How to Make Your Kitchen More Homely

Homely and cosy kitchen.

It can be difficult to make your kitchen more homely when faced with an interior that lacks lustre, personality and is more clinical than inviting. A kitchen tends to be a place of practicality, where everyday items can build up and clutter the worktops, dishes can get neglected, and cooking can feel more of a chore than a pleasure.

A lot of our time is spent in our kitchens, whether for cooking, eating, entertaining or, nowadays, working! It needs to be a space we can enjoy, feel inspired, somewhere to gather and feel proud of. This post details simple changes you can make to transform your kitchen into an inviting and homely space.

What Does Homely Mean?

Homely refers to a sense of home, a place to feel welcomed, comfortable, and at ease, with elements of familiarity. Often “homely” can be misconstrued as a place that is disorganised and cluttered, but that is not the case; it is possible to create a kitchen that serves as a practical space as well as an area that feels ‘lived-in’ and cosy from effective and attractive storage ideas to harnessing the right lighting and adding varying textures and textiles.

10 Ways to Make Your Kitchen Homely

1. Incorporate a Rug in Your Kitchen

Most kitchens have tiled, laminate, wood, or stone flooring, perfect for spilt drinks, splattered tomato sauce, and crumbs; however, these types of flooring can feel cold and uncomfortable, particularly in winter. A rug provides warmth for colder months and comfort for bare feet in warmer months. If you’re considering a rug for a more homely kitchen, take a look at our selection of the best kitchen rugs. If your kitchen has underfloor heating, a rug can still be an ideal addition without preventing the heat from warming your kitchen as long as you know which rugs are suitable for underfloor heating.

Kitchens tend to be the busiest area of the home and therefore need a hard-wearing and durable rug to withstand the amount of traffic and wear they will face. Rugs can also bring a room’s style together, and you can use the open space to add a pop of colour or a statement piece. Take a look at our guide on how to choose a rug colour that will compliment your kitchen and create a welcoming and homely space.

A light and airy u-shaped contemporary kitchen with a grey rug placed on the floor.
Contemporary Kitchen with a Stone Grey Rug

2. The Power of Lighting

As we move further away from traditional lighting and more towards the use of eclectic styles, our choices have expanded. We now have the option to tailor our lighting to exactly what we need and the atmosphere we want to create.

A typical home uses warm white lights with red, orange and yellow hues to give a warm glow. In contrast, colder, white lighting is often used in more practical spaces, such as kitchens, as they are brighter and increase visibility for task-focused activity. However, these lights have blue hues, making them feel starker and clinical.

Creating a homely atmosphere with lights does not mean we have to compromise our visibility with the exclusive use of warmer lights. It is possible to mix lights, for example, using warmer lights for hanging lanterns above kitchen islands or breakfast bars and using colder white lights for cabinets or shelving downlighters. Mixing lights ensures functional needs can be met while the atmosphere you want to create can be adjusted accordingly.

Warm pendant lights hung above a modern white kitchen island counter.
Warm Pendant Kitchen Lighting

3. Cosy Colours

Though a crisp white kitchen can look sleek and fresh, an injection of colour can be a great way to create a warmer, homely feel. Colour is one of the key elements to bringing a kitchen style together, impacting each element from cabinets to lighting and flooring. There is no ‘one way’ to incorporate colour to enhance a homely feel; it can simply be an accent across cabinets or contrasting the walls to feature metalwork.

The trend for deep, rich colours has been around for a while and shows no sign of waning. Greens are a popular choice, with tones ranging from forest green to opulent emeralds, as well as a reintroduction of bold heritage blues and metallics. Growing popularity for earthy tones shows bold colours are not the only option when opting for a warmer feel; rich terracotta or blush contrasted with varying hues and textures creates depth and interest.

A kitchen wall painted a soft pastel pink with open shelving displaying plants and glass jars.
Soft Pastel Pink Kitchen Wall

4. Warm Materials

A great way to make your kitchen more homely is through the use of materials with warmer tones. For example, buttery leather seats draped with faux fur throws would pair beautifully with our Moda Stone Grey Chevron Flatweave Rug to further enhance an inviting and homely feel.

Opting for copper, brushed brass or rose gold metalwork can uplift your style, create a more lived-in feel and contrast beautifully with the sultry and sophisticated deep tones of your cabinets. Try contrasting rustic metal features with exposed wood or gold metalwork with teal.

Integrating wooden features in your kitchen adds warmth and charm and is suitable for all kitchen sizes and areas! Add wooden shelves to compliment your choice of flooring, create a wood-panelled splashback, add a moveable butcher’s block that can extend counter space or simply display your favourite chopping boards as a playful and practical addition to your countertop.

