The Barefoot Contessa at Home in Manhattan

by hookedonhouses on December 29, 2009

Ina Garten in her living room

Ina Garten, known to millions of foodies as “The Barefoot Contessa,” has an apartment in Manhattan featured in House Beautiful. I love this quote of hers from the article:

When people come to your house, you don’t ever want them to feel that you’ve been cooking for three days. You want them to feel like this is just something you whipped up and come on, we’re having a party. And decorating is like that, too. You don’t want people to feel, Oh, don’t touch that. You want them to feel, Oh, just sit anywhere and put your feet up.

Ina Garten's house-pumpkin curtains

Aren’t these pumpkin-colored silk velvet curtains sumptuous?

Ina Garten's Manhattan apt-pumpkin curtains2

Despite the bold color on the windows, the rest of the apartment remains mostly neutral.

Ina Garten's dining room

Ina Garten's kitchen

The kitchen in her East Hampton “barn” is the one most of us recognize (featured in Veranda magazine):

Ina Garten's barn kitchen

Garten’s barn was built as a multi-purpose office where she creates recipes, write cookbooks, and films her television shows.

Ina Garten's barn kitchen 2

Did you know that Garten worked at the White House in the 1970s on nuclear energy policy? Determined to change course, she bought a small, specialty food store in the Hamptons called “The Barefoot Contessa.” She told The New York Times, “My job in Washington was intellectually exciting and stimulating but it wasn’t me at all.”

The original store’s owner named it after a 1954 film starring Ava Gardner and Humphrey Bogart. Garten felt the name suited her “elegant but earthy lifestyle.”

Barefoot Contessa DVD cover

In Something’s Gotta Give, Garten’s Hamptons store was the one that Diane Keaton’s character shops in (but it has since closed):

Barefoot Contessa shop 1

(You can see my post about the fabulous Something’s Gotta Give house here.)

Barefoot Contessa shop 2

Her first book, The Barefoot Contessa’s Cookbook, became a bestseller when it was published in 1999. Today she continues to write books and hosts “The Barefoot Contessa,” a popular show on The Food Network. (Do you watch?)

Ina Garten-Food Network

Read the interview with Garten and see the slideshow of her Manhattan apartment at House Beautiful. (Photos by Simon Upton.)

Julia-simple teal signature

Visit my Celebrity Houses page for links to all the others I’ve featured, from Paula Deen’s Home in Savannah to Julia Child’s in Cambridge.

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The Little Red Shop December 30, 2009 at 1:29 am

Ahhh… her style!!! I catch her show from time to time. The Food Network’s website is the home page on one of my computers.

: )

Julie M.

ps I want to hug those curtains!
.-= The Little Red Shop´s last blog ..Wee Wish You… =-.

E. George December 30, 2009 at 3:50 am

Hi Julia hope you are doing well this lady I watched on the Oprah show a while back she is very elegant so is her apartment. I love black and white pictures on the walls. I have a few of New York and Paris and of course a few of Ansel Adams works all in black and white and beautiful – in the US of A they have a big website when you start you can’t stop. Let me take this opportunity to wish you and your family a Happy Healthy Safe and Prosperous New Year. Cheers Esther from Sydney…

Mom in High Heels December 30, 2009 at 3:56 am

I love those blue cabinets! I’m not fond of the hardware on them, but the cabinets are gorgeous.
.-= Mom in High Heels´s last blog ..RTT: End of 2009 (and hopefully not the world) =-.

Bonnie December 30, 2009 at 5:27 am

Barefoot Contessa is the only Food show that I TiVo. She has wonderful recipes that I use a lot. Love her Manhattan apartment. It really looks like her.
.-= Bonnie´s last blog ..52 in 52 =-.

christy December 30, 2009 at 6:45 am

I do not watch her show – but I use some of her recipes I find online. I LOVE those pumpkin colored silk velvet drapes. I’m swooning over them. Her apartment is lovely!
.-= christy´s last blog ..My blog book =-.

Annie@A View on Design December 30, 2009 at 7:44 am

Lovely kitchen diner… wow!
.-= Annie@A View on Design´s last blog ..Sensational Soverign Islands =-.

duchess December 30, 2009 at 7:59 am

Of course I watch Ina – love her. I have to admit that I love her house & barn in East Hampton more than the Manhatten apartment but they’re both classic.
Thanks for the tour.
.-= duchess´s last blog ..Christmas Wrap Up 2009 =-. December 30, 2009 at 8:04 am

What a wonderful house!

Wanted to let you know I just saw an article in the paper that the movie house for Nights in Rodanthe just sold. The house is being saved and moved one mile inland.
.-=´s last blog ..Flower Frog Fun =-.

