Okay so I’m thinking to buy a pure white SMEG refrigerator. I even started a smeg pinboard because it helps me to see all of my choices in one place (do you do that too?). Did you know that I once had a vintage 1950s super pale pink refrigerator when I was single living in Boston but left it behind in a rental apartment because I couldn’t find anyone to help me carry it out? Of course you didn’t, I never told you that story.
Okay so once upon a time I was like 23 years old and completely broke living from paycheck to paycheck, so I never could afford movers back then so when I moved, I bribed my friends in exchange for pizza and beer. But I always felt sad that I left pinky, my retro pink fridge, behind. Yeah, I named it. After a Pac-man character. I totally know that is strange but I was 20 when I first got it, so what do you expect? Well wait. I still name objects (even my husband’s white BMW, I named it stormtrooper). Back to the point of this post… I will never forget when my friend offered me the pink fridge that her husband had and cherished. He loved design and old stuff. And he happened to look just like Hugh Grant (Notting Hill version not current version) and I had this total crush on him because he was cute and loved design and lived in such a great house that he helped decorate. He was so cool.
Looking back, sheesh, can you believe I had a crush on a married guy? Have you ever had a crush on a married guy, but even more sinful, your friend’s husband? That’s pretty dark, right? I guess I can justify this because I was under 21 and you aren’t the brightest bulb in the lamp when you’re super hormonal and single and young.
I first saw that pale pink beauty in their home when I was 17 and fell in LOVE. I envied it for years. One day, when I was about 20, they offered it to me for free. I nearly died. I guess it’s because I nearly made out with it when I saw it in their kitchen (think Mary Katherine from Superstar – video clip here for a good laugh) so they figured I should be the new proud owner. That was a really good 3 years. I decorated my entire kitchen around that thing – I hung oversized floral wallpaper that was very Tricia Guild on the walls and painted the horrible brown wooden rental apartment cabinets in glossy white and, combined with my gorgeous pale pink fridge, I had a pretty rockin’ kitchen for a single girl with no bank account. And then, 3 years later, it was gone and now I want a unique little refrigerator again and smeg would fill the gap I’ve had in my heart ever since. :) Especially a white one like this bad boy below…
I know most of my friends back home have these massive double door fridges with computerized this and built-in water systems and televisions that – lots of bells and whistles, some do the laundry and vacuum your home (kidding), but I’m living in Europe remember and people just don’t do ‘big’ here like we Americans do ‘big’. So I think a Smeg fridge may be a good buy for my city apartment. It’s single door and normal-sized, and will hold what I need it to hold for a family of two. Plus, Smegs are trendy and usually I don’t care about what is trendy or not, unless I love the trend, and in this case I do so that’s fine.
Plus, how often do appliances trend? I think the smeg stove is popular, and the kitchenaid mixers are pretty trendy, but not much else in the appliance world really trends. (Too bad, appliance manufacturers need to smarten up because they could make a killing if they partnered with top bloggers to promote their goods, Igor are you listening – let’s change this!!!). I see smeg stuff in some of the best homes over here in Europe. I have this Smeg stove that I bought in England so I think he needs a lover and the lover will be called Smeg. Kinda like saying Meg with a lisp.
I wanted a Smeg when we first moved over in 2009 but couldn’t imagine spending the money on one, they’re not cheap, and the one we had worked perfectly fine. BUT. But now that our current refrigerator isn’t doing the job (joy! happy! time to justify this to the husband!), I’m ready to splurge and get something good and cute. This post is filled with some good pics from my inspiration file found via Pinterest showing smeg in a variety of kitchens from country to industrial, modern and retro… It’s pretty versatile for the most part.
