When it comes to any kitchen, there is one comment we receive from our clients that is the number one desire of their heart – they’d like a kitchen that is welcoming. They long to have a kitchen that offers a place, that special place, in the home where people want to be and feel wanted. Kitchens can easily become busy hubs in the home – school bags, purses, mail drops, tools, nick-nacks, laptops, ipads, phones … so much ‘stuff” can easily find its way to the kitchen, and eventually that one room looks more like a dumping ground and not a space that is “welcoming.” It usually only takes a blocked off set of time (an hour or two) to transform a kitchen into the space you’re truly wanting to provide.
Where does this creative process begin? We can look at Proverbs 31:8 to help give us wise and loving direction…
“She seeks wool and flax, and works with willing hands.”
Nothing is more motivating than applying Scripture to our ambitions and here we see that our work, when fueled with a willing heart, a willing mindset, and ultimately willing hands, is honorable to the Lord. Our family and guests can also sense the passion behind the efforts we put into providing a welcoming kitchen.
So, when it comes to creating that warm and welcoming kitchen, there are 5 simple things we suggest considering.
1. Clean out the clutter. That is always the first step in creating a welcoming kitchen. Taking each cabinet and each drawer, and the countertops, remove everything that is expired. A good rule of thumb for storage is keep is clear and keep it clean. Purchasing clear glass or heavy duty plastic storage containers for rice, pasta, cereals, nuts and grains makes it very easy to see when items are low and need to be on a grocery list. Storing as much as possible in clear containers it also helps keep the kitchen clear of cardboard. Remember this: CCC – Cardboard Causes Clutter. As your budget allows, make the transition from cardboard to clear containers. Baskets are also nice for storing the items that are in packets or envelopes – seasonings / dips.
2. Simplify the countertops. Seeing live greenery always gives a warm welcome into the kitchen. But keeping the countertop as clear as possible of other kitchen appliances and kitchen decor’ will help in keeping the kitchen clean. In the photo below, they have cutting knives and utensils, and one set of Salt & Pepper shakers. It’s simple – it’s clean – and it’s ready to be used.
3. Clean, clean, clean. The photo below shows a kitchen that is not only free of counter clutter, but could (for some) be a little too sterile. Not enough color contrast and textures to give it warmth. But one thing it does provide is an atmosphere of clean. A clean kitchen IS a welcoming kitchen.
4. Use Unique. Bringing into the kitchen either an island, or a kitchen table, or a vintage chandelier, or a custom vent hood can add that warm personal touch to the kitchen. As you stand and take inventory of your kitchen, what is in the space that gives it personality? A touch of your personality? In this kitchen, the island is setting the tone for the whole room. It’s unique Victorian style gives the room a personality of favoring tradition; favoring the classics and the vintage. Even the chandelier they selected to hang above the island gives the room charm. They took the antique look and married it with the cabinets and drawers by installing the beautiful long ornate handles. Again, no clutter on the countertops, … only a beautiful tray of fruit.
5. Wash and Open Windows. If your kitchen has windows, keeping them clean and opening them from time to time helps the room feel so inviting and fresh. Opened windows allow the kitchen to breathe; for fresh air to come in and fill the room with pure air. If it’s early in the morning, open the windows to allow the singing birds to be heard, or the rising sun rays to fill the kitchen. In the evening, open them again so the cool night air can blow through, giving the kitchen a whisper of closure. Windows in kitchens are just as much of a heartbeat of the space as is the cooking, cleaning, baking, laughter and love that always fills the room with memories. If you don’t have a window or not enough windows, consider where you may can add some.
Kitchens are the one room of our homes that most reflects us as the homemakers … reflects our interests, our hospitality ethics, even our thoughts toward home. It’s the room where people naturally go to gather. So, consider taking inventory of your family kitchen. Does it reflect the mission of the space? To welcome people into its many opportunities? Do you possibly need to add to your kitchen in any way? If you’d like some suggestions or ideas in how to craft your kitchen to be that warm and welcoming space you’re desiring, send us an email. Rip and I would love to help you. And remember, Psalm 26:8 is the most desirable aspiration of all as we create a welcoming kitchen…
“I love the house where You live, O Lord, the place where Your glory dwells.”
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In His Grace,