A great family kitchen really is the heart of the home. It’s where countless good times are shared over family dinners, where important conversations often take place as mom or dad prepares a meal for the family, and where the details of the school day are shared over an afternoon snack. With our kitchens acting so much like a “family room,” maybe it’s a good idea to put a little thought into making it warm and inviting for family and guests alike!
1. Decide on your vibe. The colors and finishes already in place in your kitchen may dictate how much latitude you have here, but decide on a feeling you want the space to evoke. It might be a sweetly decorated place known for its baked treats, a rustic space with lots of natural elements, or a contemporary room with some key tech elements to draw your techy kids in.
2. Don’t skimp on the details. It’s easy to forget the kitchen when it comes to decorative accessories and other homey details. But a few well-chosen pieces to warm up your countertops and above-cabinet spaces can take it from work room to “living” room. Working on a budget? Check out discount outlets like TJ Maxx, Target, and others for good-looking pieces that don’t break the bank. Try framing some great quotes or scripture to remind your family of the things that matter, and add some comfy seat cushions in a pretty fabric to make those stools or chairs a place you like to linger.
3. Cook. Pretty obvious, huh? But there’s really no substitute for the wonderful smells that drift from a kitchen where tasty things are happening. It’s like a magnet to hungry kids. And take heart—it doesn’t have to be fancy! My son comes to the kitchen at a full sprint when he smells a skillet of ground beef sizzling with some taco seasoning. Because taco night rocks.
4. Keep some bait out. If you’re fishing for kids, you need bait. In this case, a pretty cake dome with a great dessert underneath, or a bowl of fresh fruit and packs of nuts, crackers and pretzels for snacking will draw them in again and again. Don’t forget to stock the fridge with their favorite drinks.
5. Entertain their friends. Some of my best memories as a teen were in the homes of friends whose parents welcomed us warmly with food and drink, and made us feel at home. Let your kids invite company on the weekends, and plan some special snacks or meals to warm their tummies. Your home will be a place they love to visit, and that will keep you connected to your kids’ social lives throughout adolescence and even college.
6. Pray over your kitchen. Take the time to pray over this special place in your home: the meals that will be prepared there to nourish your family, the conversations that will take place there, and the relationships that will be fostered there. Ask for God’s blessing and protection over all you do there to love and nurture your family!