Setting Thesaurus Entry: Kitchen


Tile floor, stainless steel/black/white appliances (dishwasher, fridge, stove, microwave, dishwasher), blender, toaster, pots, pans, jar with cooking implements (wooden spoons, spatulas, whisks, flippers) knife block with knives, banana tree, fruit bowl, place mats on…


Butter/oil sizzling in the pan, toast popping up, whirr of the range hood fan, the grinding of the microwave turntable & ding as it finishes, cooking timers, oven temperature readiness beep, the slosh and clank of a dishwasher, the grinding of a garburetor, the…


Foods of all kinds: sauces, cakes, cookies, bacon, onions, spaghetti, stir fry, eggs, pancakes, fresh bread, stews, casseroles, pies, turkey etc), spices, steam, coffee brewing, cleaners, soap, hot oil, burnt toast/grease/meats, rotten food/leftovers in the fridge, decomposing…


Food, fruity/dry/sweet/robust wines, beer, fizzy pop, water, steam from a mug, coffee, tea, inhalation of spices mingling in the air, desserts, baking, ice cream, a cold metallic taste of a spoon in the mouth, cold, crisp fruit from the fridge, snacking on buttery crackers from…


warm water, rubber gloves, sudsy water, gritty floors, sticky counters, scraping food from plates into the trash, a smooth broom handle as you sweep up, food textures: Silky butter, spicy or peppery heat, crumbly bread, soggy vegetables in sauce, crunchy fresh veggies or…

Helpful hints:

–The words you choose can convey atmosphere and mood.

Example 1: “Sorry I’m late,” Paul said, setting his briefcase on the floor next to the kitchen island. A plate waited for him on the spotless counter: green beans, mashed potatoes and perfectly roasted beef lay in a ruin of congealed gravy. Amy faced the sink, silent, her stiff neck and the force of her scrubbing clearly conveying her mood…

–Similes and metaphors create strong imagery when used sparingly.

Example 1: (Simile) The tray of just-baked cookies waiting for me after school was like a warm hug after a bad day…

Think beyond what a character sees, and provide a sensory feast for readers

Logo-OneStop-For-Writers-25-smallSetting is much more than just a backdrop, which is why choosing the right one and describing it well is so important. To help with this, we have expanded and integrated this thesaurus into our online library at One Stop For Writers. Each entry has been enhanced to include possible sources of conflict, people commonly found in these locales, and setting-specific notes and tips, and the collection itself has been augmented to include a whopping 230 entries—all of which have been cross-referenced with our other thesauruses for easy searchability. So if you’re interested in seeing a free sample of this powerful Setting Thesaurus, head on over and register at One Stop.

The Setting Thesaurus DuoOn the other hand, if you prefer your references in book form, we’ve got you covered, too. The Urban Setting Thesaurus and The Rural Setting Thesaurus are available for purchase in digital and print copies. In addition to the entries, each book contains instructional front matter to help you maximize your settings. With advice on topics like making your setting do double duty and using figurative language to bring them to life, these books offer ample information to help you maximize your settings and write them effectively.


Becca Puglisi is an international speaker, writing coach, and bestselling author of The Emotion Thesaurus and its sequels. Her books are available in five languages, are sourced by US universities, and are used by novelists, screenwriters, editors, and psychologists around the world. She is passionate about learning and sharing her knowledge with others through her Writers Helping Writers blog and via One Stop For Writers—a powerhouse online library created to help writers elevate their storytelling. You can find Becca online at both of these spots, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.
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PJ Hoover
11 years ago

Kitchens are perfect! Especislly around this time of year!

11 years ago

I spent more time than usual this week in the kitchen for Thanksgiving preparations! :0)
Great entry!

11 years ago

Hi, that’s a cool post! 🙂 Love the various descriptive terms which we lack.

11 years ago

When I saw the word kitchen, it reminded me of my grandmother’s kitchen in Sri Lanka. So when I read “banana tree”, I thought of a real banana tree, because those grew outside her house.

Took me a moment to realize you meant the little wooden contraption that holds bananas. 🙂

Her kitchen also had a stone mortar and pestle for grinding spices, and a coconut scraper. And I’m going to stop here because this is making me way too nostalgic.

Thanks for another inspiring post, Angela and Becca!