Real Kitchen Stories: 10 Readers Invite Us In

After announcing my “Hooked on Your Kitchens” Contest last Friday, I was amazed by the dozens of entries that immediately started pouring in. Wow. So many great kitchens and so many stories to go with them!

Here are 10 of the entries I’ve gotten so far. This is a small sample–I’ll feature as many as possible in days to come. And I’ll be paying attention to which kitchens get the most comments (keep them positive, please) as I narrow them down to the Top 10. So if you like something, say so–it’s kind of like voting for it!

1. Peggy’s Kitchen:

Let’s start with Peggy’s kitchen (the top photo is hers, too). She writes, “My kitchen is small, but it’s got everything I need, and it’s efficient to work in. What I like best about it is that my husband and I remodeled it ourselves, and it turned out exactly as I had imagined.”

2. Richard’s Kitchen:

Richard says, “Our kitchen is not real big but my wife loves the space. The kitchen is the center of our home and being open to the dining area and family room lets her cook and still be connected. The window over the sink gives a view of our backyard and the birdbath and squirrels tricks.”

3. Susan’s Kitchen:

Susan writes that she was inspired to renovate her tiny 1940s kitchen by an episode of Kitchen Cousins: “I watched it numerous times for ideas. We have a small kitchen (and definitely not eat-in) and so did they.” Now they have all the things they wanted in the room, like a dishwasher and Cambria counters.

These newspaper clippings were found in the walls when they gutted them: “I made a little framed collage of them to keep in the kitchen, where they originally started.”

“When I first got home after they completely finished the kitchen, I walked in and started crying a bit. It was my dream!

4. Candy’s Kitchen:

Candy says they’re selling their house now, and she’ll miss her kitchen: “I love everything about it, but maybe the counter depth fridge most of all. We designed this kitchen ourselves when we built the house. A dishwasher is on the other side of the island.”

5. Signe’s Kitchen:

Signe writes, “I live in the greater Puget Sound region of Seattle. I love my kitchen mostly because it functions really well. After over six years of living here, and countless meals prepared for our family as well as hosting many, many huge parties (we LOVE to entertain!), I have fallen in love with how well this kitchen performs!”

6. Dave’s Kitchen:

Dave writes: “In February we completed large remodel of our home–these photos were taken just before moving in. We love our kitchen because we wanted something that was nice but didn’t feel fancy. The box beams and reclaimed timber over the range help with this, but the backsplash is what makes the kitchen for us.”

“We knew we wanted a brick backsplash, but had a very hard time finding a brick veneer that looked authentic. Turns out, our property is bordered by a very old brick wall made of bricks that were reclaimed from the 1906 earthquake in San Francisco. When we were completing our kitchen, we were also in the process of demo-ing an unstable portion of the brick wall that was beyond repair. We were able to cut the face of those bricks to create the perfect veneer for the backsplash.”

“It’s been great to have a piece of history inside our home.”

7. Debra’s Kitchen:

Debra writes: “I love the wood floors and the whitewashed brick wall. I love my window box with herbs, cloches, apothecary jar, and sunlit view of backyard and pool. I love my London sign that we got at Portobello Road. And I love this guy, too–my son’s dog.”

8. Noreen’s Kitchen:

This is how her kitchen looked when she bought it. She says her mom advised her to think twice about the house because of it. But Noreen, who blogs at Spices & Spackle, knew it had potential to be “a real cook’s kitchen.”

She painted it Restoration Hardware’s Spanish Moss, added an old farmhouse table, got rid of the harsh fluorescent lighting, and replaced the old vinyl floor with red oak. It looks a lot warmer now:

“Now I have a kitchen that is not only functional, but beautiful too,” she says. “I look forward to cooking in it every night when I get home from work.” You can see more of her before and after photos–including her pantry–on her blog.

