In Her Own Words: Julia Child On Her Massachusetts Kitchen

(Image credit: Apartment Therapy)

We, along with everyone else on the internet and in the publishing world, just can’t stop talking about Julia Child! This past Wednesday would have been her 100th birthday, and in honor of that, Architectural Digest reprinted an essay Julia wrote for their July/August 1976 issue. It’s mostly about the design of her kitchen, which makes it a particularly lovely read. Jump below for an excerpt:

In the summer of 1961 Julia and Paul Child moved into the Cambridge, Massachusetts home where they would live for the next few decades. The house was in good overall shape, she writes, but the kitchen (“the beating heart and social center of the household”) needed a few minor renovations to “make it both practical and beautiful, a working laboratory as well as a living and dining room.” In the essay she writes about the initial design of her kitchen, as well as the origins of her now-iconic pegboard system:

Since we rejoice in the shapes of tools, cooking utensils become decorative objects, all carefully orchestrated by Paul from pots and pot lids to skillets, trivets and flan rings. Even the knives are graduated according to shape and size on vertical magnetic holders. Glass measures and earthenware pitchers are hung just so, while scissors hang in harmony with olive pitters, bottle openers and nut-crackers. We have a bookcase for dictionaries, atlases and bird lore, and paintings by friends. A painted artichoke lives over the wall ovens and a painting of eggs is over the refrigerator. A painted valentine is glued to its door, along with Paul’s colorful photographs of a boeuf daube en gelée, a pâté en croûte and a string of sausages.

She ends the essay with a few thoughts on what she’d do differently if she were ever to design another kitchen. (Make sure to note her thoughts on the dining room!)

(Image: Richard Champion/Architectural Digest)