Nancy Mitchell

As a Senior Writer at Apartment Therapy, Nancy splits her time among looking at beautiful pictures, writing about design, and photographing stylish apartments in and around NYC. It’s not a bad gig.
The Big Problem with Farmhouse Sinks (That No One Tells You About)
If you're going to install a farmhouse sink, make sure you're in it for the long haul.
Why Do People in the South Call Lunch “Dinner” and Dinner “Supper”?
Do these words have different meanings to you? Or are they one and the same?
Before and After: This Breakfast Nook Gets a Charming Upgrade for $350
The secret weapon? Picture molding.
This Rum Punch Is Just What You Need for a Holiday Season at Home
This holiday season, time with other people feels more precious than ever — even if it’s the same crew you’ve been hanging out with all year. Whether you’re gathering a few friends safely outside or just want to celebrate with your household (Happy Tuesday!), we could all use an extra-special break from the everyday. Like, maybe, a relaxed hangout at home with the perfect cocktail delivered to your door?
5 “Tired” Decor Trends I’m Still Not Over
In my years of writing about design, I’ve seen a lot of trends come and go. Some things, like bold chevrons and mason jar mania, I don’t miss at all. But there are some trends that I confess, I still hold onto, even if others find them outdated or overplayed. After all, home decor is about finding what YOU love, right? Here are five really old trends that I’m still not tired of. What do you think? Do you still love these looks?
The 5 Best Things You Will Ever Do for Your Home
Kitchn and our sister site, Apartment Therapy, are all about improving your home and making it a better place to live, so it’s very bold of me to use a superlative here. Of course, as we say, nothing you do for your home is ever wasted, but over the years I have found that there are a few things that are especially transformative — things that go beyond decorating and get to the very core of what makes you happy at home.
The Appliance Mistakes That Will Make Your Home Harder to Sell
Unless you’re planning on staying in your house forever, chances are good that, when planning home improvements, you have at least one eye on resale value. Today we’re tackling a tricky question: Can new appliances increase the value of your home? As most appliances don’t come cheap, is it worth the expensive upgrade? Turns out, the answer is: it depends. For the most part, expecting a significant return on appliances is a risky proposition.
This $13 Gadget Saves a Ton of Counter Space in My Small Kitchen
When your kitchen is as small as mine, every bit of countertop space counts. You want to have as few things occupying those precious few square feet (inches?) as possible, to maximize the space for actual food prep. Allow me to introduce you to one of my favorite space-saving kitchen solutions: the cabinet-mounted paper towel holder.
Don’t Make Cabinet Hardware an Afterthought in Your Kitchen
When you’re planning a kitchen makeover, you probably think about the big stuff: the countertops, the cabinets, the appliances, the flooring. But we’re here to remind you that little things can make a big difference, too. Particularly, when it comes to kitchens, that means hardware.
3 “Dated” Design Trends We Aren’t Ready to Quit Just Yet
Fashion is fickle, and sometimes something that’s super-popular one year is “out” (or just a little overplayed) the next. Like you, I am thoroughly sick of faux taxidermy. But there are a few other design trends that other folks may be weary of that I still think are pretty great. We get it: these chairs, designed in 1948 by Charles and Ray Eames, are everywhere.
15 Online Sources for Inexpensive Art for Your Kitchen and Dining Room
I wish I had the kind of disposable income that allowed me to walk into my favorite galleries and buy the work that I love right off the walls, but let’s be real — that’s just not gonna happen anytime soon. So instead I will rely on the next best (read: affordable) thing: the internet. Buying art online has really improved in recent years.
5 Reasons This Kitchen Cabinet Color Will Be Trendy for a Long Time
Our sister site, Apartment Therapy, has written before about kitchens with green cabinets, and blue cabinets, and black cabinets — and those are all lovely, but this post is dedicated to a particular favorite of mine: gray cabinets. Whether you’re looking for a pearl gray or a seal gray or a dark almost-charcoal gray, this color has a timeless allure, and suits practically any space. Here are five reasons why this hue is here to stay.
Tired of White Subway Tile? You’ll Love This Moody Backsplash Trend.
I’m very into tile. I have favorite kinds of tile. I watch tile trends. I have joked about starting a blog all about tile (it’s not really a joke, though). You may think of tile as a dull subject, but that’s where you’d be wrong. There’s always something new in the tile world, some new shape or texture or color or configuration. Lately, I am very into the look of matte black tile paired with black grout.
