INTERIOR DESIGNER, MWELL STUDIO
Food: a quintessential source of comfort for which we’ve felt renewed fervour in recent months. Some of us have tried our hand at breadmaking. Others have taken the opportunity to rethink the way we eat and source local products. Others have reinvented day-to-day interiors with beautiful table settings, claiming our right to continue enjoying life to the full! Let’s decode our kitchens’ role in all this…
Why is there such a chasm between our grandmothers' kitchens, in which the whole family would huddle together happily on Sundays, and our own, from where we’re more likely to shoo family away? The kitchen designers have left their mark… Spotlights, food and utensils hidden away in cupboards, immaculate islands, loft configurations, in short, absolute boredom! Let's deconstruct these immaculate set-ups and take back ownership of this room, its function and scope. Don't be afraid to follow that delicious smell that used to waft through the kitchen of your childhood home… Those plum tarts I used to devour with my cousins… Happy memories!
Before: Soft light from a hanging or wall lamp, a few candles…
> Today: Remove every other spotlight and replace them with delicate hanging lamps, suspended over the worktop. Set up a pretty tray with a few candles to leave permanently on the island.
Photo credit: Devol Kitchens « une cuisine à vivre »
Before: Recipe book and spices always at hand…
> Today: Take your favourite recipe books off the bookcase and give them pride of place in the kitchen, either on a shelf or directly on the worktop if you have enough space. The same goes for spices –fill them into pretty containers to create visual harmony.
Before: The china cabinet celebrated everyday crockery…
> Today: Remove the high modules from your kitchen and replace them with shelves to display your dishes or “super foods”, such cereals you filled into jars.
Before: The kitchen also served as an entrance hall, dining room, etc.
> Today: Revisit the empty space around your island and introduce a standing lamp, a solid wooden billot, elegant high stools upholstered in fabric (no more plastic and stainless steel), a ceramic pot with some floral branches from the garden and a kilim-type rug for comfort and to hide the tiles.
Before: Shut the door and you’d immediately feel better
> Today: Since there’s no longer a boundary between kitchen and living room, it’s important to separate them using a few tricks to anchor the kitchen in its own space. These include painting the ceiling in a rich colour, or installing a coloured zellige splashback or even a strip of wallpaper with contrasting prints.
And, according to foodies, this begins with our eyes, then our noses… Sitting down to eat together is thus a time to contemplate, for both ourselves and our guests. Linen, crockery, candles… the art of table dressing lies at the heart of these shared experiences, so it’s worth giving your accessories some thought. With the Western world’s new passion for ceramics and their 'rural' qualities, dinnerware sets made of clay, earthenware or porcelain are very much in favour. The more ‘artisanal’ they look, the better. And don't hesitate to add a few flea market finds: beautiful plates, crystal glasses, silver cutlery… You might have noticed that methodically matching dinnerware tends to feature much less in wedding lists, not to mention contemporary crockery, devoid of meaning. And let’s take the term table linen as read: there is, indeed, nothing more elegant than a linen tablecloth or placemats. This fabric has the advantage of not needing to be ironed (!) – its rough, crumpled qualities give it all its charm. In the same vein, why not dye an old sheet and give it a new lease of life as a tablecloth? Place a pretty bouquet of country flowers in the centre of your table, or a few glass bottles displaying long candles, and watch the magic happen! Numerous other "kitchen totems" and the art of celebrating everyday life are experiencing a heyday in the social networks. This trend was triggered by the quarantine. Give your creativity free rein and enjoy this enchanting activity with your children.
Photo credit : Priscilla du Preez « le bonheur est dans l’assiette »
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