Designing a cosy kitchen. Lia Crowe photograph

Heart of the Home

Creating a cosy kitchen with soul

  • Dec. 23, 2020 7:00 a.m.

– Words by Jen Evans Photography by Lia Crowe

These days, the kitchen is the most lived in and central room in the home. It’s where we tend to spend the most time and where everyone naturally gathers.

The kitchen is not the utilitarian space it used to be and it’s become the number one room to renovate when adding value to your home. But so many kitchens are cookie-cutter designs, and lack personality, often leaving the space feeling cold. Since we spend so much time in our kitchen, it should have soul! And this is exactly why you should look to the living room when you want to create a cosy, inviting, character-filled kitchen.

When I’m styling or designing a kitchen, I do my best to make it feel personal, curated, loved, lived in and more like the living room because, after all, the kitchen is the true heart of the home.

Here are my 10 tips for creating a cosy kitchen:

Accents

Add decorative objects, unconventional decor and/or personal items from your travels to make your kitchen feel intimate. This could include a few one-of-a-kind accents like a beautiful candleholder, sculpture, woven basket or handmade pottery; it can change your kitchen from feeling utilitarian to curated and lived in.

ART

Take art and mirrors from around your house and move them into your kitchen. Art and mirrors belong in kitchens just as much as they belong in living rooms, bedrooms and dining rooms. Use a few pieces to create a focal point such as an art wall, or lean them against your counter. They’ll infuse much-needed texture, visual depth and personality to your new favourite room.

Paint

Switch from white to a dark, warm paint colour for your cabinets, walls or backsplash. Farrow and Ball’s Black Blue and Inchyra Blue (used on my cabinets and pantry backsplash) are warm and inviting options that will add a deep sense of warmth and cosiness to any kitchen.

Metals

Create inviting kitchens by adding warm metals such as copper, bronze, brass and gold. Updating your lighting, faucets, knobs and accessories to a warm or tarnished metal is an easy way to balance out those slick and cold stainless appliances.

VINTAGE

Mix vintage and new, handmade with machine-made to give a homey, lived-in feeling. There’s often a sense of nostalgia associated with a space that’s mixed with vintage and repurposed pieces, especially when added to a kitchen that can often feel sterile and impersonal. Choose anything that speaks to you and showcases your own personal style: from heirloom figurines to vintage bakeware and kitschy finds (like my llama figure) to handmade pottery. Adding personality adds warmth.

TEXTILES

Adding warm, colourful textiles ups the cosy factor in any kitchen. Incorporating woven rugs and runners to your space adds comfort and visual interest. Buy a plush linen or waffle tea towel to add texture for a multi-dimensional space that feels cosy and layered, or place a sheepskin on a kitchen stool or bench to hearken to that sense of cosy contentment associated with hygge (a Danish word describing a mood of cosiness combined with feelings of wellness and contentment).

PLANTS

Natural materials bring an authenticity and earthiness to kitchens. Add organic elements such as plants, branches and dried flowers (hydrangeas, palm leaves, pampas grass, ruscus and bunny tail grass). Plant life and organic decor will balance out all hard lines in the kitchen and make a space feel more earthy and soft.

LIGHTING

Overhead, high voltage lighting can feel harsh and clinical. Add extra lower-level and indirect lighting such as wall sconces or even a plug-in lamp to your counter or kitchen island for a soft warm glow. Switch out your metal and glass pendant for a fabric or woven basket light to add a natural, warm eclectic feel.

WINDOW TREATMENTS

Window treatments are often overlooked in kitchens. Roman shades bring a softness and charm that’s great for any style of kitchen, and have the added value of creating privacy. Adding a woven wood or bamboo shade to your kitchen effortlessly adds character and warmth. A patterned fabric shade can really elevate your windows and add a hit of personality to boot.

DISPLAY

Display—don’t put everything away. While most newly built kitchens attempt to hide everything away, this can create a cookie-cutter, stale vibe. Hanging pots and pans overhead can be efficient and stylish. Creating a pantry with display jars of bulk items, “decorating” with canisters of utensils, wooden cutting boards and bowls of produce will give your kitchen a level of visual depth, while creating a sense of home.

