Ina Garten is one of my favorite women in the world. In 1978, this East Coast native and then White House Nuclear Policy Analyst took a drive up to West Hampton Beach New York with her husband and purchased a 400 square foot specialty store without any formal education in either retail store ownership or cooking. By 1985 she had relocated the store to East Hampton and had developed "The Barefoot Contessa" as you and I know it.
Her beautifully photographed cookbooks are filled with easy to follow fool-proof recipes that make entertaining friends and family uncomplicated and enjoyable for everyone. Her entertaining philosophy: " The simplest meals are the best". So it's no surprise that when it came to the design of her new East Hampton barn kitchen, simplicity and comfort would be the main ingredients.
Ina's own kitchen first debuted in the November 2008 issue of House Beautiful Magazine. We get another great look at the now famous kitchen in October's issue as House Beautiful reconstructed it right in the middle of Rockefeller Center and awarded it The 2009 Kitchen of the Year. With the help of designer Robert Stilin, Ina created the "perfect" kitchen that combines both function and beauty. In following with her recipes, she starts with the basics, kept it simple and added a dash of "just enough" to make it fabulous.
Whether you are about to embark on your own kitchen renovation or just looking to refresh the space there are some great ideas (50 in fact) that will work in any space. Here are five of my favorites that will not only work great in a kitchen, but ring true in any space of your house:
- Balancing elements both old and new will give your space a fresh modern, but real look.
- Choose colors that make you happy with fabrics and textures that make you feel comfortable.
- Don't worry about having the latest, shiniest gadget. Invest in high quality, multifunctional tools and only keep items that you use often.
- We all have rooms that serve multiple functions, using smart design to keep things organized and clutter free, even in the smallet of spaces will yeild a fantastic room.
- Don't forget comfortable seating; you and your guests should want to sit down and never leave.
(photos courtesy of House Beautiful Magazine.com)