My kitchen is our hub. We’re either knee deep in it, or passing through. It needs to work hard and look good.

What are the parts that make it so?

1. A good work surface. My center island is a whopping 8’ x 4’ old wood surface, that’s perfect for spreading out and accommodating any project or gathering. On a smaller scale, but just as hardworking, is a primitive dry sink placed between the wet area of the kitchen and the refrigerator. It serves double duty as a landing spot for dishes to be loaded into the dishwasher and as a convenient place to offload groceries into the fridge and pantry.

2. Good light. Bright sunlight pours in during the day. Multiple recessed lights provide optimum task lighting. Reproduction lighting fixtures, a Scofield chandelier and a pair of Authentic Designs’ wall-mounted sconces, add a decorative element as well as beautiful ambient light at night. For ultimate control, all of the fixtures are on dimmers.

3. Varied storage. Organization takes on many forms, from traditional wall mounted cabinets over the sink and in the base of the island, to a freestanding antique red-painted pantry shelf that houses my white dishware and serving pieces. Playing the part of our food pantry, is my very favorite piece in the house, a rustic early nineteenth century French cupboard.

4. Essential tools. Everyday tools and materials need to be handy and within easy reach, but in an organized way. A hearty collection of antique and newer wood boards stand at the ready, vertically stacked by scale. Vintage barn red apple baskets are stuffed with spatulas, wooden spoons, and whisks. My loyal Kitchen Aid mixer is always parked right by the stove. A well-rounded collection of spices is housed in an open wall-mounted antique pine shelf. Storing in uniform glass jars and labeling clearly allows us to see what we need quickly, to use in a pinch! (Sorry. I couldn’t resist.)

My dream kitchen has evolved over time…and still keeps evolving. We’re patient, and do what we can with what we have. It’s a process, and that’s half the fun. Like us, you may not have the luxury of doing everything all at once. Baby steps count. Have faith. You’ll get there!

Happy planning!

Love, Nora



  1. PJ Bronson on March 2, 2016 at 11:56 am

    Functional, yet beautiful! Thank you for sharing.

  2. Catherine Hamer on March 2, 2016 at 1:29 pm

    So…where is your sink and dishwasher? Love a photo of that.

  3. Lori on March 2, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    So warm and yet, stunning. Thank you for showing the other side, I’ve wondered about the full layout of the kitchen. Nora, you never cease to inspire me, thank you.

  4. Linda on March 3, 2016 at 6:03 am

    A stunning, workable kitchen with very few cabinets- who would have thought! Love every every square inch. Would also enjoy a peek at the sink area.

  5. Jane Boyd Broce on March 3, 2016 at 2:36 pm

    Such a great feeling in this kitchen!

  6. Victoria on March 4, 2016 at 4:48 pm

    This is such a well executed space Nora. I appreciate that you stayed true to bones of the house by the elements you chose. Woods countertops and backsplash plus painted wood floors add up to warm and cozy. Love all the furniture pieces instead on built in cabinetry alone also befitting the age of the home. The new paint palette increases the light and airy feel and then all those windows. I can understand the connection you must have felt when you made that initial walk thru of this dear old home. I’m pretty sure there are moments you must pinch yourself to realize how fortunate you are.

  7. Sharon from California on March 10, 2016 at 12:27 pm

    Where is the sink and refrigerator?

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