The kitchen is the engine room of the family home. A place where yummy fuels are made to keep the troops happy and well fed. It is a warm space, full of cooking heat and love made manifest in edible forms. The kitchen resides at the centre of the domestic universe. Other rooms in the house revolve around it like satellites. Therefore, when it comes to decorating your kitchen and dining room it must reflect this stature and essential warmth. “Gather round my children and yes you can lick the spoon”, says mother. Taste the simmering stockpot on the stove on a winter’s day and feel the goodness of life at your lips.

Decorating Your Kitchen and Dining Room

Kitchen décor and furniture best serve their purpose when they complement the elemental nature of a working kitchen. Too much frippery and fabric in a kitchen undermines the role that the kitchen plays in our lives. The kitchen in ancient times in Hellas and Rome was ruled by Hestia and Vesta, Zeus’s sister goddess, who ruled the hearth. In a great book called House Therapy , readers can discover more about this important deity and the archetypal place of the kitchen in the lives of human beings. The modern kitchen becomes the equivalent to the ancient hearth, where sacrifices were made.

Our kitchens contain knives, fire to cook with, stone or stainless steel benchtops, water in our sinks, these are all the elements of life. Décor and furniture in your kitchen and dining room needs to be in harmony with these strong features. The style with which you decorate these spaces can support the functional nature, rather than seek to obscure or hide it. Today, we proudly honour the work and creativity that goes on in kitchens. It is no longer, merely, the realm of kitchen slaves.

Historically, because it was slaves and, then, servants who worked in the kitchens, we spent centuries, culturally, downplaying and diminishing the status of the kitchen in the home. It has only been, very recently, through the power of the media and the celebrity TV chef, that we are, now, honouring the kitchen. I still like the idea of a large central wooden table in the kitchen, which can be clothed in a white table cloth, after the cooking is done, and guests can dine at the same table where the sacrifices have been made with sharp knives. Click here for more great dining table ideas.