Okay so enough chatter from me. I’m going to shut up and let you talk. What do you think? Do you have a Smeg refrigerator? Do you like it? I’d love some opinions on this! It’s not like I can buy one and return it. So any helpful advice would be great! Sometimes I wonder if aesthetics are soooo important, because when I see this fridge I imagine it would be so much better than a Smeg quality-wise with bells and whistles BUT it doesn’t have that retro charm… Hmmm…
Ah, there is nothing like a custom kitchen. Whether you do it yourself, try a budget-friendly option like IKEA, or go all out and design a kitchen having it completely customized to suit your needs, there is truly nothing like having the kitchen of your dreams. I don’t care what “they” say, money can buy a measure of happiness. HA! :)
Thing is, so few of us have our dream kitchen. I don’t mean to be a Debbie Downer here, but it’s true right? I look at most kitchens that I see and love and think, “Seriously?”, because there is just no way people really live like that. I don’t have my dream kitchen mainly because I rent and there are limits to what I can do. When I designed my kitchen using the online IKEA planner (smile) and some of my own to-scale sketches, I kept thinking of how I would have gone all out if I actually owned this flat. I’m happy with my kitchen but it’s not my dream. It’s definitely not epic! I can’t install the subway tile that I really want nor can I install hardwood floors, the killer lighting or knock a hole in the wall to create a larger space. I am dying to add a transom window over my doorway to let in more light.For my upcoming book, we photographed a home in the south of England and this homeowner had the best kitchen ever – when I was styling it I was secretly pretending it was my kitchen. I lived the dream for the day on that shoot because not only was the kitchen to-die-for but the entire home was drool inducing. You’ll see it in my book that releases this Fall. It was completely custom and so clever and very English.
Kitchens are my latest obsession, I think about them constantly! I think it’s because there are so many options these days when it comes to the overall design of them. There are oodles of great kitchen designers and companies who make dreams come true everyday. Though I cannot trick out my kitchen anytime soon, I still borrow from some of their ideas and often find inspiration for my big fat dream kitchen that I tuck away in a folder for when the time comes when I can design my own from the ground up. Consider Plain English Cupboardmakers for instance. They have a gorgeous and very English approach to kitchen design that I absolutely love. When they contacted me about sharing their kitchens on decor8 this morning I thought about how timely it was because just yesterday I was thinking about my own kitchen and what I could do to make it better.
By the way, have you noticed that some of the best kitchens come out of Scandinavia, America, Germany and England at the moment? But the same goes for cookery books. That’s my opinion, but when I see kitchen design in these countries and go to fairs I’m always blown away. The kitchen fairs in Germany have some killer kitchens on display, for real. But then again, Germany is developing into a total foodie culture so I’m not surprised that their kitchen appliance obsession has morphed into world class kitchen design. I often wonder if the restaurants and cafes here in all major cities (not just Berlin and Hamburg for instance) will evolve as well because I’ve been visiting regularly since 1999 and have witnessed huge changes in the culture of food as a whole… But I’m rambling. Back to kitchens.
What kind of kitchen do you dream of when you think of the ideal workspace to whip up your meals? Would it be eat-in? Open plan? A cook’s kitchen? How do you imagine it? I think Amy Neunsinger’s kitchen in LA, which was in my first book, is one of my ultimate dream kitchens – you can see photos of it below.
Isn’t it AMAZING? When I found out that actress and GOOP-founder Gwyneth Paltrow shot a few of her cookbooks in Amy’s kitchen I wasn’t surprised because that was truly a gorgeous space.
SO…Do you currently have a dream kitchen? Is it a tear from a magazine, a page flagged in a book, an entire folder of kitchens on Pinterest? Here is my kitchen folder where I currently have 90 pins of favorite kitchens from around the world. So, tell me friends – what sums up your dream kitchen in a nutshell?
All of this kitchen talk has motivated me to go make some lunch! See you later friends! xo
(images: plain english cupboardmakers and all amy neunsinger photos from her own portfolio)
I talked about a mood board that I loved made by Dutch design duo Ina & Matt last year but was reminded of them and their work today from the lovely Ink+Wit blog. Ina & Matt are such a creative team, they create beautiful things that cover such a broad range from architecture to ad campaigns — I love some of their barn renovations, especially the kitchen spaces because all I think about lately is the kitchen since I’m currently working on mine. We won’t have a sink or cabinetry until November 10th! Thank goodness we will be in Morocco for 10 days and in Turkey for a week between now and then… These kitchens below are so enticing to me, now more than ever before…
The simplicity and warm, yet minimalistic approach above is soooo captivating, but equally stunning are the colorful arrangements of things below, don’t you think?
