These fun, whimsical pieces will give you yet another reason to crowd into the kitchen.

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We all know (and love) the kitchen as a place to cook, convene, and dine together. But a summertime trend is about to turn it into a much more interesting room, as whimsical art and creative objects are aiming specifically for those countertop spaces and bare walls. Now more than ever, kitchen-themed artwork is widely available, and all the usual suspects—from kitchen towels to backsplashes—are getting a fun upgrade.

One major move is to add framed artwork to your kitchen by hanging it or leaning smaller items on the counters. Nothing too fancy—opt for posters that, safe behind the glass, won't be damaged by the kitchen's steams and splashes. Take the new kitchen series by Absolut Art, for example. Curated by art historian and author Fanny Singer, the daughter of chef Alice Waters, it's a collection of prints taking on a variety of food-related motifs, from melting ice cream to a picturesque bowl of fruit. Or, how about these Paris-themed posters, which are guaranteed to make your morning croissant taste even better?

Another affordable way to add a touch of art to the kitchen is to incorporate interesting hand-painted towels—Etsy has a dazzling selection fit for any theme and mood. We've also been seeing the space between the ceiling and the floating kitchen cabinets, once reserved exclusively for plants, treated as an art display. Anything goes, from your collection of vintage toys to a tidy row of Andy Warhol-esque empty cans with memorable signage.

And lastly, it's the little things that count. An unusual, sculptural fruit bowl like this one, heirloom salt shakers, and special candle holders can all add to an otherwise neutral decor palette, making the kitchen an even better space in which to spend family time.