Kitchens have at all times been my favourite room in a house. I grew up within the US, however my oldest childhood reminiscences take me again to summer season holidays spent in our household’s mountain farmhouse tucked away within the Pyrenees. The home, particularly at mealtime, was at all times stuffed with individuals—neighbors, mates from close by villages, and misplaced hikers. There have been typically as many as 20 individuals gathered across the desk, sharing locally-sourced components that we’d cook dinner over an open wooden fireplace. Everybody took half within the meal, whether or not by suggesting a recipe, setting the desk, or foraging wild flowers and branches to embellish the area.
Recollections from these summer season days have made me who I’m at present—they’re additionally why our kitchen is the center of our household life at present.
Our house in Normandy was inbuilt 1895. It’s Anglo-Norman in type, which we celebrated by giving it what we thought was a really British title—Miss Maggie. After we purchased the house in 2015, we knew crucial area to renovate was the kitchen, however in a approach that might at all times respect the house’s age and historical past.
The kitchen, once we discovered it, had been divided into smaller areas and clearly not been designed by somebody who beloved to cook dinner. In distinction, a lot occurs in our kitchen—way over merely cooking and sharing a meal. Our lengthy picket kitchen farm desk, as an illustration, is the center and soul of our house. It’s the place we collect with mates and share our farmers’ market finds every weekend; the place my husband and I calm down on the finish of a protracted day for a quiet aperitif; and the place my two boys, Gabin and Balthazar, love to attract and paint, do their homework, and play board video games.
As soon as we opened up the area, the query of what colour we should always paint our cupboards was subsequent. We fell in love with 5 completely different hues that slot in with the pure setting round us and the home itself. All of us took turns testing paint samples on panels that we moved across the room to see how mild would remodel them by way of the day—and whilst climate modified. In the present day, each meal is ready towards that backdrop of colour, mild, and shadow that we helped create as a household.
I could also be a recipe developer, however to me the decor of the kitchen and the setting of the meal are simply as necessary because the meals on our plates—what’s on a plate counts, however the desk and the room are simply as necessary as a result of they set the scene and temper.
Which is why I like stunning my household and mates with little seasonal tweaks to our house’s decor. And nowhere is that this extra essential than within the kitchen, the place we stay most of our each day lives. It fills my coronary heart with pleasure to look at Gabin and Balthazar’s eyes widen as they arrive house to find a brand new setting, or after they volunteer to participate in dreaming up a brand new tablescape collectively.
The shifting of seasons is an enormous supply of inspiration to me, and infrequently alerts the necessity for a change. Tweaking your decor doesn’t must break the bank, both; you are able to do wonders with what you may have available, what you discover in nature, or on the farmers’ market. Utilizing flowers and produce blended in with repurposed objects is simple and reasonably priced. Candlelight additionally at all times appears to search out its approach onto or round our desk—I discover that it softens the setting and creates an extra-cozy vibe to the meal.
“Buying” for items in your individual house is the most effective place to start. I like transferring issues round: inserting a mirror within the kitchen that was in a bed room, discovering a brand new spot to spotlight a sculpture, a stack of books, or perhaps a portray. When you get into that groove, you’ll discover it’s straightforward to improvise—my sons love bringing me treasures they discover on the seaside, and within the woods close to us. For me, it’s these decor swaps within the kitchen that then set the tone for the remainder of the home. So, as soon as the kitchen has a brand new ornamental theme, I add echoes of it all through. It’s a easy technique to give us the thrilling sense that we live in a model new house, each few months.
Listed below are some methods I costume up my kitchen for the seasons:
This fall, I turned empty beer bottles into vases, and lower gingham ribbon and a bandana to decorate them up, together with flowers from the backyard. I mixed these with mini white pumpkins, in addition to candles that actually set the tone for shorter and cozier days by the fireplace.
I went procuring in my own residence for this early winter association from final yr, which might work wherever in the home—and never simply within the kitchen! Disparate objects can work very well when grouped collectively, resembling this drawing with a classic disco ball, a mirror from a visitor bed room, and a silver champagne bucket used as a vase.
For spring, I like taking part in round with the flowers and branches I discover within the backyard, and add in a couple of mild objects. Right here, I used a classic porcelain hen because the central piece. In the summertime, I are likely to go for a beachier really feel, paired with seasonal produce, and bric-a-brac I’ve at house.
How do you want to embellish your kitchen for the seasons. Inform us within the feedback beneath.
Heloise Brion is the writer of Miss Maggie’s Kitchen: Relaxed French Entertaining (Flammarion, 2020). Credit score for all pictures: Christophe Roué.