Haleigh is an American woman who first fell in love with Paris while studying abroad, and she has now called the City of Lights home for the past four years. One of Haleigh's greatest challenges while living here was renovating a dusty, oddly-laid out artist's studio (with no kitchen at all, mind you!) into a living space and a lovely little kitchen.
Quite a lot of energy was spent transforming a small nook into a kitchen and dining area. She installed cabinetry, a washing machine ("It fits two towels!" Haleigh proudly pointed out), a sink and an oven/range.
Haleigh and her mom stained the counters themselves to a distressed white look. The results of their efforts are stunning and the space gets used frequently as Haleigh loves to cook and entertain.
Haleigh's blog, Making Magique, allows viewers to catch glimpses of this fabulous girl's adventures and lifestyle, including many fun snack parties which occur in this very kitchen. She certainly doesn't let limited space hold her back from hosting and dining in style.
I was at once warmed by the vibe of this gem of a kitchen and totally in awe of its effortless style. And the blue fridge, oh the blue fridge, don't even get me started. It's a stunner! Even better in real life than in the photographs. Let's just say I'm saving my pennies for the powder pink version, starting now.
10 Questions for Haleigh (and Her Kitchen)
1. What inspires your kitchen and your cooking?
Color! I like my food, my kitchen and everything I am cooking with to be colorful. Even my whisk is pink and blue, and my favorite frying pan is robin's egg blue as well.
2. What is your favorite kitchen tool or element?
My Laguiole knives. I used them for preparation but they are also handsome enough for place settings.
3. What's the most memorable meal you've ever cooked in this kitchen?
My family's Southern fried chicken recipe I made for some Frenchies. I bet when my great-grandparents thought it up they never imagined I would be cooking it in Paris someday.
4. The biggest challenge in your kitchen:
Surface space. After my stovetop and my sink there is not a lot of open counterspace for preparation, cutting, etc. That gets tough because I tend to make a mess quickly as the space fills up, especially if I am cooking with many ingredients.
5. Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
I would have chosen different countertops. I love with look and stain of my wood now, but for long-term wear and ease of cleaning if I had it to do all over again I would go for tile or light granite.
6. Biggest indulgence or splurge in the kitchen?
My baby blue Smeg fridge, of course! I don't think anyone needs to spend 1000 euros to have a decent refrigerator but it was one of those things I dreamed of all my life. I always said "When I have my own place I am going to have one of those!" and well, now I do! Also the way the kitchen is in the apartment means that corner where the fridge is is actually quite a design focal point, so I really needed something to lovely to put there.
7. Is there anything you hope to add or improve in your kitchen?
Yes, I don't have any drawers! I sort of overlooked that when I designed it...then all suddenly I was unpacking everything in there and I realized I have no drawers! I have found cute solutions but it's still quite impractical.
8. How would you describe your cooking style?
Hearty and simple, like me?
9. Best cooking advice or tip you ever received:
Keep it simple.
10. What are you cooking this week?
Anything and everything that involves radishes.
• Oven/range: IKEA
• Knives: Laguiole
• Cabinets/cupboards: IKEA
• Furniture in the kitchen: Maison Du Monde, chairs antique Louis XV
• Pots and pans: Beka, Villeroy and Bach (kettle!), and antiques
Visit Haleigh's blog: Making Magique
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(Images: Leela Cyd Ross)