Saturday, September 19, 2009

I'd Like To Make A Toast: To Dreamy Ingredients!

Our dear friend, Chef Dino Castri, makes our epicurean world 1 million times more incredible. He is from Salento, on the heel of Italy. He has worked in some of the finest kitchens in New York City restaurants, and has owned his own in East Village, which was lauded for both his food and the wine selection. He brings such quality of living to our lives, beautiful conversation, and endless flavors of the freshest, most incredible foods I've ever had. I long for the day that my mother, whom is a remarkable cook herself, can sit down at a meal with and made by Dino. My dream dining room is one that has elements in these environments below, but most of all, meals like those made by Dino Castri, though none shall ever compare.

This is as elegant as I would ever get. I'm not big on the "grand, epic" look in a dining room, as I want the food experience to have a loose, conversational flow to it, not stilted and overly strict. This has soft colors and elements in it's opulence. The windowed walls and french doors are everything, opening nature up to a lavish room will always bring things back to earth.

I like this for a nook. This is happy.

I think the open lighting is important for a formal dining area. This is one of the most important rooms to me, because it begins conversation, and must create flow throughout the evening.... flows and transitions should always be seamless, or the seams must be perfectly defined- in life as much as in art, fashion and entertaining.

Oh, Jane Coslick. Your a Goddess.

Dining OUTDOORS. This is absolute heaven, even if on the small side for tables... tables for me need to be big!!

This is more like it...

And this.... Timothy Corrigan is very opulent. This is a treasure of a space.

Love the dark wood against the clay colored walls and fuchshia hued flowers. It's all about the light.

From VT Interiors. Wonderful big print and spacing simplicity.

Two things: light, and a daughter.

Very sweet, very informal and playful. And of course, lots of light!

In opposition to the informal above, this is every bit formal, "old money" tradition as it comes. I love the chairs, and I love the singular quality. I would love to know what is under that glass on the table!

This is Seleta Hayes Howard's (of Simply Seleta) dining room. She has several pictures of this space on her blog post, but I chose this because it is an intimate shot. And if you enlarge, you can see the perfect shell chandelier she chose. I adore the floppy tulip bouquet in the white urn, with hurricanes in beach rocks on either side. She said on her post that she wasn't super happy with her "railroad style" green chair covers, and had a terrific idea that followed, which I'm curious to know how it will turn out. Although I do think this is just lovely, I also think there is nothing better than linen the color of burlap with a medley of mismatched buttons. I see it, Seleta, I see it!

Mmmmm, simple. Perfect.

This is here if only for the blue dot depression glasses and dried, hanging hydrangea, but the wood finish is gorge.

Quite possibly the best of all worlds, for me as far as color, light, use of the eclectic, and wood warmth against white. The only thing I'd change is the hanging light and the stuff on the mantel.

May all your meals with company be dreamy and candlelit.

Monday, September 7, 2009

If Food Be the Music of Love, Dream On!

To me, the kitchen is the very heart of a home: the pulse. It is where people come and go all day long, where health is replenished, where the senses are combined with nourishment. It is a place to create, to imagine, to explore the epicurean landscape. My kitchen must be the flowing middle of all that happens in my home. It must have light, it must be a social magnet, and more than anything, it must be a magnificent place to indulge and prepare the senses for unforgettable food! Ahhhhhh, the kitchen. My favorite room. And these kitchens, all have so much in common, and truly show exactly what I see for myself.

This is very nearly my ultimate kitchen aesthetic and functionality. It has everything, in my eyes. The oven, to begin, is complete with a gorgeous oven hood. The shelving is perfect. There is symmetry in the design, but the placement of pieces has a "gathered" feel though they are equidistant to each other. The colors are clean and light. And the storage underneath the dreamy white table used as an island is a fantastic visual. One of my favorite things is when things like kitchen aids are not stored behind a cabinet door! I especially love the child's chair in the right window. The chandelier is perfect to me. And the french doors give it a feeling of coming and going, of constant flow and activity. Hello, dream kitchen, may I come in?

