My name is Cynthia and I love interior design, architecture, antiques, all things vintage, all things British (a tried and true Anglophile), a love of things that are time worn and hold secrets of days gone by. I love animals and try to respect their place in our world. I enjoying talking about the most beautiful places in the world, some exotic, some in our own neck of the woods. I love family and friends, music and movies. And most importantly, I love talking about these things with a daily dose of humor because I love to laugh and we all deserve to. So come on...let's go for a stroll.

AND PLEASE CLICK ON THE ENTRY AND LEAVE ME A COMMENT - I can't talk to you if I don't know you were here, dearest dahling...

I'M A BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR !!


Thursday, March 10, 2011

Gorgeous Kitchens -- They Aren't Just for Cooking Anymore

Photo Courtesy of Brabourne Farm 
Before my sweet husband passed away in January, he had become quite the expert in the kitchen at our home.  I'm not sure if it was because he enjoyed it, which he did, or if it was because I don't enjoy it.  I've tried everything possible to learn to like cooking, but nothing seems to work.  I've tried learning to cook dishes that I enjoy eating, I've tried getting beautiful cookware, which my mother- in-law so kindly provided, I've tried drinking wine while cooking, which only made me want to sit down and watch the latest episode of American Pickers or Mad Men or a favorite film.  I've tried it all, but to no avail.  My husband and I finally decided that the yard would be my terrain and the kitchen would be his, not that he didn't love working outside.  He very much enjoyed it, but in the last several years, it became increasingly difficult with his health situation.  Once we came to this agreement, I realized that it was ok to feel the way I do about a kitchen, which is that a kitchen is a beautiful place to express one's self...just not necessarily while standing in front of the stove.  I recently completed what has been a 3 year process of updating our kitchen.  It stretched on for so long because I was waiting for my sweet man to paint it.  Otherwise, it would have been completed much earlier, but again, as time went by, he felt less and less like doing home improvement because of his health.  My dream of an aqua and white kitchen came to fruition just before Christmas and I now only have my kitchen table left to improve upon.  The walls are Benjamin Moore's Jamaican Aqua, the appliances are stainless steel, the countertops are a dustry gray and white granite and several years ago, Tony installed beaded board, double crown molding and a nice, thick handsome chair rail.  Recently, I purchased from my favorite antique shop, the French Nest (in College Park, FL), the most fabulous chippy, shabby step back chest in all of its originally chipped paint glory...you know, the kind of chippy finish that can only come from 100 years of use and not the kind we make ourselves?  I love using dressers and chests in kitchens and baths and using sideboard and buffets in bedrooms...just makes for a fun change.  I also re-covered the cornice boards in white linen, and trimmed them out in burlap fleur-de-li appliques and burlap trim.  I also re-covered the kitchen chairs in an alternate aqua and white gingham check with a contrasting French script fabric - two chairs in each.  I replaced all my accessories in my favorite rusty crusty old and dusty yard sale and junk sale finds and it's all come together nicely.  I have a new chandelier from Ballards Designs featuring a white coral motif and all that is left is to paint the round kitchen table a distressed white and I'm just about done.  Of course, I say that, but just like all other "house" junkies, no room is ever finished.  So if you wonder where I am going with this, it is simply to say that I am confident in my opinion that it is equally important to have a beautiful kitchen as it is to have a functioning one, as I have enjoyed designing it, and still don't enjoy cooking in it.  And so I shall end this little diatribe with a collection of kitchens that I find enchanting.  I'm sure someone had a great time making them beautiful.  The icing on the cake would be having a fabulous husband like my sweet Tony to do the cooking.  Enjoy.

The blue on the left is my own kitchen color "Jamaican Aqua" from Benjamin Moore

This is my new kitchen chandelier I recently purchased from Ballard Designs

Small, yet so elegant (Photo from Brabourne Farm)

I am in love with this island (photo from Brabourne Farm)
Don't you just love the mirror over the stove in this kitchen? and the arched alcove? and of course the chandelier?  Wish we could see more of it (photo credit unknown)
I know I keep saying this but yet, another favorite.  I am crazy for the window so close to the sink, the assorted utensils and pots and pans hanging randomly along the wall (photo courtesy of Seattle Times)

And I am even more in love with this island and the oversized candesticks also
(Photo Courtesy of Veranda)


What a wonderful glass ceiling...and a fireplace in the corner
(Photo courtesy of Brabourne Farm)

This must go down in history as one of my all time favorite kitchens.  The old wall details, trophy cups above the cabinets, the chandelier, beautiful natural light...I love it all
(Photo courtesy of Brabourne Farm)

This kitchen from Garrison Hullinger is another personal favorite - the French stove, robin's egg blue cabinets, the farmhouse sink, the windows and of course the chandelier, make this a standout.  Also fond of the paneled pantry door
More from Garrison Hullinger

And More...

Photo Courtesy of French Essence

French kitchen perfection (photo credit unknown)

More French kitchen fabulous - what a stove and hood! (photo credit unknown)

Another French kitchen - but of course - lovely cabinetry and shelving above the sink (photo credit unknown)

Aren't these colors so wonderful against the white? Beautifully done retro style (photo credit unknown)

Although this kitchen comes from a movie set, the entire English country house from "The Holiday" remains one of my all time favorite homes - so magical

Just goes to show that a kitchen doesn't have to be large or full of fancy to be beautiful - the red and white paired with the robin's egg blue makes me say "ahhh" (photo credit unknown)

I'm sure you are feeling my love of aqua based on my photo selection (smile) (photo credit unknown)


My favorite feature in this kitchen is the antique photograph placed over the stove - something you don't see often (photo courtesy of The Decorista)

I really like the paneled ceilings and the chairs - such beautiful contrasting materials (photo credit unknown)

Another favorite - I'm a sucker for a room with beams and I love the two islands featuring different shapes
(photo credit unknown)

This may actually be a butler's pantry or a cutting room, but either way, it's great - love the light fixture and muted tones
(Photo courtesy of Elle Decor)

Lovely black and white floor and black cabinets - beautiful natural light coming through the windows (photo credit unknown)

What an elegant kitchen!Love the industrial feel, the flower head vase!  Love the gold paired with the black and lavender
(Photo courtesy of The Decorista)

Not sure if this is a kitchen or dining room but who cares? It's so beautiful that I had to include it.  I have always loved grey and am really enjoying all of the various shades that are being paired with creme, white and other muted shades.   And can you say "chandelier"? Yowsa!
(photo credit from Greige Design)


Have a great weekend and try not to cook!








5 comments:

Denise said...

I love your collection of kitchen photos - so pretty!!!

Your kitchen sounds pretty - I can't wait to see your aqua. You should do a post on it!

Cynthia Banks said...

Thanks Denise. I plan to do a post on my house very soon. I just have some stuff to do first!

Anonymous said...

Hello Cynthia, I'm the last type of man who would be interested in such a post as yours .. on the outside. :) While searching to capture the essence of the American Dream on a 4th of July weekend, your site has ascended my searches and captivated the soul of all humanity within my being. With its elegance and style, charisma, charm and warmth of a fresh summer midday near the ocean, breaking me free of the ugliness of modern day reality and placed me here, upon this tranquil setting like a feather nestled on a glassy blue lake within silent misty mornings ... I simply wish to say thank you with my best wishes

Paul

Cynthia Banks said...

Paul, my cup runneth over...never has someone left to me such a moving and touching message on my blog. I cannot tell you what it means to me..I am so thrilled that you were able to experience such wonderful emotions from my blog. I cannot thank you enough. Cindy

College Essays said...

Wonderful kitchen you have decorated... Like it.

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