For generations it was primarily the dining and living rooms where Icelanders showcased their interior investments. These were the rooms that housed antique or designer furniture, light fixtures, paintings and sculptures, curated side tables, an armoire or a glass cabinet filled with their finest crystal and china.
In the last decade and two we began to open up our closed-off kitchens with a centered island - where new gadgets and gourmet staples were featured. Little by little people began to stop using their living rooms to entertain and mainly gathered around the island or just the table in the kitchen.
It goes without saying that the pandemic has impacted every part of our lives, largely how we use and act in our homes. It seems as if people are either wanting more open space - or craving the comeback of traditional ways of floor plans with divided personal spaces.
After a year of cooking every meal, baking bread and homeschooling - the kitchen is not only taking the centerstage of the house, it has become the house. People are beginning to let go of their living rooms by taking down walls for bigger kitchens to enhance the togetherness and creativity. During the last twelve months at home we’ve restructured, rebuilt, refined, re-learned and unlearned.
We’re deeply celebrating the luxury of simplicity and generous comfort. Our patience has expanded and we’re enjoying the process of slow brewed coffee. Before and during the height of the pandemic - instant pots and air fryers were the starring appliance trends - now people seem to be enjoying slow cooking again.
Though it might not be any news that the kitchen is the soul of the house - it does however seem new that it has reshaped our togetherness and relationships for the better. Those who stayed together as a family or partners during all this have grown closer and built stronger bonds.
And I believe that we’re freer showing emotions in front of each other, or perhaps that’s just us Icelanders - who are naturally a tad reserved. In our newly found normalcy we fight, laugh, cry, sing, dance, create, mess things up, heal, and celebrate small wins in front of each other - and it all happens in the kitchen.
Not only do I love the idea of the kitchen being the center of the home - to be THE space for delicious meals, vibrant conversations, wonderful bonding, and creativity, I also find myself in a continuing edit, getting rid of unnecessary objects - while craving a mix and match of seating silhouettes, ceramics and flatware. Whether I’m washing dishes, visiting with a friend, or writing an email - I just love being in a space of simplicity, warmth and inspiration. What if that’s our “new normal”?
I hope this finds you warm and cozy.