Kitchen Inspiration

September 15th, 2011 · 86 Comments · Kitchenlightenment

I stumbled upon an inspiring photo in Elle Decor a few years ago when we were in the process of renovating our kitchen. It was just the corner of a room, but unlike a lot of the spaces featured in shelter magazines, it looked like someone lived there. There was childrens’ artwork on the refrigerator (tastefully arranged), some raffia wallpaper covering a small desk area, and a round table surrounded by red Eames chairs. The Eames part of those red chairs was not in the budget, but I stuck that photo to my bulletin board and it got the ball rolling on the designing. Nevermind that I didn’t pay an ounce of attention to the dishwasher door blocking the cabinets (forcing us to put away our glasses in two steps) or the fact that it will be the year 2029 before my children will be able to reach to the ice tray in the freezer or be able to open the 200-pound pull-out pantry door by themselves. I got my red chairs and I love my kitchen to this day.

But I love the kitchens featured in Design*Sponge’s at Home — the book based on the blog that everyone except maybe two people in the world are obsessed with — even more. Grace Bonney, the founder and author, takes the concept of inspiration to a whole new level here with page after page of gorgeous personal spaces along with personal stories that explain how the lucky owners managed to execute their visions. The kitchens, of course, were my favorite. For instance, if I had stumbled upon the photo above a few years ago, there is a 100% chance that I’d be sitting in a yellow kitchen with a painted checkerboard floor right now.

Artisan was nice enough to send along a sneak peak of some of the kitchens featured in Design*Sponge At Home and to celebrate its publication, DALS is giving away a free copy of the book to one lucky commenter below*. Winner will be chosen at random next week, but special consideration goes to anyone who shares a cool family kitchen design idea. Even special-er consideration goes to any commenter who follows DALS on facebook.

I love the red on red here. It’s the 2011 answer to Julia Child’s museum-worthy pegboard. (more…)

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Four Red Chairs (Not.Com)

June 2nd, 2010 · 5 Comments · Uncategorized

For about four seconds in early 2010 I was going to name this website 4redchairs.com. My husband instantly put the kibosh on this (“too precious”) and we moved on to my multiple thousand other less precious and decidedly less good options. (A lowpoint: TheJenerator.com…Get it? Jenny? So bad.) But the truth is, when DALS reader Kristin wrote in last week asking me where I purchased the red chairs that figure so prominently in all my pictures (not to mention provide a crucial, unsung dinnertime role) she might have been the 100th person in 2010 alone to ask me that question.

The short answer is this: DWR.

The long answer is: The DWR outlet in Seacaucus, NJ and as soon as we spotted them we barely had a second to scratch our chins and consider the purchase before other shoppers began elbowing us out of the way to pull them off the shelves. So we grabbed the last four — and I think they might have been the last four in the universe because I check on their website periodically and they never turn up.

If you are in the market for bright, fun chairs (and if you’re not, why aren’t you???) my style-y friend Meryl who I worked with at Cookie suggests hunting around 2modern.com and hivemodern.com. She also pointed me in the direction of this very similar Steelwood Chair that is currently available at Conrans (at $644 a pop)…

…but for those of us with less in the budget, she suggests heading to Ikea and picking up a few Bojnes (for a more palatable $89.99 each) and painting them red.


Or paint them electric blue or bright green or yellow. Or mustardy brown for all I care. Just paint it whatever color it takes to get you and your family to actually sit down and enjoy a meal together.

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