The kitchen, the place of the soul in the home


Photo courtesy Dries Otten

For anyone with a passion for interior design, the kitchen is the temple in which to concentrate combinations, solutions and style. But there is one element that never fails: the heart and that feeling that it must, in some way, reflect one's personality

Small, large, hi-tech, vintage, modular or made to measure. In the design world, kitchens never seem to cease to be fascinating, desirable and inspiring. Perhaps because they are places where we have memories from childhood, where we would keep our parents and relatives company while they busily whipped up meals that seemed wonderful, from a quick dinner at the end of a busy day midweek to lengthy preparations for lunch on some festive occasion. When we were little we would be hovering around the action, eyeing what went on, helping out or just watching that bustle made up of perfect movements, sudden urgencies and dramas over unsuccessful recipes. Perhaps this is another reason why, when it comes to kitchens, styles often coexist more than in any other interior. Everyone fantasizes about their ideal dining space, seeking to find what best matches their needs and even more their personality. You can learn a lot by studying the kitchens of friends or people you’ve just met. In some way it is the most lived-in part of the house, the one that through the passing years undergoes the greatest transformations, never changing completely but becoming layered with objects, essential modern appliances that then remain unused and turn into something else, with assorted photos, newspaper clippings, plants, fabrics and magnets. The kitchen is the album of memories and perhaps this is why it is one of the furnishing elements that most occupies the budgets of those who have to furnish a home. A kitchen is (more or less) forever, and has to belong to us from the very first moment.

So it is hardly surprising that many “appreciation accounts” are devoted to this part of the home on social media, obviously abounding on Instagram, where images and communities of design lovers gather around veritable collectors of more or less contemporary, vintage, country, inspirational or even just beautiful images, perhaps because they remind us of those where we took our first steps as children.

One of the largest collectors of kitchens, their design and their almost infinite potential could only be Kitchens_of_insta. Let's say the number one stop on this tour, with almost a million and a half followers and a very broad sampler of the crazes of interior design enthusiasts on this social network: suggestions, making of, before and after, single accessories and complete kitchens, almost always with the emphasis on modernity and the most recent trends. Much the same appears on Kitchen Design Network, an account certainly with fewer followers than the previous one, but with the special feature of adding many more scenes of life lived to its feed, in this respect being rather like the character of the kitchen itself: being the center of the home, hardly ever empty but always with people dropping in and something bubbling in the pot.

To find further sources of creativity of an extremely timely character, look at the Kitchendesignspage feed. Again in this case, it is a site that prefers almost contemporary kitchens, without sacrificing vintage details or references to retro styles, authentic or not. But for a real plunge into the past, take a leap into the profile of Good_decorating_1970, which features kitchens (as well as other areas of the home, it should be said) taken from old newspapers, catalogues and interior-themed publications. It is dominated by the patina turned towards warm colors in this feed, looking almost like a dollhouse by the extreme care lavished on it, as well as the meticulous detailing and hyper decoration, obviously with a profusion of wallpapers, rugs, fitted carpets and curtains, as in a real grandma's house.

Favoring everything that stands for fancy kitchens, a bit vintage, a bit country and even (though we should not overstate it) shabby chic, the Doce_lar_da_juju account really whisks you into a world looking like something out of a Jane Austen novel. Splashed with pastel colors, wainscoting, fabrics that act as doors and exposed drainers, this profile – for lovers of the genre – is really a cuddlesome for the eyes and mood. For a sudden leap to natural light and life today, just follow the My.Ktchn account, again a vast album of inspirations, modular or custom-made kitchen solutions, with an interplay of color combinations and materials ranging from walls to furniture and accessories. A perfect profile for those wanting something more than daydreams, to find the right idea to give a shape to their (realistic) dream kitchen. In the same vein is the equally inspiring _Ktchn_, a personal blog with over 25,000 followers, demonstrating that on Instagram lovers of design and interior solutions really never stop looking for new styles and new accounts to follow, because their eyes are never sated with solutions, daring combinations and the possible scouting for new trends before they become all the rage in the mainstream world. After all, since everyone’s kitchen tells us so much about them, no one would want to seem to have copied theirs or for it to be the same as goodness knows how many others, would they?

Cover image: kitchen, designed by Dries Otten; read here the full interview.

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4 May 2022