When photographing my kitchen for Ronda’s book last year, the focus was on my personal collections and those little details that make my home more, well…me. So styling the built-in hutch in my kitchen with my collections of cake plates, jadeite, milk glass and china was where we turned our attention.
Most of you have seen my kitchen before and I always tend to bring in hits of green, both lime and kelly. But I have to say the shots including my turquoise pieces and hints of orange pulled from my “Monkey Business” china pattern freshen the whole palette up a bit.
Here’s another shot of the way the kitchen typically looks. All bright white and simple. It’s one of my favorite rooms of my home, ironic I know since I am known for such color.
And here is the way Traditional Home shot it for my feature in 2011. Very simple with sunflowers and a little summer time watermelon for fun.
Whichever look you prefer, here are my top 3 Tobi’s Tips for decorating and styling your kitchen…
1. Use what you have and have what you use. Here’s what I mean, I think the most beautiful decor in the kitchen are the things that really function for you. Large bowls to hold your fruit, baskets where you keep the bread, giant glass canisters for pasta or rice. Too many chotchkies don’t make sense in a kitchen. You need lots of room for cooking and prep-work and they just clutter it all up and gather dust.
2. For photography and even just for a comfortable and relaxing kitchen for everyday use, the simpler the kitchen, often the better. That’s why I love panel-front kitchen appliances. They are a seamless extension of the cabinetry so they don’t break up the space or stick out like a sore thumb.
3. Layer the lighting–Like in the bedroom or any room where you have multiple functions for both relaxing and work, a combination of lighting makes all the difference. For photography, it all depends on the photographer. You can see in the Traditional Home shots, the lights are turned on. With my other shots (all by Nancy Nolan by the way) the lights are off and we are shooting with natural lighting. But either way, with a variety of lighting you are prepared whether cooking, chopping, cleaning, or photographing the space. So think about layering in multiple lighting sources from overhead lighting, accent lights or pendants, under-counter lighting and even lighting in the cabinetry. I think you will love the outcome of layers and different types and wattages in each source.
So there you have my kitchen shots…what do you think? I am partial to these new shots at the moment and I just love how that French antique turquoise tea towel hanging on the chair speaks to the blue milk glass footed bowl and my vintage cake plates for a freshness this room hasn’t seen before.
Tell me which shots you love the most. I’d love to know your thoughts.