Fall Traditions of Kitchen Style, Spice and Seasoning

Spending time in the Places In The Home kitchen on a fall afternoon coincides with traditions of kitchen style, spice and seasoning rooted in memories dating back to the little kitchen in our first home where my love of developing recipes inspired by the tastes of the fall ~autumn season all began.

first-house

Designing, decorating and stocking the kitchen, pantry and cupboard with personal style, staples and spices became an adventure in discovery of taste and tastes.  When fall comes around each year, the memories flood my mind reminding me these are special times for making fall traditions of kitchen style, spice and seasoning.

copper-bundt-pan

The crimson and gold Anjou and Bosc pears from the produce section of our local Kroger colorfully complemented my fall dining room decorating scheme, but as it goes with fresh fruit and shelf life, nothing lasts forever.

pears-cake-plate

Once photographed and admired, it’s time to give thought to delicious ways of putting a seasonal spin on it.

figs-honey-sour-cream-pears

Tradition is the key ingredient of my recipes.  The recipes and kitchen philosophies of my great grandmother, my darling Mama Two, inspire and influence the salads, entrees and desserts developed and prepared in the Places In The Home test kitchen.

Mason-Cash-mixing-bowlsMason Cash Mixing Bowls

I leave myself a mixing bowl full of wiggle room by referring to the Places In The Home kitchen as a test kitchen.  If a recipe exceeds taste expectations, my kitchen is the culinary kingdom in which I rule over complete with crown roast and wooden spoon scepter.  If a recipe fails, then my kitchen is simply a test kitchen where taste perfection is not an absolute and I remind the family that Domino’s delivers.

domino's

A jar of Mrs. Bridges fig preserves is my autumn jam.  Fig and pear preserves were a Mama Two staple, especially in her baked goods that I associate with fall traditions of kitchen style, spice and seasoning.  Isn’t it funny the things that play traditional fall favorites with our memory?   It’s a question asked and deliciously answered by the fresh pear salad with sour cream, fig preserves and honey I came up with.

Fresh.

Delicious.

The taste of fall on an vintage porcelain dessert plate.

Slice a fresh pair of your flavor choice in two.  Using a spoon, gently spoon out the center of each pear half.  Place each pear halves core side up on a plate.  Spoon ½-1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice over pear halves.  Spoon a generous dollop of sour cream into center of each pear half.  Top sour cream with 1 heaping teaspoon of fig preserves.  Lightly drizzle honey over pear halves.

A perfect union of flavors for a fresh fall salad option, and a gathering of ideas for fall kitchen style, spice and seasoning.

kitchen style

pears || cake~bundt pan ||  cookbook ||  fig preserves ||  cake plate || dessert plates  || marmalade crock ||  autumn wreath || sugar bowl  ||  lazy susan   ||  hand soap  ||  pumpkin spice candle

enjoy

 

A Most Fetching Friday: Pantry Envy

This week’s A Most Fetching Friday features kitchen or kitchen adjacent pantries of brilliant design, functionality and visual appeal worthy of pantry envy.

fetching-define

pantry-architect-Jim-Joseph-AD

Architectural Digest

pantry-Hayburn & Co

Hayburn & Co.

Steven Gambrel

pantry-country-living1

Country Living

pantry-copper-sink

John Lewis of Hungerford

Pantry Envy Accessories ~

peanut-jar

pantry envy

pantry-walk-in-pantry-glass-door-built-in-pantry-shelves

DecorPad

pantry-The-Stone-Mansion1

Rafterhouse

Love your style!

Junior League of High Point, North Carolina 2015 Designer Showhouse Kitchen

As I perused the Places In The Home Facebook page this week an image posted by Traditional Home magazine immediately caught my eye.  The Junior League of High Point, North Carolina 2015 Designer Showhouse kitchen designed by Charlotte, North Carolina Interior Designer Lisa Mende of Lisa Mende Design is visually captivating.

Junior League of High Point, North Carolina 2015 Designer Showhouse KitchenLisa Mende Design – Junior League of High Point, North Carolina, 2015 Designer Showhouse

Older homes have a history, a story to tell. Lisa Mende tapped into the home’s history as inspiration for her thoroughly modern interior design concept and execution. Distinctive details reminiscent of the emerging Art Deco times of the 19oos when the house was built, world events of the early 20th century and the sinking of the Titanic all played a large role in the kitchen design inspiration and influence.  Inspiration truly is everywhere!  Click on the link below the images to read the full story and view the gallery of images from the showhouse.

