Cooking: Soup · Interior · Renovation

Fourth in my HOME made series; Come into the Kitchen!


If you happened to read my recent blog post, you would know that I broke up with my old house.


Yes. Thank you. I am ok.

As I mentioned, I will continue to post about the renovation of our old gal.  Today, I shall share what made the kitchen so stupendous.

When I walked into my kitchen for the first time, it was love at first sight. I was smitten.

Whoever coined that “the kitchen is the heart of the home,” nailed it. And to me, the kitchen was the kitchen of all kitchens. How many times can I say kitchen in one sentence?

My Michael often remarked that he could easily live in it.  He sat on his comfortable stool at the bar, with one eye observing (all the while taste testing) whatever I happened to be stirring up.  The other eye fixated on whatever sporting event was on the big ‘ole tv.  One of three fridges was within arms reach.  The table was large enough to sleep on. And the bath and a half bath was right around the corner.

I am not sure who loved it more; Michael or me.

The former owners impeccably created the footprint of the kitchen and chose “Gucci” appliances. They were top -of-the-line, not to mention they looked sexy. The honed granite countertops, custom wood bar, and fine cabinetry pulled it all together. They did a super job.

I had no business changing the above. But I was excited about making it my own. The previous owners had a Tuscan theme; they painted the walls a muddled mustard color, a personalized mural was on the wall, and stencils of ivy and grapes laced the beams.

I lean toward mixing up the funky and modern with antiquity.  I decided to create a neutral palate with the paint (Ben Moore Edgecomb Gray- one of my favorites that I used in my Beacon Hill home as well as my Commonwealth Ave. condo.).

Tried as we might, we were not successful in stripping the beams to their natural wood finish.  We busted three sanders within the first few hours.  That was a wrap. We painted them the color of the trim, Benjamin Moore White Dove, and that worked just as well.

The previous pendant lighting over the bar was mosaic and diminutive given the scope of the room.  We installed clear globe large pendants (Rejuvenation) and what a transformation.


They are pretty but not to scale


This is more like it!

I mounted an antique bookshelf on the wall and filled it with my favorite cookbooks. That too was repurposed from my Beacon Hill home. (You can see a little sliver of it on the left side of the above photo.)

I found my kitchen table at Restoration Hardware Outlet.  It was prominently displayed immediately upon entering the store. I think that she was waiting for me to whip out my credit card and take her home: Another instance of love at first sight.


This table was the life of the party and demanded attention.  The base was re-purposed wood.  And it was the first thing people noticed upon entering the room; It was magnetic.

It was as heavy as all get-out.  It took four very burly men on a bitterly cold day to bring it into the house. After they had carried it only twenty yards, every one of them was pouring sweat.

For seating, one one side, I repurposed my 111 Navy Chairs (see detail below ( made from recycled Coca-Cola bottles!) from my Boston house.  On the other, I used a bench which smoothly tucked under the table.  That was a pro-active solution to three boys who forget, at times, to push in their chairs when leaving the table.  At either end, I placed two Restoration Hardware linen wing chairs (above)  which were just, too comfortable.

Dexter can agree.

The best thing about that piece of furniture was that it was a mantel for many memories.


I know that the new owners will make many memories and share wonderful food and fun in this beautiful room. How could they not?

So, n the spirit of my beloved kitchen and my passion for cooking, below I share one of my favorite recipes which I came up with in this very kitchen: Italian Sausage Soup!

Hearty Vegetable Soup


  • Two (11.5 ounce) cans tomato-vegetable juice cocktail
Two cups of chicken stock (vegetable if you prefer)

  • Four carrots, sliced
    Two parsnips, sliced

  • Four stalks celery diced
Two (14.5 ounce) can of diced tomatoes undrained

  • Two cups chopped fresh green beans
Two cups fresh corn kernels
  • Two cups of peas
Kosher salt and pepper to taste
Creole seasoning to taste


In a large stock pot, combine broth, tomato juice, stock, carrots, parsnips, celery, tomatoes, green beans, peas, and corn. Season with salt, pepper and Creole seasoning. Bring to a boil. Turn heat to a simmer and continue to cook for 25- 30 minutes or until all vegetables are tender.

Sparkle On, Friends!



“The 111 Navy Chair from Design With Reach is “”Made from 111 recycled plastic Coke® bottles; this chair is the result of a special collaboration between Emeco and Coca-Cola®. It took four years of research, design, and testing to create it, the production of which keeps three million plastic bottles out of landfills every year. The 111 Navy Chair (2010) not only celebrates the iconic form of the aluminum 1006 Navy® Chair designed in 1944″”

*Design Within Reach

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