I met Sean Sullivan, author of the (insert wildly positive adjective here) food blog Spectacularly Delicious and Associate Publisher of House Beautiful, this summer at House Beautiful's Kitchen of the Year press event. After maybe, a 20 minute conversation, probably less, enthusiastically talking about kitchens, including his, I asked Sean if I could go to his home and see his kitchen. I don't know if that says more about me or more about Sean, but his joy for his kitchen was contagious. Sean immediately said "yes, come!" and I did. This is a three-post story, so herewith Part I.
I knew this: I knew I would find a happy kitchen. See for yourself!
Ten years ago, the kitchen was designed by Sean and his architect. The backsplash tile, with its watery coloring, has an authentic, crafted, look and texture. It has a lovely iridescent glow, a real East Hampton beachy feel. The cabinetry, simple and modern, is a great complementary color/finish to the backsplash tile. The soft (sandy/beachy) beige counter and floor tile adds to the beachy factor! White walls add lightness for that year round summer feel, doesn't it?
Sean's kitchen is somewhat unconventional. The microwave is ... above the refrigerator (Sean and his partner, Stephen, are TALL-not an issue for them).
The wall cabinetry runs straight across the rear wall and does not change height or depth over the range. Ventilation for the range is served by a common in-wall fan at the back of the range. Upon my "kitchen designer police" close inspection of the woodwork above the range, I have to admit that there was just a very, very small amount of discoloration on the wood, which would not be noticed unless one was looking for it (like me) and, the kitchen is 10 years old! I was surprised. Sean said that next time he would have a proper ventilation system. I then nodded my head in approval, unfurrowing my brow.
Softly frosted sliding see through doors with large finger holes are, to my eye, fantastic! Note how the top of the wall cabinets line up with the top of the window...it makes sense visually-see 2nd photo at top. It's warm, homey, and useful. I'm crazy about it.
I LOVE awning windows. they are actually one of my favorite window types. Add a spot to sit near the window and life is good!
Sean COOKS, and Stephen, Sean's partner, is a terrific assistant chef. What a team effort! Here are Sean's tips for prep and entertaining on the big day.
Are you an assistant chef? Follow Sean's rules: Accept the task you are given, find a spot out of the main traffic area to do it, CLEAN UP AFTER, and ask "what's next?"
How Sean entertains: Don't drag out the dinner over hours! Have hors d'oeuvres ready when guests arrive and when EVERYONE has arrived, sit right down to the meal! Eliminating long anticipation of the meal or various courses allows guests to relax, dine (they're hungry!) and get to the next, satisfying, level of uber-relaxation after the meal, and that's when the real fun begins.
We have two more interesting parts to this kitchen - Sean's Batterie de Cuisine, and Details, coming soon! See Sean's Thanksgiving recipes, which he has adapted from various sources, and keep in touch with the main page of Spectacularly Delicious! If you experience a little slow loading on the site, hang in there, it's WELL worth it!