Where We Cook: Caroline & Jeffrey's Elegant California Kitchen

Kitchen Tour

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Who cooks and eats here: Caroline Diani & Jeffrey Doornbos
Where: Santa Barbara, California
Rent or Own? Own

Caroline and Jeffrey married a little over a year ago. They merged lives, as Jeffrey moved up from Los Angeles (although he still keeps a small apartment there use during his work as an actor) and collaborated on many aspects of their shared Santa Barbara canyon home —previously inhabited by just Caroline and two dogs, Plum and Raisin.

Nowhere in their home is their cooperative spirit more reflected than in their elegant kitchen. Just look at the light pouring into this sweet, well-designed space — how could it not be both of their happy place?!

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The Kitchen Story

Caroline runs three boutiques as well as an online shop, and she just added a home store to her roster of stylish shopping experiences. Her kitchen is elegant and streamlined, much like her fashion and retail philosophy.

Caroline renovated the space a few years ago, from a ranch kitchen with everything in the wrong place to this modern yet cozy design. She swapped in a Viking fridge, industrious range, dark wooden floors and a mix of surfaces including stainless steel, white, blonde wood counter and even chicken wire to hold her pantry items in place.

The resulting effect is modern without being sterile, friendly and light while being a relatively small footprint. Caroline and Jeffrey's world travels contribute to the decor by way of little knickknacks collected while abroad

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Caroline and Jeffrey's Cooking Story

Here's a couple that love to eat healthfully and entertain lucky guests. Jeffrey often cooks a breakfast of scrambled eggs and organic veggies or walnut banana pancakes while Caroline likes to make festive snacks such as chips and guacamole and large salads. Together they tackle more involved meals for their friends —Caroline is English by way of Kenya, so they love to honor her heritage with big fetes serving Linconshire Minced Pie (a classic British savory pie full of zucchini and onions), steamed puddings, and plenty of champagne.

When things get crazy busy (as they often do while running a business and auditioning and appearing in television and films) they resort to the tried and true quick, healthy meals such as green smoothies, lentils, beet salads, grilled fish, chia bowls and plenty of fresh fruit.

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Resources of Note:

  • Stove: Rangemaster
  • Refrigerator: Viking
  • Floors: Giffin & Crane
  • Dishes: Many of our dishes are from Juliska
  • Pots and Pans: Le Creuset enameled, some All-Clad, and a couple of good old-fashioned cast iron skillets
  • Other odds and ends: Inherited Wedgewood Queensware, a few pieces of Match Pewter, and a mix and match of Victorian era china from English flea market finds
  • Dishwasher: None! We use our hands.
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(Image credits: Leela Cyd)