Kelly December 30, 2009 at 8:06 am

That barn is my all time favorite kitchen. I absolutely love her style (and her friends who help her with tablescapes and flowers on her show :)). Those curtains look so yummy…thanks for sharing!!
.-= Kelly´s last blog ..Metamorphosis Monday…my first =-.

Scott Fazzini December 30, 2009 at 8:16 am

Thank you so much for this post! I’m absolutely in LOVE with Ina! She’s got such splendidly fantastic taste!
.-= Scott Fazzini´s last blog ..The Romantic Egotist… and his waltzing partner =-.

Jessica at Lavender & Lilies December 30, 2009 at 8:28 am

You are amazing! My issue of House beautiful is in the large amount of mail waiting on my counter. I love Ina. I saw her husband in Laguardia one time and I almost went up to him and declared, “I am in love with your wife!” I didn’t I thought he might think I was weird.
.-= Jessica at Lavender & Lilies´s last blog ..I’m Back =-.

Jamie December 30, 2009 at 8:48 am

Love her! and all of her homes too!
.-= Jamie´s last blog ..Handmade gift #1 =-.

Maureen December 30, 2009 at 8:51 am

I love Ina.
I met her once at a luncheon just before her show started airing. What a very nice woman.

Monique December 30, 2009 at 8:57 am

I love that barn kitchen too..loved the movie Something’s Gotta Give also..Thanks!
.-= Monique´s last blog ..SoulFood#35 =-.

Trish @TheOldPostRoad December 30, 2009 at 9:16 am

I just posted a couple of days ago about a chateau and “herringbone parquetry” floors – which is what she has in her living room!

That is really cool about her change of careers! She is obviously following her dream and it shows- she loves what she does.
.-= Trish @TheOldPostRoad´s last blog ..One Last Christmas Post =-.

Honey B December 30, 2009 at 10:23 am

Wow, I didn’t know that was an apartment! Love her kitchen, but I just always assumed it was out on a farm somewhere!
.-= Honey B´s last blog ..The Deep South: A Review =-.

hookedonhouses December 30, 2009 at 10:39 am

Honey B–
The “barn kitchen” at the bottom is in the Hamptons where she films the show. The kitchen at the top of the post is the one in her apartment. Sorry if I confused you by throwing them both in there, but I just love that barn kitchen and couldn’t resist showing it, too! -Julia :-)

greenie December 30, 2009 at 10:31 am

Never heard of her, but love the “barn”. That is one beautiful space!

Aunt Amelia December 30, 2009 at 10:58 am

What I like the best about this lady is… She’s big and she looks as if she eats her food! -grin- Can’t say that about a lot of those cooks-on-tv. To which I say; “Boo hisssss”

.-= Aunt Amelia´s last blog .."What Are You Doing New Years, New Years Eve?" =-.

Debbie December 30, 2009 at 11:09 am

I love Ina Garten, her houses, her recipes, everything! So many of her recipes have become a staple at my home; turkey meatloaf, coq au vin, salmon with lentils, and lately sliders! Kids love them. When I am planning a party, I have no problem using one of her recipes that I haven’t even tested because I know it will work. Fresh, good food, relaxed entertaining…that’s wonderful! Thank you for the article!

Lesley @ TheDesignFile December 30, 2009 at 11:29 am

I just love that quote. I really need to print that off and put it up in my office so I’m reminded of it every day.

And I love those curtains. So indulgent and beautiful!
.-= Lesley @ TheDesignFile´s last blog ..Try wallpaper behind a headboard for modern style =-.

Farmeress December 30, 2009 at 12:12 pm

A lovely guest brought Beatty’s Chocolate a recipe from Ina’s M-I-L (or G’mother-I-L) to a Holiday Game Dinner here at the Farm and generated “Increible” from every partaker. Available online & also at the Food Network site Ina declares it the “Best chocolate cake ever!I would have to agree. Easy too! I made it with lesser grade chocolate than suggested and in a 2 3/4 cake pan (batter very thin) and it was stupendous!!!! I dragged a fork through the frosting and it looked elegant too! Love this ladies easy, warm demeanor. Defines gracious in my mind. Seems genuinely happy too and her surroundings reflect it!

FROM THE RIGHT BANK December 30, 2009 at 1:03 pm

I just saw this issue and thought her home was really warm and lovely. I think she accomplished her goal of making it inviting. The pumpkin velvet curtains are just fantastic – luxurious but cozy. Love it.
.-= FROM THE RIGHT BANK´s last blog ..The House Is Finally Ours! =-.

