European Style Kitchens (and a Blogger's Give Away!)

Photo by Claude Smekens/Chilli Media

With the closing of so many interior design magazines, I've started to turn to British Homes & Gardens magazine for beautiful photos and inspiration. The January 2010 issue did not disappoint with the feature about Belgian interior designer Valerie Daene and her husband Peter Vandebergh. This kitchen in their home is pure Belgian style. I would find it hard to leave the house for work every morning to spend the day in a cold, sterile office after sipping my coffee and cooking up a bit of oatmeal for breakfast. It is something, isn't it, with not one, but two elegant chandeliers and an enormous black AGA cook stove. I feel warmer just looking at it!

Here's another European kitchen (please excuse the smallish photo) from the same magazine by Neptune, a British kitchen company. It's a streamlined kitchen that also includes a smaller AGA cook stove plus lots of white marble on a huge island. Oh, to have that much storage space in a kitchen! The light fixtures over the island really caught my attention as did the two small sconces flanking the stove. I've not seen anything like these fixtures in most American kitchens.

Photo by Tria Giovan
This kitchen takes standard white cabinets to a new level. It has a European look, but it's actually in the Houston, Texas home of antiques dealer Kay O'Toole featured in the March 2010 issue of Veranda magazine. Expanses of cool white marble (from an old post office) top cabinets made from reclaimed pine, which appear to be stained white or gray. The hood over the stove is made from a French architectural remnant. A pretty French table (the apron detail reminds me of a crimped pie shell) topped with more white marble stands in for an island.

And lastly, here's the beautiful kitchen of my blog friend Debra Phillips of 5th and State. It looks like it's straight from the Cotswolds with the black AGA cook stove (one can't call a GE oven a "cook stove" can she?). Debra had an artist hand paint the charming rural scene with sheep on the wall behind the stove and her husband fashioned the wood surround from a fireplace mantel. These are creative folks!
Debra is featuring a wonderful make over give away on her blog until February 24th, so be sure to stop by and have a look. It's not a give away for a new kitchen (maybe next time, Debra?), but a give away to have this talented interior designer, landscaper and exterior stylist design a new facade for your home including drawings and suggestions for plantings and colors. Here is a special example of Debra's lovely work:

1970s Ranch, Before......

1970s Ranch, After
It's a beautiful transformation! I wish my home could be submitted for consideration, but instead Debra has asked me and two other bloggers to help her choose a home from all entries submitted for the give away of her services. Thank you, Debra. I'm honored to be included as a panelist!
So, be sure to visit Debra's blog to learn more about her wonderful give away.


  1. deborah, thank you for your kind words and post!

    i'm sitting in a hotel room on my way to nashville and let out a big whoop when i saw the first kitchen, thinking "oh i love that stove" then scrolled down.......what a surprise.
    truly honored you are helping with the give-away.
    big hugs

  2. These are lovely particularly kitchen no 2... and I cannot get over how amazing that house transformation is - stunning! Thank you for sharing this with us... X

  3. The first kitchen is stunning! I used to subscribe to British Homes & Gardens many years ago, maybe it's time to start again...Debra's cook stove and the mural is so beautiful too. I'm looking forward to the contest too - will be putting up a post tonight.
    p.s. - not sure I mentioned this before but the background color of your blog is lovely.

  4. I love all those kitchens. They are just amazing. But that 1950's ranch makeover is incredible. My next house is going to be a 1950's ranch and I plan to totally make it over. This is inspiration.

  5. Hi Deborah,

    OMG, the first kitchen is to die for. I don't think I'd ever leave home either. They are all so beautiful. Thanks for always coming up with gorgeous images that inspire me. I would LOVE someone to help me with the exterior of my home. I have so many historical issues to confront. This would be such a great prize to win!


  6. I would have been quite happy to visit the outside of Debra's house...but now I want to come in! Her kitchen...swoon!!!

  7. I adore those kitchens - the first one is especially beautiful. Can't wait to head over to Debra's blog. Where's the snow? I guess we missed it!

  8. Beautiful kitchens! Wow, the giveaway sounds amazing. Is it open to Canadians? - I can go and see. We probably wouldn't do anything any time soon, so maybe I will leave it to someone who is keen to change their house! I would love to paint our house but David is very keen on how it looks already. So I will work on him a while longer.... :)

    xo Terri

  9. I so love these kitchens! Very Belgian! The photographer of the first picture Claude Smekens has photographed my house a few weeks ago and this weekend the Magazine 'Tijdloos Wonen' will be on the shopdisplay! I can't wait to see!

  10. Such inspiring photos! Love the ranch house before and after!

  11. I love Debra's kitchen! And that make over is amazing!


  12. I'm enjoying your blog for the first time! I'm in the process of renovating a 1920s apartment with a mixture of French/Swedish influence and antiques...and trying not to go broke in the process. I'm so over the idea of fully fitted kitchen cabinets...if it weren't for problems reselling I would be sorely tempted to just go with freestanding furniture and antiques. As it is, I'll try and be sensible and do a little of both - weirdly I think the antiques may be cheaper than the kitchen cabinets...


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