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Mouthing Off

By the Editors of Food & Wine Magazine

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Kitchen Design Tips

An Ultra-Practical, Bistro-Style Kitchen

A blogger's bistro-style kitchen.

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

Related: Kitchen Design and Style Guide
Kelly Wearstler's 6 Rules for Kitchen Design
Food Bloggers' Best Kitchen Design Ideas

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