Get the look... Karma Kitchen

Get the look... Karma Kitchen

A guide to creating a stress-free kitchen

Image Credit: Light Locations
Image Credit: Light Locations
Image Credit: Light Locations
Image Credit: Light Locations

A busy kitchen can be a stressful environment. Stress may contribute to 60% of all illnesses and diseases, so lower levels of stress improve your overall wellbeing. 

We believe that turning your kitchen into the heart and soul of your home - a vibrant space, used to create, to socialise, and to relax - will have a positive impact on your wellbeing. The kitchen is a great place to socialise. Our famous Belfast Sink is affectionately named the ‘Jaw Box’ (especially in America) because people gather round it to chat.

Not everyone has large expansive open-plan ‘kitchen-diners’ that open out onto lush green gardens - as many interior magazine would have us believe. However, there are universal principles you can apply to even the smallest studio flat kitchen that will vastly improve your time spent in the space.

Choose the right kitchen.

What really matters is choosing the right kitchen. And by ‘right’ we mean ‘right for you’. The right kitchen should work for you. Yes, design principles are important - smaller space suit simpler kitchens, larger spaces can take a more elaboration and grandeur. But do you love it? Does it do what you want it to do, in the way you like to do it? 

Embrace light.

Good light is very important for destressing. Flood your kitchen with natural daylight where possible. Daylight is less harsh than artificial lighting and increases your wellbeing. Expansive bifold doors or fully glazed extensions are a great upgrade that not only increase the amount of light in the room, they make the room feel bigger and improve your connection to the outdoors.

Simply swapping your existing back door for a fully glazed alternative can increase natural light levels. Companies like Crittal and IQ Glazing have some amazing architectural glazing solutions.

Choose calming colours.

Colour therapists believe that choosing the right colours can make you feel calmer and help you relax. They suggest that reds stimulate anxiety, while blues promote calm, and that colour could affect appetite, blood pressure and aggression. Opting for cooler pastel tones should instill a calming effect that will also help maximise the light in the room. Farrow & Ball have a selection of blues to soothe the most stressful of minds.

Bring nature indoors.

A little dose of nature helps us all recharge and research finds interacting with nature can greatly alleviate depression. Natural environments capture our involuntary attention that helps us feel replenished, and living in greener urban environments helps boost mental health for the long-term. If your kitchen doesn’t open out onto a stately-home-sized garden or even have a great view of greenery from your kitchen window, there are still some great ways to bring the outdoors in. Large ‘architectural’ greenery like a mature Olive Tree in a planter work well. Equally – planting fresh herbs on a shelf or by a window, can bring a fragrant freshness to the most compact of kitchens. 

Create a social hub.

Creating a dining space for eating together with family and friends can provide a number of benefits to your physical and mental health. Create an area in your kitchen where you can entertain and socialise. It could be a breakfast bar for 2 people to enjoy coffee together, or a large dining table for 8 people. Try to accommodate the best solution for the size of your kitchen - but avoid overcrowding the room.

Stay organised.

Stress is often born out of frustration. Clutter from lack of storage, badly-organised layout and poor usability are all common issues. A stress-free kitchen is a kitchen that is efficient for how YOU want to use it. Building in lots of time-saving and space-saving solutions is a good investment in your stress-free future.

Sound soothes the soul.

Listening to music whilst cooking can really improve your kitchen ‘experience’. Music has a direct effect on our hormones. If you listen to music you enjoy, it decreases levels of the hormone cortisol in your body, counteracting the effects of chronic stress. A great voice-activated intelligent sound system can pump soothing sounds straight into your kitchen to create the soundtrack to your day. Systems like Sonos, Amazon Echo, Google Home or the Apple HomePod are all great options to consider. 

Have you created a Karma kitchen or bathroom with a Shaws sink? Or are you planning to? We’d love to hear from you! Drop us a line, or share your creation with us on social media.