Kitchens to Inspire...

When I was remodeling my kitchen late last year, I relied entirely on home decor blogs for inspiration. I thought I'd pull some pics out of the folder I created to share some ideas for your own kitchens. And as we all know, it doesn't have to be a full remodel to make a change for the better... 

I love the idea of horizontal boards as a backdrop...as well as traditional subway tile. And I have to say, I'm a fan of open shelving in a kitchen, it just feels more interesting as you can style it like a bookshelf and show a bit of personality. 

It's nice when you can have a white backdrop and then just play with color using all manner of accessories (including the kitchen counter). So many good ideas out there- I hope you create your own desktop folder of kitchen pics you like. In time, you'll be inspired to paint a wall, change a light, put up a bookshelf...like I said, small changes make a big impact. 

 

Photos: My Paradissi; atticmag.com; casasugar.com; kitchenbuilding.com; iidudu.com; refresheddesigns.blogspot.com; john-lewis.co.uk; Door Sixteen; themarionhousebook.com; kitchenisms.com; remodelista.com; thekitchn.com; trinckt.blogspot.com      Content: Sweet Peach

 

Felix Glenn

My friend Courtney of Honeycomb Studio recently told me about one of her favorite online shops, Felix Glenn. I took a quick peek at their site and realized I wanted to learn more...

Husband and wife team, Joanna and Robbie Ballentine of Birmingham, Alabama, craft these beautiful wooden utensils by hand. They named their shop after their grandfathers who were both skilled carpenters back in the day. 

Their intention with the shop was to create an "organic, imperfect and one of a kind product." Joanna, "We let the grain of wood determine the next move." With each utensil they carve, (made of walnut, cherry or olive wood) they produce a unique, functional tool that has a beauty all its own.  

 

Joanna and Robbie offer over a dozen utensils to complement any kitchen. The nice thing is, these are tools to stand the test of time and much like the passion and skills of their granddads- be passed down, generation to generation. 

Check out the entirety of the lovely Felix Glenn shop here. The bonus find is Joanna's gorgeous blog, irrelephant, which I just discovered and have now bookmarked. And thanks Courtney, I think I'll add this shop to my list of favorites too...

 

Photos: Felix Glenn site       Content: Sweet Peach

 

Anne Quatrano & Cliff Harrison: A Cook's Kitchen

Living in Atlanta, it's hard not to be a fan of husband and wife team, Anne Quatrano and Cliff Harrison. Together they have created the award winning restaurants of Bacchanalia, Abattoir, Quinones, Floataway Cafe and my favorite- Star Provisions. At this bakeshop and retail space, the food is just as delicious and meticulous as the decor itself. It's a place I can rely on to just relax and find endless inspiration. So, to see a peek inside their Cartersville, Georgia kitchen is a bit of a treat...

Garden & Gun recently had the honor to visit the 60 acre family property. Inside the expansive kitchen, Anne chose comfy leather and aluminum Eames Management chairs. It's a smart choice as I imagine the visitors to this kitchen prefer to sit and stay a while...

Their pooch, Rupert is a very cute dog, and well fed. As I'm currently attracted to any and all medicine cabinets, I really like Anne's silver collection showcased in this stunning antique apothecary version. 

I love the idea of a corrugated aluminum ceiling and the simplicity of open shelving, a schoolhouse clock and industrial pendants. As expected, it's an inspirational space to drool over. If you're ever in Atlanta, treat yourself to one of their restaurants. In the meantime, catch another glimpse of Anne through her newly released and critically acclaimed book, Summerland: Recipes for Celebrating with Southern Hospitality

 

Photos: Dana Gallagher (Garden & Gun);  johnmariani.com   Content: Sweet Peach


A Vintage Kitchen...

A good vintage shop is like a diamond in the rough. The Old Red Hen Etsy shop out of West Palm Beach, Florida has lots of scrumptious vintage goods for your kitchen- some for use, others for decor... 


A primitive copper pot looks amazing against an old, weathered table.

I've always wanted to find a vintage dish rack at a yard sale but no luck...good thing I found The Old Red Hen shop. Peruse the entire gathering of vintage kitchen goods here.

