There is a reason that the kitchen can make or break a house sale. It is because for most people the kitchen is the heart of the home. It needs to be functional and beautiful. A true sanctuary from the stresses of the world. If your kitchen is not your refuge from the world, here is five ways to make it happen.

1.   Lighting

The importance of great lighting cannot be overstated. If it is too bright and cold, it can make the room feel clinical and sterile. If it is too dim it will make the room seem dull and uninviting. To make your kitchen both relaxing and functional you will need a mixture of lights.

You will have your main light which provides light throughout the room. Use warm rather than cool lightbulbs for a homier effect. If you want to be able to switch up the mood at the flick of a switch you could consider using a dimmer switch.

For the areas where you will be working, you may want additional lights so you can see exactly what you are doing. This is particularly important when using knives. Fitting spotlights under your upper counters is a great idea for this. Do not make them too bright as you don’t want to give yourself a headache from the glare when they reflect on the benches.

Finally, you might want accent lights which will highlight your favourite parts of the room. Do you have a beautiful set of dishes, a state-of-the-art mixer, or a gorgeous picture? Accent lights will draw your eyes to these items. You could even look at colour changing lightbulbs as a feature. Phillips’ hue bulbs are extremely popular.

2.   Colour

Generally, it’s a good idea to keep colours muted in the kitchen. Colours should be used as an accent, not as the main base. If you keep your cabinets either white, cream, or natural wood and pair them with neutral walls this will give you free rein with the colour of the accents you choose to use. You can also easily change the look if the accents are not working for you.

Soothing colours for the walls include off-white, white and pale blue, yellow or green. If you are going for a more rustic look you can even go a little deeper with the green. Sage green can work well.

3.   Clear Benches and Tidy Cabinets

It is good to have everything you need to hand while you are preparing a meal. This does not mean you should leave everything you might always need out on display though. If you want your kitchen to be relaxing, you need to have lots of clear bench space. Clutter is stressful.

  • Make sure your dishes are washed and put away
  • Remove anything that does not belong in the kitchen
  • Put away appliances that you don’t use very often
  • Put cooking ingredients as well as salt and pepper grinders and condiments in the cupboard or fridge

If you do not have space to put things away, then consider having a declutter. We all have things we never use and are just taking up space. You can get advice from the queen of decluttering, Marie Kondo!

Stains also ruin clean lines of your kitchen so ensure your benches and units are spotlessly clean. Lemon juice is a great natural cleanser as is baking soda.

4.   Practical Layout

As well as looking like a tranquil haven your kitchen needs to be easy to use too. If you’re dashing from one end to the other when cooking, you’ll lose that peaceful feeling pretty quickly. Assuming your kitchen is already in place you cannot do a lot about the appliances. What you can do is position everything else close to where you need it.

For example, if you chop vegetables on the surface next to the cooker there is no point storing the knives at the other end of the kitchen. If your sink is at the opposite end to the dishwasher it will make rinsing the dishes off awkward. You will also probably spill water on the floor getting them back to the dishwasher. If your kettle and teacups are nowhere near the bin, then this can lead to mess disposing of teabags.

Take stock of your kitchen and consider what the ideal place for each item is. You can combine this with the previous stage and declutter at the same time. There is no need to find a perfect spot for something you never use!

Quiet living also recommends looking into quiet appliances, such as a kettle or washing machine. These are made specifically to emit a lower dB level to create a quieter and more peaceful kitchen.

Completing both steps will leave you feeling organised and productive and your kitchen feeling more serene even if you make no other changes.

5.   Embrace Nature

Spending time in nature has been proven to reduce stress and promote feelings of calm and wellbeing. Try adding plants and flowers to your kitchen. They will help oxygenate the air and add splashes of colour which can be changed with the seasons.

If you are looking to keep your kitchen practical, then a lot of fresh herbs look beautiful. Basil comes in both purple and green varieties for a splash of colour. Mint gives off a subtle fragrance with beautiful dark green leaves and coriander has funky shaped leaves.

Light is also a major factor when bringing the outdoors indoors. Try to ensure your windows are unobstructed letting in as much light as possible. If your kitchen has a skylight this is even better.

You can enhance the woodland sanctuary feel by including wood floors and work surfaces. Treated properly they look great, bring a comforting rustic vibe and are very hard-wearing. You can get some more idea about adding a feeling of nature to your kitchen here.


How many of these steps you choose to carry out is up to you. You may feel much better just by tidying and decluttering. Or maybe you feel that more action is needed, and you choose to do them all. Mix and match accents, signature items and lighting until you find what works for you. After a stressful day there is nothing better than pottering around your kitchen so make sure it is a place you love to be.