my kitchen~~designed by & for me~~

my kitchen is me

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I’ve been having a lot of folks over the past couple of years, friends that follow my antics in the world of cooking and life in social media,  ask me about my kitchen~~what it’s like, how it’s laid out, what works for me, how do I have it organized, and more~~yes, many have seen snippets of it when I photograph dishes or show a big ol’ sink of dirty pots and pans, but I haven’t shared my favorite spot as ‘the’ kitchen~~so, seein’ how I’d just cleaned it, spic n’ span, I decided I’d invite you in and give you a tour because my kitchen is me! But first~~a sidebar~~

Growing up in Southern West Virginia, our kitchen was ’bout the size of a postage stamp~~an old refrigerator, sink, stove, cabinets, and that’s about it~~but, that’s where I learned to cook.  No fancy gadgets or gizmos~~hands and elbow grease.  Mom did have a hand crank grinder that she’d attach to the dining room table, and that ground up some mighty fine meats and even cheese, for homemade pimento, over the years.  It’s good to learn cooking without all the bells and whistles~~I can improvise and make due in about any cooking situation from a campfire to a single electric blaze.   Since those WV days,  I’ve been fortunate enough to see my kitchens grow over the years~~not only in size,  but in style and  functionality~~yep, a dream come true!

I’d venture to say that many devoted food bloggers spend a disproportionate amount of each day in their kitchens.  Kitchens for a passionate foodie are like the Harley guy or gal’s hog, the circus performer’s tightrope, the budding Olympic gymnast’s training gym, the NASCAR driver’s car and pit crew, the trial attorney’s library~~you get the idea~~when you’re passionate about something, it’s important to have what you need to do that job! For me, it’s all about organization and ease of movement in the kitchen~~while I designed this kitchen about five years ago, and it’s fabulous, there are a lot of things I’d do differently in designing another real and working kitchen~~why?  Well, I’ve lived, cooked and navigated through it and know what works, for me, and what doesn’t work as well.  So, if I’m lucky enough to have another go round with designing my kitchen, you’d see some real contrasts.  For now, let me tell you what I just totally love about this kitchen~~it may give you some ideas for your kitchen whether you’re remodeling, starting from scratch, or just making a few little changes!

1. The pantry~~it’s perfect, like walking into my own little grocery store, love the openness…the shelves were designed to be about 8″ deep and hold standard canned foods.  Shelves on the bottom are deeper for storage of other things.  Just regular wood that’s stained, I can see everything!

2.  The spice shelves~~pull out on each side of my stove…really convenient and a great way to use vertical narrow space.

3.  The warming drawer~~when it’s not warming, it doubles as a storage for some skillets.

4.  The refrig/freezer drawers~~overflows and specifically house things I cook with like baking items that can go rancid…also, when there’s company, folks are hovering around the big refrig looking for something to drink because bottled drinks, like water, are in the refrig drawer.

5.  The big center island~~it’s a catchall for everything and that can be a pain, but it can be a great buffet table, plus several cooks can work simultaneously.

6.  My dishes~~love ’em all out and open and handy…when they’re stuck in behind-closed-door cabinets I’d surely forget to use some. a

7.  My stove~~yep, it’s my ‘Big Bad Wolf’ and I use every thing on it!  Love gas, too!

8.  The Coffee Station~~gots to have my java throughout the day, grinding the beans means super fresh, too.

9.  The big pittttchur window~~wow, it’s great for lighting, a stupendous view, and for photography.

10.  The littl’ French chair~~got it at a thrift store…totally LOVE it…shoot lotsa dish photos on it.  It’s the catch place for scarves, dish towels and other things I might be using when I take glamour shots.

11.  The butcher block top second island~~you see I keep my laptop here and cell phone, plus there’s another small sink and dishwasher~~yep, all this is a luxury, but it comes in handy like when I schlep in lotsa groceries and pile ’em on this island.

12.  The BIG farm sing~~a MUST for a fanatical home cook/chef…big pots can easily go in, plus you can let stuff pile up@

13.  The spray faucet~~yep, a monster, by Kohler, their ‘professional’ series…it swivels and is perfect for hurricane speed water spraying out pots, pans, dishes, etc.  Just gotta be careful and not pull too fast or too hard.