 

Photos: Julie of The Old Red Hen       Content: Sweet Peach


Tessie's Wordly Glam

My friend Tessie was born and raised in Lima, Peru. She arrived in the states in the 80's to Los Angeles and has lived in Atlanta, Georgia since 2005. Well traveled, Tessie defines her aesthetic as warm and cozy with Italian, Spanish and French influence. When you walk into Tessie's home, whom she shares with her long time partner, Paul Russo, (who happens to be my favorite hair stylist) one of the first things you notice is the dramatic and beautiful lighting.

Tessie has stunning chandeliers in almost every room. Made in France and bought from a local antique dealer, this piece had a medieval look that grabbed her attention. And once something grabs Tessie's attention, it's a done deal...

Anyone that knows Tessie knows that her greatest feats happen in the kitchen. She's an extraordinary cook and I've had the privilege of eating her wide array of cultured dishes, from paella or sushi to traditional Peruvian or pure Georgia southern. I always feel so happy when I sit at her table...

I love Tessie's kitchen floor which is a mix of parquet wood and travertine marble. A type of limestone, travertine was used primarily by the Italians as they built monuments, temples and aqueducts...Even the Colesseum is constructed primarily of travertine, a most hardy and naturally pretty stone. 

It's important to Tessie that her kitchen not just be aesthetically pleasing but functional too. Every item has its rightful place for ease of use. I especially love the pantry doors which are antique French shutters she bought on Bennett Street in Atlanta. As she makes dishes from a bevy of cultural backgrounds, spices are a must in her kitchen. Tessie bought dozens from Patel Brothers in Decatur, Georgia and divided them up into trays based on culinary region. The one above is Indian. I love a serious cook.  

Tessie and Paul created a really unique and eye catching technique to distress their cabinets. Tessie explains, "I took a propane torch to singe the wood, then I used a drill with a wire brush attachment to run over the wood. The soft areas of the wood dug out, creating a visibly appealing and texturally wonderful cabinet." She adds, "Stain is optional because the burning creates its own staining effect on the wood." 

This striking and peaceful painting above her bedroom dresser is by Clinton Gaughran. Color is very important to Tessie and she prefers pastels for their relaxing and soothing qualities. Her colorful personality is amplified in her wide assortment of jewelry that she has collected during her travels. As of late, however, Beth Ann Style has proved a favorite shopping haunt. Thanks so much for opening your beautiful home to us Tessie...

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach 

At Home with Hugh Acheson...

Culinary master and Canadian native, Hugh Acheson has found a home in Athens, Georgia. Famous for his adept and daring twists on Southern food, Hugh is the Chef and Partner of renowned restaurants Five & Ten and The National in Athens and Empire State South in Atlanta. A few weeks ago, on assignment with the Atlanta Intown Paper, I was lucky to spend some time with him inside his beautiful Southern home...

I first met Hugh in his kitchen. He matched his home decor- inviting, layered, organized and interesting. Looking around, I loved the surprise of the blue ceiling which I didn't see at first glance. This is a fun take on the very Southern haint blue that we often see on porch ceilings. Hugh and his wife Mary used this same blue in the upstairs hallway. Such a cool idea...

The kitchen leads into the open dining room, which feels truly Southern. I really like the mix of older chairs, the long farm table, the strong accents of color and the appreciation of handmade art... 

The chandelier was inspired by a picture they found in Domino magazine. Their babysitter, Catie Adams, who is an Athens resident and artist, made these wool and felted flowers for the dining table. Homemade touches say so much... And I just love the measuring translation print- I need that! 

Just to the left of the oven are Hugh's kitchen staples which include four types of salt, three types of vinegar, good olive oil for cooking, chile powder, chili flakes, butter, garlic, pepper and shallots. The backsplash is Mexican talavera tile which they ordered from a shop in New Mexico. As for the pots Hugh prefers to cook with - Le Creuset and All-Clad. 

I'm partial to a cute windowsill. On Hugh's, he and his wife placed these wooden, boiled egg cups as they both love soft boiled eggs. It's so great to take functional items and let them stand on their own as mini-art as you get to appreciate them in a whole new way. 

There are many original doors throughout the home which, full of character, add to its charm. The repurposed, wooden ceiling that leads to their outdoor patio just to the right of their kitchen was another surprise that I kept staring at, so pretty...

