The kitchen is often described as the heart of the home and it’s true that we’re increasingly likely to hang out there, chatting around the biscuit tin! In fact, these days kitchens are partly designed with socialising in mind and we want the space to feel warm and welcoming. But hygiene and functionality have to take priority and, with pale minimalist kitchens very much on trend, it can sometimes feel challenging to create a room that’s practical yet cosy. If you’re worried a modern kitchen might feel a little cold or austere, don’t be put off – there are plenty of ways to combine contemporary looks with comfort. Here are six cosy kitchen ideas for modern interiors…
Darker colours tend to feel cosier, especially in a small room. Choosing shades of deep blue, grey or even black for your cabinets can create a snug feeling, even with modern shapes and finishes. If you’d rather stick to white or pale colours, however, consider a glass splashback in a dark hue or jewel tone ¬– wrapped around two or more sides of the room this can have a cocooning effect. For extra cosiness, under-cabinet lighting really brings out the warm glow that glass panels provide.
The trend for open-plan kitchens that incorporate dining and living areas has made it even harder to achieve a cosy vibe. Large spaces with furniture that floats in the middle of the room can lack visual focus and feel messy and chaotic. Yet pushing the furniture to the edges can leave a gap that looks awkward and unwelcoming. The trick is to zone each area using visual techniques to pull everything in that section together: large rugs can be used to demarcate the dining and living areas, for instance, while subtle colour coding can also help divide the room into distinct segments. Using coloured glass wall panels in the kitchen area, for instance, really helps to distinguish that space and create visual separation that feels crisp, orderly and comforting.
Mix in some traditional accessories
The contrast between a sleek modern kitchen and characterful accessories can work really well. Vintage canisters, glassware and pottery can bring a space to life and add personality, creating a more meaningful, personal feel. Or go for modern appliances with traditional or retro designs – baking equipment, in particular, offers plenty of scope for adding a cosy, old-fashioned vibe.
A multitude of sleek, wipe-clean surfaces is very practical but can feel a little sterile. To bring in a homely feeling try adding some comfy texture. Thick curtains and plump cushions are cosy kitchen ideas that bring instant warmth and softness. Rugs are often considered impractical in kitchens but there are many easy-care anti-slip options that will break up the floor space and keep things soft underfoot. Wood is a great material for adding visual warmth – beams are perfect, but rustic vintage chopping boards, and wooden utensils and bowls, are easy ways to bring it into your space. Woven baskets are another practical way to create some visual contrast. But if you’d rather keep your kitchen super easy to clean, consider a glass splashback that’s been digitally printed with a textured surface, eg brick, metal or tile. This gives you the best of both worlds!
Freestanding tables, chairs, cabinets and shelving units allow you to provide a relaxed, casual vibe in a room that could otherwise feel a little austere. Choosing a warm, aged material such as rustic oak, and rounded shapes such as turned legs, really brings in a homely atmosphere. Other cosy kitchen ideas include painted wooden bookcases, leather armchairs, wood or metal bar stools, woven seating and butcher block trolleys, which all look fabulous in contemporary interiors.
A collection of crockery, particularly one with personal meaning, will bring instant character to a modern space. Your grandparents’ dinner service, tableware brought back from your holidays, gifts given on special occasions, or simply a collection of pieces that have caught your eye over the years will add colour and personality to an otherwise functional room. Find a shelf or surface where it can be displayed with pride, with room to keep adding more pieces over the years.