I have a fresh appreciation for Ina Garten these days, after her recipe for lemon cake turned out to rave reviews on Easter. And now that I've gotten a closer look at her city kitchen, I'm smitten with her design taste too. But her urban New York apartment and kitchen are only one side of the story. Take a look at the Barefoot Contessa's little kitchen in the city and her much bigger kitchen in the country.
All of these images come from House Beautiful, where Ina Garten is a regular guest writer. We love her columns there, and these features on her homes go a little deeper than other architectural magazines usually do. We especially like this quote on her idea of hospitality:
You have this way of making people feel instantly comfortable. What's the secret?
When people come to your house, you don't ever want them to feel that you've been cooking for three days. You want them to feel like this is just something you whipped up and come on, we're having a party. And decorating is like that, too. You don't want people to feel, Oh, don't touch that. You want them to feel, Oh, just sit anywhere and put your feet up.
Her smaller city kitchen is just a little galley. It was gut renovated so it's much nicer than most galley kitchens we see in urban apartments, but it's still small. We also like what Garten says about it:
In a funny way, I actually like a smaller kitchen. It's much more efficient. I tend to like things spare anyway. I can't stand clutter. I like one set of regular china, one set of good china, and that's it. I still have my wedding china from 40 years ago. Ginori, white with a gold rim. It's simple, and it makes food look good.
Yay for small kitchens!
The larger kitchen, on the other hand, is really an outlet and tool for Garten's job as a TV star. It's also beautiful, though, and it really doesn't feel as much like a showplace as some TV kitchens. It's serene, masculine, and rather modern in its lines. It feels understated and simple.
And hey, who wouldn't like a prop closet like that one!
You can read both features at House Beautiful. I really recommend it; the Barefoot Contessa is always inspiring in her gracious, elegant way. They have full tours of both homes, too.
• City Pad...City Kitchen
• An Inside Look at the Barefoot Contessa's New Barn
(Images: House Beautiful)