painted frame of undulating lines complement a whimsical, casual living space that is overrun by toddlers and their toys. A symmetrical painted frame, however, befits a traditional or serious living space. Symmetry can be whimsical too. Paint symmetrical blocks or lines around the pass-through using the colors of the kitchen and neighboring living spaces as inspiration.

4. Amazing Tape

Showcase you and your family's creative side with Japanese masking tape, which is not only available in a wide variety of colors, patterns and sizes, but is easy to use, won't harm surfaces and can be purchased online plus at craft supply retailers. Create shapes such as circles or rectangles or use the tape to create words associated with the kitchen. A giant "EAT" created with different-colored tape perks up the area above the pass-through. Make a family art border around the pass-through using the tape to hold family family pictures or children's artwork in place.

About the Author

Lowell, Massachusetts-based writer Kris Gleba has been writing home decor articles since 2008. She enjoys all aspects of small home living, from complete gut remodels to ingenius home decorating that incorporates style and function. She has previously written for the “Athol Daily News.” She holds a degree in professional writing from Fitchburg State University.

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