One of my favorite things about waking up in the morning (okay, maybe one of the only things) is the smell of a freshly brewed pot of coffee. And coffee shops, don’t even get me started. The nutty, aromatic notes that fill the air, the soft house music and the rustic décor warms my soul before I’ve even had my first sip of this delicious nectar of the gods. Needless to say, coffee actually gets me pumped up to start my day, and it’s not just because of the ensuing caffeine high.
Answer me this: where do you most enjoy drinking a cup of coffee? I’m guessing you’re thinking of your favorite café. Wouldn’t it be nice if the answer was “my kitchen?” It can be. With the right lighting, appliances, and furnishings, the kitchen can be quick on its way to becoming our fast favorite.
Lights, Lights, Lights
Close your eyes and visualize yourself at your local café haunt. You can smell the espresso and hear low, heated chatter over at the next table. It’s overcast outside, but the lighting inside is warm and inviting. Pools of light envelop the table tops. The track lighting behind the baristas highlights the shop’s newest blends. With your drip coffee bathed in light and your fingers hovering over your keyboard, you feel you’re where you belong. Here’s the thing: our homes belong to us—so why don’t we feel this way in the kitchen?
To encapsulate that “welcome home” vibe you get from the café, updating your kitchen lighting is a good place to start. Architect and lifestyle blogger Tara Hoganart recommends finding a balance between blending daylight with electric light. According to Hoganart, “the undertaking of the electric light is to mirror the daylight,” while remembering not to forget about the light’s coloring. Hoganart emphasizes that “shades are utilized to emphasize certain points of interest.” What you will want to do in your kitchen is layer your light sources to get the warm, pooling effect we see in cafes. Through the use of under cabinet, pendant and island lighting, you can get the café lighting vibe.
The Coffee Maker
Without an exceptional coffee machine, even the most delectable of blends will just go to waste. You might as well be drinking a cup of Folgers if you’re unwilling to get the proper coffee accouterments. Why even drink the coffee? Luke-warm tap water would do just as well without a well-made, coffee-producing machine. An espresso machine, like the kitchen lighting, is an investment. According to Digital Trends, the nine best espresso machines for 2016 are:
- The Barista Express Espresso Machine
- JURA ENA Micro 1
- Gaggia Classica Espresso Machine
- Nepresso Inissia
- Mr. Coffee Café Barista
- DeLonghi EC 702
- Capresso EC Pro
- Krups XP 6010
- Nespresso Pixie
Think about how many cups of coffee you buy out, why not put that money to good use and get an espresso machine that’ll save you money and bring the café to you?
As a coffee shop frequenter, I have my favorite corner, you probably do too. To bring that favorite place home, theKitchn recommends turning a corner of the kitchen into a reading nook. Place your favorite books, prints, magazines and writing utensils alongside your recipe books and mugs. This will give your kitchen that artsy, eclectic vibe that every successful coffee shop manages to do. Go even further by equipping the corner with a small table (round or rectangular, whatever works best in the space) and upcycle an old armchair. A chair is leather or wood with exposed metal would look très très chic.
What's your favorite brand of coffee?