Amanda's Smart, Renovated Kitchen
Amanda's eye for preserving period elements from her charming 1930s bungalow and updating with a graphic sensibility has resulted in one classy renovation. The space is full of light, handmade details and the smell of chocolate chip cookies Amanda had just pulled out of the oven as I arrived. The cookies (her Grandma's recipe, documented in the gallery) and the kitchen were both inspired.
Amanda's background as Portland, Oregon–based graphic designer/interior decorator helped in the renovation of her kitchen tremendously. She traded graphic design work for much of the contractors' services. Her smallish kitchen doesn't feel cramped, as Amanda carefully edits what she brings into her home. The home owners let loose when it comes to plants however, and the greenery brings a lively warmth into their dining area. In fact, green is the pop of color against all of the neutrals of the kitchen, which works beautifully (note Amanda's French press! Yowza!).
Amanda's cooking style is honest, wholesome and straightforward. She's interested in classic recipes that work without much fuss. In thinking about her kitchen and her dining nook, I'd say this same philosophy can be found in her decorating style. It's quite timeless in here, with pops of contemporary color and design.
10 Questions for Amanda (and Her Kitchen)
1. What inspires your kitchen and your cooking?
After renovating and being without a fully functional kitchen for over six months, I definitely appreciate my kitchen! It's inspiring to know all the hard work that went into it has paid off and we now have a kitchen we love.
I like simplicity in my cooking. I'm inspired by what produce is in season and also by old family recipes that have been passed down to me from my mom and grandma. I'm also the "baker" in my circle of friends. I jump at any chance to whip up a batch of cookies or cupcakes.
2. What is your favorite kitchen tool or element?
The French press. I use it every morning and it has definitely contributed to an increase in my coffee consumption!
3. What's the most memorable meal you've ever cooked in this kitchen?
We've had lots of great meals here with family and friends, but one memorable one was when I threw an Oscars party. I made eggplant Parmesan and served champagne and brownie sundaes for dessert.
4. The biggest challenge in your kitchen:
Probably the size. It's not bad when it's just the two of us, but when we have people over, it can feel pretty crowded.
5. Is there anything you wish you had done differently?
It would have been really nice to have a counter–depth fridge, but I don't think I could have justified the extra cost.
6. Biggest indulgence or splurge in the kitchen:
The custom built banquette and table.
7. Is there anything you hope to add or improve in your kitchen?
We're getting married this month and have registered for some cool new items, including a KitchenAid stand mixer.
8. How would you describe your cooking style?
I tend to use fairly simple ingredients and make the same tried and true recipes often.
9. Best cooking advice or tip you ever received:
It's a very basic one, but using a toothpick to test the doneness of bread, brownies or cake is a tip I learned as a kid, and still use all the time.
10. What are you cooking this week?
I found a recipe for Pasta Primavera on Poppytalk that I really want to try.
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(Images: Leela Cyd Ross)