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Kitchen Inspiration

Remember how we gutted half our not-so-big house in New Jersey, made it our favorite place in the world, and then moved to London six months later? How we became renters again for the first time in this millennium? Right. I’ve been feeling a little hives-y about that recently. There are some buggy things about renting in the U.K., like the clause in the standard lease that says we can’t hang pictures on the wall without asking the (extremely nice — hi, Lisa!) landlord. (And, you know, the clause in the standard lease that designates us as the tenants and not the landlord, and other various and sundry clauses such as those.) I wonder if no one here got the memo that I’m a little on the controlly side? You’d think it would be obvious from my immigration status, since I — and this is not a joke — am present in the country as my husband’s hardship. But most people don’t read the fine print. I know that.

We love our new home in London, truly. And there are some benefits to renting, like the other day when we noticed that there’s a drain pipe outside that always, always has water trickling down inside it, and our curiosity about it was purely academic. (Okay, let’s be honest. It wasn’t purely academic. We had to physically restrain each other from climbing onto the five-story roof to investigate. But there is something reassuring about knowing that for once we aren’t the roof’s emergency contacts in a rainstorm.)

At the moment we’re in overseas shipment purgatory, and man, we must have been total dipshits in our former lives. The contents of our house are in a 40-foot container. That’s like 12.192 meters of containage, people! We’ve been notified that the container arrived in England several days ago. And guess what? With any luck, we’ll get to have an initial look at about half of the contents in 15 to 16 days. I am trying to restrain myself from being super-duper American about the inefficiency of this system — from letting my AMERICAN explode all over this situation like so much Coca-Cola. See how well I’m doing with that? Once our stuff arrives, and once I clean up all the stickiness from the soda, I’ll post some photos of the new flat for any of you who would like a peek. I’ve learned I’m too vain to give you a look at our crappy rental furniture, even though half of it is better constructed than our crappy “real” furniture from IKEA and West Elm. We’ve only been expats for a month, and I’m already a fount of newfound self-awareness, see?

In the meantime — in direct, shameless backlash to the whole lack of control state of affairs — I dug up the remaining gems from the photos that helped inspire our kitchen renovation in NJ. It’s not my usual thing to post other people’s photos here, but I really want you to have these all in one place. I’ve managed to lose track of quite a few of the sources, which is why I’m not handing these over directly to my new BFF Pinterest. But many of the photos are linked to their sources, so please click through, poke around on the source sites, and bestow any adoration on the creators of these beauties. Next week I’m going to take this side street a few steps farther and post some bathroom and living space inspiration as well. Then back to the usual (spice) grind(er).

Note to self: if you’re going to be an unhappy hipster like this guy, why not do it the second-best kitchen ever?

This beauty is the set of the movie Something’s Gotta Give.

This one is Ina Garten’s, sort of.


Hi there, I'm Carolyn, and I'm delighted you're here. I'm a NYC-area food, travel, yoga, coffee, wine, running, music making and book obsessive with a great family and a love for sharing it all with you. Grab a drink and come on in. Learn more.