Several reasons for this being number two. I do really appreciate the warmer tones here. I like the touches of yellow, apricot and peach, as well as the warmth of the floor. The glasses hanging above are always something I've drooled over. I also adore what seems to be the double sided window cabinets! How marvelous! This oven also has a gorgeous hood. I very much like the openness between the social room and the kitchen counter. Again, there is wonderful flow to this space.

There are certain qualities about this kitchen that I adore, but they are mainly aesthetic and not necessarily about the functionality, whereas the two kitchens above, for me, complete both my aesthetic and technical desires in a kitchen. This dreamy kitchen, by Westport designer Beverly Ellsley has created aestheic elements of French Provincial elegance. I love these barstools, and the light blue island. What's not to love? Also the backsplash tile is quite lovely. The chandelier is an ideal piece, and I notice that I have a couple dream kitchens featuring lovely and very similar style chandeliers. Truly, take a tour of this kitchen and many others by Beverly on the Decorati link above!

Other view of kitchen by Ellsley.

Chris Parris at Woodchester Kitchens designed this beauty. This is a lovely space, fully of natural light, with many sweet details that give it a feeling that everything one needs to create a magical meal can indeed happen in here.

Look at that gorgeous, to live for, dining space. I adore the cook books and several canisters throughout the kitchen.

Neutral and pale tones are combined beautifully.

Drool, drool some more.

This kitchen, by Michael Smith, has a very quiet feel to it. It is very serene, but also has a very cool flow. I think I am mainly drawn to the lightness and tone. And the flowers and adorable chair help.

Drooool. Could this floor be any more enchanting??? And the rustic table and chairs, which I'd love to know the history behind them, are just fanciful. This kitchen truly combines an old world style with heavy duty functionality.

What a sweet space this is. So welcoming and obviously child friendly. There is definitely a quaintness I appreciate about the decor. I think more than anything is the aesthetic I am interested in here.

Again, the aesthetic. The chandelier is to live for. The rustic table as an island. The paned cabinet doors... sha la la la la la la la...

What I love about this is the openness of the shelving. Although it seems it might be a bit precarious, it also is extremely coordinated. I absolutely love the amount of dishes and collections!

This is a truly elegant country kitchen. It is mighty in it's size and functionality. One can truly get some serious work done in here, and with such grace!

Light, space, placement.

Again, similar tones I seem to be drawn to. Similar everything....

This is a great example of making the most of space. What a perfect use of this kitchen. Beautiful restoration.

I love the apothecary jars uptop and the small shelves just below that!

Very fun. This kitchen is a place of humor and delight.

I am continually drawn to this space as well. I can really imagine the flowers and herb pots I could bring in to this kitchen. It's huge, and it's a chef's best friend. Drool.

What an absolute chic, social kitchen!

I am seeing a pattern here! Love the linen stool cushions and the chandelier.

Chandelier, once again! And the menus on the shelf feel very at home to me.

Oh, goodness. This is Wonderland to me. This has the complete grandiosity in quaintness, yes, an onomatopoeia of a kitchen. And truly dreamy.

Glass cupboards with white-wash wood backdrop. Love the tile spash in this kitchen.

Again, the tile. The range. The light and flow.

Probably one of my all time wishes for a kitchen, was to have a copper pot collection hanging above my island. I'm sure there is the most precious tufted stool somewhere in this kitchen to get those high-up pots and pans!

Very simple, but very inspiring for food.

Adore the wood paneled ceiling! The french doors are to live for. And the color palette here is remarkable!

Love the tile backsplash!

Dreamy in every way.

What a gorgeous ever so slight color of blue! This kitchen beckons there to be herb pots everywhere!

A sweet coastal kitchen. I want to be baking in here!

Adore the toile cushioned chair and the deep wood countertops!

This kitchen reminds of an updated kitchen I might have grown up in from the 80's. I think it's the layout. I have a thing for those tea tins!

I really just want to be cooking on the range and putting magnificent things in those ovens!

This one is fun, and has a lovely sense of humor inside it. I can definitely see a great deal of joy being had in this space.

Ahhhhh, kitchens. My most sacred room of all.