Sunday, September 30, 2012

Please come in ...

The inside of this home is decorated very much like a magical garden party. See it for
yourself at the 5th Annual Heart of the Home Kitchen Tour on October 13th!

Do you ever drive by someone’s home and just wish you could see what it was like on the inside? House tours are a great antidote to satisfy our how-do-other-people-live curiosity. Late this summer I had the opportunity to visit some amazing homes in the Wenham area along with special event coordinator Cynthia Novotny of the Wenham Museum. Part of my duty as co-chair of their upcoming Heart of the Home Kitchen Tour included checking out some of the homes that will be opening up their doors on Saturday, October 13th to share an insider’s view of their newly renovated kitchens. Homeowners, designers and design/build professionals will be on-hand at various locations (9 total) to answer questions on how the end result was achieved. I have been on the tour in years past, and have really enjoyed seeing these magazine-worthy spaces in person. In fact, some have since been published. 

Below are a few sneak peeks of what you will discover on this year’s tour of distinctive kitchens ...

This bountiful kitchen garden is just outside of a vintage American home designed and renovated with energy efficiency in mind. The family is very mindful of their carbon-footprint, resisting the urge to use a clothes dryer and living without air conditioning (yet the house was very cool even in August when we visited). The homeowner, Kat, actually dug up a handful of red-bliss potatoes from her kitchen garden for Cynthia and myself to take home. I have to say, they were the best potatoes I ever had! I took them home, boiled them, then mashed them with a bit of real butter plus sea salt. They were so good!!! Inside the home is very welcoming and well planned, with a “boot room” as she calls it at the entry (or a mudroom for some of us), counters from Cumar Marble and Granite, and kitchen faucet from Designer Bath/Salem Plumbing Supply. After the tour, I will share some photos from inside, but I don’t want to give it all away yet. You really have to feel this house for yourself ... it has that quality that older homes possess that cannot be recreated in new homes, regardless of how well they are built.

Also in Kat’s garden: artichokes and brussel sprouts.

At her front door: sweet potato vine

Another home that I got to view was the work-in-progress of kitchen designer Karen Swanson. I took this photo of her standing in the kitchen that she wanted on the tour! This was also in early August. Checking in with her recently I was told she is almost finished (why can’t my renovations go this quickly??!!) While we were there, she showed us her plans and described how she envisioned her new kitchen to be. Below is an updated photo from the space. I love it already! And wait until you see her butler’s pantry. It has a surprising punch of color not to be missed! If you want to read a bit of her background story on her design process, follow along on her renovation blog. She has been very busy with her design work, so the posts aren’t as frequent as she would like, but anyone going through the decision making ups-and-downs of a kitchen project will appreciate reading what even a seasoned designer has to go through to achieve her heart-of-the-home vision. 

photo credit: Karen Swanson

photo courtesy Lisa Kawski

Blue and white kitchens will always be a New England favorite. This open floor plan kitchen designed by Lisa Kawski of LMK Interiors is a beautiful example of a space geared toward spending time with family, guests and pups in an environment that is comfortable for all. I really like the placement of the TV by the island. Great spot to watch Master Chef, Cupcake Wars or Ina Garten. I am looking forward to seeing this charming space in real life.

photo credit: Michelle Bailey

A few other friends of mine have kitchens on the tour. Visit the facebook pages of Wilson Kelsey Design, Meadowview Construction, and the blog of Howell Custom Building Group to see their sneak peeks. Viewing the spaces in person, however, is a great way to get a feel for what makes a kitchen design work both aesthetically and functionally, so I highly advise taking the tour. Tickets are on sale now ($15 in advance, $23 on October 13th). I also recommend packing a boxed lunch to eat while traveling during the day long journey (doors open at 11am and tour ends at 4pm) from one incredible kitchen to the next. I will be visting the kitchens with a group of friends so maybe I will see you en route?  


  1. Are the walls made of (horizontal) wood panels, in the Karen Swanson kitchen? Love it!

  2. It is going to be a beautiful space! Can't wait to see the wallpaper she chose for the front entry (she was contemplating a really cool zebra print!)

    1. Ya! i do agree with you. It is sure gone an be a beautiful place. Me too waiting to see the wall paper.

  3. Wow! it looks gorgeous.I was really impressed by your design. I love your dinning design very much.


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