Monday, July 13, 2015

French Style Family Kitchen

Can a kitchen be beautiful yet practical? Sophisticated yet approachable? Neutral yet warm? Read on!

Over the past few years, I've featured various house tours. One of my favorites and yours, according to the many pins from Pinterest, is Tracey's kitchen; you'll remember it shown here in 2012.

Tracey, my dear friend and client, gutted the dated 1980s kitchen in her historic Mediterranean-style home as part of a major house renovation. She and her husband worked with Muse Architects on the project. In designing the new kitchen, Tracey looked to France for inspiration, and sourced many reclaimed items for character and patina. Above all, she designed it to be functional and practical for her family of five plus two doggies.

Let's revisit this kitchen to find out how it's held up, and check out what's new amongst the old. Let's also peek into some of the adjoining rooms. 
Back in 2012, the space above the Lacanche range was plain drywall. Look at the charming tiles from Ken Mason Tiles now! They are handmade terra-cotta tiles with sought-after imperfections in the glaze pigments and profile. Tracey wanted something subtle to complement the warm limestone countertops as well as the soulful terra-cotta floor tiles reclaimed from France. 

The simple tiles also do not compete with the stunning steel hood accented with an usually small fireback from the 19th century. During the 18th - 19th centuries, iron firebacks were commonly placed in the backs of fireplaces to reflect and radiate heat into rooms - effective even after the fires have died down.
The pair of Ca. 1940s factory lights are from my shop; I brought those back from France. Together with the steel hood and French Tolix stools, these pieces give the kitchen a casual, industrial vibe that's unexpected with the luxurious Lacanche range.
The 2" thick Massangis Jaune Clair limestone countertops have held up very well; they've taken on a mellow patina. I asked about stains, watermarks and scratches, and Tracey told me none of those have been issues. Her family does not use coasters, by the way. The countertops are sealed when needed. Plus, any mark would only enhance the character of the limestone with its natural veining and specks of fossils.

This kitchen is not just for show, it serves an active household that really cooks. There is anywhere from five - fourteen for dinner every Sunday night. With open shelving, two sinks and nothing precious, this is a family-friendly kitchen. 
 
Here are two of the youngest members of the household: Peter and puppy Oscar!     
BELOW: Tracey sitting in the adjoining breakfast room with a wall of pantry cupboards made of the same cypress wood as the kitchen cabinets. Notice the stepback sides, which is a clever way to break up the horizontal expanse. Check out the 11' ceiling.

Speaking of ceiling, old pine beams reclaimed from Vermont were installed. In addition to being beautiful, they bring texture and coziness to the soaring ceilings; also a feeling of old to the renovated spaces.
Light fixtures from Aldo Bernardi were imported from Italy. Aren't these sculptural?
Behind the kitchen is the renovated mudroom with the same antique terra-cotta flooring. It's ochre-beige tone warms up the crisp cabinetry, as well as being very forgiving - it shows very little dirt. This is a small room that feels more spacious thanks to the light palette. For storage, there are airy, open niches and cubbies on two sides of a built-in; the third side features closets for seasonal coats. Notice the glass door which maximizes natural light.
The final space off the kitchen is a long hall leading to the stately foyer with a floating staircase. There are French doors painted in the same (custom) blue color as the mudroom door.
 
Tracey made this grand space less formal by furnishing it casually. Flanking the front doors is a pair of 19th-century Swedish painted chests from Tone on Tone. Also from my shop is this 18th-century Swedish daybed from the Gustavian Period. The staircase runner is wool, and the area rug is sisal with a diamond pattern.
And above are peeks of the new potager garden with raised beds for herbs and veggies.

Many, many thanks to Tracey and her family for allowing me to share their special home once again!

Until next time -
Cheers,
Loi 

43 comments:

  1. It does not only look stunning but even better that it works! But what is really amazing is the mudroom most probably because I don't know if there are many homes in London with mudrooms!

