Most people are familiar with the William Morris quote
‘Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.’
This is a very good mantra to adopt in the kitchen – we spend a lot of time in the kitchen (well I don’t as it’s my husband’s domain ? but still!). It’s a room that needs to be functional but should also be inspiring and a pleasure to be in. One of my mantras is to be aware of the importance of your senses in the home. Especially touch – how an object feels when you pick it up – which is why I am drawn to natural materials. Drinking from a beautiful cup makes for a better tasting tea/coffee – fact!!
So with that in mind here are eight of my beautiful but useful items to consider in creating a calm kitchen
1. A teapot
Rather a large teapot. I am addicted to tea. I once read that Tony Benn used to drink a pint of tea an hour and once worked out that he had drunk enough tea in his lifetime to float the QE2! I’m not as dedicated as that but I’m not far off!
2. A kettle
A reliable but gorgeous kettle! One that looks great on your worktop or hob. We have had the same kettle now for at least 10 years, it’s a Dualit Lite in cream (with a matching toaster). They now have a lot more design choice but they’re definitely the kettle of choice in my opinion and remember how much tea I drink – it’s boiled a lot of pots of tea for me over those 10 years! W also have a stove top heavy Aga kettle just in case the electricity goes off (you need to prioritise in an emergency ?).
3. Pudding bowls
We use these for everything. As serving bowls, soup, our cereal- everything. They look good and they just get better with age. They come in all different sizes and if you’re really lucky you can find beautifully aged mottled ones!
4. White ironstone plates
They are just so beautiful to use – food looks amazing on them – you can pick up a single one when you see them at a flea market and it will just work with what you already have at home. I buy bowls, tureen, plates, serving platters in fact everything creamware when ever I see them – they age beautifully too and they work so well with pudding bowls – an natural fit!
5. Stoneware jars, Poitier pots and confiture pots
Again these are staple items in our house. We use them to store our cutlery, our cooking utensils, measuring cups etc, you name it it’s in one of those jars. They come in all different sizes and heights. Beyond the kitchen they also house all our pens and pencils and even our toothbrushes. I usually go for the greyer, putty coloured ones – there is always a couple of these types of things available in our online shop – if not just ask, we probably haven’t popped it on the site yet, or still can’t bear to part with it!
6. Linen Tea-towels
What’s not to like? They feel beautiful and look amazing plus they just get better and better and also more absorbent with age. They look great un-ironed and if you can find them the old French torchons are massive! Win, win! Also the French waffle pan holder cloths for getting things in and out of the oven – I’ve even had cushion covers made from these ?
7. Duralex glasses
I really like the Gigogne design as I like how they look stacked up. They come in two different sizes so perfect for nearly everything. You can also get Gigogne coffee cups too if you if want to drink out of a glass but want a handle. They also make a creamy coffee look amazing.
8. Wooden chopping boards
Any wooden board is beautiful to handle and I have a soft spot for old wooden chopping boards. I light up when I find an old chunky one with a handle on my travels. I love that they show a history of being well ugh the knife marks and dents already on a warn down surface. Once scrubbed up they look amazing.
This is before we get onto the actual body of the kitchen. But I thought it’s a lot easier to change the smaller things that refit a whole kitchen!
Rider – I also think you need art in your home, part of having a beautiful home is that it inspires and challenges you. Mental stimulation is part and parcel of a calming home – that may seem like a contradiction in terms but bear with me! I love having objects for objects sake. I like to celebrate their form and the way light falls on them. I will write about the power of art and inspiring objects in your home another day. Would you find that useful?