Kitchen Confidential

Good Morning Lacquered Lifers! Thank you for your patience while Mr. B and the pups and I took a little vacation. Now its back to business.

As Mr. B and I ponder the design of the Barbot House, the kitchen is obviously one of the top priorities. Not because kitchens sell houses, but because I love to entertain. Parties, large and small; formal and informal; cocktails or dinner; are some of my absolute favorite things. The Barbot House has a history that is littered with stories of parties and gatherings, and I plan to continue that tradition … which brings me back to the kitchen.  Today’s kitchens have become something of a showpiece in the home … thick marble waterfall countertops, massive stainless steel appliances, glittering backsplashes … and for what? To roast a chicken? Me, I lean towards the kitchens of old: no attached family room, nothing fancy, just enough space to cook a dinner. Even if that dinner is for 30 …

BeechwoodEnter Nicholas Mele, who took pictures of the kitchens in some of Newport, Rhode Island’s most famous summer “cottages” (Beechwood, Astor residence above).  Places frequented by the likes of the Vanderbilts and the Astors, places where gilt was the norm. In stark contrast to their ornate public rooms are the kitchens of these historic homes, where staff prepared food in a space that reads practical rather than pomp. Newport Kitchen Newport Kitchen 2 Newport Kitchen 3 Newport Kitchen 4I can’t promise teal refrigerators, but I can promise a kitchen which has the sole purpose of being an ideal place to put together a meal … whether its for 4, or for 40 …

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  • I totally agree and love the idea of a kitchen just for cooking. Very old school. Although now with little kids I see the practical aspect of attached family room option, but still having formal living and dining room. Great post as always and very cool pictures!