Beth December 30, 2009 at 1:17 pm

Never realized that the store in Something’s Gotta Give was Barefoot Contessa! I have a new movie house for you–the house from The Hangover. Most of the movie is set in Vegas, but the beginning and the end are at the bride’s parents’ estate. They don’t show a lot of the interiors of the house but what they do is great–especially the library. It’s painted this deep deep turquoise. There is a scene in the library during the movie, and also there is an extra scene set in the library at the end of the extended edition on DVD.

Amanda @ Serenity Now December 30, 2009 at 1:29 pm

Love her barn! The stools at the island are so neat. :)
.-= Amanda @ Serenity Now´s last blog ..The Loot =-.

the BLAH BLAH BLAHger December 30, 2009 at 1:57 pm

I love her gigantic kitchen and how she has a beautiful table right in the middle of it. I love to work in the kitchen with my guests enjoying conversation around me. Someday, I’ll have a larger home and hope to have a similar set up!!!
.-= the BLAH BLAH BLAHger´s last blog ..Our Christmas Tradition =-.

Rhonda Hughes December 30, 2009 at 3:41 pm

I’ve been watching Ina since she started she is amazingly elegant but in a comfortable way. after seeing her house in the Hamptons I was surprised at house minimalist her Apartment is in NYC.

Debbie December 30, 2009 at 3:48 pm

Hi Julia, I love this home and I love Ina. I agree with her philosophy of making people feel warm and invited….whether it is food or decorating! Great post.
Hope your Christmas was wonderful…ours was!
.-= Debbie´s last blog ..A big change… =-.

Trisha Jones December 30, 2009 at 4:17 pm

Oh, Ina. How I love her. (Though, I am always embarrassed for her terrible acting skills during “cell phone” or “market shopping” segments of her show!) I love that she always makes a decadent dessert to finish off a meal. The small herb trees lined up against the back-splash (of her barn kitchen) are a nice touch. The love she expresses for her husband is always so sweet. It’s so difficult for me to imagine her living in the fast-paced city of New York. I have always seen her as a realistic, within-reach Martha Stewart. Oh! I’m such a fan!

arlene December 30, 2009 at 7:06 pm

Looks like you’re a Barefoot fan. I just discovered a few days ago the Barefoot Bloggers. Its a club for Contessa fans who make her recipes and post them. Its pretty neat. I too enjoy watching her.
.-= arlene´s last blog ..The Irish Pub Special….I’d like to think =-.

sandy toe December 30, 2009 at 7:57 pm

I love her voice…I could just fall asleep to her show!
sandy toe
.-= sandy toe´s last blog ..A very {beachy} Christmas~ =-.

Stephanie December 30, 2009 at 8:31 pm

What a lovely apartment!
.-= Stephanie´s last blog ..from baby to mommys little girl .. 3 years in the making …. Happy 2010 =-.

Kayjay December 30, 2009 at 9:11 pm

`If she wants me to sit with my feet up it will be necessary to move some of those things off her table. There is no room for my feet.

Reynie December 30, 2009 at 9:21 pm

OMG!! Love, love this post! Thank you for sharing. I heart the Contessa and watch her always! Love her city place but I love that barn most!
.-= Reynie´s last blog ..KGB is Four Months Old! =-.

kimberly h December 30, 2009 at 9:28 pm

I LOVE INA! Her voice is so calming to me ,sometimes I put her on to fall asleep to.

I have to say I love her Hamptons home 100 times more than her apt. Maybe it’s the Southern laid back girl in me,or the fact that I love beach houses, or maybe it could be me imagining what the apt. would look like 5 minutes after my 4 year old son entered it,lol.

How cool about her store being in “Something’s Gotta Give”!

I wanna be Ina when I grow up 😛

kimberly h December 30, 2009 at 9:32 pm

Sandy Toe ,just saw your post,and here I was thinking I was crazy (her voice).Glad I’m not hearing things ;).

le December 30, 2009 at 10:51 pm

Hello Julia – it really is Le @ Whoop Whoop just here to wish you happiness and all things good for 2010. Loved this piece – her quote re her government job ‘being stimualting but not at all me’ is me to a T.

Thru your inspiration and one or two others I have started a new project blog … your beach blog is so inspiring I just had to have one of my own … best to you le
.-= le´s last blog ..Felt Affair =-.

Charlene December 30, 2009 at 11:01 pm

I love the pumpkin curtains & the barn style, but quite honestly, in her apartment anyway, I don’t see a single piece of furniture that says to me “Oh, just sit anywhere and put your feet up.” But it is pretty, just not ‘comfy’ to me. I enjoy your blog so much! Not only do you provide inspiration & a peek into homes, but I’ve been getting lots of Netflix ideas from you too with all your posts on homes from movies!
.-= Charlene´s last blog ..Christmas 2009 =-.

