Friday, May 18, 2012

Dream Kitchen: Rachel of Excellence as a Habit

Last but not least is a real life and blog friend, Rachel. We bonded over our love for estate sales and Craigslist. She has a really fun blog called, Excellence As A Habit. She is hilarious, has amazing taste and loves her some Corgi's. 

Hi everyone! My name is Rachel and I'm so flattered that Jessie asked me to contribute to her blog. Her amazing style, both for home design and fashion, is one that I try to emulate in my own home and closet. I hope I don't embarrass her on this beautiful and popular blog of hers! 

As a renter, I don't have much freedom with my kitchen design- which is why I love reading blogs and saving ideas for the future. Thank you, Pinterest. As I gathered up my favorite images, I realized that I tend to gravitate towards light-filled, white kitchens that have entertaining spaces like bars, banquettes or small breakfast nooks with colorful bistro chairs and upholstered seating. I find that no matter where you live, people tend to gather in the kitchen so it's important to make it beautiful and comfortable at the same time. 

I'm a huge fan of warm pendant lighting above bars like the brass ones you see in a few of these pictures. I also love the idea of using an unconventional subway tile, like the charcoal one you see here. I think this would mask stovetop messes (ie: bubbling spaghetti sauce or splatters of olive oil) better than its white alternative. I also like incorporating traditional elements like oriental rugs in the kitchen- it makes it feel more like a family room than a working area. 

One thing I've seen lately is painting kitchen cabinets a color other than white- I love the nautical feel of the blue cabinets. It is fresh, inviting and again- probably masks the greasy fingers/food remnants better than light-colored cabinets. Beauty and function! 

I've also included some of my favorite kitchen tools and accessories here. If you don't have a set of Laguiole steak knives, consider investing. We use ours practically every night and they make your table look so pretty. I also swear by the basketweave woven Williams Sonoma kitchen towels- they are the most absorbent and are the work horses that you need when you are faced with a pile of dirty dishes. Mini colanders seem silly- but they are perfect for rinsing fruit or vegetables when prepping meals for one or two people. One of the wedding gifts we use the most is our All-Clad stainless 12" fry pan- it cooks food evenly and quickly, and holds up well over high heat.

Thanks for having me! 


  1. i am also obsessed with williams sonoma kitchen towels. they are amazing and everyone should have them.

  2. Greetings! I just discovered your blog and love it. The Dream Kitchen series is genious. I wish I have my 'dream kitchen' one day. I grew up in big houses where the kitchen used to be the 'female sanctuary', where different generations of women (my grandmother, mother and myself) opened up and got much much closer. Have a great weekend!

  3. Gorgeous! love anything All-Clad!

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  7. Would you be able to give me more information about the pewter pendant lighting hanging in picture of the nautical kitchen with the blue island. Also I would like to know more information regarding the subway tiles in this picture. Thank you

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