9. Alyson’s Kitchen:

Alyson writes: “We purchased our 1950’s home from the original owner. Not only did it smell of mildew, it was extremely out dated. We worked with my sister who is a kitchen and bath designer to customize our kitchen to what it is today.”

I love my kitchen for some many reasons. First, it was great working with my sister on a project. She truly had the vision behind the space and it is wonderful. Second, I love all the cabinet and counter space. I feel like we really maximized the space and it is so nice to have created an eat-in area. Also, love that is now so convenient to the family room and I can be cooking and also talking to my children or husband.

You can see all of the before and after photos on her blog.

10. Jeanne’s Kitchen:

Jeanne says, “I love my kitchen because I picked everything in it & great things come out of it.”

I love seeing “real kitchens.” Thanks to all the readers who submitted theirs. More info about the contest here. One rule: no rude or negative comments, please. Let’s keep it positive, okay? Thanks!

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  1. says

    Wow, I like them all, but I especially love the whitewashed brick in Debra’s kitchen (it just feels calm in there). And Peggy’s kitchen is great – I love the clean simplicity of it. Peggy, if you’re reading, are your cabinets both blue and white? It appears some are white and some are blue? I love them either way! I’m just asking because we talk about painting our cabinets white on a daily basis, but I’m nervous! Are yours painted or did they come that way?

    • Peggy says

      Thank you, Casey! Actually, the cabinets are two shades of gray; darker on the bottom, lighter on top. I had planned to have a greater contrast between the two, but I still like the way it ended up.

  2. Candy says

    I was thrilled to see my kitchen on your bolg today. OMG there are some fab kitchens out there. I will refer to them again and again as we remodel our current kitchen.

  3. Jennifer says

    I like Alyson’s kitchen, but I love Jeanne’s. So clean and fresh, but it still manages to feel warm and inviting!

  4. says

    Hmmm. What to choose? I am gathering ideas for a kitchen remodel so these pictures are VERY timely. Great feature. I love them all for different reasons of course. Here are things that jumped off the computer (for me). Brick back splash in Dave’s kitchen (love). Black cabinet’s in Alyson’s kitchen (cool).Susan’s kitchen is a galley like ours and gave me some excellent ideas for a mid-century. I am curious about her counter top.

  5. MelanieL says

    These are all great! Thank you for doing this Julia, I love the stories behind them, so neat. I do have to say that Dave’s kitchen totally rocks though!

    • Edith says

      I like the stories too. I find Dave’s kitchen is WAY TOO BIG but I really respect that he salvaged the old bricks and timbers. I love that.

  6. Kemperley says

    I was just wondering when I would be able to move into Dave’s kitchen?

  7. says

    Love, love, love the saved brick in Dave’s kitchen, the stainless backsplash in Peggy’s, and the huge island in Alyson’s kitchen. I’m still trying to get some good pics of mine to send in. I would love some feedback.

  8. says

    I love the openness of Candy and Jeanne’s kitchen, but I COVET the huge island in Dave’s kitchen!

  9. Sherry says

    I just love 5. Signe’s Kitchen. It’s both light & bright, and warm & woodsy. Difficult to achieve, but this kitchen nailed it. Dave’s is also beautiful, but needs accessories. All are so pretty!

    • Signe says

      Thank you Sherry for your nice comments. I cook A LOT and this kitchen has just been my favorite one! All the counter space allows me to keep all my “kitchen toys” out for easy access. And, I’m a log house nut, so getting to stare at those Douglas Fir logs is pretty nice too!

  10. says

    I liked Candy’s, Debra’s, and Jeanne’s kitchens the best. I think l love white kitchens! Ha Dark wood is nice, too, but there is just something about a white kitchen.

