THE KITCHEN REALLY IS THE CASTLE ITSELF. THIS IS WHERE WE SPEND OUR HAPPIEST MOMENTS AND WHERE WE FIND THE JOY OF BEING A FAMILY. Mario Batali.
TO ME, THE KITCHEN IS A PLACE OF ADVENTURE AND ENTIRELY FUN, NOT DRUDGERY. I CAN’T THINK OF ANYTHING BETTER TO DO WITH FAMILY AND FRENDS THAN TO BE TOGETHER TO CREATE SOMETHING. Ted Allen.
Despite living in a relatively small flat, I am really pleased to have a spacious kitchen. It follows on from the dining area and is really roomy, with plenty of storage.
I think the kitchen really is the heart of the home. It is the place from which all nourishment comes – both literal and emotional – and it is always, always, the place where people gather at a party. Perhaps it is because of this heart of the home mentality that I really like red tones in the kitchen: it creates a warm and cosy feeling, which makes me think of an old-fashioned hearth.
Somewhere to Sit
This red theme begins with a lovely old armchair I found in a Second hand shop. When I’m cooking, I like my own space, so this cosy chair in one corner of the kitchen is a perfect spot for people to sit and chat whilst I’m cooking without getting in my way!
Next to the chair is a window which doubles up as a useful bookshelf for all of my cookbooks. I love curling up here with a cup of tea and a new recipe book to peruse.
This retro-style clock hangs above the armchair. I love it because it reminds me of an authentic 1950s American Diner; however, it was a surprising find in Wilkinsons.
Jars and Tins
I’ve collected lots of tins, jars and crockery which tie in with this red theme. This old biscuit tin is an original Marks and Spencers St Michael’s design, which was given to me by a friend to transport some delicious chocolate brownies home one day. I kept forgetting to return it and, when I did finally remember, was told that it looked much better in my kitchen and that I could keep it – an excellent way to acquire beautiful things! Sadly no longer filled with chocolate brownies, I use it as a bread bin.
This spaghetti jar was a brilliant bargain in a Charity shop – I think I picked it up for about £2. It ties in with the red theme that I have in the kitchen and I love the Art Deco design.
These beautiful tins hold a variety of different teas, coffees and biscuits. The round tin on the left was a bargain in a closing-down sale in a home-ware shop years ago; the second from the left is an Emma Bridgwater design; the third tin was from the gift shop area of a garden centre, which I found on holiday (and had an interesting job fitting in my hand luggage on the return journey), and the fourth tin was part of a set which I was given as a moving in gift.
Cups, Mugs, Plates and Bowls
Over the years I have collected a range of pretty bowls, plates, cups, mugs and glasses from different places. I love opening these two cupboards as the higgledy-piggledy mix of colour and patterns is a really cheery sight. Some of the bowls in this cupboard are from Sainsbury’s, some are Cath Kidston, the heart dishes (top left), were from a gorgeous independent cafe-cum-gift-shop Mes Amis; the gorgeous waffle ice-cream cones are by Maxwell and Williams (have a look at their other lovely homeware here; the pastel coloured miso soup bowls were a charity shop find and the blue ramekins were courtesy of Mum. A real mix of colour and history.
The cups, mugs and glasses in this cupboard have a similar history: some of the mugs are from high street shops: Cath Kidston, Sainsbury’s, Tesco and Whittards; some were gifts and quite a few are from a variety of Charity shops, including the blue and white cups and saucers bottom left. The colourful glasses on the top shelf were a Christmas present from Cath Kidston one year and the pink plastic beakers were from Laura Ashley. Most of the tumblers are again from a mixture of supermarkets and Charity shops. Charity shops are an excellent place to pick up cheap and quirky glasses and cups or mugs – you can usually find a range starting from just 50p. Jumble sales are another excellent place to look. In my opinion, you can never have too many cups or mugs.
For proper afternoon tea, I was lucky enough to inherit this gorgeous bone-china Colclough tea set in ‘Amanda’ from my Grandma. I only use it for special occasions, but it is so lovely it makes any occasion special.
I love these original Guinness glasses which were given to me by my Dad. Each one has a different quirky message which was used in one of their advertising campaigns. I don’t like things which are uniform and match too well, so I really like that these glasses have four different designs on them.
These hunting shot glasses, all of which have a different image on them, were another gift from my Dad. I think they used to belong to his Dad. I love the feeling that I am using things which have a history and a story, not just generic, mass-produced items which everyone else will have.