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  2. Lovely home and kitchen and LOVE those antique terra cotta floors, a beautifully done the space that will stand the test of time as a classically designed kitchen/mudroom.

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  3. Wow...what a gorgeous home! You have such beautiful taste, Loi!

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  4. everything is stunning, but you know me and puppies..... oscar won the show. what a sweet little guy!!!!!

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  5. Hello Loi,
    Tracy's home is warm, atmospheric and welcoming. I love her beautiful impressionistic paintings. Thanks for sharing this special home
    Fond wishes
    Helen x

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  6. loi, this is exquisite! so warm and personal and timeless. thank you for sharing the project, and s'il vous plait keep them coming as i have so much to learn! hope you are soaking up the sunshine in the east. peace and love from your grubby midwest friend o' the shabby-yet-to-be-lovely cottage. :)

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  7. Loi, I do love Tracey's choice of so many natural materials that look so gorgeous together.
    There is a lot of warmth and I also love the works of art!
    Adore your potager garden!

    xoxo
    Karena
    The Arts by Karena
    Stems Soiree

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  8. Love seeing this kitchen again and how it has worked! Tracey really knows that BEST shop to purchase those gorgeous pieces :)
    xo
    Patty

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  9. stunning + what a great job. xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  10. Beautiful and that puppy!! Thanks, Loi, and have a super week! xoxo Mary

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  11. Good morning dearest Loi! It's sure fun to see you on IG too! To come here is always a sensational experience because the tones of your taste just speak softness and calm. This share today is wonderful; I love transformations, especially when they are French-inspired! Being a Francophile myself, I have tried to define what it is about the French life, language, people, countryside, food, philosophy that I love. I can't put my finger on it, but as far as design is concerned, I just love the earthy tones and understated elegance sans clutter. The old-world charm is evident in this beautiful space, without any intruding elements that take away from the focus on the earthy materials. GORGEOUS!

    Sending you wishes for a stunning summer day. It's absolutely perfect out here in Minneapolis! Anita

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  12. What a beautiful house Loi! A lovely mix between contemporary and and old. Thank you for sharing!

    Have a good week!

    Madelief x

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  13. LOVELY...everything especially THE DOG!

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  14. What a wonderful house tour. Her kitchen is amazing and the attention to detail is impeccable. All of her lighting had me drooling. Unique, yet classic at the same time. fun tour, beautiful home.
    Kathysue

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  15. Her kitchen looks so rustic, spacious and elegant. I like the black French oven. Most all, Oscsr is so adorable!

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  16. what a treasure trove of diverse materials that play well together, particularly with the tone on tone pieces. thank you for sharing tracey!
    debra

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  17. Loi,
    My favorite rooms are those that are lived in! This kitchen is wonderful. I love the mud room and the light fixtures throughout. How fun.
    How cute is that puppy?!
    xo,
    Karen

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  18. What a wonderful kitchen...love it!

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  19. I love it when you feature your friend Tracey's home...the kitchen is over the top amazing...yes, warm and exquisite at the same time...that hood is amazing...the classic elements of the kitchen and it's quality of the materials used definitely will stand the test of time...and must say that the lighting is stunning!....my favorite is the metal wall sconce....thanks for the tour Loi!...

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  20. Such a beautiful home. The Lacanche is like a piece of jewelry. What a delightful kitchen. I suspect Tracey likes to cook. I know my chef would be in heaven in such a kitchen. Thanks for sharing this exquisite home, Loi.

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  21. Hello Loi, Wonderful materials, old and new, add so much to the attractiveness and usability of the kitchen. I do wonder about the mud room--those singe hooks seem kind of inadequate for most of the families I know, and the number of things that pile up near doors--perhaps the room was just ultra-cleaned up for the photos.
    --Jim

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  22. Oh Yes Loi, what a beauty... I too love the French vibe with elements of modern, something about her pale patina and my favorite that bank of storage and cabinets painted much like the washes of colour I use on my raw wood tones. You always share the best, so unique to your own design style. Myself growing up in a French home am drawn to French decor, it's the only furniture is our time and before that has never lost its popularity... french designs have never ever dated itself, and in history has proven to be so.