In Praise of Cleaning with a Slight Buzz
I have always hated to iron. So imagine my surprise when a coworker told me that the most relaxing part of his day was going home, drinking a beer or two, and doing a little ironing. As someone who deeply detests ironing, I would never have dreamed of anyone finding it relaxing. As the daughter of two strict teetotalers, I would never have dreamed of mixing drinking and household chores. This was my first introduction to the wonderful world of buzzed (drunk?) cleaning.
4 Controversial Kitchen Design Decisions That People Love to Argue About
Mentioning the word controversy in connection with home decor may seem a little silly. But if you read the comments on pretty much any design-related post on our site or our sister site, Apartment Therapy, you will learn that decorating decisions can be very contentious indeed. People have strong opinions, and nowhere is that more true than in the kitchen.
A Tiny Galley Kitchen Gets Brightened Up — And a Ton More Storage
The “before” kitchen in this Upper West Side two-bedroom wasn’t in terrible condition, but it was plagued by a few issues common to small kitchens: teeny-tiny appliances, and a serious lack of cabinet and counter space. The dark finishes and awkward, chopped-up blocks of cabinets made the small space seem even smaller. The owners, a newly married couple, envisioned a lighter, more streamlined kitchen that would bring a fresh new look to the public spaces of their apartment.
A Few Little Changes Made a Big Difference in This Tiny Kitchen
Earlier this week, we wrote about a perfectly serviceable kitchen that got a few tweaks to become totally wow-worthy. (See: A Perfectly Fine Kitchen Gets Unbelievably Better Thanks to a Bit of Paint.) And here’s another one! Instead of starting totally from scratch, homeowners Lindsay and Matt used a minimal budget to make just a few small changes to their Brooklyn kitchen, creating a fresh, modern space without much hassle.
10 Amazingly Beautiful Kitchens You Won’t Believe Are IKEA
These envelope-pushing styles and configurations might have you reconsidering your next kitchen remodel.
A Lovely, Low-Maintenance Alternative to a Tile Backsplash
Tile backsplashes are nice, but if you don’t fancy cleaning all those grout lines, or you’re just looking for something a little more sleek and modern, why not try a glass backsplash? They’re low-maintenance and a great way to add a little color to your kitchen. Interested? Here are a few things you should know.
5 Old Kitchen Design Trends That Have Totally Made a Comeback
For proof that everything that is old will eventually become new again, you need look no further than the kitchen, where plenty of once-reviled trends are making their way back into the spotlight. Here are five “new” trends that might look oddly familiar. Tile countertops were hugely popular in the ’70s and ’80s. Now they’re making a comeback, albeit in more modern, minimally styled installations.
15 Clever Things Your Dream Kitchen Would Have
Do you have frequent, wild fantasies about redoing your kitchen? Welcome to the club! Here are 15 clever details you’ll probably want to add to your wish list — in a perfect, budget-less world. While totally necessary, cutting boards are often some of the most difficult tools to store. What if you could steal this idea from Residence Magazine (via Nordicspace) and have special slots under your countertop for them to slide into? Right?
Proof That Small Changes Can Make a Big Difference in a Kitchen
A lot of the before-and-after photos we share here and on our sister site, Apartment Therapy, feature dramatic changes: new cabinets, new countertops, new appliances, new floor plans. But in this Fort Greene kitchen, the changes are much more subtle. They’re so subtle, in fact, that flipping back and forth between the before-and-after photos is a little bit like one of those puzzles where you try to spot the differences between the two pictures. Can you spot the changes?
11 Super-Smart IKEA Storage and Decorating Hacks for Your Kitchen
We love a good IKEA hack, particularly in the kitchen, where a little change can make a big difference to the look and feel of the space. From island storage to glamorous pot rails, here are 11 of our favorite projects. You might never have guessed that this fancy kitchen cart came from IKEA. Meg from Oliver and Rust gave the $60 BEKVAM kitchen cart a makeover, inspired by the look of a Williams Sonoma one she loved but couldn’t afford.
