There is no truer axiom than that which says the kitchen is the heart of the home. Because it is the place where meals are prepared, where family and friends gather and where a good neighbor can share a cup of tea and warm conversation, it is one of the most used rooms in the home. A kitchen that is stylish and comfortable, as well as functional, is one that invites lingering and nurturing.
A Helping of Comfortable Furniture
Your kitchen will be anything by welcoming if you have to sit on rickety hard chairs around a table that is too small to accommodate the family in comfort. A big round table or long farmhouse table is perfect for gathering everyone for nightly dinners. Add ample chairs with cushioned chair pads all around. Make the look eclectically stylish by using mismatched chairs painted in the same hue or by placing a different chair at the head of the table. Fun, colorful chair cushions are another way to add style and comfort.
If the kitchen is too small for a large table, consider a built-in banquette. This is an ideal solution under a bank of windows or a bay window, and it works in any style of kitchen, from traditional to modern. A long cushion on the top of the seat is ideal for relaxing over brunch or pouring over your favorite cookbook with a cup of coffee. A built-in bench seat gives you lots of extra storage below. An island surrounded by comfortable stools is another option for small kitchens: It is great for snacks, quick meals and family members who want to visit the cook.
Whip up Style with Color
Use color to add drama and style to your kitchen. Deep mahogany and cherry cabinets look fabulous with deep wall colors like burgundy or sage green. Oaks work with pale hues, navy blue or coral. White cabinets provide a perfect foil for bright primary hues and patterned designs. In addition to paint on the walls, you can add color with a tile back splash or tiled mural behind the stove. Luscious shades of burgundy, olive, and Sienna applied in a faux technique give the look of stone walls in a Tuscan-inspired kitchen. Modern kitchens look to hot tones like tangerine and lime green accents against a monochromatic background of gray, white and black to add personality. Repeat colors throughout the kitchen in cookware, wall decor, window treatments, seat cushions, place mats, small appliances, canisters and dish towels.
Garnish with Flavorful Details
Just as you repeated color to add unity to the design, let details exemplify your style. Ceramic canisters featuring clusters of grapes and biscotti jars are mainstays of Tuscan Style. Sunflowers say French Country and a painted hutch full of Depression glass is a certified country cottage accent. Wine wall racks and wrought iron wall decor can lend a Mediterranean look or the casual appeal of a California bungalow. A collection of teapots is charming clutter in a country kitchen while glass tile, gleaming granite counter tops devoid of clutter and stainless steel appliances provide the perfect blend for a modern look.