The Heart of a Home: Creating a Warm Kitchen

Ahhh, the kitchen. The aromas of baking, sounds of bubbling pots, foggy views of steamed windows. As a virtual ecosystem of yumminess, especially in cold winter months, it’s no wonder that family and guests tend to congregate toward the kitchen. An ideal kitchen promises warmth and delicious food! Some kitchens are especially magical in exuding a feeling of welcome and warmth even if they haven’t seen a home-cooked meal in a month. How can this be? I think it’s because these kitchens have incorporated specific design elements that bring out warmth in a space. For example:

Wood tones.


Sometimes having an all-wood kitchen is out of the picture; however, this doesn’t mean that a little wood can’t go a long way in creating a warm and welcoming kitchen. Consider this kitchen, with its warm painted cabinetry and simple pine wood backsplash. The under-cabinet lighting helps to emphasize the warmth of the wood, and, as a result, I imagine many delicious meals were happily prepared in this space. (Or ordered in. Either way, the point is, it feels warm.)

Natural elements (stone/brick).

This kitchen’s exposed brick that serves as a backsplash brings out a rustic, authentic feel. Even the range hood is covered in something akin to stucco or adobe. The entire kitchen is neutral tones of warm brown – earthy and textural – and it draws you in, almost like you’re sitting by a fire in days gone by.

Kitchen Island.

An island serves as a perfect transition here, with its comfortably upholstered stools and place settings. One imagines family and friends gathering here to help the cook or simply keep him company during meal prep. The beautiful marble topped island adds elegance and light to the warm tones everywhere else.

Window treatments.

Even with its standard white appliances, this kitchen has a pronounced casual, come-as-you-are vibe…and I think this is due in large part to the draped burlap/linen window treatments. (As well as the butcher block countertops.) Hung with ease and held up by ribbon, the informal curtain helps the kitchen to be inviting and almost laissez faire…a true getaway from the cares of the world, and I imagine it’s seen its share of freshly baked sweet rolls.

Food at the ready.

No doubt the nearby padded-seat breakfast nook helps boost the familiar, friendly vibe of this open kitchen. I’d like to add, however, that having a bowl full of snackables is an instant pick-me-up in creating a warm, welcoming kitchen. The cheery pops of lime green are a nice touch here as well, both in wall paint and bench cushions. With finger food at the ready and cheerful colors all around, this kitchen seems like a lovely hang-out spot.

Picture sources: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Published by in Kitchen, on December 26th, 2012


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