We’ve had some unusually cold, snowy and even icy days here in the NW this winter, particularly in my hometown of Portland. I don’t know if you get a lot of cold or snow where you live, but one good thing about the freezing weather it is makes you want to stay home and get cozy!
I’m happily settling into the new kitchen. I do LOVE having my own kitchen again! This week the contractor has assured me the last trim pieces and paint will be complete, so rest assured I am VERY close to inviting YOU over for coffee or tea and a full tour of our new space. Promise.
My new kitchen is a galley style, so we didn’t have big expanses of space to work with in our design. It’s simple. It’s small. But we have loved making it feel like home. The size or style or color or materials used in a kitchen design aren’t the only things that determine how a kitchen will feel to you. Even more important than the design, it’s the daily joy and warmth we put into it that will make it a more comforting well-loved space.
I love puttering around in the kitchen. I’m getting to know what it feels like to make my coffee there, to clean it, to bake yummy things, to chat with friends as I’m cooking, and ways I can make it a warm place for our family to make new memories.
As I was tidying up after dinner the other day, I started thinking about the next post for our mini-series on Hygge (the Danish word for making all things cozy and comfortable). How can we make our homes a place of comfort and warmth? This is a perfect series for me because I think about it a lot, ha. I thought it would be fun to go through a few rooms and think of ways to give them a little winter love. Sound good?
How could we bring that sense of warmth and comfort to our kitchen this winter?
Here are 5 cozy winter kitchen rituals (stay tuned for five more in part two tomorrow!)
Bring joy to winter cleaning.
A clean kitchen will boost your mood and make you feel more cheerful even on a dreary dark day. It can be a form of self-care. If cleaning feels too much like a chore, perhaps it would bring you more joy if you created special winter rituals for cleaning. What would inspire you to keep your kitchen clean? Some things that help me look forward to cleaning are simple things like lighting a candle or running a diffuser with fresh clean scents, a hot drink that I allow myself only while doing the dishes, setting an inspiring mood with music or even passing the time with a new podcast. You could even set up a laptop on the counter and treat yourself to a winter TV series you’ve always wanted to watch while you do dishes.
Cozy up cold surfaces.
Kitchens tend to feel more chilly in the winter time if you don’t have the luxury of wood, furniture or lots of fabrics in the space. While clean clear counters can feel fresh and even serene, bare surfaces can feel cold. You might need a couple of intentional layers to warm them up this time of year. Look for easy ways to add more comfort. Rugs will quiet the room and make your feet toastier. A few simple accessories on the counter, wall or shelves can bring a warmer, more homey vibe.
Delight in winter experiences.
What are some favorite winter experiences involving your kitchen? If you can’t think of any, now is a good time to create a few. Do you love to make a special soup or enjoy the process of making a healthy morning breakfast? Make that activity feel even more special so it will elevate your experience and give you all the warm fuzzies. Even pretty dishes or special accessories can inspire your winter rituals. Add a copper french press to your morning routine, a lovely tea kettle for an afternoon break, or a new soup tureen for winter.
Make room for winter.
Kitchens can become cluttered from use over time. Soon you have an excess of little gadgets and small appliances you never use. You might even have leftover Christmas treats growing mold in your pantry. Daily meal prep is frustrating, chaotic and cramped because you can’t find or don’t have room for what is necessary. Tidy up your kitchen on a winter day. Go through your pantry, refrigerator and those top cabinets you can barely reach. Toss out the old, clear out the unnecessary. Keep only what you can use and enjoy this winter. Restock your pantry with cold-weather favorites. Now you have more room to prepare comforting meals and for your family to make their own snacks and lunches, too.
Nourish yourself and your family.
There is something so comforting about being in a cozy kitchen on a chilly winter evening. Cooking up a hot and healthy meal for your family will make you feel warmer inside, even when it is freezing outside. Unhealthy take-out or fast food doesn’t really make anyone feel good. Plan what you’ll prepare in advance to help you keep unhealthy options off the table. Preparing a good meal is a wonderful winter activity in the kitchen. Nourishing yourself can boost your mood and your health. Spend an evening with a good cookbook and a notepad for your shopping list.
Tomorrow we’ll take a look at part two of the cozy winter kitchen rituals. *Update* See part two here!
What are some of your favorite winter rituals in the kitchen?
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