Do you remember the film Moonstruck with Cher? Many scenes in that film take place in the kitchen. Loretta Castorini (Cher) comes home after Johnny Camereri proposed marriage to her in an Italian restaurant. Her father Cosmo is listening to Opera on the radio in the living room. Loretta wants to announce she is getting married to Johnny Camereri and invites her father to the kitchen for a glass of Italian Spumante. A serious matter is always discussed in the hearth of the house, around the kitchen table!
The other funny and great scene is when Loretta’s wedding plans changed, she will marry Johnny Camerery’s brother Ronny and the entire family is sitting again around the kitchen table trying the resolve Loretta’s dilemma in a theatrical drama-comedy only Italians know how to do.
In most families the kitchen means harmony, it is the cocoon where we find the answers to the majority of our questions in life and where everyday we go back to relax around food.
Today’s kitchens have returned to be the same multi-functional great rooms of the Middle Age, where cooking, entertainment, receiving guests, sleeping and resolving issues happened all through the day. Our kitchens are no longer made for cooking only with separate eating areas, as it became fashionable from the Victorian era up to the ’80s. In my kitchen designs, I always plan a desk area for writing cards or paying bills, a place for watching T.V.’s cooking programs or news while preparing food and if there is enough space, I plan a table for eating in the kitchen, otherwise I add seating around the island.
Have you noticed that when we entertain, no matter where we direct our guests, they will always gravitate in the kitchen? Yes, people go where good food is, but considering that most of the time, kitchens are well lit and colorful, I deduce that eyes can feel and taste colors. A nice color combination is feast to the eyes.
Colors in homes are fundamental to live in harmony, colors in kitchen rooms are much more important as they give us balance and rhythm to accompany food. A plate of spaghetti with a red sauce doesn’t taste delicious in dark colored kitchen.
I love the feeling of black, I find it to be a very sexy color in any expression, but please don’t put me in a black kitchen, I will not be able to cook or enjoy food and wines in one of those trendy black European kitchens. Kitchens to me are quintessential expressions of color with often a load of kitchen utensils and cooking devices imposing their presence in plain view on counter tops. Yes, I can hide them in a chef pantry, appliances garage and retractable shelves, if that is your preference.
Yellow is used in kitchens as an appetite stimulator and as a natural color that speaks the food language. Lemons, papaya, yellow grapes, yellow watermelon, yellow Yukon gold potatoes, cantaloupes, yellow bell peppers, turmeric, saffron, terracotta, pumpkin, coral, or paprika and aubergine are all very delicious colors for a kitchen room and obviously many more colors in the warm palette can be used for kitchens, great room and dining rooms. Although they are striking colors, some people might feel overwhelmed by the hot vibrations those colors emanate. The eyes need to find some relieve from their heat, the only way is to mix several brown tones, green and cool refreshing tones and tints to give a long life to any hot color.
Colors in the kitchen do not stop at walls, counters and cabinets. Designing and preparing meals with a good company is a creative process to stimulate feelings. Colors contain the ingredients, which give out taste. Choosing and combining colors in food is as important as selecting ingredients to make delicious morsels. We can characterize food in a color wheel and make that the palette for our daily nutrition. Nature has created the beautiful seven colors rainbow as an optical and meteorological phenomenon, to which we refer when we talk about color selection. We can refer to the same rainbow colors when we select food, except that eating food in colors is not an optical illusion, is a real solution to a healthy life. To this add healthy laughs, family and real friends and voila’ you have created the solution for a good life.
“The best remedy to a depression is to eat colorful food in good company” ~ I said it in my book: Come Mia Nonna – A Return To Simplicity and I live by.