In an earlier blog called Kitchen Decor and Accessory Ideas I talked about the latest kitchen trends for 2018. I also looked at food art and other wall decor and how you can use color therapy principles to enhance the mood of the room. Following on from that blog, I want to suggest that you can change your wall decor in the kitchen/dining area to reflect the seasons around you using seasonal art.
Seasonal Art Can Re-energize Kitchen/Dining Areas
I want to talk about three main phases of the year, late winter/early spring, summer and autumn/fall and some of the food we see here in Italy. The principle of changing your wall decor to reflect the seasons can be an ongoing principle all year round of course. Just changing the art on the wall can really re-energize a kitchen or dining area. Here are just a few ideas to get you started.
Late Winter Signs of Spring
As I write we are in the depths of winter here in Italy, bitterly cold but with glorious sunshine. All around me though are signs of spring including a grassy area full of daisies! But also our almond trees are in blossom. Almonds are such wonderful trees, you get this glorious blossom that fills the air with the most wonderful perfume.
Did you know that in Italy there are two eating phases for the almonds? When the green almonds appear on the tree they make an early treat. You can eat the whole shell if you don’t mind the bitter taste. Cut them open and the new almonds sit there waiting to be discovered. They are fabulous dipped in salt (not so good if you have high blood pressure of course).
Left on the tree, the almonds will gradually get bigger and harden until harvest time when we collect the nuts that you may be more familiar with.
But for now we have to wait and make do with the almond blossom. You can bring almond blossom into your home where the scent will fill the room. Or you can put a piece of art on your wall to remind you that spring is coming.
Meeting friends at this time of year in Italy, we sit inside drinking our coffee and eating our pastries, waiting until it warms up enough for us to sit out in the sunshine. You can’t beat a good Italian pastry, even if it is only wall decor! Oh, and if you have never had an Italian hot chocolate you have never lived – it is so thick you eat it with a spoon, just delicious!
Summer brings the heat in Italy as elsewhere. At it’s height the idea of hot food is not attractive. Not least because who wants to stand anywhere near a hot stove?
I know at one point in the hot summer and drought of last year the main things we ate were salad and ice cream! Anything that would help us feel cooler. So bowls of soup with crusty bread, for example, might not be the best decor for the kitchen at that time. By now, Mother Nature is producing its best with fresh tomatoes, asparagus and more. So there is a lot of choice available for wall decor.
Boy do we have tomatoes in Italy. Until I came to live here, over 20 years ago now, I didn’t realise there were so many varieties. My neighbor grows rows and rows of them, all of which are turned into passata (sieved tomatoes) for use in sauces all year round. I have helped him with them a few times.
He picks the tomatoes then cuts them in half and takes out the seeds in the middle (used for compost). Fresh herbs are put in canning jars. Then the halves of tomatoes are fed into a machine which throws the skins out to the side and fills the jars with this glorious tomato puree. He has an old wooden barrel that he uses for the next stage of the process. The barrel is half filled with water and the jars (with lids sealed tight) are put inside. Then a fire is lit underneath and the water brought to a boil and then left to pasteurize the jars while his helpers eat a lot of food and drink his home made wine.
Here in Italy, certainly where I live in a rural area, there is less imported produce. In the summer the vegetables start to get a bit ‘samey’.
The shops are full of more types of lettuce than I care to imagine. You can really step outside your comfort zone and create your own mixed leaf salad, using combinations of crunchy, soft, bitter, sweet types of lettuce.
One favorite here in Italy is raddichio, which as you can see from my image is a glorious purple color.
Radicchio is used frequently in Italian cooking, and is often known as Italian Chicory. It has strong leaves that will take a warm vinaigrette or sauce beautifully. It has a slightly bitter taste but also makes some very attractive wall decor.
I know a lot of people change their decor accessories to reflect autumn/fall colors, and using seasonal art can add to the effect. Pomegranates, which fruit late and have a glorious colored skin, provide an opportunity for a different display. In this image they are mixed with apples and leaves.
Don’t forget chestnuts! In Italy, one of the traditions in my area is to eat chestnuts with the new wine so there are always wonderful displays of chestnuts available. And everyone has their favorite way of cooking them, with wonderful metal chestnut roasters than can be used in an open fire, or roasted in the oven.
As well as roasting, I like to parboil mine before peeling them and using them in a recipe. And chestnut soup is wonderful if you have never tried it.
When I was a kid, my Mum used to line up chestnuts on edge of the log fire and we would all wait for them to go ‘bang’ and then eat them. It is safer, and less scary for the animals, if you make a slit in the skin before you cook them!
Hopefully that gives you a few ideas to ring the changes in your kitchen/dining area and reflect the seasons through the art on the wall.
Food Art Video
My latest video on my YouTube channel features food art for interior decor. Have you subscribed to my YouTube Channel yet?
All of the images in my blog today are available to purchase as fine art prints in a variety of sizes and formats. Just click on the image that interests you to find out more.
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!