Fall time is when we retreat back into the house and take comfort from the dark with something yummy from the kitchen. The crock-pot makes a return after a long summer and the oven is being preheated right now as I speak. Spicy chilis, warming soups, fresh baked dessert, or a hearty meatloaf.
The kitchen has always been considered the “heart of the home”, but over the decades it has taken on many different looks and uses. Recently, I blogged about MoMA’s show, Counter Space, that looks into how the kitchen isn’t simply a room we cook in. It also reflects how our society feels about family, domestic roles, and what are values are. In recent years, society’s thinking has shifted and large is no longer desired, the new thought is “less is more”. Last month’s newsletter article about the death of the McMansion alludes to this. Due to rampant foreclosures we are rethinking what a home is supposed to be.
The trend now for kitchens is that it is a hub for many activities. As houses are getting smaller the kitchen is being used for more things, it is an open area, used for crafts, homework, entertaining, and surfing the web. Kitchens are looking less “kitcheny” and more living room. Surrounding walls are coming down and the kitchen is being opened up to the rest of the house, not just the family room, but the dining and living rooms too. The overall aesthetic is softening.
Here are some ideas to create a cozy kitchen that connects with the rest of the house*:
Install a kitchen island – These are the work horses of the kitchen. They are used for storage, prep area, and extra seating. If you don’t have the space for a built in island, consider a portable island.
Use comfy chairs – Opt for upholstered stools and switch out the traditional kitchen table chairs for an upholstered bench or loveseat.
Soften the light – Use accent lights and sconces, much like the way you would in your living room. Or use a table lamp.
Add storage – Create space for crafts, games and homework by adding a free standing piece that can accommodate your things.
Display art – accessorize the kitchen with things that you may have considered only for your living room. Hang art, or display a collection.
For more cozy kitchen ideas, go here.
*Source: Realtor magazine, Oct 2010
This article was originally published in Ted Dietz’s October 2010 Newsletter