  11. says

    I love the enthusiasm they all have for their kitchens. You can tell by their descriptions that they are much loved rooms in their houses. I am super envious of the ones that have their microwaves built-in as I spent a good portion of time this morning trying to figure out where I could stash my “only used for popcorn” microwave. Still don’t have a solution for that! lol

    I love everything about Dave’s kitchen and was going to pick that as my favorite. Then I saw Alyson’s kitchen and I am partial to black cabinets. I painted my kitchen cabinets black two years ago. I also love the light fixtures in Alyson’s kitchen. So, in this batch of kitchens I could see myself in all of them cooking up a storm, but I’d be most comfortable in Alyson’s.

    Fun topic!!

    • jana says

      Just start cooking your popcorn on the cooktop and throw out your microwave! It’s much better that way anyway! :)

      • Stacey says

        We have an air popper that works great! I use my microwave for steaming fresh vegetables and melting chocolate!

  12. Nino says

    Hi Julia,
    Tanks again for your time and energy you put in it.
    You have the best blog about houses. Just great!!!

    It feels like getting a gift everytime I visit your blog

    The Netherlands

  13. Peggy says

    Julia, thanks for featuring my kitchen! I love looking at kitchens; there are so many great ideas out there! I

  14. Terry says

    I love, love, love this contest/survey. I thought all of the kitchens were beautifully done. But, my criteria was which one would I like to pad into early in the morning? That one would have to be Jeanne’s (No. 10). I love the size. It looks cozy, warm, and welcoming. I am planning to put hardwood floors in my kitchen. My husband is dubious. Wood floors in the kitchen?!? I have to remind him that for thousands of years boats were made of wood. Now I can show him a real kitchen with wood floors. Thanks Jeanne!

    • says

      My husband was worried about it when we decided on wood for our kitchen, too, but after 10 years it has held up great. I love the warmth of it, especially on cold winter mornings! :-)

      • Lisa Smith says

        I agree, Julia! Sixteen years and still going….and these are pine which is awfully soft, but I still love them! Hundred twenty pound dogs running around, and raised two children who brought a LOT of the great outdoors INDOORS with them! The worn look just adds more warmth and character.

        • Terry says

          Thanks guys, I knew I was right. Wood floor warm up a room, are easy on the back and feel good underfoot. I grew up with beautiful pine floors in my mother’s and grandmother’s kitchens and want that lovely look and feeling back.

          • Christina from Dallas says

            I wanted wood floors too in the kitchen but I could not talk my husband into it no matter how hard I tried. We ended up getting gray tile. They have tile that has a wood pattern design on it in case anyone is interested.

          • Tracie says

            Such lovely kitchens! Dave’s is amazing….I’d love to see the whole house! I also love Debra’s…it’s so pretty! We have wood floors in the kitchen and I don’t know what the aversion would be to them. They are soft, easy to clean, and grow more lovely with age. AND accidental drops don’t shatter everywhere, the way they do on tile.

  15. says

    it is so refreshing to see “real life” kitchens! They are all wonderful in their own way. I especially liked the vintage look of Debra’s kitchen.

  16. Mrs. Pear Tree says

    Thanks for showcasing these real-life, readers’ kitchens – I enjoyed the glimpse into their homes, and reading about why their kitchen is special to them. It’s so hard to pick a favourite, but if I was going to choose one to move into right now, I think it would have to be Debra’s. I love how cozy, homey AND stylish, and light and clean it looks. It’s got all the character without the pretense. I love the history behind Dave’s kitchen, though, and what a gorgeous backsplash!!!

  17. Barbara says

    I live with a small kitchen in a small home which I truly love. One day we will remodel our kitchen and I am always looking at things I like-don’t like in other kitchens. I appreciate Jeanne’s kitchen for its compact and functionality …. I could step right into it and start cooking!

  18. Julie says

    Definitely a fan of #6, mainly because of what they took the time to do with old brick and the other rustic elements that balance the modern. Space planning looks great in there too, good natural light, and good lighting.

  19. Julianne says

    I LOVE this contest idea…I almost don’t want it to be a contest, because it’s obvious that everyone who has submitted their pictures has worked so hard to create a space that is beautiful and functional for them! This is so fun, so thank you to you Julia for doing this and also to the readers who submitted their pictures and stories, and thoughts about why they chose particular appliances/counters/whatever. I love reading about these decisions the very most!