Lisa_Mende_Design_Showhouse_kitchen_1Lisa Mende Design – Junior League of High Point, North Carolina, 2015 Designer Showhouse

You never know when or where inspiration will strike or what home decor item will excite the eye.  Below is the swoonworthy beauty that did just that.

Pimilico-double-swing-arm-lamp

The Pimlico Double Swing Arm Plug In  has found a place on my gotta have it list.

kitchen-lighting-1

Being the fan of art as a kitchen decor choice that I am, the above image speaks modern elegance to me.

Now comes the disclosure portion of this post.

Disclosure: As it in life and disclosure policy compliance with FTC rules, honesty is the best policy. This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one of the product links and make a purchase from the retailer, I receive a commission from the sale. To read the entire policy in full (fun, fun) please read my disclosure page.

abstract-framed-art

Abstract by Mayberry

The framed art piece and the swing arm lamp combination works, and works beautifully.

Wall-Lamp-Iron-Art-Swing-Arm-Light-Black-Golden-Vintage-Loft-Wall-Sconce-For-Aisle-Bar

I love keeping an eye out for designs, decorating applications and home decor that raises the bar, races the heart and inspires.

Love your style!

Do Drop In: Entertaining With Ease

The welcome mat at Places In The Home is working overtime. Several of our family members are taking to the spring holiday road, and our house is do drop in central.  Good visits begin with good hosting and good hosting begins with a stress free host or hostess.  Entertaining is supposed to be a fun for guests and hosts alike, isn’t it?  I know I have a much better entertaining experience if I access and assign a theme, go with the entertaining with ease flow and keep the focus on comfortable surroundings, inviting touches and relaxing times.

Texas_bluebonnet_plant_lupinus_texensis_with_dark_blue_flowers_with_white_topTexas Bluebonnet

Texas times and family memories will be a hot topic of conversation.  Our company’s travels begin in Texas Bluebonnet country, and with Texas being the common denominator of our family tree, I played it up in theme and setting. Farmhouse chic makes an effortless foundation to build your theme upon.

carnations2

A simple arrangement of carnations mixed with greenery and placed beside an even simpler arrangement of apples and bananas in a milk glass center bowl provides a nice centerpiece in a farmhouse chic kind of way.

apples1

Fresh flowers from the floral department of the local grocery store are my weakness, and when the word clearance enters into the picture my shopping cart runneth over.  You really get your money’s worth with carnations. Carnations can last for weeks with an every other day water change and a quick stem trim.  I use tepid water, scale back leaves from the stems to prevent contact with the water, and place a couple of drops of food coloring in the water.

pink-carnations

From recipes to table setting decor, I like to source from within meaning I like to use what I have on hand.  A great home decor clearance sale and dollar store items purchased in bulk can provide all the entertaining with ease elements needed for a well designed themed tablescape.

entertaining-with-ease

kitsch
art, objects, or design considered to be in poor taste because of excessive garishness or sentimentality, but sometimes appreciated in an ironic or knowing way.

rooster-dish-towel

Into each case of design and decorating a little if kitchen kitsch is wrong, I don’t want to be right will fall.  The method to my madness lies deeply rooted in the from which I came from principle. I picked up several sets of rooster dish towels at the local dollar store back during the holidays knowing full well they would come in handy. Paired with copper napkin rings I found on clearance at Dillard’s a couple of years ago, the dish towels made great dinner napkins.

copper-napkin-rings

The Places In The Home gang comes from a long line of hen on nest dish collectors.  The women of our family felt no respectable kitchen and/or breakfast room decor complete without the addition of at least one hen on nest dish.

hen-on-nest-dish

Rubylane

On the menu front I aim to please.  Round our dinner table, quality rules over quantity which lines up perfectly with easy menu planning.  As long as the iced tea is sweet and I keep the serving sizes in just a bite territory it is all good and tasty. The culinary rule of KISS (keep it salad simple) always applies.

sideboard-partners

I set up a salad buffet for first course serve yourself ease.  Individual Mason jar salads layered with shredded iceberg lettuce, fresh tomato, chopped ham, green onion, Feta cheese crumbles, homemade buttermilk dressing and a dash of kosher salt and fine black pepper were a hit with the just a bite crowd.

salad

Biscuit BLTs with Peach Mayonnaise bring back memories of summers spent in Texas at my great-grandmother’s house.  Traditions tastes so good!

biscuit-bacon-lettuce-tomato-sandwich1

Entertaining goes hand in hand with spring and summer, and entertaining with ease goes hand in hand with y’all come back now, ya hear!

Love your style!

