Image above: I was chef in residence at Leighton House a couple of years ago during the Nour festival and one of the workshops was on spice mixtures and I took the opportunity to reorganize my spice cupboard and bought a whole lot of Weck jars. Even though they don’t all stack up perfectly, I love them and I love the fact that they are completely hermetically sealed preserving the spices in perfect condition. They also look great.
I know that all-white interiors are a bit polarizing — some people find them calming, peaceful or energizing, while others feel oppressed or bored by the lack of color and contrast. I can see both sides of the coin, but there’s just no denying that white brings in the light, and that’s a good thing. This beautiful kitchen makeover in Seattle, created by Portland-based interior designer Casey Keasler, is a great example of how to harness white’s light-gathering properties. Though this redesign includes more industrial elements, lighter wood floors, lovely minimalist wood counters and steel shelving, the open walkway and gleaming white surfaces work together to create a warmer, more welcoming space that could comfortably accommodate a decent-sized gathering of cooks and diners. Nicely done, Casey!
Basic Steps: Our main priority was to make a modern kitchen that didn’t clash with the existing 1910 home, so we were careful to identify a couple key features of the original house that we would keep to unify the new and the old. We refinished the old fir floor that was under the lino and made it continuous with the rest of the home’s wood flooring. We kept the picture rail above the cabinets and replicated the wood ceiling tiles that were in the dining area to tie the ceilings together. Those few things — the floor, the ceiling pattern and the old picture rail — provided the continuity of background, and then we juxtaposed the modern lines of the kitchen appliances and cabinets against that. We used a simple palette of colours and natural materials to harmonize the new and old. Light was also important, so we made sure to add windows and have lots of light from three directions, which gives a really even and natural quality of daylight. We also used the light fixtures to bridge the styles, mixing the traditional-looking incandescent glass globes with the contemporary bocci globes. For us, it is the conversation between the old and new elements of the house that make this space so special.