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  • Writer's picturetin618

secrets of a stylist: my kitchen and dining room

I love my kitchen/dining room combo- it's open, inviting, and spacious. It's probably the number one reason people book my house for photoshoots too. Originally I was really hoping to find a home with an open floor plan with the kitchen, dining and living room in one space. Or the ability to create one. After living here for four years, I've really enjoyed having the separation. It was a nice surprise!

My favorite spot to sit and eat or hangout is at the last barstool on the right. The barstools are from Restoration Hardware and were a housewarming gift to myself!

I love the big island! It's the perfect place to sprawl out and make a huge mess when baking! There's plugs all around the island too which is great when you are using extra appliances - brilliant!

I'm not a good cook. I'm ok. I used to say, "I can make a mean grilled cheese!" Now I'm gluten and dairy free so they are just ok too. Seriously- what is vegan cheese anyway? Besides disappointment and sadness?

I found these dining chairs on Amazon and they sent me the wrong ones TWICE! So I did some google sleuthing and found them on Target's website in grey (they are out of stock at Target but here is a similar set on Overstock)! I've had mismatched chairs since I can remember. This is the first matching set I've owned. I feel like I'm finally #adulting.

I love how the wood chairs play with the cement table. They add warmth and softness to an otherwise cold surface. The runner is from Target as well. I bought it for a shoot and never returned it. Same goes for the bookshelf on the side of the fridge which now houses some of my ever growing plant collection. At last count I was at 64 but I know I've killed a few since then! oops.

This is from the listing on ZIllow before I bought the house.

The pendant over the dining table is from West Elm. It was one of the first things I changed. It gives off such a nice warm glow.

The table was a gift from a friend (thanks Jeff!) and it holds more of my plant collection! The wall hanging I bought for a shoot and needed a way to hang it on the wall. My assistant had an idea to tie it to this stick and I loved it so much I kept it!

My grandma's yellow Cosco stool lives in my kitchen now. So many fond memories of sitting on that in her kitchen while the air filled with the smell of bacon and scratch made pancakes. Mmmmm....

The previous owner had open shelves here and I filled them with all my favorite mugs and bowls. A few years ago on Christmas Day, the shelves came crashing down! We added new and improved shelves that are mounted to the wall AND the ceiling (just to be safe!).

Want to guess what's behind that door?

My bar! The previous owner used this as a pantry (she had 5 kids).

Wonder where her bar was?

The glassware on the top shelf was a gift from my mom that my sister found at an antique store. The blue dish was my Great Grandma Mort's (she lived to be102!!)

Pretty amazing that I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time with my great grandmother! Jonni- thank you for saving the dish for me!

I just went home last weekend to celebrate my grandma's 101st birthday! Same grandma that made the pancakes from scratch and always had "table bacon". You know, the bacon that sits out all day on the counter with an upside down plate over it and you snack on it throughout the day? Yeah, that grandma.

My office is connected to the kitchen too. It's so nice to have a dedicated office with a door. I had (and still do) so many zoom meetings during the pandemic.

The dogs go CRAZY when the mailman comes!

This post wouldn't be complete without some cute shots of the dogs in the kitchen.

Stylist tip: Use glass jars to put your dry food in and leave them out! I put all my cereals, grains (rice, oats, quinoa, etc.), nuts, and dried fruits in glass containers to "display" them. It's nice to be able to see what I have and/or need! I bought some of the jars for a photoshoot and never returned them (do you see a pattern here?). Surprisingly, there is not a ton of storage in this kitchen so I needed to find a way to add more space for pantry items.

My secret: I always wanted to have a baking show with my friend Steph (she is an amazing baker!) and I would be the one screwing everything up and making a big mess and being funny. We would laugh, flour would fly in the air, frosting would be stuck in my hair...

Steph recently gave me this mixer...I can't wait to use it! I am a little intimidated by it.

I love to bake. I'm just not very good at it. I love using a recipe even though I have to read it one million times. Baking has rules and structure and if you follow the recipe correctly, you will probably make something delicious. I always screw it up and it still turns out pretty good. I also make a huge mess. Flour (or insert any ingredient here) is everywhere and I use ALL my bowls, measuring cups and spoons.

Pumpkin bundt cakes (what?), strawberry rhubarb crisp (my favorite), and banana bread (my go to). I love that even if bananas go bad you can still make something so yummy out of them! I always have a ton in my freezer for bread or smoothies!

I made my first cake from scratch during the pandemic: a lemon ricotta cake (I made it gluten free). I have made it probably 10 times since then. I still always screw it up, change it, and make a huge mess. I double the recipe and my math skills are not my strong suit. On a side note, I decided that I will eat dairy as long as it's in cake (or on top of a cake). A GF cake, of course. :)

Thanks for reading! Do you like to bake? What's your favorite recipe? Have you heard of table bacon? Please leave a question or comment below (or your favorite recipe!)

Until next time...cheers! xo tina

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