Polished chrome and stainless steel are modern and smart, but if you're going for a cozier look, turn off the shine and choose ceramic sinks, painted tile backsplashes, matte-finish faucets, and cabinet hardware.
Install dimmers in the kitchen. Good light is important for busy prep and cleanup time, but being able to lower lights creates a warm and welcoming environment for serving and entertaining.
Add Texture to Walls
Suede and leather looks have a rich effect, and can be achieved easily with special paint or finishing techniques.
Wall-to-wall carpeting doesn't make sense in the kitchen, but rich wood-tone floors instead of linoleum or tile are a key ingredient to a warm look. Garnish with h area rugs for softness (don't forget nonskid pads to avoid slips).
Opt for wood cabinets over metal or laminate. Look for stains and species with red or yellow undertones, such as pine or rich cherry. Mix and match wood tones for an even more welcoming look.
On walls, try deep tones with lots of visual warmth: muted reds, Tuscan golds, and cinnamon browns. Even a simple shift from stark white to a honeyed ivory makes a huge difference.
Offset a kitchen's many hard, reflective surfaces by including fabric wherever you can. Put slipcovers over plain chairs, add plump pillows to a window seat or spread a sumptuous table runner across the dining table.
Choose refrigerator doors and dishwashers with panels to match the cabinets, rather than bringing in shiny stainless appliances.
—Courtesy of Kitchens and Baths Magazine