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10 Cozy Winter Kitchen Rituals (Part Two)House Beautiful

10 Cozy Winter Kitchen Rituals (Part Two)

Hello! I so enjoyed readying your thoughts yesterday about winter in the kitchen. I hope you’ll tell me about your kitchen today in the comments, it’s fun for me to hear more about where you live! If you missed the first five tips in part one, you can go back and catch up after this post. Today we’ll just jump right in with #6 and the second half of the 10 ideas for cozy winter rituals to cheer us up in the kitchen.

10 Cozy Winter Kitchen Rituals (Part Two)BHG

6. Organize your kitchen.

I’ve just started organizing our new kitchen (not to worry, I’ll show you the entire kitchen just as soon as I can!). It is been a wonderful evening activity on these super cold nights when the kitchen is still warm from cooking. After I unload the dishwasher, I start puttering about the room assessing what would bring the most joy in each drawer.

10 Cozy Winter Kitchen Rituals (Part Two)Atlanta Homes

It’s enjoyable for me to find pretty containers to group spatulas, utensils or baking supplies. You can even use things you already have! Little bowls, trays and baskets make wonderful drawer organizers. If you don’t have something that would work, measure the drawers and make note of the sizes and shapes you need.

There’s a coziness and peace that comes from puttering and nesting in the wintertime. There’s a kitchen organization shop on the blog, so go see what might inspire you!

10 Cozy Winter Kitchen Rituals (Part Two)
The Inspired Room (my last kitchen sources and details)

7. Bring in light.

In the darkness of January, how could you bring more light to your kitchen? A reader yesterday spoke of having a skylight in her kitchen that warms up her space with sunshine and allows her to enjoy watching the birds outside even on a freezing day. Dreamy! While we can’t necessarily add in windows or wire in new lighting this month, maybe we could set a lamp on the counter or bring in some accessories that can provide a sense of warmth and light in a dark kitchen. Copper pots can reflect light and warmth that is already in the room.

Sometimes a lack of natural light can be compensated for by simply adding more warm homey touches. Go for an extra cozy vibe in the winter, not a sterile space.

8. Refresh your kitchen linens.

If your linens and dish towels have seen better days, cheer yourself up with a new set. Sometimes that’s all it takes to make a girl happy. Am I right? These buffalo checked towels are my current favorites and they are on sale right now!

10 Cozy Winter Kitchen Rituals (Part Two)

9. Focus on your health and well-being.

Make your health and happiness in the kitchen a priority! What are some special habits you could practice this month to contribute to your own well-being in the kitchen? Start every day with your blinds up and end the day with a clean sink.

I don’t enjoy drinking freezing cold water in the winter time (I’d much rather stick to holding a hot cup of coffee, ha!), but it’s a healthy way to start the day.

To help inspire me, I fill up my pretty mint colored Klean Kanteen with cold filtered water every morning. See my water bottle in the photo above? That’s a tiny kitchen sneak peek, too. :) Get a good water bottle here. Fun fact, I ordered a special bamboo and stainless cap for mine (not shown the photo) here.

When the bottle is empty, I refill it so I continue to drink plenty of water all day long (and I don’t add to the dishes in my sink!). Sometimes I even add in a little extra healthy zing with pure essential oils (only use in a stainless or glass water bottle and use oils labeled as safe for dietary use, find quality ones here) or a slice of lemon or lime so it tastes super refreshing.

10 Cozy Winter Kitchen Rituals (Part Two)House Beautiful

10. Prepare for spring.

Since winter can feel so dreary and lifeless, bring in things to remind yourself that spring is on the way. Add a plant or a tiered stand for brightly colored fruit or vegetables. Make a weekly trip to local farmer’s markets to bring home flowers. We love going to farmers’ markets in Seattle regularly right on through the season to pick up winter vegetables, fruit and inexpensive bouquets.

Use this season to plan a kitchen garden.  What herbs or vegetables could you grow in your garden this year?

