It would appear that I’ve fallen into a habit of hoarding photos, because these (taken last October) where meant to accompany a new book review…for the now not-so-new ‘Kitchenalia’. Sorry Jacqui Small Publishing!
Written by Vinny Lee, Interiors Editor of The Times Magazine and a sumptuous feast for the eyes (if you’ll excuse the pun) the book explores the life of the kitchen, focusing on styles such as ‘retro’ and my favourite ‘utilitarian’, down to the details to help you better plan and style your own space with heart and personality. I have a love-hate relationship with mine at the moment-brilliant for space, yet a shoddy example of a cheaply thrown together bargain-bin landlord special. With that in mind, I spent a happy afternoon baking a Dutch apple cake with Reuben at home in the basement at my mother’s instead.
Mum’s kitchen in relation to the book is a cross between ‘The Country’ and ‘The Collector’s Kitchen’, as illustrated beautifully in the photography combining tiled floors and traditional wooden cupboard storage with open shelving. There are Kilner jars of dried pasta and lentils, wooden chopping boards stacked against a wall and a neat collection of tea cups on display. There are wooden baking spoons, well licked over years of “cleaning up the cake bowls”, the beautiful old shop scales I learnt to use when I was eleven. Things in my own kitchen don’t quite as yet hold the same attachments but will I hope for Reuben and Tabby when they’re old enough to look back on our cooking sessions together. They will be accomplished cooks before they leave home, mark my words!
This is the heart of her home. From the creamware collection on the mantlepiece, the tiles she chose to pick out the original Victorian range that she lovingly restored when we moved in fifteen years ago. In the centre of the room stands my step-father’s worn and loved farmhouse table that some eighteen years ago brought us together around the table for the first time as a family. His wooden butter pats sit with the brass dinner bell on the mantlepiece. The perfect combination of two lives combining and sharing a space. There’s a dining room upstairs, but somehow we always prefer to sit together here where we can talk whilst we prepare a meal together. Just how I want my own kitchen to be.
This is a book packed full of inspiration for all tastes, so I’m holding onto it for when the day comes that we have our own kitchen again to do as we please with it. I’ve spent so much time shooting in other peoples kitchens lately that I have a pretty good idea of what I’d love to make a reality. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to open one side out into the garden in the summer months? Maybe polished resin flooring under foot? If I’m shooting at the moon, then I’ve got plans for open shelving, a concrete worktop and really simple styling that I can change-up and play around with as I go, with just a few much-loved ceramic bowls and plates a permanent feature. In fact, not too far removed from these beautiful shots from the book below…
What’s your idea of the perfect kitchen? To help you decide, you can order Kitchenalia at the discounted price of £25.00 including p&p* (RRP: £30.00), telephone 01903 828503 or email [email protected] and quote the offer code APG221.
*UK ONLY – Please add £2.50 if ordering from overseas.
Images 1-6 © Tiffany Grant-Riley