    I’ve gone through this list 3 times and can’t pick out a favorite! There are so many good things about each of them. I love the personal feel of each of these (something you usually don’t get in a perfectly-posed magazine shot). Well-done to all kitchen picture submitters!

  20. says

    It was so fun to take a peek into these “real-life” kitchens & to hear what the owners love about each one. I really liked Peggy’s kitchen. I’m impressed with how much they were able to pack into such a small space, and I love that there is a somewhat fun vintage vibe even though it’s completely modern. I could happily see myself whipping up breakfast there!

  21. Jennah says

    Thank you, Julia, for posting “real” kitchens. As much as I enjoy the magazine-worthy photos often posted in blogs, I really love that you’ve featured kitchens that most of your readers can relate to.

    I don’t have a favourite. I really like the personal touches of all that you’ve posted. Deborah’s whitewashed brick is gorgeous and Candy’s and Peggy’s kitchen both have lovely pops of colour and accessories.

    I look forward to seeing more wonderful kitchens!

  22. Anna says

    Dave’s kitchen is everything I would love to have. Beautiful, too bad we can’t see it ‘lived in.’

  23. Jane I Lynch says

    I love Susan’s kitchen-#3!!! I know exactly which episode of Kitchen Cousins she is talking about! She kept it simple, and the collage of the newspapers is so meaningful! Very user and family friendly.

    • sue says

      It was called CHEF’S KITCHEN. It was so white and so clean and when he cooked, everything looked so beautiful against the white ( my goal). That’s what I wanted because the kitchen is small and I wanted one room in the house to be spotless::)) I see so many kitchens with cooking items on counters etc and they look so pretty and so homey. I am sort of envious because I can NEVER make it work. If you saw the before ( so embarrassing), you would know how much more counter and storage we have. Phew,

  24. Amy says

    They are all beautiful kitchens, and it wasn’t easy to pick a favorite, but I did! I love Alyson’s kitchen best. If I could move any of them into my home, that would be the one. Good job everyone!

  25. says

    I love my kitchen for absolutely no good reason! I have done my best with it, and I wish my ancient drawers would run better, and ancient painted cabinets not chip so readily, but not enough to replace them. It’s just as much fun to see other people’s kitchens and hear their obvious pride in them!

  26. Brandy says

    Oh my, they are all so pretty and all so different–there’s something I like about each one–even the ones that aren’t exactly my taste or style…

    But, I’d have to give it to Peggy. Wow! She really maximized the space and it is still charming. It is what my unreno’d and very dated kitchen wants to be when it grows up one day.

    Thanks for sharing!

  27. Empress says

    They are all very nice. I have to say my favorite is #1 Peggy’s Kitchen. I could see this design working wonderfully in my own home.

  28. Lisa Smith says

    Julia, another fun and great idea! These kitchens are AMAZING!!!! What a great way to showcase some of your many gifted readers’ talents! I think what I love most is how much each person’s personality shows through in their kitchens.

  29. Julie says

    I love Alyson and Jeanne’s kitchens. I cannot choose because I like parts of both!

  30. AshleyM says

    Jeanne’s kitchen is amazing!! I love every single thing about it. It is beautiful.

  31. Christina from Dallas says

    Any kitchen that comes with a pug is my kind of kitchen! We have a pug too who hangs out in our kitchen every day begging for treats. So love that about Susan’s kitchen. I love Jeanne’s because I love the look of the beadboard on the island.
    Dave’s kitchen is out of this world beautiful! Oh gosh this is going to be hard to choose a favorite.

    • sue says

      We have two pugs AND a schipperke. And they are ALWAYS in the kicthen looking for food ( and they get it too). Can’t imagine a home without a dog, or cat::))

  32. says

    I’m in love with Dave’s kitchen! Whoa! Next on my list would be Jeanne’s.
    But Debra’s kitchen makes me feel at home.

