For My Martha Stewart Radio Listeners - Summer Kitchen Style!

What a pleasure to be on Martha Stewart again, today, my third appearance. It's always fun and inspiring to chat with Brian Kelsey on Morning Living - he has so MANY quick, out-of-the-box great ideas on making your home your personal sanctuary - not to mention creative laboratory!

Here are tips on summer style for the kitchen that I prepared, which, at this writing before the show, I'm not sure we will get to cover. Please add yours too!

  • change out kitchen/breakfast room rugs for a casual/summery look
  • de-clutter countertops (de-clutter at the change of each season to keep ahead of clutter accumulation & dust)
  • gather vases nearby in different sizes for freshly cut garden flowers for a fragrant (and colorful) and ever changing treat from nature
  • speaking of vases-flea market finds of mason jars add a country vibe – better yet, paint the inside of these fun jars bold or pastel colors
  • start an indoor kitchen herb garden - you'll have success via increased daylight over spring/summer months
  • change/remove window treatments for a lighter look
  • replace the breakfast room seat cushions for a fresh look
  • have outdoor cooking equipment accessible & rethink/rearrange indoor summer storage needs - i.e. salad bowls, stainless skewers, grill racks 
  • keep outdoor dishes/glasses/flatware accessible
  • keep outdoor platters accessible
  • fill a glass bowl with limes and lemons for a citrus and color vibe
  • fill a mason jar with fresh herbs in a little waer – savory scent will last nearly a week
  • keep kitchen stocked with easy nibbles – cheeses, nuts, olives & drinks for spontaneous alfresco dining
  • use your COLORFUL plastic dishes and glasses and for easy living
  • stylish melamine trays are great for multiple uses-colorful
  • add sheer breezy panels on windows
  • fresh hand towels in summer colors
  • fresh fragrant candles, hand soap, citrus potpourrin
  • natural fibers – baskets, fiber rugs, placemats for that earthy organic look
  • coastal themed decorative objects – on textiles, jars of shells, nautical prints/paintings
  • hunt on the beach for driftwood, sea glass, shells, rocks
  • bring outdoor terracotta pots - even the large ones, indoors for indoor garden style-a great look

See my pinterest board for Martha Stewart summer style listeners!

A bundle of fresh colored summer rugs

Introducing Kelly to "The Kitchen Designer" Friends

Kelly and Susan, standing on the grand stairs in Central Park near Bethesda Fountain! Hello! For my first official post, I wanted to take a minute to introduce myself to you lovely readers.  I'm Kelly Donovan and excited to be joining my mother, Susan, around the proverbial kitchen table to dish about all things related to our favorite room in the home.  A bit about me personally...
Having a mother who is a long time accomplished kitchen designer, and a father in the construction trade, I've grown up surrounded by all types of home renovation, specifically of the kitchen kind.  I've worked with (ok, for) my mom on and off since I was a teenager - looking to supplement my babysitting income with a little extra to buy that awesome jean jacket that all my friends had - and now as an adult, feeling privileged to join the family business in a bigger way and follow a true innate passion.  

Living in Manhattan for the past 8 years, it's been admittedly difficult to fulfill my passion for beautiful and functional kitchens while having my own space to cook in that was barely bigger than a shoe box.  I've made do, however, and never let the lack of a four-burner stove or dishwasher stop me from hosting huge dinner parties or cooking up elaborate, special meals for my family.  I've become an expert in space efficiency, and while I have graduated to full size appliances and granite countertops, I'm still storing my pots and pans in the oven.  I look forward to the day when everything has its place and I can have all the single-use small appliances of my dreams!

Perhaps you're wondering what took me so long to follow my passion and join my mother in her business.  It's long been a thought in the back of my mind, and something I knew I'd pursue eventually.  However, as children do, I fought hard forging a path of my own and after college (Fordham University) fell first into publishing and then online advertising, working for great companies such as Harper Collins, CNET and Yahoo! and enjoying the many perks of a sales & marketing executive to Fortune 100 clients.  As nature took its course, I got married, had a baby, and decided the full time corporate life just wasn't for me anymore.  I felt it was time to come home, in more ways then one. So here I am...thrilled to be joining my mom in this adventure - from the blog, to our launch of Bornholm Kitchen, and all things in between!  

Now, what should you expect from me?  In terms of blog content, I'll be focusing on style, products, accessories, and appliances and trying to add a little personality to this once-utilitarian room. You've probably noticed the new sections we've added above.  Moodboard Mondays is simply a coalescence of products, surfaces, rooms, and images meant to delight and inspire.  Kelly's Finds will profile unique and useful products I'll be seeking out in my travels throughout the city and across the web that can add some character and efficiencies to your kitchen.  We've come a long way from working kitchens of yesteryear designed purely for function, and I look forward to livening up this space with you! Here I full production below!

 A couple of words from Susan/aka mom: I have been anxious (to say the least) for Kelly to join me in the family business. I could not be more thrilled - Kelly is smart, uber stylish, on trend to the MOMENT but with a global foresight and interest in the word "why." I'm VERY lucky to have her and I think you'll enjoy Kelly's insight too. Most of all, we LUV to laugh out loud and often! Oh, look at this brunch to see the fabulous finished dishes from the image above.

Nate Berkus + Kitchen Design = STYLE

I like Nate Berkus' style - I'm definitely a fan! Style is the word that comes to mind when I see interiors that have been touched by his creative hand.

I often see a philosophy of Nate's work which expresses "tradition with an edge." Nate's "edges" are color stories, tradition meets modern, texture meets soft, pattern dominates to unify, among so many more design concepts that delight, and always, for some reason, just feels right! Nate's infectious enthusiasm for design translates into an ease, a gracious informality that's easy to live with. I mean, I see him on Oprah, and before I know it, I'm smiling. He's seems to be such a happy guy! Creating interiors with a happy disposition definitely shines through one's work.

I'd love to see Nate do more kitchens, and I'd love to collaborate with him! Here's Nate's kitchen in his Chicago apartment. 

It flows. I love the black window trim. The turquoise is a great color and just flows into a collection of clean, solid, elements, sort of a framework for the room. And, those chairs and table...LOVE.

And Nate's Manhattan apartment....this kitchen I love! I'm a real lover of white floors...I have two painted white wood floors in my own home. It looks very much like a Swedish rag rug on the floor and the blue, black and touches of wood just punch up the space. The enveloping white on floor, ceiling, and walls, is the unifying element, which adds a flow and maximum spaciousness. There's a Scandinavian aesthetic to this kitchen. Another: LOVE!

Nate Berkus' kitchen in his Milan apartment is another Wow! See what I mean? He has a vision! This is European modern elegance. It's quite sophisticated, with strength in large color elements, yet quiet. The brown leather chair adds a feeling that this is a room, not only a utilitarian kitchen, and the color of the chair adds life. Very well done! The lighting fixture, honestly, to my eye, is the perfect touch. LOVE!

Nate, I'd love to see more kitchens! This sampling alone includes such a great collection of creative and diverse (and unexpected) details, don't you think? 

First two images from, last image from