14.  The garbage disposal button~~on the counter top, a small button about the size of a 50 cent piece…convenient.

15.  The ‘Pot Filler’ at the back of the stove~~hot water in an instant, and it save having to lift heavy pots filled with water for pasta, etc.

Come sit a spell in my kitchen~~love having you here because so much of what I do is for YOU!!  xox  Peace & Nameste ~~ally

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  1. Where are the pictures? I just see one,

  2. Beautiful! Inspired, warm, beautifully laid out – obviously by someone who knows what she’s doing and loves doing it ;-).

    I just love it! All that glorious wood, beautiful grouping of colors, that window!, all your pottery, ceramics etc. Definitely a most treasured space :-).

    • Karen!! Thank you for visiting my kitchen and pulling up a stool! It’s always wonderful to have special people here, and you’re one of them!! Now, don’t be a stranger and come back soon and often!! xoxo ~~ally

  3. This is an absolute delight, and so is your kitchen. We’re getting ready to redo our home, so this is perfect for me. I am so glad I found this article.

    • Adri! Welcome, my new kind and thoughtful friend! So glad you found the article, too…I do a LOT of cooking, so much thought went into this design, but, alas, I’d do some things differently, not much, just some tweaks! So great to meet you, and please, Adri, come back often! xo ally

  4. Beautiful. If I knew how, I would say that I’m envious but that would be a lye. I admire you for all the hard work, dedication you’ve put in in what you love to do and still do by sharing with us all. Thank you.

    You deserve the very best in life.


    • Oh, Nancy, you are such a perfect friend…thank you for bringing this huge wisp of joy and love to me in your words…I really appreciate it. I truly love sharing w/you and making each day just a tad more fun…you make it all worth while! xo ~~ally

  5. Seriously Ally?!?!?! This is absolutely gorgeous!!! I don’t think I would ever leave this beauty. What a true inspiration. Awesome!! xx

    • Oh, Emilie! You are so sweet!! ***smiling smiling*** thank you! And, you’re right, I get so much pleasure from my ‘domain’…thanks for swinging by and pulling up a stool!! xo

  6. Thank you for sharing pictures of your beautiful kitchen. It is so colorful and inviting. What a great place to spend your time and enjoy your love for cooking. Love it!

  7. Beautiful!

  8. Thanks for inviting us into your inner sanctum. What a beautiful place to create.

  9. Ally, I simply adore your kitchen — it’s such a statement of your Boho spirit. Surviving through hard times. Making do. Dreaming forward. Designing “the” kitchen of your dreams! And still… I hear the metamorphosis in your lovely musings. What works, what doesn’t at present… trial and error. That’s what it’s all about, baby!

    We currently (and probably always will) live in a rental, which doesn’t allow for much “structure” re-design, but FUNCTION… oh yeah. Hand it to me on one of those purdy platters sittin’ on your shelves and I will MAKE it work! 🙂 xo

    Smiling over your vino portrait amongst your slide show. (Remind you of anyone’s recent kitchen mat purchases? LOL!) Good food — GREAT food — isn’t dependent on the latest gadgets. It relies on the cook’s inventiveness, intuition, and HEART. Still, I can’t help but LOVIN’ your dream kitchen — and YOU! Do I feel “remodel” vibes? Make it work for YOU, sweet friend! (I know ya will!!!) xo

    • Oh, Kimmmeee! Thank you for all those kind and sincere words and thoughts…you can see much further than the photos, and I know you feel the spirit that’s in this kitchen…and, yes, hummmm, I suspect a kitchen mat is in the makings here, too! Unless I owned a place I wouldn’t be fixin’ up a kitchen, unless, of course, I could detach it and take w/me! lol!! Never in my wildest dreams did I expect I’d have something like this, and I’m very aware that it’s b/c of hard work and good luck and great friends who revel in the joy (you!!) xoxo

  10. It’s lovely Ally, I’m so envious of those big beautiful windows. My kitchen is kind of dark.

    • Thank you, Chris! Yep, that window is one of the great things about this kitchen…makes for a lot of joy and good for photography w/all the natural light! Always lovin’ having you here! xo

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