  33. Shannon says

    I like Noreen’s! I would love to walk in that kitchen and sit at that farm table with a girlfriend, drink some coffee or tea and catch up on life. As a busy mom of three that kitchen looks like a place you can live life and cook with loved ones.

  34. Sarah says

    I love Richard’s kitchen! It is so cozy and rustic – it reminds me of a great fall vacation where I can see bears and moose out the window! :)

    • Rick S says

      Thanks for the compliment, No bear or moose, mostly naughty squirrels. This time of year the Geese are flying over and sometimes 1 or 2 will land in the yard. The kitchen is at the back of the house with a family room with brick fireplace,beamed ceiling and wide door to sunroom, the dining area is part of the kitchen and the fridge & pantry just out of picture. The front of the house (foyer,livingroom and diningroom) reminds us of a Queen Anne farmhouse. We “live” in the back of the house .
      Thanks Julia for a chance to share my (wife’s) kitchen.


      • Rick S says

        I forgot to mention the 4 Shih-Tzus that have the run of the kitchen and their bed in corner of dining area. My wife will love the “grandmotherly” comment. So far we only have grand-pups.

  35. sarah r says

    i love how #8 took a real kitchen that most people would think is ugly and without a lot of renovation and money turned it into something inviting and beautiful. shows that you can have a beautiful and functional kitchen without having to completely remodel or spend a lot of money!

    • lynda says

      I agree with Sarah R. All the kitchens are beautiful and some were expensive renovations. Noreen just added new flooring, lighting, paint, a black fridge and a new table and transformed the kitchen to a beautiful and functional space. I admire she was able to work with what she had. For a total remodel–Dave’s kitchen is just amazing.

  36. Lisa T. says

    I love the color in Peggy’s kitchen, the funky black cabinets in Alyson’s and just everything about Dave’s. Can you imagine the labor of love cutting all those bricks to make tiles must have been? Yikes. Turned out so cool though!

  37. Kim says

    Dave’s kitchen is so beautiful. I love those brick tiles. I also love Candy’s kitchen. I could see myself spending time in there.

  38. Paola says

    I absolutely love Dave’s kitchen. It’s amazing. I’m normally not a fan of white cabinets for practicality issues (they look dirty in every house I’ve seen in real life), but his are just fantastic. I also like Alyson’s kitchen. It’s modern but doesn’t feel like a sterile room at all! Love the dark wood cabinets and the island.

  39. Laurie says

    I loved seeing them all! Debra, I would love to know how you white washed your brick. I have brick in my kitchen as well and would like to lighten it up.

  40. amy says

    I love Richard’s kitchen! There is something really fantastic about the practicality of it.

  41. Emily says

    I love the cozy, warm feel of Debra’s kitchen. What counter top material did she use?

  42. Heather says

    I love love LOVE Alyson’s (#9) kitchen!! The contrast of the dark cabinets and light counter tops is gorgeous. Beautifully done! I think I just found my dream kitchen :)

  43. JAN says

    So many pretty kitchens! My favorite would be Candy’s and Jeanne’s. They are just the right size and are bright and cheerful, they say home to me. I want to move in and bake something!

  44. Jane says

    I love the kitchens of both Debra and Allyson most of all. If pushed, I’d give a slight edge to Debra’s kitchen but my sister prefers the other. Of course, all the kitchens reflect each owner’s personality and love of their spaces.

  45. Carol M says

    How fun is this! Love to see different, real kitchens. All of them have something I like. For me my number one must-have is a view from my kitchen sink, and it looks like all of them have that. I would never do my dishes if I was staring at a wall. Number 10 would probably be my favorite.

  46. Leigh says

    I thought each submitter did a wonderful job personalizing their kitchens, but Dave’s kitchen is stunning. I never would imagine wood beams in my kitchen or brick back splash, but that kitchen has me thinking otherwise. I would love to see more of his home makeover!