    I love the homes flooring stone work, it's all so captivating.... Bravo to this renovation.

    Xx
    Dore

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  23. What a marvellous post Loi - I simply adore the steel hood with the fireback and the light fittings are superb! Such a beautiful kitchen and as for that amazing Lacanche range!! It all makes for a perfect marriage. Thank you for sharing!xx

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  24. Dear Loi, I enjoyed looking at this great house as much the second time as the first. It's got wonderful style, in no small part because of your input. I keep coming back to look at those honeyed terra-cotta tiles . . .

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  25. Lovely tour, Loi! and you know I'm nuts for Oscar, the pup! I hope youre having a wonderful summer and hope we get together before it's over! xo Nancy

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  26. Thanks for sharing the updates in this well edited, lovely kitchen. Limestone countertops are now on my most wanted list!

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  27. This kitchen and home is truly worth revisiting! Just utterly beautiful! I LOVE the cabinetry and the laid-back yet still sophisticated feel of the kitchen!

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  28. Beautiful kitchen! Love that kitchen have feeling of home, it`s not one of "don`t touch" spaces.
    Hugs,
    Vesna

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  29. Forgive me if this is my second comment? I'm not sure if my first one went through! Love this kitchen - the rustic industrial accents are perfection with the more polished appliances and cabinet details. Love their stair too - so elegant. As you no doubt know from my blog I have a thing for lighting - it makes a space, and the pieces you've selected for your client's house are all perfection. xx

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  30. What a beautiful home. What I love most is the thoughtful selection of materials that can and will have amazing patina as they age. Those limestone counters are lovely and the mudroom floor is such a clever choice as it won't show the dirt. Love all the lighting and of course everything from your store!! Beautiful home. xo Terri

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  31. Beautiful kitchen, the hood is to die for :)

    Best wishes.

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  32. I love this kitchen! That range and hood is fabulous! Thanks so much for the tour.

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  33. What a warm and inviting space; I can understand the big Sunday dinners - who would turn down that invitation?!? The addition of the tile backsplash is perfect; it really adds to the kitchen's French vibe. And of course I love the Swedish pieces! Thanks for the tour, Loi!
    xo

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  34. Limestone counters, how gorgeous and I love the cabinets in the dining area. All so beautiful!! Hope you're doing well!!

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  35. Hello my friend Loi....hope your summer is fantastico!

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  36. I immediately fell in love with the gardens! They are the perfect extension of the casual, chic kitchen. Thank you for sharing Loi and Tracey!

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  37. Hi Loi,
    I am back for another visit taking in the garden setting with the stone planter boxes and stone slate pathways. I am inspired to do this in my small French cottage front yard, I have added olive trees and grape vines.

    Thank you for posting so much beauty and inspiration.

    See you soon dear and all the beauty you inspire.

    Xx
    Dore

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  38. The kitchen is lovely, and those reclaimed Vermont beams... But I love a garden and this one is charming with it's stone pathways and a potager to come no less! Thank you for sharing such lovely posts! Rié

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  39. Belíssima cozinha. Amei cada detalhe. Os donos tem muito bom gosto. Estamos construindo uma cozinha aqui e estou atras de inspirações. Obrigada pelas maravilhosas inspirações.
    Bjos tenha um ótimo dia.

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  40. It's exactly the kind of kitchen I would want if designing one now. Casual, functional, yet elegant. All of the spaces you show are just lovely.

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  41. Such a lovely home! We had an oven like Tracy's in the rental home in Provence. We had no clue how to work it, but our meals did come out yummy! We were hooked.

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  42. Lovely work of art! I love the kitchen. Very timely. I love the cabinets in the dining area. All of them are beautiful!

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Many thanks for your visit! If you have a question, please leave a comment and I will do my best to answer. Loi