Kitchens are the hub of the home. The kitchen is where we start our days sipping coffee and swapping sleepy “Good mornings.” It’s where we spend countless evenings washing up from dinner and snapping each other with dish towels. In the between hours, there are afternoon homework sessions, the bustle of dinner prep, and late night milk-and-cookie sessions that take place all in that one special space in our homes. It’s where we cry over tea and argue over bills. It’s where we indulge in sweets and gossip. There’s just no other room like it.
Because of this, the time we invest in making our kitchen inviting is also time invested in our families and loved ones. It is most certainly time well spent. A kitchen with a warm, inviting atmosphere can make all the difference in a home; there is just a special feeling to it. This is especially true of kitchens with Amish furniture. Here are some of our favorite ways to create a welcoming kitchen.
Seating and storage:
The first step to creating an inviting atmosphere is to eliminate anything that would get in the way of one. Two of the biggest impediments to a friendly kitchen are clutter and lack of seating. Most people will not stay long or enjoy their time in a space where room has not been made for them. Piles of clutter can create a lack of space and a lack of peace in the kitchen. And, if anyone is to feel comfortable for long, seating is non-negotiable, even if a separate dining room is home to the “official” table.
Fortunately, solutions for both of these challenges are easily found. Clutter can be beautifully stored away from sight and mind in a number of places. Naturally, we are partial to Amish made furniture options. Nothing beats the warmth of the oak, cedar, pine, walnut, mahogany and other wood colors and the feeling of knowing the furniture is hand-crafted with care. Some of our customers have opened up space in their kitchens with Amish furniture, such as islands and discreet recycling or trash bins. And, the myriad of available options for seating needn’t overwhelm us. The main things to remember are to make it easy to get to the seating and to make sure it’s not too big or too small for the space. Because kitchens are less formal than dining rooms, many families choose to mix and match chair styles and soften the area with linens, textiles, and vintage tablecloths. If the available space is small, some use clear, acrylic chairs (which eliminate visual clutter) or small upholstered ottomans. Some families go vertical with tall, thin pub tables and stools. Many are finding they can tackle both of these challenges simultaneously using benches with built-in storage, which can be topped with cushions and throw pillows to create a cozy seating option along the wall or in a nook.
Lighting and color:
Inviting kitchens are often filled with natural and non-fluorescent lighting. The shiny surfaces in the space allow light to play throughout the room, which can add a great deal of charm. Many invite light with white paint and large windows. The warmth of candles is always a nice touch. Additional warmth can be added with interior lighting in glass cabinets, as seen in our elegant hutches and charming curios.
Colorful touches can be added to a kitchen with a back splash or with updated hardware on doors and cabinets. Color can also be used to ingeniously beckon guests in when it is placed at the far end of a space, perhaps with a painted accent wall or with artful wall hangings. And, the greenery of plants is always a homey and inviting touch.
Displays and collections:
While clutter can be a problem, it doesn’t mean that the counters or shelves need be bare altogether. In fact, stark hard surfaces can have the opposite effect. Displays or collections of similar items can be a very inviting addition to a kitchen atmosphere. Carefully placed arrangements of any of the following can be charming:
- Kitchen Tools – Knives can be housed on magnet strips mounted on the wall and cookbooks can stacked neatly near work areas.
- Cleaning Items – Soaps, sponges, and paper towels can be arranged within reach of the sink.
- Seasonings: Olive oils, vinegars, salt and pepper shakers, and herbs all make beautiful collections.
- Food Bowls: Healthy snack options such as fruits and nuts can be nicely arranged and kept handy in a stylish bowl.
- Ingredient Canisters: Everything from baking ingredients, such as flour and sugar, to after school snacks can be kept in matching glass or metal canisters.
- Coffee bar: Beans, creamers, coffee pods, and sugar packets make useful displays next to any coffee maker.
- Candles: Doing double-duty as lighting and as a way to combat kitchen odors, candles make for lovely kitchen displays.
To avoid clutter with displays and collections, a little bit of creativity is all it takes. Screw-hooks installed under shelving can hold coffee mugs or tea cups; s-hooks on a pipe create a place to hang pots, pans, colanders; and above-window or above-cabinet shelving can significantly free up counter space.
A warm, inviting kitchen is a delightful place to spend time with friends and family. Amish made furniture can help create that uncluttered but cozy atmosphere that will welcome your loved ones for years to come. You will find yourself agreeing with the famous Ellie Rodriguez that “The light is what guides you home, the warmth is what keeps you there.”