I don’t know about you, but I am tired of granite in kitchens.  I think 20-30 years from now people are going to walk into not-updated kitchens that have granite and go “ugh granite, that’ll have to go.”  Lately I’ve really been liking soapstone, it has a very smooth, soft, matte look.




If you were redoing your kitchen today, what countertop surface would you use?

Set Design: It’s Complicated

I’ve mentioned it before that I love the set design in just about any Nancy Meyers film.  The Holiday, Something’s Gotta Give, Parent Trap, Father of the Bride.  They are also so totally Americana, comfy, homey, elegant and beautiful in their own way.

It’s complicated has one of my favorite kitchens- many elements I’d like to see in my dream kitchen.  It was designed by set designer Beth Rubino and I luuurve it.

How do I love this kitchen?  Let me count the ways:

Black steel framed windows.  Marble counters.  Open shelving.  Hanging pot racks.  Woven roman shades.  Butcher block island.  That stove.  The deep sink.  Ok, it is my dream kitchen.

Here are a few more photos from the rest of the house:

Black Steel Framed Windows

I love black steel framed windows… they seem so European and elegant.  This photo is from this blog post which is chock full of other beautiful examples of black windows.

Set Design: The Change Up


I saw the Change Up tonight and as soon as I got home I had to look online to get some information about the set design… I loved it.  Here is an LA Times Article with more information about the design and the designers so I won’t go into that, but I did just want to mention a few of my favorite design elements:

  • The whole entire kitchen.  White cabinets and black counter tops.  The dark floors.  Love the curtains, love the roman shades, Country Curtains sells similar ones that I’ve had my eye of for a few years now:
  • I thought the exterior of the house was beautiful but unfortunately I can’t find any photos of it online.  It was so Americana and reminded me a lot of the Father of The Bride House.
  • I loved the bathroom, especially the bathtub which I also couldn’t find a picture.  The whole bathroom was crisp, serene and spa like, but what else would you expect when the fixtures are from Restoration Hardware and Waterworks.
    I loved the whole house… the designers did a great job of creating a very elegant, comfortable house.

Kitchen Details I Love

Julia Child’s Kitchen

Being a cook I love for my kitchen utensils and pots and pans to be within easy reach.  Julia Child’s kitchen is the ultimate example of an open kitchen.  I’ve written before about my love of hanging pot racks.  I’m also a big fan of open shelving– not for all of the kitchen, but I love one wall of open shelving by the kitchen sink.

I recently picked up these magnetic hook racks from Amazon:

I got two and put them right up on the fridge:

They are working out great- I love having my measuring cups and spoons right by the stove.

One more shot from Julia Child’s kitchen.

Hanging Pot Racks

Whenever, and if ever I have the money to design my dream kitchen I will be sure to have a pot rack hanging directly over a butcher block island.   I attribute this directly to my love of the kitchen in Father of the Bride.  Not just the kitchen, I love the design of the entire house.  Nancy Meyers directed FOTB and I pretty much am in love with the set design of every single one of her movies… The Holiday, Something’s Gotta Give, It’s Complicated.  If and when I ever finish my MA Interior Design degree I would love to be a set designer, but I digress, back to pot racks… (PS stay tuned for a post on my love affair with Nancy Meyers set design)…

I’ve written about my love for hanging pot racks here before, and I had totally forgotten about it until today.  I just however stumbled upon and now my life is complete.  Well, it will be when I own one.

Isn’t it lovely:

Especially over a butcher block island:

And beadboard cabinets painted butter yellow, a farm house sink, subway tile, nautical pendant lamps……  Ok, back to reality.

For now, here are some pictures of the Father of the Bride that has inspired my love for pot racks:

Nancy Meyers love affair post coming soon1  Stay tuned…

Kitchen Islands

I need want a kitchen Island.  Here are the candidates:



Lenox Kitchen Island from WS Home… a wee bit out of my price range, but very lovely:


Salvaged Wood Kitchen Island from RH– again, way out of my price range (and way too big for my kitchen), but lovely:


Harvest Table from Target… really target?  $829???


As always, it looks like IKEA is gonna win…

Lovely, Open and Airy Kitchen

I am consulting with a client on his kitchen renovation (it is a complete flip job) so I wanted to share some of the inspiration for the room.

He found a kitchen that he loved at This Old House.  It is a beautiful kitchen- very open and airy:




The tin ceilings are from M-Boss.  Talk about adding character to a room!  You can also find tin ceilings at The American Tin Ceiling Co. or The Tin Ceiling Depot as well as a gazillion other places.  They are just about the coolest things ever, huh?  I once saw the tin panels painted a cream color and used as the backsplash in a kitchen- it was to die for.  Absolutely goregous.

The inspiration kitchen has some awesome open shelving which I am a huge fan of.  I think people generally cram way to much stuff into their cabinets and rarely use the majority of it.  Open shelving gives you the opportunity to display your lovely tableware and keeps you in check so that you don’t hang on to way more stuff than you need.

The February 2009 Issue of Country Living Magazine has a lovely example of open shelving done right- here is a picture of the kichen of Interior Designer Nancy Taylor:


If you’ll scroll up you’ll see the awesome antique oven in the inspiration kitchen.

Elmira Stove Works sells some great reproduction ranges:


And for the real thing, visit Antique Appliances.

A Few Thoughts on Kitchens

If there is a remote chance that you will be putting your home on the market in the next year or so and you are thinking of updating your kitchen, it would behoove you {I love that phrase, I try to use it as often as possible} to opt for stainless steel appliances and granite countertops.

Buyers expect the granite and stainless and if you have them both it will be the reason a buyer will choose your home or your neighbor who has tile counters and white appliances.

That being said, granite and stainless have become so popular that I’m sure people will be looking back on pictures of kitchens from today and immediately noticing the G&S and saying something along the lines of “that kitchen is SO 2000s!” like the way we say nowadays “that kitchen is stuck in the 80s.”

I’m sure the G&S phenomenon will not last more than a decade, well maybe the stainless but not the granite for sure.  People are always flip-flopping back and forth about what is new and hot; the latest countertop material that man can create or what is the most Green and natural.

Again, that being said, I feel that people are starting to introduce color back into their kitchens.  Retro is making a HUGE comeback.  I think with all the craziness that is going on in the world people are longing for simpler times and the comfort of 50s and 60s suburbia.

Big Chill makes some AWESOME Retro fridges, stoves and dishwashers.


If you do a google search for “retro kitchen” you will find a plethora of resources for kitchen appliances and decor.

Here are a few that caught my eye:

Retro Planet– some fun fun kitchen decor!

Jack and Friends– is a particular favorite only because of the name {Will & Grace anyone?}

Bars and Booths– has, well bars and booths and stuff of that ilk if you want to totally deck out your kitchen from the floor to the ceiling.