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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Dyllan Petrin is charged related to an ongoing investigation in Surrey involving a kidnapping and assault that occurred in July, 2019. (Photo: Surrey RCMP)
Man arrested in connection to kidnapping, murder investigations: Surrey RCMP

Police say Dyllan Petrin was arrested in Vancouver

Chief Constable Norm Lipinski, Surrey Police Service. (Submitted photo)
Surrey chief constable says ‘comprehensive’ public engagement to be done this year

Norm Lipinski says Surrey Police Service has ‘good momentum’

Surrey-raised forward Jujhar Khaira in action with Edmonton Oilers. (Photo: nhl.com)
Q&A: Surrey’s Jujhar Khaira credits parents for their hard work on his path to NHL

Port Kells-raised player talks about his journey to pro hockey with Edmonton Oilers

The interventional oncology team at Surrey Memorial Hospital. The Surrey Hospitals Foundation has invested in innovative technologies to kickstart a new Interventional Oncology service at Surrey Memorial Hospital. (Submitted photo: Yvonne Chiang)
Surrey Memorial home to machines for ‘minimally invasive’ cancerous tumours treatments

Technology can freeze, burn tumours without need for surgery

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

The Elk Valley Hospital is adapting to meet the needs of patients in the Elk Valley.
1-in-5 COVID tests coming back positive in and around Fernie, sparking concern

Dr Ron Clark of Elk Valley Hospital said one in five tests was returning positive for COVID-19

Ralliers gather in front of the Cityviews Village apartment building in Maple Ridge to protest attempts to evict low-income tenants by the building owner. (Ronan O’Doherty - The News)
Tenants protest pressure tactics by new landlord at Maple Ridge apartment building

Protest held in front of Cityviews Village on 223 St. Tuesday to rally against low-income evictions

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
‘You can’t make this stuff up’: Stories from the B.C. CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

Snow is forecasted to appear in parts of Metro Vancouver this weekend. (Black Press Media files)
Snow forecasted for parts of Lower Mainland this weekend

Environment Canada is predicting flurries and snow from Saturday to Monday evening

Most Read