A warm and welcoming kitchen decoration.Functionality is the keyword for your kitchen - functionality, a serious word, that fortunately starts with fun! A kitchen must be practical above all, cooking should not be a chore but a fun and creative moment, which is only possible if it's easy to work there. Otherwise you will not enjoy spending time.

So here are our 8 practical tips and favorite tricks that will turn your kitchen into a central room for your family, friends and guests.

1. Serve your food in plates and cups that make you smile

Be good to yourself and serve your meals on plates that will do more than put food on the table - use plates that will put a smile on your face! It takes time and love to cook a tasty meal for your family and friends, and it deserves to be served accordingly. Besides, food served attractively tastes better, so make colorful plates, cups and bowls part of your everyday magic. Our personal recommendation: the colorful melamine plates and cups by RICE.

2. Create a hang-out area in your kitchen

At every party or family feast we ever have attended, invariably at some point there will be a small gathering of guests in the kitchen. It's the place where the magic happens, where taste is created, and it is the perfect spot for having heartfelt converstations with your guests, share stories and anecdotes. And to catch up with your family and hear about their day.

3. Add a few stools

Make it easy for your guests to join you at the workstation and sip a glass of wine, have a little talk, and maybe lend a helping hand and take care of some of the choppig or stirring. Because there will always be someone joining you in the kitchen when preparing food or snacks, and their company will make time fly. So make them feel welcome with a little spot to sit down.

4. Chose a strong and resistant material for your worktop

This point seems pretty self-explanatory, but it is easy to get sidetracked by all the pretty materials available for your worktop. Don't let the shiny new kitchens in the stores fool you, exotic woods and natural stone might look pretty when new, but you wil not enjoy cooking in a kitchen if oyu have constantly to worry about stains or scratches.

Get a sturdy material, somethin strong and resistant, and something you don't have to worry about getting stained, burned or scratched. Personally we love hardwood worktops, as they age well, and have a natural warm character.Colorful plates make light work of cleaning chores.

5. Stay clutter free

To make your ktichen more efficient and organized, keep only what you need regularly. Everything else should go. Once a year we go through everyting in our kitchen and the stuff that hasn't been used will be given away or sold.

We love kitchen gadgets and new applicances, so we know how easy it is to get tempted into buying something you'll use maybe twice, and after that it will gather dust and clutter your kitchen.

It is a tough step, but reducing your kitchen tools and housewares to those items you really use will make your kitchen a more enjoyable place.

6. And there be light

Large windows and natural light will turn every kitchen into a magic place. And if the magic does not happen naturaly, luckily there are plenty of light fittings availale in all style to create a well lit working station. Put lights where you need them, and accents to create atmosphere. 

7. Open mind, open kitchen

Open shelves and wall cabinets are a great way to make sure you spot anything you need in an instant. It's a great way to save precious time, and looks amazing too, especially if you have pretty and colorful plates and cups to put on display. Glass fronted cabinets work great too, and offer additional dust protection for your beautiful china.

8. Freestanding workstation or kitchen bar?

We love to have a freestanding workstation in a kitchen, it offers extra surface for all the preparation work and cooking on one side, while making space for an improvised bar-counter on the other side, where those who don't do the cooking can stop and gather for a little chat while you work your magic.