Chelsea Fuss — a longtime blogger, prop stylist (she worked on The Kitchn's upcoming cookbook!), and floral designer/instructor — has lived with this sweet little rental kitchen for the past four years. Tucked away in one corner of an incredible mansion in SW Portland, it's where a lot of her magic happens. From shooting a bouquet post on her wooden table to "prop shopping" in her own cupboards for a lifestyle story, Chelsea has put this space to work in the most charming fashion. Let's step inside for a cup of tea, shall we?
Chelsea's Kitchen Story
As a daily reader of Chelsea's acclaimed blog Frolic!, I've always been curious about her kitchen. I'd seen bits and pieces of it here and there, and thought it exuded a casual elegance and playfulness, much like Chelsea's take on styling and designing flowers. So it came as no surprise that the space was even cuter than I could have imagined, with sea foam green cabinets, a vintage stove and table, and lots of artwork made by friends. It's the perfect oasis for the sometimes-dreary Pacific Northwest drizzle.
The space is small and the decor purposeful and jolly, which is just right for Chelsea. She's able to cook up an amazing meal for one or throw an intimate indoor picnic complete with candles, British cheeses and chocolates to finish. A natural hostess, Chelsea makes everyone feel welcome with special treats and flowers.
Chelsea's Cooking Story
Chelsea grew up in a family that made everything from scratch — her grandmother, parents and siblings are all great cooks who she regularly calls upon for tips and to share ideas. Most often Chelsea cooks for herself and loves making baked egg dishes topped with things like greens, avocado, local salt, hot sauce, clementines, cheeses, fresh herbs and often a dollop of creme fraiche.
Chelsea's prop styling job often demands long hours and crazy days on set, but during our work together she was always the first person to share a homemade snack or treat — such a welcome break and much-needed fuel for creativity!
3 Questions for Chelsea About Her Kitchen
What inspires your kitchen and your cooking?
I am sort of an Anglophile and inspired by the food and style of Jamie Oliver, Sophie Dahl, Alys Fowler, and Nigel Slater. I loved Miss Honey's house in the movie Matilda and would like it if my kitchen felt like hers. My biggest inspiration for cooking though is my family — my sisters, younger brother, mom, and my grandmother — who are all immensely talented home cooks. I call them regularly for tips! We never had anything made from a box growing up — always from scratch! I am much more lazy than they are but I am trying to put more effort into homemade meals.
Best cooking advice or tip you ever received:
My sister, Elizabeth, taught me how to make baked eggs and that's when I got excited about cooking my own meals at home instead of eating out all the time. Toss an egg into a mini cast iron pan (fresh from the chicken and organic if possible), good salt, a dash of cream, chopped herbs, and prosciutto. Add arugula and creme fraiche on top if you like.
What's the most memorable meal you've ever cooked in this kitchen?
I can't pinpoint one particular event, but during the rainy, gloomy, Northwest winters I adore having friends over for indoor picnics. I light candles and we have a potluck picnic with soup, salads, and lots of bread and cheese, on my coffee table. Cotswold cheese is always included (it's my favorite!) and there's always tea and chocolate afterwards.
Kitchen Resources of Note
- Artwork: paintings of the wildflowers (near stove) and strawberries (above table) by Jamie Shelman; little cottage painting by Paul Ferney; Canadian wildflowers are vintage from Chelsea's grandmother
- Dishes and Cookware: plates are mostly vintage/thrifted; pottery from Alder & Co.; little salt bowls from Noun, Mud Australia, and vintage/thrifted; Le Creuset pots and cast iron pans from Sur La Table
- Furniture: antique table from Thea's Antiques
- Flowers: fresh flowers from Portland Flower Market (wholesale only) and the farmers market at PSU. "I love Hilary Horvath's stand, and the New Seasons on SE Division," says Chelsea.
Visit Chelsea Online
Thank you so much Chelsea for letting us peek into your kitchen!
Share your own kitchen renovation or improvement!
We're always looking for real kitchens from real cooks.
Show us your kitchen here!