10 Cozy Winter Kitchen Rituals (Part Two)BHG

So, tell me about your kitchen in the comments today! What do you love about it? What do you not love about it?

Don’t forget if you missed Part One of this post, you can catch up here!

Related Posts:

Kitchen Open Shelving Inspiration

Kitchen Faucet & Farmhouse Sink Round Up

Farmhouse Country Kitchen {5 Take Away Tips}


  1. Pam Moore

    I’m actually in the process of a mini kitchen re-do right now. Our 1950’s kitchen had wooden cabinets that had turned orange over time – not to mention the years of shellac and grime. My little home is open, so I’ve always felt it was a terrible eye-sore that didn’t go with the rest of the house. We’ve painted the cabinets a fresh white, and swapped the old, chipped, cast iron sink for a stainless steel one. I know cast iron is all the rage right now, but mine wasn’t even an apron front. It’s was chipped, rusty, and I’ve lost a lot of dishes due to breakage because of it. I’ve also been doing dishes by hand for the past 9 years we’ve lived here, so Mama got a new dishwasher! I love it! That alone has helped my kitchen look so much cleaner and less cluttered because I don’t have dishes drying on the counter all the time. Now I’m working on getting rid of everything that isn’t a necessity so that my counters will be less cluttered. This mini make-over is definitely making my kitchen feel more cozy.

    I love to make soups and bone broth in the winter. I think a big steaming pot of soup or broth makes a kitchen feel cozy in the winter, too.

    I’ve loved this series and look forward to your kitchen reveal. :-)

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Yay for the new dishwasher and refreshed new kitchen. I agree about the soup, it always sounds and smells so good this time of year!

  2. Stephanie

    I wish I had more room in my kitchen (and that I wasn’t renting) so I could do more with it. I have a galley-style kitchen in our apartment and it has no windows and just one of those overhead lights. All counter real-estate is precious because there is so little of it. One of our requirements for buying a home is that it has to have at least one window in it for some natural lighting and so that we can have a plant on a windowsill or something to bring some life into the room.

  3. LB

    Thanks for your post!
    I have a very tight galley kitchen. I have been sketching layout upon layout for a new kitchen for the last 5 years. As mush as I want a new kitchen I am having a blast ‘dreaming’ of what it will one day become :)
    My kids are young and we have decided it be better to work part time until they are older. when I get annoyed at a sticky drawer or a handle that falls off I look to my kids and remember the importance of each season. I am in the season of having two beautiful boys – one day the seasons will change and I will be able to shift my energy to a new kitchen. Until then I will enjoy the dreaming and buy some new tea towels :)

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      YES! Amen to all of that. You’ll never regret that choice or having to deal with those minor annoyances you have to put up for this season. :)

  4. susan maclean

    Holding my breath for the reveal Melissa, and in the meantime planning my own kitchen makeover. When we moved here 14 years ago, we sketched out the sort of thing we wanted and left it to the builder. Now why do you suppose he put the dishwasher right over the other side of the kitchen to the sink? Anyway, plans are afoot, that dishwasher is going to move (hallelujah!) and the colour will change…… sometime this year!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      HOORAY! Sounds like you’ve had to be very patient with his choice, so it’s about time you get to do things your own way. Enjoy! Thank you, Susan. I can’t wait to share my kitchen with you.

  5. laura {not a trophy wife}

    Love, love, love the kitchen finds! Can’t wait to see the big reveal! laura

  6. Stacey Stokes

    I like that I have a good amount of counter space and I been working on less clutter. The one thing I don’t like is that I do not have a lot of storage and it feels dark in there. I want to replace the knobs on my cabinets and have been toying with the idea of painting the cabinets white but not sure I want to ruin the wood. A sky light would be heavenly :) I also have a light wood paneling in there and have been thinking of trying to cover with a light rustic wood wall paper. I love reading your blog and think you have fantabulous taste :)

  7. Sallie

    I love my kitchen after going through a moderate remodel last year. New countertops, sink, faucet, backsplash, floor, and appliances. The countertops are black granite; the floor looks like gray stone (but it’s tile); the walls are milk chocolate; the backsplash ties all those colors together, and there’s a lot of natural wood in the room and a mix of different metals (bronze, copper, stainless). I like an organic feel, and that’s what we have now.

