Kitchen Accessories

As my kitchen slowly but surely comes together I have been thinking that I cannot just clutter it up with all my old, crusty kitchen accessories! Heavens, no! It would be offensive to all the money and time we’ve spent planning, designing and crafting this new beauty, right?  Not that I have any money left to buy fun new kitchen items, but if I could these would be on my list:

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1. I have knives from my wedding registry, and they are still great but this block from West Elm would be SO pretty on my counter!

2. Considering how many striped shirts I have, you can see why I was drawn to this pitcher- perfect for ice water, lemonade or sangria!

3. My favorite soap for the sink.

4. A new whistling tea kettle to brew while I prepare to watch my new addiction, Downton Abbey!

5. Canisters for flour, sugar and Splenda (because we buy that stuff by the case!)

6. Some new monogrammed kitchen towels- proper and crisp, not from a discount store.

7. New cooking tools- I have black plastic ones and they depress me.

8. I DIE DIE DIE for this matte gold flatware for my new dining table (coming in two weeks!)

9. My mom has her mother’s seasoned cast iron skillets and I tell you- cooking with those puts all other pans to shame.  This one is not seasoned with decades of cooking, but it would do.

10. I still need a couple of these bottle stoppers- they are just SO GOOD.

11. A pretty walnut cutting board that would look nice with my new floor color!

12. A simple, but pretty, paper towel holder.

13. I never ever need kitchen string, but this little thing would just be too cute on the shelf!

14. Gorgeous champagne glasses to toast our new kitchen with!!!!

15. I know the VItamix is best, but I cannot fathom spending $600 on a blender. I just can’t.  I like my Breville juicer a lot, so I think they probably make a good blender too. :)

Counters go in tomorrow! They are my favorite thing in the kitchen and I can’t wait to show you!

Now I just have to learn how to be a good cook.

Blog Crush: Sous Style

I was introduced to this blog, Sous Style, via Marni at StyleCarrot and am so glad I was.  While not much a of a cook myself, I have grandiose dreams of someday being the type of woman who makes something fabulous for dinner every night, not just whips up a ground turkey Old El Paso taco kit and calls it “cooking”.  Enter Sous Style, a fantastic new blog by Pippa Lord, the photo director at Elle Magazine (how does she have time to do both?)  She is funny, self-deprecating and showcases not only gorgeous images but great tips, tricks and the like.  I especially love her Wake Up Call feature which details several women’s morning routines and fave products. As well as the House Hunting one. And the Eat With Me one. Ehhhh, just check ‘em all out!

All images courtesy of Sous Style

Hot Stuff

As I ponder homes I also have been pondering kitchen appliances.  To be honest, most of the time when I design kitchens I work with certified kitchen designers or an architect to lay out and pick these pieces (or the homeowner already knows what they want- 99% of the time it’s Subzero/Viking).  Even though for me “cooking” usually consists of whipping up an Old El Paso taco kit for my husband and myself, I still dream of a sexy oven/range to stare at.  They tend to be the showpiece of the kitchen and there are so many great looking ones at different price points. Granted, the best looking ones are the price of a vacation to Paris or a small Honda, but a smaller budget does not mean an ugly oven!

La Cornue is the creme de la creme in my book- such a thing of beauty, even though I have NO IDEA how you bake in there. Do you open the doors to check on your goods? Doesn’t matter, they are SO gorgeous (better looking than the famous AGA in my humble opinion) That chrome and brass trim just SLAYS me.

Bertazzoni is a close second with it’s bold color choices, compact design and option for that sexy trim style I mentioned above. Swoon.

Fratelli Onofri has such a classic, old school look with it’s knobs and hardware details, but you CAN see inside through cute curved windows! And I love how you can get the hardware in brass (because brass is back, baby)

GAH! This thing is a piece of art!

Viking is the go to for high end ranges, but I prefer their colorful small styles.  Although the big momma looks pretty sweet in Windsor Smith’s kitchen!

Smeg, of the cute old refrigerators, has one heck of a sleek looking model for a more modern kitchen.

Going the Sears route, Bosch and Fridgidaire have GREAT design for reasonable price (and we have had a Bosch for a year and have had NO issues!)

And I LOVE the high end look of this KitchenAid range! There is something “Viking” looking about the label too!

Fridgidaire and Electrolux also have some really handsome ranges!

Now if I could just learn to love cooking (baking, I adore, cooking not as much…)

A Shiny Happy Cookbook

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It’s too bad that this genius cookbook is so hard to find in print, because I’d love to own it. It reads more like a lifestyle magazine than simply a collection of delicious recipes.  And since my cookbooks have served merely as inspiration and not instruction these days, I think this would be the perfect one for me.  Neil Roake takes you into the homes and recipe folders of his coolest friends, showing great snapshots of varied, fabulous spaces and the food that is cooked up by the people that live there! How genius is that? I love the hand drawn portraits, the organization by color and the beautiful photography. Where ever am I going to find this?

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Baking it Pretty

I have always loved to bake.  There is something so soothing, meditative and mood-lifting about whipping together sugar and flour to craft sweets that will no doubt make someone else smile (or to treat myself with).  I’m happy to let someone else cook a meal (acting as excellent and entertaining company in the kitchen)  but when it comes to baking, I want to roll up my sleeves myself and get to it.  My brothers claim I know how to bake cookies to the precise perfect goo-iness and I delight in the careful smoothing of frosting on a cake or the saccharine repetition of decorating cupcakes. Its not difficult to connect baking and decorating, as both are such visual, creative endeavors.  So when I saw these Imperial Trellis cupcake wrappers on the amazing site Bake It Pretty I was over the moon!

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Then I started looking around and found all these fabulous designer cupcake wrappers sure to please the baker/design junkie.

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I have always said that in my next life I want to own a small bakery.  I know I’m romanticizing it, but it just sounds like such a lovely, charming way to spend your days. Baking goods, serving coffee (my other favorite thing), engaging with customers, maintaining a shop….. especially if the shop looked like this one- Enjoy Cupcakes in California.  It’s as if someone peered into my head and built the exact bakery I would design for myself. I am completely enchanted!!!

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As if that wasn’t enough, they also have a vintage “cupcake trailer” which can be brought to events, weddings and other outdoor events. Read their blog if you want to make yourself completely drool over their incredible creations.

I. FRIGGIN’. DIE.

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(Enjoy Cupcake images via Design*Sponge)