A light and airy kitchen with a rustic wooden kitchen island with wooden stools placed around.
Rustic Wooden Kitchen Island

5. Add a Space to Relax

What’s more inviting than a space to put your feet up after sweating away over the cooker? Whether you have a spacious kitchen or one where space is at a premium, incorporating some seating or a cosy corner will create an area that invites you or guests to take a seat and enjoy time together.

As kitchens have become increasingly multifunctional and many are finding themselves working at the dining table, breakfast bars or kitchen countertops, the need for seating for your working space has become even more necessary. A fold-away table and chair can be great for small spaces (don’t forget a soft cushion for extra comfort and style), while a bay window lends itself perfectly as a comfortable seating area. Adding a cosy kitchen rug would also help to elevate the comfort of your seating area.

Grey cushioned stools placed in front of a marble topped kitchen breakfast bar.
Cushioned Breakfast Bar Stools

6. Open Shelving and Hanging Storage

Clearing your kitchen space of clutter is one of the simplest and most important changes you can make to create a homely and inviting kitchen. That can seem easier said than done; however, the addition of shelving and hanging storage can combat that problem, particularly if space is limited. Plus, it creates an aesthetically pleasing point of interest.

Shelving provides you with the opportunity to enhance your kitchen style, with the different choices of painted wooden shelves for a classic look to a combination of metal and rustic wood for a more industrial appearance. Save money by transforming old cabinets into open shelves by removing the doors and giving them a fresh lick of paint. There is also the opportunity to turn your collection of pots, pans and crockery into a display. And why not try interspersing decorative items with functional kitchenware for added character?

Wooden open kitchen shelving above a wooden countertop.
Wooden Open Kitchen Shelves

7. Bring Life into Your Kitchen

Displaying fresh produce or incorporating an array of plants brings life to your kitchen, making it feel more homely and atmospheric. A simple collection of fresh fruits or vegetables or a string of garlic and dried herbs hung from above create wonderful scents and indicate a kitchen well-used.

As well as being a trendy staple for most homes, plants come with a variety of benefits. Not only is the English Ivy appealing to look at and drapes beautifully when hung from above, but it is also an air purifier and will increase the air quality within your kitchen. Aloe Vera is difficult to kill (great for those who forget to water their plants) and placed strategically within the kitchen, it can be cut open and used for burns! You could also include a collection of fresh herbs that will add delicious flavours to your cooking and looks great on your windowsill, open shelving or countertop.

Open kitchen shelving displaying a selection of indoor plants.
Indoor Plants for the Kitchen

8. Mix and Match

Reusing and recycling is becoming increasingly popular and a trend that is here to stay as the nation focuses more on sustainable living. Reclaiming furniture or buying second-hand crockery, glasses, or cutlery creates an eclectic and interesting collection, perfect for displaying on those open shelves. Try grouping similar designed pieces together to avoid an overly busy look. Playing with different shapes and textures adds more depth to any collection of reclaimed pieces.

Mixing vintage and modern elements in your kitchen has been a tried and tested process; take a look at our Greek Key Stone Grey Flatweave Rug, which matches perfectly with both modern and vintage styles. Mixing the two not only showcases your kitchen’s homely style but allows you to introduce bespoke and unique pieces.

White shelving displaying an eclectic mix of crockery.
Mix and Match Crockery

9. Candles

Another small change that can vastly impact the atmosphere of your kitchen is the humble candle. Scent has the power to affect your mood, reduce stress levels, and create a calming, inviting, and even nostalgic ambience. Try mint, rosemary or lemon for an energising injection into your kitchen, or lavender for a relaxing night-time addition.

Incorporating the warm glow of a candle in your kitchen brings another element of homeliness, creates a space for mindfulness and, with the multitude of candles on offer, can be a great decorative addition.

A cosy lit orange candle placed on wooden chopping boards upon a kitchen counter.
Scented Kitchen Candle

10. Bring Your Personality

A homely kitchen is one that is lived-in, welcoming and personable to you. If you’re a keen baker, try displaying your favourite baking cookbooks or your latest bake. Or, if you’re an enthusiastic cyclist, perhaps you have a dedicated area to hang your bike helmet and accessories for a quick grab and go on a morning. Whatever it is, make sure to bring your personality into your kitchen.

A collection of cookery books in front of a wall adorned with baking trays.
A Love for Baking Displayed in a Kitchen

We hope these tips have inspired you with how to make your kitchen more homely. Now, take a look at our mix of kitchen rugs to compliment the most eclectic styles, from rustic farmhouse to modern and contemporary kitchen designs, and discover the benefits of rugs for your home.

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