    We have a small but open kitchen, so I can see outside to our beautiful backyard trees and lake. Lots of light comes in through the uncovered windows and sliding door – especially beautiful in the westering sun.

    My favorite storage trick was installing toe-kick drawers under the cabinets on either side of the stove. IKEA has the drawer kits, and I made the drawer fronts out of some cherry wood my dad (God rest his soul) had in his garage for years. They look great and function perfectly. I also installed pull-out drawers in all the lower cabinets. Love those too!

    My favorite decorations are photos of my late parents, showing them enjoying cooking activities.

    So excited to see your kitchen reveal! Enjoy your organizing!

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      What a great idea to have installed toe-kick drawers! I enjoyed reading about all the special touches and reminders of people you love that you’ve added to your kitchen. Thanks for sharing, Sallie!

  8. Lynn Wolf

    Last year we overhauled ours. We kept the layout the same and most appliances. We were able to use the same granite and replace all cabinets. New, larger stove top and hood and we added a large wine refrigerator. We took the little used desk area and turned it into a fun bar set up with a built in keg. We added glass tile mixed with stainless tile above the stove area and also in the bar area as the gorgeous jewelry to finish it off. We are so happy to get this job done, as now this kitchen reflects us and our style.
    I’m so excited to see your big reveal :)

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Your updated kitchen sounds wonderful, Lynn! What a joy to have one that better reflects your family.

  9. sandyc

    The comment I started yesterday got interrupted and went somewhere into that other “cloud” so I’ll try again today. Part of my comment referred to the difference in experiencing “winter” here in the desert Southwest of Phoenix/Sun City West, Arizona. We are very blessed which is why we have so many “snowbirds” buy here and winter here until they get too tired of “moving” twice a year and settle here permanently. The fall and winter months are the main reason we live here, although this year it’s been a bit more chilly and rainy than usual and I don’t do well with even one gloomy day – that’s why my late husband and I moved here rather than settle in Portland where he, his daughter and grandkids all lived and where I knew I couldn’t handle rain nine months of the year. I can easily understand why cozy, warming rituals are so important for those who really do have winter. The most impressive comment in yesterday’s post was the one about the “luxury of wood furniture” to warm up a kitchen. Interestingly, with all the progress I made last year on redoing my kitchen bit by bit, and although I still plan to redo my floors throughout with a warm wood-look similar in color to your floors, Melissa, and I still plan to repaint my cabinets a creamy white, I’m finding that I can tolerate my old oak cabinets more now because the warm wood is needed (just not so much). The other necessity I think for warming up a kitchen is greenery. After all, plants are living things and life connotes warmth. My comments today relates to bringing in the light. The best thing about my small counter space-challenged kitchen is that a previous owner put in a solar tube and I have a corner sink with two windows, one of which faces south – I am truly blessed. Nevertheless, I do have a couple of short fun lamps which I use frequently, especially before the sun comes up enough to light the kitchen and in the evening when I don’t want to look at a dark hole (I can see into my kitchen from my desk which is in my office that was the dining room). I’ve also added small lamps to my laundry room and bathrooms which get no natural light. I use a very low-wattage, relatively energy-efficient bulb and keep the light on during the day, and it really does go a long way toward not feeling as if you are living in a cave. So eager to see your new kitchen, Melissa. So much of what I achieved last year was largely due to inspiration I got from you and I’m still open to inspiration and expect to keep getting it from you this year. Happy New Year to all of us.

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      Thank you, Sandy! I’m always so pleased to know these little tidbits I share here go out into the interwebs and land right where they are able to encourage or inspire someone else. I love hearing about the thoughtful ideas you’ve put into your home and how much progress you’ve made!

