Make Your Kitchen Feel Welcoming And Extra-Cozy

Open kitchens are all the rage. Want to make your cooking space feel welcoming and extra-cozy? Here are some tips from leading designers.

1. Add an Eye-Catching “Hearth”

In an open kitchen, the area above the stove can become a striking focal point. Plus, because it’s small, it’s a great spot to splurge without exceeding your budget. Try a fireplace-style chimney piece or a curved proscenium arch like you see above the stage in a historic theatre. Cover the back wall in tiles that you love: consider hand-painted ones, or those with an unusual pattern or finish. Then do the rest of the kitchen in matching or complementary colours, and in a material that’s less expensive. The result will be eye-catching and gorgeous!

2. Install Stunning Lighting

“Pendant-style” hanging lights are like jewellery for a cooking area. Hung over a counter or central island, they create beautiful centres of attention where eyes will linger as they scan the kitchen area. Don’t be timid when choosing light fixtures—be colourful or dramatic! That way, your pendant lights will also have the fortunate side effect of acting as a decoy, drawing eyes up and away from counter top clutter. Arrange pendant lights in odd numbers—groups of three are perfect.

3. Create a Conversation Nook

A large kitchen with an open floor plan isn’t just for cooking and cleaning up. Take advantage of that extra space. Look for a spot where you can arrange stools or benches–or even upholstered chairs and a small sofa—on an attractive carpet. This will make a great place for guests or family members to read, relax, enjoy drinks and snacks, or converse with the cook and with each other. Make it inviting with warm colours, soft fabrics, leafy plants, and personal touches such as photos or unique wall hangings.

4. Be Careful when Choosing Appliances

There’s nothing worse than appliances that scream out and attract too much attention. Fortunately, today’s panel-ready versions will help you make fridges and dishwashers blend in instead of standing out. Choose front panels that match the design and finish of your cabinets. When possible, situate small appliances such as microwaves and toaster ovens behind cabinet doors—but be careful about putting them below counter top level, as they’ll be hard to use.

Now that your kitchen is cozy and friendly, we have to ask, “What’s for dinner?”