 

Holiday Drama: Home Decor Statement Pieces

Dramatic statement pieces aren’t expressly exclusive to holiday fashions. Decoristas never need an excuse to home decor accent and accessorize, nor do they shy from reminding Santa it’s perfectly fine to add home decor statement pieces to his list.  At this most festive and stylish time of year, home is the star of the meeting, greeting and eating holiday show. There’s no time like the present to add a few home decor statement pieces to your holiday wishlist.  I connected the dots to this Christmas wishlist conclusion as I sketched out a potential design alternative for a client.

kitchen-sketch1

The homeowner wants several items that will stretch the budget tighter than tight, and realizing that fact commented, “I guess I could always ask for it as a Christmas present.”  Christmas bells went off and the Elves got busy dropping hints.  The piece in the image below stresses my tried and true belief that to complete a statement space you must include a statement piece in black.  The slender depth of the Pulaski Tara Hall Chest is a perfect fit for a breakfast area.  Accent chests offer superb storage and style options for dining rooms as well as kitchens and breakfast areas.

kitchen-Pulaski+Tara+Credenza

Rustic lodge meets gotta have it list style with the Avery natural gray kitchen island.  Kitchens are on holiday parade this time of year.  I love to “decorate” my kitchen for the holidays.

holiday-kitchen-island

The polar opposite of boring-done to death-everybody else is doing it, mixing periods and styles is being embraced more and more as the new kid on the block in design style.

white-chandy

The proof of the point hangs with this experimental pairing of an old-world charm of this Parisian white chandelier framed with two sleek and modern Hicks pendants in bronze and black.   

HC-4BJA_mz

We’re considering hanging this lighting trio over the island area.

kitchen-breakfast-area

dining-room-tables-for-entertaining-12Architectural Digest

baxton-studio-trumbull-modern-setteeBaxton Studio Trumbull Modern Settee

Ebanista-adesso-chair

Adesso High Back Chair by Ebanista

Home Decor Statement PiecesArgentario Panels by Uttermost

Dear Santa:

 Love your style!

Kitchen Cabinet Color Combinations

Summer is not only the season of outdoor living.  Warm weather and longer days come together to frame many a home improvement narrative. We here at Places In The Home are prime examples of this. If it’s summer, and it’s the weekend, and the normal home maintenance honey do’s have been met and mastered, Dave the Builder is looking for project to start. This picture is from one such project, one I must admit I am glad Dave the Builder convinced me to approve. Dave convinced me that the refrigerator from our other house would be a better fit in our present home.  I took this picture before the panels were painted.  By no means is this my idea of striking kitchen cabinet color combinations.

kitchen-remodel

An email from This Old House appeared in my inbox last week with a subject line of targeted interest.  Kitchen design and decor makes the top five on my design and decor list, so you can only imagine how quick I opened the email when I read the subject line tag “Cabinet Color Combos That Really Cook.”  Some of the kitchen cabinet color combinations I liked, one I really loved (see below) and a few just didn’t do it for me.  Different paint strokes for different folks!

kitchen with gray painted kitchen cabinets and green blue painted kitchen island, marble countertop and backsplash

In my post I Spy Summer: Summer Trends, I sourced a pair of outdoor throw pillows in the classic color combination black and beige.  The color combination has stayed on my mind.  Good interior design and decorating features will do that.  Experimental color pairings come and go in the world of interiors and exteriors, but classic color combinations trump trend and time.

green-kitchens

TV exec Alix Jaffe’s California kitchen

Most of us realize the white kitchen is not fading in trend or popularity. As gorgeous as a white kitchen is when it is done right, painted cabinet doors and drawer fronts in show your true colors color can be the stars of the kitchen design show.

Rue Magazine

Paint grade cabinet door and drawer front materials put durability and affordability at the top of the let’s give this experimenting with kitchen cabinet color combinations thing a try list.

cabinet-doors-drawer-fronts

Coming back to the classic color combinations conversation-

I could not resist the temptation to phone a client asking if I could make an amended presentation for her decorative consideration.  Of course the answer was an enthusiastic yes.  We design and decorating minded never tire or bore of new ideas.

cabinet-knobs-hardware

Odd numbers even the look.

lanternsPottery Barn

Finding myself deep into kitchen cabinet color combinations territory, I thought it prudent to discover and share a selection of kitchen cabinet color choices.

green kitchen cabinets

Mendelson Group

Lisa Mende Design  ~ Junior League of High Point, North Carolina, 2015 Designer Showhouse

Cabinet color choices usually complement the overall palette choice, or at the very least the decor style.

kitchen cabinet color combinations

Take the statement a step further with decorative cabinet and drawer hardware.