  10. Jo Jo

    I love the beautiful, rich warm color of my dark cherry cabinets in our kitchen. They are like fine furniture and creates the warmth I was looking for while we were building this home. I’ve copper pots and pans that I’ve collected over my 41 years of marriage and are hanging over my kitchen island on a pit rack. They were on a wall in our last house. Now I can just pick a pan right off my rack to use while cooking. It was my dream to have a large island with storage and room for seating as well. My dream came true in this kitchen. I have so much room to prep and spread out when cooking and baking and it’s perfect for guests to sit while I’m putting finishing touches on a meal or snack. I cozied up.our beverage coffee station on the counter between the fridge and sink by adding a pretty glass container filled with cocoa and another with Mimi marshmellows,. I’ve also set out a small basket with my hertead and some pretty spoons & honey straws. Really makes it quick, easy and fun to make a warm beverage….also we upgraded our coffee system to a Ninja Coffee bar so that has been GREAT for creating different coffee beverages! I’ve a garden window that faces north ( unfortunately) but I’ve been sucessfulmgrowing some low light plants in pretty pots. My kitchen is not a very sunny kitchen but it is well lit. I’ve got under cabinet lighting thru out, good recessed fixtures that can be dimmed and two lighted glass shelved cabinets with some pretty crystal items in them that are gorgeous and just glow when the cabinet is lit up. Really is cozy, especially in the evening. I just love being in this room and because our house is all open concept, it’s nice to see into our dining room area and all the way back to the living room fireplace. Cozy…my hearth ( kitchen) & home. ❤❤❤

    • Melissa @ The Inspired Room

      I almost feel like I’m sitting right there with you, looking around and enjoying all the lovely choices and decisions you made for your dream kitchen. It sounds warm and inviting and perfect for you! I’m so happy you had this opportunity to design your dreams. Enjoy each and every moment there! Thank you for describing it and how it makes you feel to be there, I loved reading about it.

  11. Nancy Agneberg

    I call my kitchen the “teeny, tiny” kitchen. When my husband and I moved here three years ago, downsizing from a large home in another city and returning full circle to the city where we raised our children, I never dreamed I would love my kitchen. Not only is it small, but the colors were drab with yellowy, goldy maybe white cupboards and walls and a cold grey floor and laminate countertops in mottled sickroom pattern. My husband was immediately enthusiastic about the house, racing through saying, “This is a happy house.” I, on the other hand, stood in the kitchen and wondered how I would bake cookies there with the grandkids. How could I possibly manage Thanksgiving dinner. I trusted my husband’s instincts about the house, however, and loved the fact that it is only a few blocks away from our daughter and her family. That being said, I extracted a few promises from my husband about what needed to be done in the house without delay if we bought it. The entire first floor needed to be painted and the kitchen needed to be addressed. We could not afford to change the foot print, so what to do? Here’s the good news: the kitchen, small as it is, has two windows, one above the sink and one at the end of the room. The appliances were good ones and didn’t need to be replaced. The former owners took out the refrigerator, moving it downstairs to the laundry room, replacing it with two refrigerator drawers, giving me more counterspace. I admit it has taken me awhile to get used to that kind of arrangement, but I do love and need the counterspace. We had the cupboards painted white-white, installed a white solid surface countertop and white subway tile and had the walls painted a bright, Santa Claus red. Now the house, even the kitchen feels happy and bright and cozy to me. I love having my green depression glass containers on the counter for easy access and a few pieces of art collected over the years add to the homey and personal ambience. Recently, I added a red and off white braided rug for the floor and not only does that make standing there more comfortable, but what a cozy farmhouse look, especially during our cold Minnesota winters. Oh, and I must note my cooking cheerleader, a piece of carnival chalkware from the 30’s who stands on the counter keeping me company. Granted, having more than one person in the kitchen is challenging, but I cook and my husband cleans up, and we are a good team. I love my kitchen now and in every season.