  47. Bridget says

    Oh how to pick just one?! All the kitchens are wonderful! Noreen’s kitchen feels so inviting. Richard’s kitchen is SO warm and cozy. Dave reused the old bricks which is not only a great story but a great look! But I think it’s Jeanne’s kitchen that won my heart. I love the details…the layout, the open L shape counter, the upper cabinets being staggered with the brackets underneath and (I’m guessing) the pantry behind the door.

  48. e. george says

    Hi Julia this is so great to look at these beautiful kitchens. I would not be able to pick just one so here it goes – i love No. 6 Dave your kitchen is for me … perfection and I love No. 9 Alyson’s kitchen the colours are just beautiful (everything is beautiful). I told you I couldn’t pick just one. (oh the pressure). Till next time Regards Esther from Sydney.

  49. Amy G says

    I like the shape of the island in Candy’s kitchen. We’re planning a remodel and I want an island but there’s not quite as much space as I’d like- that island shape has potential for us.

  50. dak says

    Although I would prefer a different splashback, my favourite is Dave’s kitchen because it looks like a kitchen in a big, old country house. Excellent layout. I also like the window in Richard’s kitchen – nice deep sill and looks like it has a nice outlook. The kitchen is also a nice practical size and looks cosy.

  51. theresa says

    hooray! regular people kitchens! i completed my total kitchen makeover (well, we kept the door) for under 4K (no typo) and got a fantastic new kitchen – these kitchens look like mine! well-planned, well-executed, on a real-life, we-need-to-send-the-kids-to-college budget! bookmarking now!

  52. Deborah Carter says

    While there are a few which make a bigger “designer statement”, I’m personally drawn to Debra’s cosy kitchen. I like the softness of the whitewashed brick, with the touch of whimsy with the vintage-looking curtain and the quirky Portobello sign. It may not be the most impressive in terms of size, but it looks warm and friendly and welcoming. I also like Jeanne’s kitchen. Alyson’s kitchen is very stylish with the black, but I’d like to come home to Debra’s kitchen. – Deborah. Australia

    • says

      Me, too Debra! The huge “designer” kitchens don’t do much for me – I loved Debra’s charming space and I could move right in!

  53. Linda Wheeler says

    I loved looking at the real life kitchens! My favorites are Peggy, Candy, Debra & Jeanne’s. I guess I like white cabinets….and I always thought I didn’t!

  54. says

    Julia, I think this is awesome! Getting a peek into celebrity homes is fun, but I always love it best when you feature the homes of average folks.

    I think I like Jeanne’s kitchen best. My own kitchen cupboards are nice beadboard, They’re a pleasant light stain on maple, but I think maybe I’ve been wishing for white cupboards. I’m probably the only one in my family who would want white cupboards, but maybe I could get away with painting the island a creamy color?? Not sure.

    Anyway, thanks for this wonderful new feature! I may send in some photos of my own space!

  55. Wayne says

    Susan’s, Peggy’s and Jeanne’s are my favorite. I think these three are some the best looking that are also attainable.

  56. Mary Jo says

    I guess I just love kitchens because I found something to love about every one of them!

  57. says

    Thank you, Julia – this is a great idea!

    All of the kitchens are terrific – but so different, I thought it would be difficult to pick a favorite. But I like Deborah Carter’s criteria – Which one would I like to come home to? That made it easy!

    #7 – Debra’s Kitchen – I LOVED IT. Whitewashed brick, a beautiful view and a sign from Portobello Road. Perfect. I esp. love what she did with a corner sink – what a great way to make it open and bright!

    The big glam kitchens are impressive, but I guess they are for real cooks (which I am not!)

  58. Meg says

    My favorite is # 4, Candy’s kitchen. I like that the appliances are white.