This instant update option brings the look together.  Cabinet hardware is the jewelry of cabinetry.

cabinet-knobs-pulls

The end result from testing and trying color and/or color combinations on kitchen cabinets and drawer fronts may color you impressed and inspired to make a kitchen redo your summer project.

gray-kitchen-cabinet-colorBetter Homes & Gardens

In the life and the hands of the project minded,  the lazy days of summer are highly overrated.

Love your style!

A Decorative Accents Obsession

I’m usually not one to hitch my wagon to the word of the hour.  Thank the 15 minutes of fame gods trending catch words (i.e. cray, cray or any other word(s) that has no business being uttered out of the mouth of anyone over the age of fifteen, imo) prove to have a short shelf life, but there are exceptions.  Finding myself in the middle of a decorative accents obsession has me staring an exception right in the face.  Warning! Trending Word Zone Ahead.

Susan-Ferrier-kitchen-design

I am crushing on the pitcher featured in the kitchen of Atlanta designer Susan Ferrier as featured in Veranda .  Unabashedly crushing on, loving it and totally obsessed with the pitcher from Formations.  Inspired and obsessed, the pitcher pursuit is in full swing.  Imitation, flattery and all the other gotta have it stuff feeds a decorative accents obsession.  The where’s it going question will be answered as soon as the cast of characters take the stage.  In other words…

I Know It When I See It-1

Yeah, you do!  How’s this for a creative process mantra?

An email delivered with inspiration in mind is always worthy of opening. Architectural salvage, authentic or in the likeness of, gets my attention. Decor Steals offered this distressed Fluted Corinthian Base Stand and I took them up on it as fast as I could add it to the cart.  The  6″ Square x 7” High dimensions give me the room to work/play with, and the vintage finish fits well with the intended look.  The “should I buy it?” litmus test is passed when Dave the Builder and I confer and realize we could not build it, find it or thrift it for a better price.  Sold!

decorative accents obsession

I’ve always had a fascination with pitchers.  The Villeroy &  Boch water pitcher I purchased at an antiques auction for $6.00 in all its chipped, cracked and vintage imperfection is packed in storage, as is the 100+ year old pitcher my maternal grandmother gifted to me.  As great as these pitchers are, I’m really wanting to go with an all white or dirty cream color and no or very little pattern.  I want  the presentation to be focal point and not the pattern.  Less can be so much more, especially when it comes to pairing.

hydrangea-plant

Hopefully by the time I find the perfect pitcher for the pairing a bouquet of blooming hydrangeas will add the finishing touch, and a sought after, obsession driven decorative accent will be filled and fulfilled.

***Update***

pitcher (1)

Found it!

Love your style!

Kitchen Window Treatment Options

Staring out the kitchen window in the morning is one of my more practiced rituals.  I’ve stared out this same kitchen window at one time or another for practically my entire life.  Well, the same view at least.  When Dave the Builder and I tackled the kitchen renovation we replaced the 40+ year old existing single pane windows with ThermaStar by Pella®  replacement windows.  The next move was to consider kitchen window treatment options.

pella windows

A  window treatment does not always consist of fabric, sheers, shutters, slats or shades.  Yes, you read that right.  A window treatment placing the focal spotlight on the window(s) above the kitchen sink can be the window and frame itself.

arched windowsBetter Homes and Gardens

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the statement, “we paid a fortune for these windows and I just hate to cover them up.”  If privacy is not an issue, resist traditional temptation to cover them up and let the sunshine in!  

rustic kitchen

Houzz

Dave the Builder and I have had many fights conversations about this exact topic of design.  Design, fit, form and function always factor in ahead of decorative consideration.   Take a look at exhibit A in the image below (one taken before the repaint project and one after).  In the windows of the world of existing construction, a decision to work with what you have is not out of the norm.  No way was I on board for enlarging the width or height for a new window unit.  Too much sugar for a decorative dime!  We removed six(6) small side shelves from the existing wall cabinets on either side of the window.  Dave suggested we install new panels matching the cabinet doors to cover up demo blemishes and follow through with the look.  He also suggested the window was in need of a window treatment.  I suggested he needed to rethink his suggestion.  A decorative compromise was reached and up went the blind.

Fast forward to the ugly leftover shown above.  Dave redeemed himself  with his suggestion to use the corbels I had ordered for another install as decorative framing.

window trim

Kitchen window treatment options o’plenty to consider that cover the pane area without covering decorative frames range from inside mount shades and blinds,

Better Homes and Gardens

a window within a window treatment such as hanging a framed piece of leaded or stained glass within the window, or

Better Homes and Gardens

  side mounted shutters that open and close.
kitchen window treatment options
Options, like the architecturally outstanding windows available to homeowners, are a beautiful thing.