    • SoCalLynn

      I call my kitchen a “one-butt kitchen” because it’s so narrow, if two people try to stand back to back, one at the sink and one at the stove for instance, we bump into each other. :-D

  12. Rebecca Turner

    My kitchen was the main selling feature for this house when we bought it 35 years ago, because it was tucked behind the great room, and isolated in a room of its own. To me that was desirable. Because at the time, I had a four year old that I did NOT want under foot while I was cooking, and it was my husband’s job to keep her OUT of the kitchen while I made dinner. (The house we’d lived in before had a kitchen that was open to the family room.) I still don’t really like people in the kitchen when I’m cooking, but it would be nice to be a little more connected. It would be easy to punch out an interior window, except for the fact that it’s on a supporting wall. My husband is much too busy to take care of it (but he knows how to do everything) so it probably won’t get done until he retires. I love the large window in our kitchen and the smooth tile on the floor, which is so cool in summertime. But I dislike our cabinets and would love a fresh redo of the wallpaper. Maybe I’ll get new wallpaper this year. Happy thought!

  13. Barbara (WA)

    I dearly wish I had a cozy eat-in kitchen but instead I have a very, very small one in dire need of a remodel. We most likely will never add on to the house so I’m planning on new cabinets and countertop. I love my flooring – marmoleum in gray. I will plan around that. My favorite thing in my kitchen is a Victorian style spandrel between two cabinets and in front of the upper part of the window. I hang dried flowers and herbs from my garden on it and enjoy them no matter the season.

  14. Emily Hansen

    My kitchen cabinets were custom built by my sister’s while I was still living out of state. I would peruse magazines for pictures of things I liked, send the pictures to them and they would create it…even blending a couple different ideas if I asked them too. Every moment I spend in my kitchen is filled with not only their talent but the love between sisters and makes it all that more comfy and special to me!

  15. Laurie T

    We recently cut back a pantry wall and made it flush with the countertops. It made a huge difference in opening up our kitchen and it gave us just as much if not more room in the pantry. We also invested in new countertops. They’re not pricey granite or Quartz but they’re the Wilsonart high definition and they’re 1/7th the price and are beautiful! I also took a day before Christmas and cleaned/organized ALL my kitchen cupboards. Made a huge difference! I have a cupboard with all my baking stuff and all of my measuring cups etc. are in a cute basket. I have both your books and am working through keeping only the things I love….trying to simplify my life a bit. Makes for a less stressed “me”.

    • Laurie T

      Oh forgot to add, I live in Michigan where it gets very cold and dreary this time of year. I try to keep my under counter lights on and hang bright colored towels to keep things cheery. I close the curtains at night so I’m not looking out at black while cleaning up. I also painted my chairs gray and that seems to keep it lighter also.

  16. Sandy

    Great posts.
    Things I love about my kitchen. I have lots of windows that look out to the water. I absolutely never ever take that for granted. When I walk in there in the mornings and see the sun coming, I count my blessings. I love my cabinets. I love the grain of the wood that comes through in them. I have lots of storage which can be a blessing and a curse. You can hold on to more than you need. I have worked on that the last two years…making note of what I don’t use to weed out.
    Things I don’t love. My overhead lights. The house came with Tiffany lights and I am not opposed to them because I am not trendy, but I don’t like the colors in them.
    All in all I like my kitchen and I think it should be a room you love since a lot of good memories can happen in a kitchen from baking with little ones to sitting round the table with family and soaking up the time spent with them.

  17. Melinda Young

    Your sneak peak looks lovely. Can’t wait to see more!! I do enjoy diffusing in the air to create a warm home too.
    Right now we are preparing to move next week and it’s a bit unsettling, but I am enjoying clearing out things I haven’t used in a long while and I look forward in just over a week settling into our next chapter. A great way to start our year off.

