October 2, 2019

A favorite Down to Earth Kitchen

My new book comes out in LESS THAN A WEEK & I’m getting a tad excited over here!!  I’ve been keeping some of these projects under wraps for over three years and it’s crazy to think that they’re finally going to be “out there.”  A couple of my favorite publications have done abbreviated excerpts on chapters of the book and the first chapter of the book is in the October issue of Southern Living Magazine.  I think this might be my favorite cover ever from the magazine (above- photographed by Hector Sanchez) and need  a fall picnic like that in my life!!

Here’s a peek at the spread:

Our clients’ / good friends’ living room in the first chapter of Down to Earth as featured in Southern Living


Since it’s out there, I thought I’d start sharing a few peeks with you leading up to the book launch next week.  First up is the kitchen.

Some of my favorite kitchens in the past haven’t technically had any windows in them but have only been open to other spaces that have windows and this is one of those kitchens.  When I got the blueprints and realized this was one of those kitchens, I was kind of excited because, functionally, I love love love them because they maximize wall space.

I frequent;y get questions when people see photos of these kitchens asking why there isn’t a window above the sink and the answer is generally because it’s on an interior wall (like this kitchen) but I have to say, having lived in both types of kitchens- window above the sink and wall above the sink – I weirdly haven’t liked one or the other.  I guess I’ve never had that “looking-out-the-window-while-I’m-doing-the-dishes” type situation and find myself looking out the window more while I’m moving around the kitchen or at the island but when I’m at the sink I guess I must be mostly looking down.  I do love a good kitchen window though so I guess what I’m saying is I like it both ways and as a designer, I enjoy the variety.

Anyway, I was able to put the range on a focal wall in the kitchen directly opposite the fireplace in the great room- an axis I love to try to get when possible- and put the sink on a secondary focal wall with storage above/ around it.  I love to be able to turn around from the range to the island and have a nice wide spot for chopping/ food prep facing the counter stools.  Another thing I do sometimes- that you can never really see from photos- is put a “secret” counter stool or two in the island for the chef so when he/she wants to rest his/her feet or have a glass of wine and chat with friends while prepping, there’s a spot.  It also adds additional seating needed for larger families.  This kitchen was for a family of five and they wanted to be able to eat casual meals at the island so the “secret stool” is hidden on the right side of the island, next to the prep sink.


A palette of black-white-and-glowy browns


The refrigerator/ freezer is to the left of the range and we did a wire front armoire to the right for things like cereal, dry goods, and servingware on the right.  Drawers for pots and pans flank the range.  The island is mostly drawers with trash/ recycling pull-outs and there is a large pantry around the corner.   I get deeper into this in the book, but the palette for the kitchen really inspired the entire house.

And here’s a look at the cover of the book, showing the fireplace that sits opposite the range.  The beams were reclaimed from an old barn and are some of the most beautiful I’ve seen with barely-there Roman numerals on them.  Our clients purchased the house plans from architect Thomas French and Daniel Valencic was the builder and was instrumental in helping us find all the cool elements we brought into the home.


The book was photographed by Helen Norman & I can’t wait for you to see all of her gorgeous photos! If you’re interested in pre-ordering a copy, click here to order a signed copy or follow links to other booksellers carrying it.   We get our books in tomorrow and I’m signing away and sending them out!!

To attend a book signing event, click here to see the current schedule.  I’m also headed to NYC in November and will be adding that stop soon!  Would love to meet you!!

Join Our Newsletter

Sign up to receive design inspo, exclusive content, shopping guides, and more.