Kitchens are truly the heart of the home. (EVERYTHING happens in the kitchen at our house!) Here are a few of my favorite tips on how to transform your kitchen into a functional, comfortable, personal, and beautiful room that will nourish your bodies and spirits!
Make it Functional-
Of all the rooms in your home, the kitchen is probably your most used (and abused) space. It contains the most tools, supplies, gadgets and appliances- it’s used daily for food storage, preparation, clean-up, dining- you name it- everything happens in the kitchen! Make sure you kitchen is performing at it’s best by setting it up in an organized, logical manner.
The first step (as I have mentioned before) is to de-clutter and purge your kitchen of all the things you are not currently using- old gadgets that never really worked right- food that has expired, dishes or plastic cups you no longer use…get rid of everything that you haven’t used in over a year! If this is hard for you- put everything in a box in storage, marked for a year from now, and if you haven’t used it by then, you REALLY know you won’t need it.
After purging, arrange similar items together and set up “stations” for a more functional and convenient space. For instance, set up a “coffee station” with the coffee maker, mugs, filters, coffee, sugar- everything you might need can all be stored together. Set up a “baking station” with a mixer, measuring cups, pans, flour, sugar, spices- group these items together to make baking easier.
Also be sure to locate your various items in places that make sense, like the cups and glasses should be located near your refrigerator to make fixing drinks easier. Keep your plates, bowls and flatware close by the dishwasher to make unloading a breeze. Store your utensils in a crock next to the cooktop, so they are easy to grab when you need them. A little planning and rearranging can help make meal preparation and clean-up fast and easy.
More often than not, the kitchen is “command central”, so keeping a family calendar as well as important flyers/schedules posted here is a good idea- try to find an attractive way to organize and display these items.
Make it Comfortable-
Since we all spend so much time in our kitchens and dining areas, we want to make sure these areas are super comfortable. I always suggest clients purchase the largest table that will fit in their dining areas, or at least one with extending leaves- this will give you adequate seating when you and your loved ones gather together, also, you never know when you will need an extra seat or two for a last-minute guests!
Kitchen dining chairs are so important-if your chairs do not have cushioned seats, consider purchasing some inexpensive cushions to make your chairs more comfortable. Cushions for your barstools would be nice too- just make sure the fabric is durable and washable, so you don’t go crazy every time someone spills.
Besides dining chairs, lighting is also important for comfort- when cooking in your kitchen, make sure you have adequate task lighting- and if not, try adding some. The large hardware stores carry wonderful lighting these days at all price ranges, so look into some accent pendant fixtures for over your bar- they will look great AND provide a little more direct light onto your counters.
Rugs are another way to add some comfort in the kitchen and dining areas. Rugs visually warm up a room with color and pattern and texture. Select rugs that can withstand the daily use and abuse of your kitchen and dining areas. I have even used attractive outdoor rugs under the everyday dining table- they are extremely durable AND decorative at the same time! A cushioned mat in front of your kitchen sink will “ease the pain” of the daily dishes and chores- try to find one that complements your kitchen’s décor.
Make it Beautiful-
Bringing beauty and personality to your kitchen will enhance the time you spend there as well as the food you eat. The easiest way to make your kitchen beautiful is with color and pattern. Paint your walls a favorite color, or hang window treatments that add a pop of color or interest to your space. I like to keep a large urn or vase for fresh flowers or seasonal foilage on my kitchen island, it gives the kitchen a nice focal point. Try to keep your colors complementary with your home’s overall color scheme, and your furnishings should also be in keeping with your home’s overall style.
Try to keep clutter to a minimum- this is hard because so much goes on the kitchen- but try to keep the counters clean and neat. Add some color and interest to your kitchen with coordinating dish towels and accessories that match the rest of your home’s colors and style. Make sure all your “functional” items are also beautiful- if they sit on the countertop. A cookbook stand with a beautiful cookbook looks great AND will inspire you to try new recipes.
I hope these tips help you when decorating your kitchen area! Kitchens are such an important place in our homes, so lets make every effort to make them attractive and functional!