  18. Sharon B

    We had a total renovation done last summer. Removed the wall between the kitchen and dining room, expanded the kitchen into what was a breakfast area which increased the footage of actual wok space. We added a gas cooktop with six burners, double wall ovens, new wooden white shaker cabinets, a beautiful granite that was a find ?, new French doors and new flooring in the entire house. The house is 23 years old and was my husband’s before we married. I only agreed to live in it if it was renovated because it was definitely a man’s dark and masculine house. It is now bright, all the rooms are used all the time- no formal dining now but can still seat 8 for a meal- I love it! Our family is here almost every weekend and almost always everyone is puttering around or near the kitchen.

  19. tamara p of

    Your Instagram mentioned leaving a note about what we like about our kitchens. We renovated our kitchen, a few yrs back, and I love the large, granite island everyone gathers around. We do everything there! My kitchen is open to the dining room and great room, but also has a gorgeous view out to the backyard that backs up to the woods and hills. I enjoy looking out the window and watching the seasons change, and I often catch many an animal coming through the yard: turkey, fox, deer (with new fawns), peahen (like peacocks), rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, all types of birds, you name it. (We’re like Noah’s Ark, ha! It’s so fun.) I usually grab my camera and shoot through the window…hence, those are a lot of my pics/video on my site. :)

  20. Deborah Raney

    I took the doors off of most of my upper kitchen cabinets and I love not only the look, but how much more convenient it is to put dishes away from the dishwasher. Besides showing off all my pretty (mostly inherited or collected at garage sales) dishes, it’s so much easier for guests to help in the kitchen now because everything is on display and easy to locate.

  21. Judy

    Hi Melissa, I am enjoying this series and am looking forward to your kitchen reveal. My kitchen is from 1950 and is all original- yellow tile walls and backsplash, original wall oven (which looks like it belongs in a museum or a movie set in 1950. The woodwork and cabinets are the original stained brown turned orangeish in color. The floor is old linoleum. Those are the things I don’t love about my kitchen. What I do love is that it is sunny, I have a built-in hutch that is so charming and great for storage. I use it for my dishes and serveware. I call it my everyday on display. My kitchen has a small work zone and a small dinette area and a wall full of built-ins. I have so many ideas to change the finishes and add more charm to it. I think it will become a cutie in time! We purchased this home 6 months ago, so we are learning about it still. We have plans to change what doesn’t work for us but still keep the charm that it was born with! I have been reading your book Make Room for What You Love. It has helped me out a great deal with paring down and getting organized in ways and with items that I so enjoy. Thank you so much for all the help and inspiration!

  22. Diana @ Dahlias and Dimes

    I’m absolutely loving our winter kitchen this year compared to last year. We remodeled our kitchen over the summer, and now it feels bright, fresh, and clean. It was so dark and dingy before. It’s definitely a place that I’m loving all seasons now! Great tips!

  23. Tina Taylor

    I wish I would have subscribed to blogs and Pinterest 3 years ago when we moved. I love our kitchen in our new home but with suggestions and pictures from bloggers like you I might have done a few things different. We retired, moved 10 hours from our kids and built a 1900 sq ft house with a galley kitchen which I love. The island is 12 ft long and we have a pantry with a coffee bar with a sink in it. We’ve been married 45 years and this is our 1st new house. It really is my dream come true ❤

  24. Ms. Maggie the Elder

    On kitchens, I say it is nice to have items to display but I wanted to mainly display function items in my new kitchen of the primary home. I found that people respond better to seeing the “real” in the main place of our homes. So I filled the glass cases with the overflow from my everyday kitchen dishes and it looks more lived in and less staged. I am trying to stay away from that staged look and make each room, especially the kitchen, look personal. And I agree, stress the healthy is always the best. I have held off on new plants for the inside of the house until I am sure of the light in each room and the cold weather we are having does not bode well for the plants during transit!!!

  25. Carla Travaille

    My hubby and I have started a hot tea ritual on these dark, chilly winter evenings. We have one of those electric kettles and during the winter months it lives on our counter next to the coffee/wine area. Our cup of tea together after dinner is such a hyyge way to end our day!

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