With its tree-lined streets and rows of Victorian mansions, Ditmas Park feels more like a small town than a neighborhood in the middle of Brooklyn, which made it the perfect location for the husband-and-wife team of Benjamin Heemskerk and Mauri Weakley to open their first store, Collyer’s Mansion. The couple leveraged her background in merchandising and his small-business experience to create a store offering a beautifully curated collection of antique finds, artisan goods and flea market curiosities. Here, they discuss their venture. Read more >
At just 170 square feet, this St. Paul kitchen proves a space doesn't have to be enormous to be enviable—or functional. Food blogger and Francophile Eileen Troxel transformed her formerly dark, drafty kitchen without making it any bigger. She simply rearranged the layout, increasing her counter space from less than two feet to nearly 20 feet. Now she has plenty of room to cook and photograph dishes for Passions to Pastry, her blog on livingtastefully.weebly.com. Frequent trips to France inspired the creamy color palette and Old World materials, like statuary marble, which she used for the countertops and shelves. She left the shelves open to show off her collection of French porcelain and copper cookware. "I use all of those pieces a lot, so the pot hooks and open shelves are perfect," she says. Troxel entertains often and is looking forward to cooking for a big group on Thanksgiving. "Now there's room for everyone to be in the kitchen with me," she says.
How to Create the Look
1. Marble Shelves The five-foot-long shelves are made from the same statuary marble as the counters. The ornate wrought-iron shelf supports are by Rachiele. $120 each; rachiele.com
2. Tiles To add texture to the neutral color palette, Troxel installed easy-to-find, 3-by-6-inch Carrera marble tiles in a herringbone pattern on the walls.
3. Island The custom stainless steel table is 30 inches high, "the perfect height for me to roll and knead dough," she says, while the six-inch butcher block is just right for chopping.
4. Storage Troxel used to keep potatoes and onions in baskets on the floor. Now they are tucked away on tracks inside one of the cabinets.
5. Cabinets "I've admired this color scheme for years in magazines," says Troxel, who used Coastal Fog by Benjamin Moore to paint her custom-made Shaker-style cabinetry. rustynailwoodcraft.com
Chefs aren't the only talents finding inspiration in the Midwest. Here, artisans to watch from a fourth-generation carpenter to a custom furniture designer who prizes salvaged materials.
Matt Voight, a fourth-generation carpenter in Traverse City, crafts rustic-meets-modern furniture. He makes this Carlson credenza with a combination of woods, including pine and reclaimed Douglas fir. $2,500; milledco.com
Minnesota: The Foundry
This year-old Minneapolis housewares shop carries designs from local artisans, like handmade ceramics by Ginny Sims, beeswax candles and carved wooden utensils. From $1.50; thefoundryhomegoods.com
Milwaukee brothers Vincent and Paul Georgeson design timeless pieces with clean lines, like the Sixagon stool ($350), made from recycled steel, and the walnut-and-steel Grain table ($1,775). misewell.com
Ohio: A Piece of Cleveland
Chris Kious salvages wood to make gorgeous wall panels and custom furniture. He used oak and pine from the 1920s to build the wall and ceiling at Pura Vida restaurant in downtown Cleveland. apieceofcleveland.com
Photo courtesy of Eric Rawlings
The winner of F&W’s kitchen-design contest combines DIY ideas (an island made of salvaged wood and plumbing pipes) with restaurant-worthy equipment.
“Our last house had formal living and dining rooms, but we don’t live like that,” says Fritz Taylor. “This time, we wanted a space that reflects the way we cook and entertain.” He and his wife, Rianne Buis, created the design that won F&W’s kitchen contest. The couple spent nine months tearing down walls to create the 1,500-square-foot open kitchen in their Decatur, Georgia, home. The room has a DIY feel: The island is made from plumbing pipes and wood salvaged during demolition, and all the cookware is in stacks underneath, so the couple’s 13-year-old daughter (who loves to bake) can find things easily. But what makes the space stand out is the juxtaposition of thrifty materials and pro-grade equipment, including an eight-burner BlueStar stove and a pair of ovens that provide more cooking space than many restaurants have. Buis puts all this firepower to work; she writes a weekly recipe column for a Dutch newspaper and teaches classes at home. “Everyone tried to talk me out of such a big kitchen, but I think it’s perfect,” she says.
The 65-inch-wide hood was built by Vent-A-Hood and extends nearly 20 feet up, through the double-height ceilings, to vent to the outside. ventahood.com.
With two 36-inch French-door ovens from BlueStar, “I can bake 30 loaves of bread at once. They’re gigantic,” says Buis. $3,897 each; bluestarcooking.com.
Made from steel plumbing pipes and heart pine salvaged from the house during demolition, the island provides open storage for cookware.
Buis loves Asian cooking, so the gas cooktop includes high-powered burners with enough heat for a wok. $6,408; bluestarcooking.com.
A utility sink, purchased at a restaurant liquidation sale, and a butcher-block table create a secondary prep area.
© Matthew Millman
We didn’t want the kitchen to look like a kitchen. So, instead of getting a huge range, we went for a low-profile cooktop, which doubles as counter space. We also hid all of the appliances and the pantry, so you can’t see them from the other rooms. And we elevated the kitchen six inches above the rest of the floor to create a commanding view of the entire space.”
Courtesy of Worldmarket.com
Ikat is an ancient weaving technique used for centuries in South America and Southeast Asia to create rugs and textiles with a graphic tie-dye effect, and the distinctive look is now a trend in clothing and home accents. Designer Susan Connor prints the pattern on notebooks and pencil cases. >
Laguiole Pocketknife Photo Courtesy of Sid Mashburn
Once relegated to highlighters and ’80s flashbacks, neon is having a sophisticated moment. Fluorescent pinks, greens and yellows are turning up on everything from nail polish to home decor. Paris-based housewares line Adónde makes neon look elegant by contrasting the Day-Glo shades with more natural materials. The company's eco-friendly Octa wastepaper baskets are inspired by geometric shapes like the polyhedron and made of recycled cardboard.
“Maybe the reason that neon is so popular now is for the same reason that we love using it—people like more natural colors, but they need a little twist to it, a touch of modernity,” says Adónde cofounder Laurent Serin. “We are kind of obsessed with neon pink,” adds cofounder Javier Gutierrez Carcache. Their favorite color also turns up on three-piece vases made of alder wood and French stoneware. Here, a variety of neon-accented items so you can experiment with the trend at home.
Laguiole has recreated its famous pocketknife in a neon-yellow hue (above). sidmashburn.com
Courtesy of La Tête au Cube.
Fluo porcelain salt and pepper shakers are handmade in Limoges, France, and come in bright yellow, orange and green. lateteaucube.com
Courtesy of Shop Ten 25
Gray linen pillows have just a thin border of Bold Orchid or Limeade piping. shopten25.com
Courtesy of Leif
This elegant acrylic tart server comes in 14 different colors, including Bright Fuchsia and Valencia, a vibrant red. leifshop.com
Courtesy of LULU DK
With her latest eye-catching designs, Lulu deKwiatkowski is decorating the world with butterflies, flowers and peacocks.
Photo: Ryan Liebe for Milk Farm Road
It’s no surprise that, in the era of glamorous cooking shows and celebrity chefs, fashion trends get translated into cookware. Color-blocked apparel was all over the runways and in stores last fall, and you can now find this kind of graphic design in housewares as well. See F&W's shopping guide >
Tune in on Wednesdays at 10PM ET for Top Chef: Boston, the 12th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.