Merry Christmas from the new kitchen

December 24, 2021


After spending the last 10 years writing a weekly newspaper column, it seems strange not to write my usual Christmas story. Now that the weight of a deadline has been lifted, I've been able to focus on a few other projects like . . . a Christmas BOOK! Yes! Plans are underway, so we'll see what happens between now and next year. Now that I've put it in writing for you to witness, I'll have to stick to it! 

Before - four years ago.

Other than preparing for my son's upcoming wedding (don't let them tell you the mother of the groom has nothing to do) . . .  I've also spent the last few months living with kitchen construction. Here it is a few years ago before a Christmas party. I hit my head on that microwave almost every day!

And this year. It's basically the same footprint, but everything is rearranged for better storage and to make room for updated appliances. I know 99% of the world loves a white kitchen, but with my brick floors, it just didn't seem right. I adore a house full of color, so I went with my grandmother McKee's green kitchen color from my childhood. 

Click to read: Kitchens and Pantone from my second book and you'll see why I love kitchens so much. 

The copper hood was ordered from a metal artist in Pennsylvania. We didn't get it installed until 1 hour before my husband's birthday party. - Whew! I still had hot rollers in my hair when the first guest arrived! 

Old kitchen, complete with dog bowls. I wish I'd made a special place for them in the new kitchen. 

I love the old door we found for the pantry at Charles Phillips Antiques in Theodore, AL. The textured glass is one long piece that slides in from the top. It came from France. The blue light inside the pantry is from our "coffee station." - How pampered I feel! 

The island top is Acacia  wood, which is mentioned 29 times in the Bible and was used in the construction of the tabernacle. It supposedly has antibacterial properties, but alas, I must still clean it. When my grandmother Harrison asked me, "What would you like to have from my house someday?" The only thing I requested was the cookie jar that is on the shelf. 

My Italian phrase of the summer, "Che casino!" — What a mess!

The white beachy-beadboard was removed from the side of the counter that faces the keeping room (or, the "baton-twirling" room) and replaced with hickory. The marble is honed for a rougher, natural look. We decided to pretend to be European and not worry about scratches and stains. Italians live with their marble for hundreds of years and don't seem too stressed about it. So far, we haven't fallen apart. 

Kitchen tip: Keep your elf in a jar to eliminate shenanigans. 

With COVID, shipping issues, and work-force problems, we were fortunate to have a wonderful contractor who kept things going. Even with this in progress, I hosted company twice, once with 6 people. I had a temporary kitchen set up in the living room with a toaster oven. Gourmet sandwiches, anyone?

The kitchen project was a great distraction from this pandemic/stress/troubled world.  This Christmas, I'm celebrating the beauty of the  gift of Christ during this strange time in history. I hope all of you are well, and thank you for missing my column. It's a joy to hear from you and even though most of us have never met in person, you are all dear to my heart. 

Stay connected for more updates on weddings, books, and the occasional thought I may try out on you first for future story ideas. 

Merry Christmas! 

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