And this is when you combine color with a natural palette…
Dots of inspiration… This photo makes me happy, I want to sit on the floor and move these bits around to spell something or create my initials. :) We adults can be so boring, what every happened to playing on the floor anyway? This past week I sat on the floors so often cutting out fabric and measuring things on my mat – and it felt good to “play” like that.
This French kitchen below is great. One thing I want from Morocco is to eat something that was cooked in a tagine (I’ve never had food prepared like this before) and then, secondly, if I liked it — t buy a gorgeous creamy white or shiny black one for my home and cook foods using it in the future. This French kitchen has one sitting on the counter, do you see it? Have you ever eaten foods prepared in a tagine? I hope to learn a lot about Morocco when I am there soon… There is so much Moroccan influence in fashion and interiors, but to experience it all within its natural setting shall be quite an honor for me.
I loved looking at this flower photo above and then looking down to the office photo below… It is a lovely arrangement of things – first from nature, second from made made objects.
If I lived here I would definitely skate around to do my household tasks and to simply go from room to room during the day. Weeeee! I’d be bear hugging those beams a lot though, I love to skate but I fall quite a lot but with beams like that to grab onto I think could manage.
Back to my kitchen, so far I have a big Smeg cooker (90 cm wide — big for EU standards — I love it) but still no cabinetry or counters, not even a sink, so my home life is a bit chaotic now to say the least but in a weird way, it’s sort of fun to be floating around in my expectation bubble — it’s fun to be in anticipation, to be expecting, waiting — and so I’m waiting and having fun along the way because once it’s done, it’s done and so I’m trying to enjoy the process… But still, I do miss a kitchen sink (so much!).
(images: ina & matt)
Attia, or natural beauty, is an Australian homewares company that carries many beautiful pieces that are chic and inspired by nature. The company was founded by former stylist turned designer Rachel Brown who proves through her collection that “warm” minimalism does indeed exist popular to contrary belief that minimalistic design is usually sterile and cold. With organic shapes, natural wood and a variety of texture it’s easy to warm up a spare environment.
About her company Rachel says, “We value products that are energized by the makers touch, things with soul and love the patina that time and use leave behind.”
With a focus on muted tones, wood and natural finishes (for instance products have a matte finish versus gloss), this calm collection is the perfect marriage of form and function. So lovely!
(photos: amanda mclauchlan)
Weeee! I have to tell you the good news. We get the shiny new keys to our place on Tuesday and our names are already on the doorbell. And the moving company brought over all of our boxes this morning. It feels so real suddenly – we move in 3 weeks!
I wonder what it will look like now that the bathrooms and kitchen are renovated? We have white tiles on the wall and a white tile floor and the bathrooms are both totally white but hey, I think it’s a great base to work from and gives us loads of options for the space, so I won’t complain. It’s a brilliant rental until we buy, so most likely our last rental, and I plan to enjoy it quite a lot. My husband is already talking about potentially buying it someday, he loves it and we’ve not even moved yet. It’s nice to see him so excited and cute about it, that is how you want a move to be — full of excitement and new possibilities…
If the light is good on Tuesday I’ll snap some photos and show you the space if you’d like to see it totally empty. I don’t want to bore you with this stuff…. but if you really care to see it then just let me know. Say the word and I’m ON IT.
With moving on the brain, I thought we’d continue talking about kitchens. I’ve collected some more inspiration… This time from Sköna Hem magazine, a Swedish decorating magazine that I love and have been enjoying for several years now. Perhaps these beautiful Sköna Hem kitchens will spark some of your own ideas. I loved reading through your comments on my last kitchen post — it was so encouraging and you have some great tips.
(images: Sköna Hem magazine)