  59. says

    All of the kitchens are beautiful!! It warmed my heart that Peggy and her husband did it all themselves and it is so beautiful and functional. I like the rustic charm of Signe’s kitchen, but I have always dreamed of a big roomy kitchen like Dave’s!!! Great idea for a contest kitchens are always faves!!!
    Thanks Julia!!!

  60. Paula says

    Love Debra’s kitchen – cozy, inviting – adore the light fixtures flanking the window. The corner shelving adds eye appeal too – love the white-washed brick.

  61. Jennie says

    Hands down Dave’s kitchen. That back splash is to die for. How cool are those bricks?!?

  62. says

    It’s a tie between Alyson’s and Dave’s. I love the story of the brick wall and all that SPACE in Dave’s. I love the drama and warmth in Alyson’s.

  63. Meredith says

    I’m in love with Jeanne’s Kitchen! As a single woman, that would be perfect for me :)

  64. Gail Rubin says

    I love Peggy and Candy’s kitchens. I definitely favor white kitchens. THey always feel so fresh and inviting. Peggy’s small kitchen is adorable and I love her use of space. Candy’s kitchen is a “wow”. I love all the kitchens in their own right and agree with the other readers that I love this kitchen contest idea. I love to look at kitchens and real life ones are that much better because they are not “staged”.
    Can’t wait to see more! Good job everyone.

  65. says

    No doubt for me, Jeanne #10 is my fave. It had me with it’s very “Something’s Gotta Give” vibe.

    • Jeanne says

      My Favorite movie of all time .Totally had that movie in mind when this kitchen was designed .

      • Eileen says

        Jeanne’s is my favorite too. Jeanne, can you please tell me the material and finish of your counter tops? It looks like honed sandstone, but I cant tell from the pic.

  66. sue says

    Thanks for featuring my little kitchen and I agree with the other comments, oh such beautiful kitchens. Love them all!!!!!!!! Sue

  67. missy says

    What great kitchens! I love the fact that each one looks like such a cozy, inviting place for families and friends to gather. Love Dave’s story of his backsplash. Love them all, but there is just something about Jeanne’s kitchen that draws me to it…..

    • Debbie says

      I agree! Jeanne’s kitchen is SO warm with the dark floors & countertops, & white cabinets. I love the layout. So cozy. For some reason it made me feel like Christmas! :-)

  68. Judy says

    I loved Peggy’s (1) and Noreen’s (8) beautiful, practical, right sized and delightful.

  69. Shabby Chick says

    #1 turned out very charming. I like #2 very much because it’s homey and grandmotherly feeling….very warm and wonderful! I love the story in #3 about the newspapers in the walls and the collage that she made from them! Also that her kitchen made her cry when it was done….so sweet! #7 is a wonderful space, full of shabby chic charm and character. It’s hard to pick an overall favorite out of the 4 that I like best, as each one appears to be lived in and LOVED! I would love to show you our kitchen….I just might have to submit it 😉

  70. Debra says

    Hello, this is Debra, kitchen number 7. i have temporary access to internet as we have been displaced due to hurricane Sandy. Our beach house is located in the barrier island ravaged by the storm. The kitchen in this series is in our main residence, not damaged by the storm, but without power for almost a week now. I hope to be back to blogging very soon! Miss you all, back to the clean up! kitchen is a mess, very dark and very cold, brrrrr! New Jersey will be back on her feet soon. pray for us…..

    • says

      So sorry to hear that, Debra! You’re definitely in our prayers. I hope everything gets better for you soon. Hang in there–and try to stay warm! xo

      • Debra says

        Thanks for your kind words Julia and thanks for your TERRIFIC blog! Hopefully you will have magnificent new houses to showcase after our beautiful New Jersey shore recovers and rebuilds!!!

  71. says

    One thing for sure– they’re all very pretty and functional. For my lifestyle right now, I’d have to go for Jeanne’s kitchen because of the bar/counter. People can sit at it and watch you cook although they do it at an island too. Anyway, all are great kitchens.

