When I toured the Kitchen of the Year earlier this week, I noticed that Ina Garten — the Barefoot Contessa and the inspiration behind this year's space — had placed two large table lamps on either end of the long, centralized kitchen island. She said the lamps made the room feel more like a living area, since she spends most of her time there, and it reminded me of a post on Apartment Therapy a few months back, called Close-up: Lamps in the Kitchen. At the time, I thought, "Who would ever think to use table lamps in the kitchen?" But after seeing Ina's clean and simple design at Rockefeller Plaza, I knew AT was right on trend.
Ina's other cozy touches included two sitting chairs and an ottoman around a built-in fireplace, and padded dining chairs around a long table, built for entertaining. I wondered what other ideas AT would have for designing a comfortable kitchen, and I found 5 Tips to a Cozier Kitchen, which suggests adding artwork to traditional storage shelves for a creative touch. Plus, Small Space Solution: Banquettes shows several ways to use cushioned benches in your breakfast nook for a casual dining area you'll never want to leave.
Even though Kitchen of the Year wraps up at the end of this week, check HouseBeautiful.com for more Apartment Therapy kitchen inspiration throughout the month of July.