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Thursday, March 7, 2013

My Farmhouse Kitchen

I was feeling a little down today.
 I remembered a wise piece of wisdom my Italian Grandmother once told my father.
"Whenever you are feeling depressed clean out a closet or a room."
So I cleaned my kitchen.
And like any self respecting DIY blogger I took pictures to share with you.

 It took about seven years to get it right but I can now say I love almost everything about it.
Except cleaning it .
It's an open plan with only one wall of cabinets so most everything is exposed.
Hence the need to keep things tidy!          
Because there are so many windows there isn't any space for wall cabinets anyway.
When I researched historic farmhouse kitchens one thing most of them had in common is the lack of cabinets and the use of furniture pieces in the kitchen for storage.
The stainless steel pot hanger is very conveniently placed near the stove and I have two butcher block work spaces.
The stove is from France and the maker is Morice, a company known for restaurant stoves.
There is no one on the West Coast trained to fix it.
And the manual is in French.
It was a floor model and the only one at the shop in LA where we bought it. We fell in love with the color and bought it on impulse. 
It took four guys to carry it in the house.

I love this stained glass window.
This Sub Zero refrigerator is really great and you can see inside so it looks a little messy most of the time.
I painted some old chicken nesting boxes red and use them to store canned goods, cookbooks, and whatever junk ends up there including the turtle tank.
That white wrought iron produce stand was black but I spray painted it.
I also made the chalkboard.
The farmhouse sink is a Shaw Original and the faucets are by Rohl. This sink is so big that my 31/2 year old still bathes in it.
And on the windowsill is Elsie sent to me by the Lovely Louise at Lou Loves This. When Gigi saw her up there she insisted on having her back but I was only trying to save poor Elsie from being loved to death by a 3 year old.
I have a small collection of old French enamel ware I bought in the south of France in a little town called L'isle Sur La Sorgue on a special trip I took there with one of my babies.
It was just the two of us.
This is my favorite thing about the kitchen.
It's bright and fun to hang out with my kids in.
Although I love my home and feel blessed to live here, living outside of the city in a semi rural area has been a big adjustment, even now, eight years later.
I love the city and all of the cultural attractions it has to offer, plus it's where I grew up.
It's been hard making friends and although I have made some since moving here eight years ago, because I live so far from the nearest town in an isolated spot, it's been hard to maintain those friendships.

Plus, I think I'm just sort of weird!
Blogging has been a solace for me because I haven't made a friend in my local community who shares my passion for sewing and making things.
When you read creative blogs it's seems like EVERYONE is into making stuff but I guess that's not really true. is it?

The creative impulse is like any muscle . The more often you use it, the stronger it gets.
Seeing all of the beautiful creations of my blog friends has inspired me to reach farther into my own creative resources than I thought I could, these past two and a half years.
I've heard people say that the blog world isn't the "real" world.
And that the blogs you visit don't really represent the people behind them.
But I don't believe that really. We are all trying to put our best foot forward on our blogs, but we do the same in real life.
When a friend comes for a visit don't you spend time tidying up your home?
I do!
It shows the visitor that you cared enough about them to make things nice and pleasant for them.

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  1. Gorgeous kitchen! It looks just like I imagine my dream farmhouse kitchen should look. And I'm with you on being rudely surprised to find out that not everyone is a creative blogging type ;) I've had a hard time with that myself, even if I am living in LA. None of the people I'm meeting are interested in creating instead of consuming. Thank goodness for the blogging community!

  2. Justine, don't feel alone. I'm here, waving the flag for you down here in New Zealand. I love your kitchen, it's exactly as I imagine a farmhouse kitchen to be. I love the bright airiness of it, and aside from being functional, everywhere you turn there seems to be something interesting to look at. I really love those kitchen sinks, I want one of those - maybe in my next kitchen (like that'll ever happen!).

  3. Everything about your kitchen is amazing, seriously.

  4. Now that's a kitchen I would LOVE to have!!! I adore everything about it and Saffy looks quite at home on the window sill. Making an assumption here as it looks so much like one made by Lou Loves This.

