The best foods often come from the most simple kitchens.
I hope I'm not bugging you, but I have a question. We are moving soon and plan to remodel the kitchen in our new home. I've been trying to research traditional New England kitchen styles, but am coming up with little. Most of the pictures look modern, not traditional. What should I be looking for, white enamel appliances, stainless steel work (husband's preference), or something else? Wood counter tops or granite, or something else? Cabinets? Flooring? How do you tastefully bring color into a kitchen? Ultimately, my husband doesn't mind what I decide since I'm the one that spends the most time there, but I would like to accommodate his tastes as much as possible.
This is going to be our retirement home. That being the case, I want to make the best remodeling choices possible, as we will be living with our remodeling decisions for a very long time.
Thank you, :)
As with so many things, kitchens should reflect the needs and aesthetic preferences of its owners. Given that, I can share my preferences.
My idea of a perfect kitchen is based largely on kitchens of the English countryside. I too spend most of my time in the kitchen, so the feel and functionality is important to me.
The first thing I do is address the lighting. I use as few overhead lighting as possible, if any at all. I use wall lamps, table lamps and lamps on the counters.
I have tried stainless steel appliances. But I found them to be depressing to look at, harder to clean, and given my food preparation is not that complicated, unnecessary. I now buy all white appliances. The exception is stainless steel sinks as I can really scrub them hard. (And another exception would be an Aga.)
I have also shifted to white walls over the years. I absolutely minimize the number of counter top clutter, including counter top appliances. I love the luxury of clear surfaces. I also don’t have a junk drawer.
I try to stay away from the modern look of rows of eye-level closed cabinets. On one occasion I took off all of the doors of the upper level of cabinets, and painted the outside of the cabinets white and the inside of the cabinets light but intense blue. I left the bottom cabinet doors on, painted them white and put on white wooden knobs.
My flooring of choice is always wood. My counter material of choice is also wood.
I don’t like living with granite. I know I am in the minority here (and as with my dislike of jeans, I predict plenty of dissent as many people love their granite counter tops), but I don’t like the way it feels or the brittle sounds it makes when a dish is put down on it, and I don’t like how dishes or glasses are more likely to chip or break if dropped. (This is the same problem with tile floors.) I do think a combination of different counter top materials can work well.
I am not fond of the look for a kitchen (except maybe a galley!) of having everything put in at the same time and all matching. (This is also a problem look for any room.)
So currently I have four pieces of antique furniture in my kitchen to break it up: a nearly seven foot tall stained jelly cupboard; my grandmother’s drop-leaf table painted light blue; a four foot high white open-shelved bookcase of sorts, and a chest of drawers.
Finally, while I like the feel of a larger country kitchen set-up that opens to a sitting area, I find too big a kitchen to be cold.
What I have often found inspiring are winners of various regional cook-offs, such as in chowder or chili festivals. I love seeing the actual kitchens that have prepared such marvelous foods, and they are inevitably highly worn and comfortable, not the giant catering expanses popularized by people like Martha Stewart.
I hope these thoughts help, and good luck.
I am once again after your wise fashion input. I am in the market for a smart wool winter jacket. I am usually a field coat/waxed jacket kind of a guy. In winter casually I often wear a down jacket (I have a similar parka to your Baxter State Parka) but now want something a little smarter for those special occasions. My first thought was Pea Coat, but I am just wondering if you have any input or other ideas? My general style is of the Orvis/Filson/LL Bean leaning and I am thinking of something to wear over moleskin pants, dress shirt, thin sweater.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. All the best.
My immediate thought was the Filson Yukon Wool Jacket. I prefer the Charcoal. I think it has great lines and is slightly dressier with softer wool than the Mackinaw. And you know with Filson the quality will be excellent.
There is always the Duffle Coat route, but it might be too long for what you want. Gloverall is the most classic in this category. Farlows always has great jackets and is fun to browse.
I no longer trust L.L. Bean for these kind of purchases, which is a shame. In the past that would have been my first stop.