This year, more than ever, I was in a rush to greet spring. For once, I got my snap peas planted on time and have been poring over catalogs to figure out what to put in my new deck planters. All the cozy down comforters and winter linens have been switched out with whisper-weight bedding and pastel placemats. And, in an effort to achieve a more minimalist look in my kitchen, inspired by the kitchen makeovers we feature in this issue (see page 45), I packed away assorted tchotchkes and the colorful Le Creuset casseroles that had taken up permanent residence on back burners of the cooktop. Kitchens, as you can see in our pages, are more streamlined than ever before. And we love the look. After all, who likes to look at clutter?
But, of course, you can go overboard with the minimalist look. I recall one Northern Westchester house we looked at to possibly feature in our pages. It was breathtakingly beautiful. Its owners clearly had a great design sense and had invested lots of time (not to mention oodles of money) in their home. But there was absolutely no sense of who lived there, let alone any evidence of life. So, I understood it when my daughter came home from college and practically cried, asking: “What did you do to the kitchen? It doesn’t look homey anymore!”
It’s all about finding the balance between fresh and new and what is loved and familiar. It is difficult, but, thank the design gods, not impossible. Which is what we believe the six kitchens that we chose as the winners of our kitchen makeover contest have in common. Yes, they’re clutter-free (though they were spruced up for the photo shoot). Yes, they’re streamlined. And yes, they’re cool. But they also, we believe, have a lovely warmth—a do-come-in-and-relax feel to them.
Take a look and let us know if you agree.
Nancy L. Claus