Cottage isn’t just a decorating style — it’s an attitude. Cozy, happy and unpretentious, it harks back to simpler times and evokes a sense of easy, carefree living. And since the kitchen is usually among the busiest spots in the house, it makes sense to translate that mindset to your cabinetry, fixtures, appliances and more. If you’re planning a kitchen facelift or remodel, consider these ways to infuse your kitchen with cottage comfort.
Elements from nature. Asian design places a strong emphasis on bringing the outdoors inside through plants and natural motifs. Consider adding touches of glass or acrylic that has bamboo, grasses or leaves embedded within it, as in the shoji screen–style panels that front this kitchen window. You could also line cabinet panels with split bamboo stalks or add potted bamboo plants or wheatgrass to infuse the space with a sense of life.
Farmhouse kitchens. Warm and homey farmhouses anchored a life on the land, and they still offer great functionality and comfort. Their open shelving, wide sinks, classic flooring and big kitchen table make them easy to work in and easy to love.
Classic kitchens are timeless and flexible. This comes with other givens, such as neutral color palettes and simple, unfussy details. Sure, a classic kitchen can be deemed too safe for the individualist and too ornate for the purist, but for me it’s like jeans and a white t-shirt: add a beaded necklace and heels or tennis shoes and black blazer and you can make the look your own. (And so can the next homeowner if you’re concerned about resale value.)
Balance and harmony. The Asian aesthetic places a strong emphasis on harmony, in terms of materials as well as design. Pay attention to balancing visual elements such as color, form and weight. In this kitchen the dark range hood offsets the island, and the lighter ceiling beams echo the cabinetry.
Architectural details. Traditional kitchens focus on the details in all areas. There’s a bit of embellishment or adornment everywhere you look, but the best traditional kitchens just feel layered rather than overbearing. Speaking of details, this kitchen has it all — arches, moldings, beam ceilings, framed and raised-panel cabinets, a custom hood surround, chandeliers, furniture-style cabinets and, of course, island legs.
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