Gathering family together? It’s what we do. Family suppers, in the kitchen on a weeknight, after soccer and before homework, we talk about our day. Sometimes the kids are bubbling with chatter and sometimes I wonder if they’ll conk out before we clear the dishes. But one thing is constant; even the littlest family member looks forward to our family suppers. I think it’s because we are all equal at that table- an old farm table that came from Grandma’s house. The chairs are kinda comfy, and the lighting is a riff on that table, burnished and shimmery. Light glances off the kid’s faces and their eyes sparkle.

My kitchen is not straight out of a magazine. It’s more from my heart. People cook in my family. Lots of fresh ingredients, homemade pasta when time permits, and hey, out of a box, too, sometimes! I wanted to feel comfy in my kitchen and that meant lots of counter space, a spot for a stack of cookbooks and, no, I am not the cook that scans recipes on her iPad in the kitchen, I’m the cook that scribbles in the margins of her cookbooks while cooking. I love light so my kitchen has recessed lighting that shines down along the edge of the counters mixing with the light from under-cabinet lighting. It makes my countertops look pretty and working at them a joy. A nice piece of stone should be highlighted, right?

I love a bit of open shelving in the kitchen for the serving pieces and pitchers I use a lot, some of them were my mom’s. A little recessed spotlighting on those shelves let’s me enjoy them as art, which they are to me. And the pantry has wonderful lighting. I mean why skimp there just because “nobody sees it?” I do! Everyday!

And then there are the pendants over the table. I paired them with small recessed light fixtures, pinhole-lights that splash lighting right on the tabletop. The kids can read to me using those lights while I get supper together, and they highlight my farmhouse table, which I love. The pendants float over us in a line down the table. They scatter fragments of light and add the “sparkle.” Everything is on a dimmer, so sometimes we lower the lights like when it’s a birthday with cake and candles taking the stage.

Sometimes I wonder if the kids will remember these dinners. I hope so. My husband and I love them, even when the food is takeout, and the kids are still in their shin guards, and it’s getting late, and we still have homework. Gathering the family together. It’s what we do.