This Dated Builder-Basic Kitchen Got Smart (and Easy) Updates
Here’s a thing that’s bound to happen when you’re house shopping: You see a place where the previous owner has replaced the kitchen (or bathroom), ostensibly as a selling point, but the new space already looks incredibly dated. It’s especially frustrating if you really like the place otherwise, because then you find yourself in the position of either living with a kitchen that you really don’t like, or ripping out one that’s brand-new.
These Kitchen Transformations Are Amazing — And Totally Affordable
Think you can’t afford a new kitchen? Think again! These five budget renovations prove that you don’t need a ton of cash to get a new look in your kitchen — just some hard work (and a little bit of creativity). Pictured above is the kitchen of Mandi Johnson, spotted on A Beautiful Mess. Mandi painted her cabinets instead of replacing them, and opted for a budget-friendly butcher block countertop and plank backsplash.
The Best $150 I Ever Spent on My Teeny-Tiny Kitchen
When I started my hunt for the perfect tiny New York apartment, I knew that it would probably come with a tiny kitchen, too. I got lucky: My kitchen actually has a full-sized fridge, and it even has an oven. (Yes, there are people in New York who are paying lots and lots of money to rent apartments with no oven.) And while my kitchen is small — it only has two-and-a-half feet of counter space — I saw others that were even smaller.
10 Easy Sangrias for Fall
Here are a few sangrias that are perfect for autumn, from Thanksgiving to Christmas, and everything in between.
Forgotten Gin Cocktails: The Gimlet, The Bennet, The Stay Up Late & The Debutante
Last week we looked at four classic gin cocktails, all variations on the gin sour, which contains gin, lemon, and sugar. Swap the lemon for lime and you have a gimlet – delicious on its own, and as a jumping-off point for even more classic drinks. Combine all ingredients in a shaker over ice; shake and strain into a cocktail glass. Add bitters to a gin sour and you have a Fitzgerald; add bitters to a gimlet and you have a Bennet.
Forgotten Gin Cocktails: The Gin Sour, The Fitzgerald, The Aviation & The Casino
Some of the tastiest cocktails (think the martini, the Manhattan, the margarita) are also the simplest. At a time when it’s not unusual to walk into a cocktail bar and see drinks with seven or eight ingredients on the menu, it can be refreshing to look back to the simpler drinks of a bygone era. Here are four cocktails, all variations on the humble gin sour, that thrilled pre-Prohibition drinkers with their simple elegance. First up: the gin sour.
4 Ways to Sweeten Up Your Whiskey Sour
Adding a little sweetness to mellow the burn of the liquor is part of the plan for almost all cocktails – in fact, the earliest cocktails were just liquor, sugar, water, and a dash or two of bitters. These days, simple syrup (a 1 to 1 mix of water and sugar) is the most commonly called-for sweetener in cocktails, but we’ve got a lot of different choices at our disposal – like honey and agave nectar – all of which can subtly alter the character of a drink.
Downton Abbey Cocktails: Mary
Today, our series of Downton Abbey cocktails concludes with a drink inspired by the Crawley sister you love, or hate, or maybe love to hate – Lady Mary.I’ll confess I don’t find Lady Mary to be particularly likable. Fellowes tries hard to give us reasons to sympathize with her, but to me, she just seems – mean.
Downton Abbey Cocktails: Edith
Continuing our series of Downton Abbey cocktails, here’s a drink inspired by Edith Crawley, the beleaguered middle sister.Edith is a little hard to pin down. In the first season, she alternates between pitiable (being in love with all her sister’s boyfriends) and despicable (writing the letter to the Turkish embassy that kicked off all those scandalous rumors). But in Season 2 Edith started to come into her own.
Downton Abbey Cocktails: Sybil
Now that Downton Abbey season 2 is over, we’re all waiting with bated (pun intended) breath to see what will happen in season 3. Until then, enjoy a little break from the action…and enjoy one of these cocktails inspired by characters from your favorite British drama. It was my ambition to create cocktails for all three Crawley sisters (because original cocktails for the whole cast, while admirable, might be a bit daunting).
Cocktail Recipe: The Original Hurricane
A Hurricane is a bit like a Long Island Iced Tea — you can order one almost anywhere, but you never know quite what you’re going to get. This year, for Mardi Gras, do yourself a favor and sample the original (and, in my opinion, best) version of this classic New Orleans cocktail. A true hurricane does not contain grenadine, pineapple juice, or vodka. It is not made from a mix. It is not served in a giant plastic cup.