The center island is Hugh's favorite feature in the kitchen. During his time cooking, his sweet-as-sugar pup, Clara, looked on. I have a feeling she gets really tasty table scraps. When I asked Hugh his favorite kitchen tool, he responded, "A sharp knife and a good measuring cup." And the one fruit he always has handy?.... lemons. 

It just so happened the morning of my meeting with Hugh was also the day his cookbook, A New Turn in the South was released. As he readied for his upcoming book signing in Athens that night, I grabbed a few shots. This is such a great book as it is full of his scrumptious Southern favorites and is infused with his personality and inventive mind. Be sure to check out Sweet Peach tomorrow as I'll feature a recipe he made in his home kitchen, Chanterelles on Toast. Perfect comfort food for the chilly Autumn ahead...Thanks Hugh! 

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach 

Sandy's Kitchen and Bath..

When I asked my friend Sandy what her design aesthetic was, her first response was "dog hair," which kills me, for as an owner of two dogs, I know her pain well. But when the vacuuming is done and the floors swept, she coins her home style as "unintentionally traditional with some nods to nature." It's an apt description that certainly allows for the addition of animal hair from time to time. 

Sandy recently finished a renovation of her kitchen and bath. She wanted her bathroom to feel like a soothing retreat, which was achieved partly by the addition of a vaulted ceiling to create more space and light. Sandy found her bathroom hardware at Van Dykes and the subway tile and hex floor tile from specialtytile.com. The cabinets are mahogany which brings a beautiful, warm tone that softens the room and also, really pops. Her contractor, John Stevens had the idea to make the cabinetry out of the same wood used for the windows to tie the space together. Beautimous...

Sandy's friend Erik Berkule is a talented artist always in search of fun inspiration. As Sandy explains, "He does wonderful portraits of his family, friends and some of the animals he knows as well as commissions. His paintings give insight into the personalities of his subjects, not just their likeness." A fan of color and whimsy, Erik created a series of paintings based on distorted photos of selected subjects, which were achieved using the Mac Photo Booth app. Other artists that Sandy loves are Margaret Kilgallen, Camilla Engman and a recent SCAD graduate, Yoswadi Krutklom.

Sandy's cat, Minnow likes to look down on all the little people from the border of ledges that frame the bathroom. Sandy describes Minnow as "A total extrovert and a bad ass with an emphasis on bad." Minnow certainly does what she wants. I took some photos of Sandy's laundry area as I love how she maximized her space, finding a home for brooms and mops that actually works. Mine are shoved at an angle by the side of my dryer. I'm jealous her mops get to live a lovely, uncluttered life. Sigh...

It's always fun to design a space based on your wants and needs. Such was the case with the never fun to display cat box. Sandy created a secret entrance to the box behind the kitchen counter with the front area made to look like just another kitchen cabinet. It appears Minnow continues to rule all aspects of the home, much to the dismay of her fellow animal in residence, Trout. 

Sandy is a producer like me and no stranger to doing her research. In creating her new home look, she searched and searched until she found items that were unique, well designed and sold at a good price. Her quality, affordable kitchen tile is one example of time well spent behind a computer screen. Her house was built in the 1930's and Sandy smartly kept the unique cabinetry in the kitchen. The surprising designs carved at the bottom give it personality and charm, mixing old with new. 

One of my favorite features in Sandy's kitchen is her bar cabinet. Your eye is immediately drawn to the silver backdrop which are actually ceiling tiles, purchased at Van Dykes. The really beautiful hinges are a surprise touch as you open the cabinets, also purchased at Van Dykes. Sandy has a funny term for gorgeous images of homes she finds in magazines, design books and websites. She calls it House Porn as she gets immersed in absorbing every detail of stunning home decor, looking for ideas and inspiration. We both are in love with Bravo's new show, Million Dollar Decorators and perhaps, as Sandy points out, that's the first example of TV house porn. Thanks for sharing your incredible home and humor Sandy! 

As a reminder, if you need some free advice on renovating or building your own kitchen and bath, contact Rose, our resident Sweet Peach Kitchen and Bath expert. 

 

Photos and Content: Sweet Peach