Kitchen Tour: Ann's Old World, Round-the-World Kitchen

New York

As a journalist who has focused on Afghanistan for over 15 years, Ann does a lot of traveling. She also loves to entertain and spend time in her home. Her kitchen, like the rest of her home, is very personal and improvisational.

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Ann does a lot of her hunting and gathering outside of New York City and most often, outside of the United States. She says she finds a lot of bargains at thrift shops and antique stores in Montreal. Her warm and well stocked kitchen that makes one want to walk over to her incredible stove and start cooking immediately. The richness of color and texture comes from her bounty of Italian tiles, salvaged pottery mosaic, wood, and steel used to surface the space. The open shelving and the utensils on display contribute to the overall aesthetic of beauty in utility.

Ann's Response to the Kitchn Survey:

What's your cooking style? Rash! I look at recipes for inspiration but don't follow them except for mixed drinks. My kitchen technique lags behind my imagination, alas.

What inspires your kitchen? I wanted a kitchen that didn't look like a kitchen. I never understood why I had to have all those damned cabinets. I've never owned enough things to put in them. So I ripped out the cabinets that came with the house, which made the kitchen lighter. All the dishes - and I have 18th century English china services for twelve and for ten - are in one buffet that is from upstate New York circa 1840, around when the house was built.

What is your favorite kitchen tool or element? I love my Afghan knives from the town of Charkikar. They are hand-forged and cut better than my $100 a knife Japanese set, though they run about $5.

Biggest challenge in your kitchen: counter space. One wall is the hot water heater and boiler, one is a storage niche, so counter space is short.

Biggest indulgence: My Aga stove, bought with an unexpected tax refund.

What are you cooking this week? Nothing! I'm on an embed with the American Army in Zabul Province, Afghanistan, eating in their DFACs (dining facilities). It's not home, but there's no cleanup.

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• Check out the rest of Ann's House on Apartment Therapy.
• Also, you can read Ann's work on her website, and if you are interested in subletting Ann's house while she is traveling, please contact her through her through that site.

• Kitchen Tour Archive: Check out past kitchen tours here

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Images: Jill Slater