Cookin’ Up Country Kitchens

I love a beautiful, sleek, contemporary kitchen with sparkling Italian cabinets and state of the art appliances as much as the next cook. But having a “Country Pretty” point of view, nothing sets my heart aflutter and my taste buds dancing more than an eclectic, rustic, country kitchen. While searching for design concepts and ideas for my own kitchen reno, my eye was always drawn to pretty pastel colors, hand-hewn finishes and just a touch of bling. A few of my favorites…

this one is from Apartment Therapy… simple yet sophisticated

I love the overall feel of this kitchen from another era, especially the use of the mahogany buffet as an island!

A perfect style for a cottage down by the shore

kitchen from Elle Decor…that table!!!

stainless steel and hand hewn beams makes a perfect island

Country Living…charming and colorful

One perfect appliance for a country kitchen- the Aga Cooker

My kitchen reno…when we moved in 30+ years ago, there were pink formica countertops, utensil and soy sauce wallpaper (no, not splashed on it, actually printed on it!), knotty pine cottage cabinets. Many years of painting, re-painting, changing the formica and the stick-down linoleum taught me one thing: you can only put lipstick on a pig so many times before you finally give in and go for the full-on gut and remodel.

My kitchen after many attempts to “spruce it up”…

my kitchen gutted to the rafters… we discovered the roof was being supported by hand-hewn 2 x 4’s!!

My kitchen today…LOVE. Every day when I walk in my back door and turn the corner, it makes me smile. It truly is the life of our home. Modern functioning Kitchenaid appliances, my fabulous chandelier from Lt. Willard Moses, accessories primarily from HomeGoods (where else?). My favorite area is the alcove over the stove. Tucked behind the beams, it is the perfect spot for seasonal decorating : ) I found a little cupboard at Todd Farm in Rowley that is perfect for displaying our collection of pewter and silver. And of course, no country kitchen would be complete without a rustic sign…All you new kitchen wanna-be’s be forwarned!!!. It is always best to read the owner’s manual prior to using your new-fangled appliances. Apparently the people who designed my “warmer drawer”, did not do so with the intent of my storing vintage towels and aprons…suffice to say that the Wakefield’s finest had a bit of a chuckle once they discovered the source of the smoke billowing from the oven…hubby not so amused when he discovered the three things I grabbed on the way out the door…Daisy the dog, my Ipad and my Iphone. What else does a girl need?!?

Hope you’re cookin’ up a great Tuesday!

Susan

You Light Up My Life

Recently, we have been searching for a new chandelier for our dining room. Now, as my husband would say, “there is nothing wrong with the old one”. Except that it is Colonial Williamsburg style, shiny brass, double tiered, circa 1983, and has no business being in my casual country dining room. Just because it still works, doesn’t mean it still works. So I have finally talked him into replacing it with something a bit more current. The trick is agreeing on a finish and style. Since it typically takes us a year or so to agree on a new couch or chair or car, I can see that this is going to be another “work in progress“. But I have pinned a few, in the hopes that one might spark his interest.

There is this popular iron orb style we saw last week in Brimfield. But it only has one bulb, and being the only light source in what is currently my sewing/workroom/office just won’t work-these old eyes require a bit more wattage. I spotted this wrought iron pyramid style on a recent trip to the Boston Design Center. Gorgeous, but more suited for a medieval castle perhaps?

This rustic reclaimed wood style from Urban Chandy might not necessarily work for the dining room, but I am keeping it in the back of my mind for the Barn Project.

The crystal chandeliers I lust after are a bit too “blingy”, definitely NOT country casual. I am still hoping to add this to the Hall of Shame!

Mason jar chandeliers are the rage right now, but those just scream porch to me. Speaking of which, I just finished my porch mason jar creation. Remember those rustic green hanging baskets I found back in Essex? I sealed all of the chipping paint with a spray rust inhibitor, added some mason jars we found in Brimfield– LOVE!

Sparkly starfish are stunning, but more suited for a beach house… and these million raindrops lights from Junk Gypsies definitely belong in a grand ballroom- which would be great if I had a castle!

Ever have one of these days…? I’m not sure what is going on here, but if I ever have a food truck or Airstream trailer, this is definitely my go-to look!

Now I love color as much as the next girl (or guy), but these lights scream Taj Mahal Vegas to me- the colors are right, but the mood is so wrong!

This is my oil-rubbed bronze kitchen chandelier from Great Windsor Chairs. I love the simplicity of it and it lights up our lives every day-I wonder if they have this in red? If you have any other suggestions, please drop me an email and enlighten me! Susan

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