Kellye December 31, 2009 at 12:12 am

Sadly, I am not a fan of cooking shows, nor of orange. 😉 I think it’s a well put-together apartment, though.

What really interests me is that these women w/the cooking shows seem to film at their own homes. I suppose that is much more convenient for them and saves the networks a bundle by not having to build a standing set. I wonder what Julia (um, the other one) would think?

Nikki December 31, 2009 at 1:36 am

As a long time lurker, just wanted to stop by and say thank you for all your great posts. I always look forward to them, even if I can’t think of anything to comment!
.-= Nikki´s last blog ..Tequila Cream Ice Cream =-.

susan December 31, 2009 at 7:59 am

I can’t believe her change in careers–one of the lucky ones! The left and right sides of her brain developed :) Happy New Year and thanks for a year of great posts!
.-= susan´s last blog ..2009 A Year in Review =-.

Richella at Imparting Grace December 31, 2009 at 10:30 am

Funny you should feature Ina Garten. My husband asked for some cookbooks for Christmas, and one of hers was a book I bought for him. So I had just read about her last week. I like her even more after knowing more about her!

From what I’ve seen of your house, I’d say that your place embodies the spirit of which In Garten speaks.

Every blessing to you for a wonderful 2010!
.-= Richella at Imparting Grace´s last blog ..2009 in the rear-view mirror =-.

black eyed susans kitchen December 31, 2009 at 12:47 pm

Julia, I have been an Ina Garten fan all along. She is grace under pressure, and knows that simple is best. This is a lovely post, and her apartment is wonderful…especially those drapes. Wishes for a happy and healthy new year to you and your family. May 2010 bring to you all your heart desires.
.-= black eyed susans kitchen´s last blog ..NEW YEAR OPTIMISM =-.

Tracey December 31, 2009 at 8:09 pm

Every time I see her beautiful kitchen it makes me want to cook. I think that is my dream kitchen, it is so functional, yet cozy.
.-= Tracey´s last blog ..Reading The World’s Best Seller =-.

Rita December 31, 2009 at 8:29 pm

Thanks for the wonderful tour. It’s fun to see the other side of Garten’s creative side.
.-= Rita´s last blog ..Happy New Year =-.

Home January 28, 2010 at 3:08 am

Oh my! This is such a nice home! Nice place, and nice interiors! Very great!

colleen February 8, 2010 at 3:01 pm

Loved her house, loved “Something’s Gotta Give” house and movie, loved “It’s complicated”. You should check out the book “An Affair With A House” by Bunny Williams. Gorgeous photos of her restored home and she has a “barn”, too.

Marilyn February 10, 2010 at 5:26 pm

The November 2008 Town & Country Magazine has pictures of Ina’s Paris apartment!

Gloria April 20, 2010 at 11:05 pm

Julia — THIS is how I found you! I googled something about Ina Garten’s store being in what movie, and this “Hooked on Houses” spot was listed! So I clicked on and, as I said in my other ‘comment’ that I left: I am now HOOKED on your blogs! If you can add me to your email list of the HOOKED ON HOUSES email list if you have one, please do! Thanks!!
Best regards,
.-= Gloria´s last blog ..Second Day – my first Follower! =-.

susanna mccarthy May 16, 2010 at 1:05 pm

Can anyone tell me about the chairs Ina uses for her alfresco gatherings? Crate and Barrel captiva? Do they hold up well outside?

ELIZABETH June 30, 2010 at 9:50 pm


Sheila September 5, 2010 at 8:29 am

How did I miss this post?! When a friend introduced me to Ina (not in reality, but introduced me to her show/cookbooks), I thought she seemed just a little stuffy. But I’ve grown to enjoy her shows and would love to meet her (yeah, like that’s going to happen). Her homes and barn are lovely and her cooking is spectacularly simple and beautiful. She seems, from afar, like such an interesting human being with many facets. Great post, Julia!
.-= Sheila´s last blog ..Google as a verb — and a puppy =-.

Nita October 21, 2010 at 9:17 pm

I wonder if her mom was a gardener, as in IN A GARTEN.

marta April 1, 2011 at 5:12 pm

I love her country house! Especially the kitchen – thanks for sharing the photos….

Meghan @ My Wishful Thinking April 2, 2011 at 4:11 am

Completely addicted to these posts! I love her apartment but I am completely in love with her East Hampton house

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