Dreamy Cottage Living Kitchens

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When I grudgingly cracked open Cottage Living magazine for the first time I expected Amish doll toaster cosys, fake vintage signs hung at a jaunty angles declaring "Eggs: three cents," and so much more kountry kitchen krap. I picked it up only because it was the last magazine left in my doctor's waiting room.

Now, I'm renewing my subscription for a third year.

Have you seen Cottage Living's kitchens? They are warm, but many are also calm or nearly minimal: deep sinks, powerful stoves, and of course that poetic picture perfect view. (My kitchen window is six inches wide and stares right into the kitchen across the airshaft.)

These kitchens manage to feel more achievable and less threatening than those Martha Stewart Living features. While we might quibble with leaving huge bread box that says "Bread" on the counter or laugh at over-faux-finished cabinets, these places have heart. I could pull up in my imaginary Volvo wagon, stock the larder and stay all winter.

I appreciate Sara Foster's advice on No-Fail Holiday Platters. Each issue also has advice for making centerpieces. I made their white French tulip and pussy willow fish bowl centerpiece last spring and people still ask about it.

The magazine manages to be flannel bathrobe cosy, but usually avoids going too Mary Engelbreit sicky-sweet. Cottage Living tries to keep things things affordable and (maybe just a little bit too) cheerful.

If you sign up for a free trial subscription, you'll get immediate digital access to the October issue.