    1. Good eye Pam! I'm going to add a link to her in my post right now.

  5. Wow, that is a beautiful kitchen. And the color of your stunning stove....I just had our new half bath painted that color ;-) And I love both your Grandma's advice and your thoughts about blogs in the end of the post. Have a lovely day Justine.

    1. Thanks Mie. I guess I'm in now because green is the color of the year!

  6. So gorgeous. We are flipping a foreclosed home and so this is very inspiring! Love the wainscoting and the little "feet" under the cabinet below your sink.

  7. This post is not only jam-packed with great advice, I'm GONE on your warm, inviting kitchen. What a fun place to have fun!

    Happy weekend,

  8. Your kitchen is just so wonderful and inviting and that stove is to die for!

  9. Justine, I love your kitchen! It's very warm and inviting.:)


  10. Your kitchen is gorgeous! The stained glass wondow is to die for.

  11. I completely agree about it being hard to find like-minded creative people in the "real world". I thought I had finally found a buddy, but our schedules never lined up, so we could never get together. I'm glad I'm not the only one who feels it. Sometimes, though, it spurs me on to be a little different, so I'm hoping it keeps me on my toes. I don't know if that's how you feel, but I often find it helps me.

    Love your enamel ware, by the way.

    Any chance you will pick the draft-along back up and do the pants and the dress?

  12. I LOVE this post (& not becuase of your kitchen which is lovely) but, becuase I also live in a rural setting (in the UK) and whilst i'm a country girl born and bred and couldn't live anywhere else I, like you, don't have friends who share my passion for sewing. Blogging, reading blogs and Pinterest is my solace but I too have been wondering lately if this gives me a warped perspective. Thank you for sharing your feelings on this subject... you are not alone.

    1. Thanks so much Simone. A sense of community is so important to have in this day when many of us don't really even know their neighbors very well.

  13. Justine,
    I must say, this is the most beautiful kitchen , I have ever seen. I love every peice of it.. The lay out and all the open parts..Love,love it..You have done a fantastic job decorating it..[and that is so fun,isn't it?

    1. You are so sweet Judy. Thanks for all your encouragement.

  14. What a warm feeling your kitchen gives! I love how much character and personality it has. We just recently moved back into "town" from being 10 minutes out of town and boy, did those 10 minutes feel like 1,000 miles away from my friendships. So I totally understand how you feel!

  15. Thanks Becky. Yes, even ten minutes sometimes seems like a long way away, especially if you don't really have any neighbors your age!

  16. Your kitchen is gorgeous. The sink is my favorite. Love love!

  17. Love the look of the furniture and open feel, though I've often though how cleaning it would be rough! You've done a beautiful job.

    I think your thoughts on blog pictures and how we clean like crazy for guests is so right on- I never thought of it quite that way!

  18. Love your kitchen!!!! I totally understand getting used to living in a rural area.....we have been where we are for 8 years as well....I only know that it was a definite good move for my youngest son at the time (he was 11).....middle school here was so much better for him than where we were......I too miss the culture...(and the shopping!) but don't miss traffic or the abundance of mean people!
    Best of all to you and your family....thanks for sharing!

  19. I love your kitchen!! I'm so glad I found your blog! I'm your newest follower;)

  20. Beautiful kitchen - I long for the day when I can have a farmhouse sink just like the one in my grandmother's house... and I too am with you on the blogging for solace. I grew up in a small town and now live in a mid-sized city - so whereas I grew up with the same friends I went to kindergarten with, I'm now in a place that feels overwhelmingly big and hard to make friends. My home is thus my happy place.

  21. Wow - you have my dream kitchen. I especially love the oven and window but really I love it all. Pretty homemade aprons (and pretty girls) really do go well in your kitchen

  22. Definitely an amazing kitchen! And I love that darling picture! What was she making? Super cute.

  23. I'm in love with your kitchen and I'm pinning that stove!

    <3 Christina at I Gotta Create!

  24. Oh my word Justine!!! Can I please come over?!?! So amazing. It would be so great to get to cook in your kitchen everyday!


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