Who cooks and eats here: Julia Badovinac, stylist
Where: Castleberry Loft District, Atlanta, GA
Rent or Own? Rent
When Julia Badovinac, a fashion stylist in Atlanta, moved into the two-story Castleberry loft she shares with her mixologist boyfriend Julian Goglia, a lot of the heavy lifting had already been done. "Julian helped renovate this place before he moved here — he laid all the drywall and did a lot of work with the owner, and then moved in once it was livable," she told us.
When the couple decided to live together two years ago, Julia just added her own touches to the admittedly retro kitchen. Join us as we tour this lovely open space!
The General Electric stove and Whirlpool refrigerator came with the loft, and a mutual friend had already built the wooden farmhouse table that centers the dining area. The couple added a stainless steel IKEA island in the cooking area, open shelving to hold cookbooks and tools in bins, and Julia's collection of her great-grandmother's oil paintings, which she's had since she was a little girl ("My room at home looked like the stairway from "The Royal Tenenbaums") and rotates periodically to freshen the rooms. "I think if you change the furniture and decor around every once in a while, it gives a nice boost to the energy in the space." Her favorite Luxe Linen Aquiesse candles add a warm touch to the brick-and-stainless loft.
The open, simple space is reflected in Julia's cooking as well. "I am such a social eater — if I'm alone I don't always cook more than wine and cheese," she laughs. "But if Julian is home, or my girlfriends are over, then it gets more elaborate." A pescatarian, Julia often cooks from Feast by Sarah Copeland or The Joy of Cooking, which was a Christmas gift from her mom. "I'm trying to get better at just cooking for myself, instead of waiting for other people to be here! It's a work in progress." But Julia's rarely completely alone: her three dogs — Lily, Maud, and Louie the rescued bulldog — keep her company.
Julia particularly loves the way the large industrial windows show off her collection of milk glass and her antique teacups, which she finds by scouring thrift stores. "I'm a huge tea drinker; I even belong to a club called 'The Super Royal Tea Society for Fancy Ladies' which is really just an excuse to get together with friends and dress up and drink tea." She uses her delicate Cauldon tea set regularly, but a pair of special cups are housed in an antique wooden box, including a floral cup and saucer marked "Made in Occupied Japan" that was a gift from her Aunt.
Not everything in the loft is delicate, though: the teacup collection shares shelf space with the mason jars Julia likes to use as drinking glasses, and the ancient electric stove is identical to the one in her parent's rustic cabin when she was growing up. A simple Le Creuset pie dish is her favorite cooking pan. "I keep it simple. If I'm cooking, it's probably going in this dish!"
10 Questions for Julia (And Her Kitchen)
1. What inspires your kitchen and your cooking?
I'm a pescatarian, so I cook a lot with fresh vegetables and herbs. I'm excited to be coming into summer with all the yummy choices!
2. What is your favorite kitchen tool or element?
Probably my Le Cruset Pie dish, and my garlic press gets a heavy workout. I actually have like 3 of them, because I can't find one I really like.
3. What's the most memorable meal you've ever cooked in this kitchen?
We made a huge Cinco de Mayo meal last year with fish tacos, roasted Poblanos with cheese, and jicama salad. It was just for the two of us.
4. The biggest challenge in your kitchen:
Storage, of course. And it's open, so if there are [dirty] dishes you see them from every other room.
5. Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
I dream of getting a dishwasher. But I don't know where to put it.
6. Biggest indulgence or splurge in the kitchen:
We don't have a microwave, so we have a really nice toaster oven.
7. Is there anything you hope to add or improve in your kitchen?
Other than the dishwasher, I think it's pretty good! It suits our lifestyle pretty well.
8. How would you describe your cooking style?
I like soup a lot, so I would say homey comfort food. It can be cold in here in the winter so I like things that warm you up.
9. Best cooking advice or tip you ever received:
To add a bit of oil to the pan if you're cooking with butter, so the butter won't burn. My mom taught me that.
10. What are you cooking this week?
I have a chickpea and rosemary soup with lentils I like a lot, so I may make that.
Resources of Note:
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(Image credits: Amy Herr)