  72. Anne C. says

    I am just curious if that is a 24 inch oven in Peggy’s kitchen- I have spent a lot of time planning our (future) kitchen renovation- already have a very old 24 inch oven and cannot decide if I would really want to replace with a new 24 inch- if that is what it is I am wondering if Peggy regrets not going bigger.

    • Peggy says

      Anne, yes my oven is a 24″ model. It was replaced before we remodeled, so since it was nearly new, I decided to keep it. I really haven’t had a problem with the size, even when we entertain a large group (like 20+!) at Christmas. We are nearly empty nesters, just one daughter still at home, so everyday use is also minimal.

  73. carrie says

    I really like Alyson’s kitchen. I have a thing for black cabinets. Very nice.

  74. Trissa says

    I love Jeannes kitchen! I love the glass front cabinets on either side of the stove.

  75. Stephanie R. says

    I LOVE Dave’s kitchen… WOW.
    And I loved Jeanne’s too. It reminds me of my late aunt’s kitchen.

  76. Alie B says

    While all of these kitchens are charming and homey, I like Dave’s the best. So open and bright, yet full of character and warmth.

  77. Susan says

    Oh Julia, this is brilliant! This has to be one of my all time fav posts. Don’t get me wrong, I love the movie houses and all the celebrity houses too. But I love seeing these real kitchens and seeing the love and pride the owners have. I love my kitchen but I really would like to open up the wall to the dining room. One of these days… then I’ll send you a pic!

  78. Ruth says

    Dave’s is my favorite-I love the brick and the white cabinets!
    Jeanne’s would be my second favorite I love the cabinets too!

  79. Emily says

    Jeanne’s kitchen! I love all the white, and it looks like the type of kitchen I would choose for my house. If Alyson had painted her cabinets white instead of black, it would have been the winner, but I’m a sucker for a bright kitchen!

  80. Blake says

    Dave and Jeanne- both beautiful, but there is something so warm and inviting about Jeanne’s

  81. Kimberly says

    How exciting that you’re showing us the entries you’ve received! Great idea! I was especially impressed with Dave’s kitchen – the exposed beams, the lights over the island, the farmhouse sink, the wood floors, the stained wood doors and windows (instead of painted) – I don’t think there’s a thing I don’t like in that room! Great story about the brick, too. I think I love it so much I’ll “Pin” it :)

  82. chrissie says

    Dave, do you want to pay my passage to come over from West Devon England to be your housekeeper ? Not sure my family would be happy but I sure would be ! Fantastic kitchen. Very well done.

  83. Signe says

    Thanks, Julia for featuring my kitchen! I was honored to be on your website. This was such a fantastic idea. Like the other readers said, it’s just so fun to see “real people” kitchens. The ideas here are wonderful and inspiring!

  84. Lisa Taylor says

    I am so jealous of your beautiful, big, American kitchens. I feel like we are so behind the times in our tiny, functional, average UK kitchens!

  85. chrissie says

    How I agree Lisa we made out kitchen out of two rooms and still only 17 ft x 9’9. All say Oh big kitchen ! We are let down in the UK !

  86. says

    I do really like Dave’s kitchen to but two things are wrong with it. First it is too big and second it feels like a prop as someone just made it great but they do not use it. My pick is Jeanne’s, absolutely beautifully done. All top notch stainless steel appliances, custom white cabinets, back splash, under counter lights, and the dark hardwood floors. Not only this is the best Kitchen but wait until you taste the dishes that comes out of it, I have had the privilege and maybe some of you will too.

  87. Jill says

    I am wondering about the small adorable kitchen that the title is on at the top. Is that a reader’s kitchen? Am interested in seeing more pix, it has lots of personality!

  88. Jill says

    Ok, after looking, I see it’s Peggy’s kitchen. I love it, my fave!

  89. says

    Love Alyson’s kitchen. Very sophisticated. Makes me think that an incredible meal will come out of that kitchen.