In most homes, the kitchen is the busiest room. It’s also a gathering spot for friends and family, so it’s important for the room to be warm and inviting as well as functional. What makes some kitchens more appealing and welcoming than others? Here are some tips for turning your busy kitchen into a cozy kitchen:
If your kitchen has an island, include comfortable stools with cushions to encourage others to sit and spend some time in the room. Window seats are practical and aesthetically pleasing architectural elements to add if space allows. Even if you don’t have an island or room for a window seat, try to work in a chair or two to offer an inviting place for people to get comfortable and visit or for the cook to relax and read while something delicious simmers.
Kitchens that reflect their owners’ personalities and interests are friendlier spaces. Frame family recipes, display heirloom dishes, and incorporate keepsakes from places you’ve traveled to make your kitchen unique and special.
RELATED: 8 Pantry Staples You Should Stock
Kitchens are a great place to showcase collections, which add interest to the room and can serve as conversation starters. Some good collections for kitchens include cookbooks, pottery, antique utensils, signs, and serving pieces. Hang collections on walls or incorporate shelves, a baker’s rack, or a hutch for displaying the items.
There’s nothing cozy about a dull, bland kitchen. Even small, colorful additions can have a big impact. Add pops of your favorite colors via appliances, cookware, barstool cushions, a window shade or valance, and dishes. Include a colorful rug in front of the kitchen sink or hang a bright wreath on the inside of a kitchen window.
Kitchen lighting doesn’t have to be utilitarian and harsh. Replace fluorescent lights with recessed or pendant fixtures. Install dimmer switches to control overhead brightness, and add task lighting to countertops, cooking, and prep areas. Place a lamp on the countertop or candles by the sink for a warm glow.
RELATED: Organize Your Kitchen Cabinets With These Simple Tips
Styles from bygone eras are all the rage now in appliances and kitchen accessories. Add a 1960s-style refrigerator or range to your kitchen, or choose old-fashioned kitchen colors like aqua, pink, and harvest gold to instantly evoke a slower time and pace as well as fond memories.
Add a speaker to the kitchen for streaming music as you cook. Create your own playlists to match special occasions, guest lists, or even the type of meals you prepare.
Perhaps the best way to make a kitchen cozy is to invite family and friends to cook with you. Including others in meal preparation fosters instant connection and encourages conversation. Create multiple workspaces with cutting boards and easy utensil access. Write out recipe steps on separate notecards, and hand one card to each person to get everyone involved. In addition to creating a cozy kitchen atmosphere, the work will be evenly distributed, so everyone enjoys the meal.