This season, whether you’re cooking, socializing or simply going about your daily routine, grab some candles from your living room and light them in your kitchen…the simple act of lighting a few candles could make a huge difference in creating a kitchen that feels cosy, warm and inviting.

Story courtesy of Boulevard Magazine, a Black Press Media publication

Like Boulevard Magazine on Facebook and follow them on Instagram

FoodInterior design

Just Posted

Port Hardy council has agreed to cancel Canada Day celebrations in wake of the discovery of the remains of 215 children being found on the grounds of a former residential school. (North Island Gazette file photo)
Council votes to cancel Canada Day celebrations in wake of mass grave sites being found

Coun. Treena Smith made the motion for the chamber to not host Canada Day celebrations this year

Port Hardy Fire Rescue responded to an early morning fire around 3:50 a.m. on Sunday, June 13. Two porta-potties were on fire at the Visitor’s Centre on Hastings Street. Anyone with information is asked to contact the RCMP at 250-949-6335. (Port Hardy Fire Rescue photo)
Firefighters respond to early morning fire near visitor centre in Port Hardy

Two porta-potties were on fire at the Visitor’s Centre on Hastings Street

North Island MLA Michele Babchuk. Photo contributed
COMMENTARY: MLA Michele Babchuk talks the future of forestry

‘These forests are important to every single one of us, myself included’

Dr. Prean Armogam hands over a cheque for $10,000 to Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society president Rosaline Glynn. The money will be going towards a new roof for the Port Hardy seniors centre. This is the second donation Dr. Armogam has made to the society, giving them $5,000 a little over a year ago. (Tyson Whitney - North Island Gazette)
Doctor donates $10k to Hardy Bay Senior Citizens Society for new roof

This was the second donation Armogam has given to the society

New COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island by local health area for the week of May 30-June 5. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control image)
COVID-19 cases drop again almost everywhere on Vancouver Island

Nanaimo had four new cases last week, down from 22 the week before

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Kelowna-Lake Country MLA Norm Letnick, assistant deputy speaker at the B.C. legislature, presides over committee discussions. The legislature is completing its delayed spring session this week, with most MLAs participating by video conference. (Hansard TV)
B.C.’s daily COVID-19 infections dip below 100 over weekend

Only 68 new cases recorded Monday, four additional deaths

Gabriola Island artist Sheila Norgate is promoting the Digital Innovation Group’s art impact survey. (File photo)
Vancouver Island artists get behind regional arts impact study

Artists urged to use their stature to help put arts and culture super-region on the map

The BC Ferries website went down for a short while Monday morning following a provincial announcement that recreational travel between health authorities can resume Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
BC Ferries’ website crashes in wake of provincial reopening announcement

Website back up now, recreational travel between health regions to resume as of Tuesday

Neighbours fight a small late-night bush fire with garden hoses and shovels in Cinnabar Valley on June 5. They couldn’t get help from local fire services because the fire was located in an area under B.C. Wildfire Services jurisdiction. (Photo courtesy Muriel Wells)
Neighbours on edge of Nanaimo city limits left to put out bush fire themselves

Cinnabar Valley residents tackle fire with hoses and buckets for two and a half hours

Darren Campbell’s truck (pictured) was stolen when he stopped to check on a car in a ditch on Cowichan Bay Road on Monday morning. (Facebook photo)
Vancouver Island Good Samaritan’s truck stolen in nasty trick

‘Try to be a Good Samaritan and my $20,000 truck gets stolen right under my nose’

The Kamloops Indian Residential School is photographed using a drone in Kamloops, B.C., Monday, June, 14, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former school earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Communities grapple with what to do with former residential and day schools

Some tear them down as a tool to help healing, others repurpose them as tools for moving forward

Creative handmade signs abound at the June 13 Tofino rally for old growth trees. (Nora O’Malley photo)
VIDEO: Tofino stands in solidarity for Fairy Creek Blockades

Over 150 supporters attend rally hosted by Friends of Clayoquot Sound

FILE – Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. watching U.K.’s COVID struggles but don’t think province will see similar pitfalls

Studies show that one dose of vaccine is only 33 per cent effective in preventing B.1.617.2 spread

Most Read