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This chop knife by Normann Copenhagen makes dicing herbs, vegetables and even chocolate a little easier. The rubber covering provides a comfortable and safe grip, while its round shape makes it simple to use with one hand.

 Normann Copenhagen Chop Knife

Check back next Wednesday to guess at a new item.

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Growing up, my mother, grandmother, aunt — everyone in the family had matching dinnerware in their kitchen cupboards. Everything was super matchy-matchy and super boring-boring.

I’ll admit — I’ve regrettably fallen into the same ho-hum pattern. Those all-in-one dinnerware boxes are so darn convenient! But, I’ve been on a mission to break my family’s tradition of boring. It’s time.

I’m determined to buy all sorts of vintage plates to add variety in the kitchen. The varying colors are stunning, the looks are so different from anything in today’s mass market and let’s face it — they’re just plain pretty. The juxtaposition of styles takes me to a happy place.

This display of plates found at is the exact look I’m shooting for. Come on, even if you’re not an antique/vintage-style lover, you have to admit that there’s something appealing about this colorful presentation.

Vintage Plates

What’s your take? Do you prefer dinnerware that matches, or are you interested in going rogue like me?

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This week’s mystery item reminded me of a pepper grinder, but the only thing it has in common with a grinder is that it belongs in the kitchen. Can you guess what the object is? Give us your best answer, and we’ll reveal the answer tomorrow.


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I’m having major editor envy over here. I’ve been seeing this gorgeous kitchen making the rounds on Pinterest, and found out it’s in the Toronto home of Suzanne Dimma, the Editor-in-chief of Canadian House & Home magazine.

suzanne dimmas eclectic kitchen

Photo: Rob Fiocca

I love how this feels both chic and very personal. Yes, there is the requisite marble, but where most kitchens I see take that in a sterile direction, here it’s warmed up by rich wood and a colorful rug. And the chandelier is a fun, girly touch. Not enough chandeliers in kitchens, if you ask me. But, like every editor, Dimma feels like her work is never done. She’s talking about renovating on her blog, and wants to “redesign the fridge and counter area (not pictured) and update the sink, counters and cabinetry finish.” I’m sure her finished kitchen will be lovely, but I think it looks enchanting the way it is. (Although perhaps I’d add this sleek black SMEG fridge with the gold handles and logo to pump up the glam factor even more. Argh, see? Never done!)

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Chalkboard walls are all the rage, but I knew I wanted something different in our kitchen. And yet, I can’t fight the notion that a message wall is just so darn convenient when tracking schedules, making grocery lists, leaving welcome messages (or, as you’ll see in a few images, professing your never-ending love to your favorite TV network).

Dry Erase Paint - Erin Loechner

The giant before.


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As far as I’m concerned, my dog Chauncey is like Mary Poppins: Practically perfect in every way. Except his constant habit of getting under foot while I’m cooking. (Okay, that and a stinky breath thing, but we’re working on that with some poultry-flavored enzymatic toothpaste.) It’s actually endearing, but considering that he’s a mini dachshund and we own some serious chef’s knives, I’m always worried that one of us is going to get hurt. If only we had this kitchen island dog bed by Cook Architectural Design Studio, as featured on Houzz!

dog cubby in kitchen

Look at these two pooches, basking in the kitchen without causing any casualties. That’s the power of ingenious space-saving design. Now, if we could just address that breath…

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“Could you be/the most beautiful colander in the world?” is what Prince would sing if he saw the Ziva Colander, I am pretty sure. Frankly, the colander is such an overlooked workhorse in the kitchen that I’m glad designer Anna Rabinowicz gave it an inspired makeover.

ziva colander

The look was influenced by sea fan corals, which gives the strainer a lovely organic feel, even as the shiny finish of the stainless steel glams it up. It’s pricier than all the plain colanders out there, to be sure, but thinking about also using it as a fruit bowl on the counter or serving bowl for bread at dinner parties does make such a splurge tempting…

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Here’s how I know this delight is pretty delightful: When my boyfriend saw it, he said, “That’s a cool stove! I would totally put that in my awesome future country house.” And I might be biased because he’s my boyfriend, but I think his assessment of this La Cornue CornuFé Stove is spot on.
cornufe stove

With five gas burners and two electric convection ovens that open with French side-swing doors in a comely Provence Blue…I really hope he meant “our awesome future country house.”


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Let me share with you a peek into our minds when it comes to renovating a home, yes? Shortly after our massive kitchen makeover, Ken and I celebrated by doing nothing for an entire weekend. And when I say weekend, I mean eight days. Probably more, really.

Kitchen Backsplash- Erin Loechner

Introducing...our kitchen backsplash!

Renovating is a marathon, and as rewarding as it is, we often find ourselves sitting on the bench like after a long race, catching old re-runs of Murder She Wrote and eating pints of ice cream.

Kitchen Backsplash- Erin Loechner

Our backsplash-less kitchen.

This explains precisely why it’s taken us nearly six months to finish our kitchen, even though we only had one key project to complete: the backsplash. Sure, we’ve been preoccupied with the laundry room, guest bedroom and living room, but in all actuality, we embrace snack breaks and lounging far more than I’d like to admit.

Kitchen Backsplash- Erin Loechner

Look! A backsplash! We chose Modwalls' Lush 3x6 subway tile in Cloud.

Regardless, we finally bit the bullet and tackled the final project on our kitchen to-do list this past weekend. And surprisingly, it was far easier than we’d imagined! Here’s how we made it happen:

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I fancy myself something of a chowhound, and love to experiment in the kitchen, but my preference to freestyle a recipe sometimes illustrates the rift between culinary brainstorming and practical experience. Turns out, there are some things you can’t just wing. Like baking. Oops.

kitchen conversion poster

This graphic kitchen conversion poster by SweetFineDay is here to save the day. The attractive and practical print eliminates any confusion in a recipe, and illustrates exactly how much of each ingredient you need to use. So there’s no more blaming “the altitude” if your pie doesn’t come out. (Apologies to my foodie friends in Denver!)

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They say that home is where the heart is, and in the case of these darling AHeirloom Plyboo Cutting Boards, that can be true, literally. Amy & Bill, the husband and wife design duo behind AHeirloom, will customize the board by putting the little heart carving anywhere you’d like on the state, so you can mark your home, your birthplace, where you got married — just about anything!

nevada cutting board

I love this concept and think it’d make a great gift, though I must say, some states are better suited than others for the purpose. (I currently live in New York, but I think I’d buy the state where I’m from originally instead. Pennsylvania = the perfect shape for all your chopping needs!) I’ve featured Nevada above, since that’s where I’m headed today for the upcoming Las Vegas Market. I hope to soak in some design and spot even more cutting-edge (forgive me) trends to share here.

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A beautiful facet of open floor plans is the light that gets to pass freely from one space to the next.

open kitchen shelves
But an open plan can cause some logistical problems, namely where to put all your stuff. This kitchen shelving by Berg Design Architecture solves that problem in an elegant fashion. The pass-through shelves allow unobstructed light from the wall-sized windows to filter through to the kitchen. Just make sure your dishes are in tip-top shape for this kind of storage.

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Velvet Hammerschmidt DesignVelvet Hammerschmidt Design always delivers style and class to their many projects that range from high-end residences to boutique hotels and office spaces. This contemporary loft in Santa Monica is a prime example of what Velvet Hammerschmidt does best — design a high-style living space that improves the client’s lifestyle and embraces their personality — all with a modern California flair. In this case, the client was Velvet herself, and she wanted a place that simplified her and her husband’s busy lives and allowed them to embrace the beautiful scenery and terrain surrounding their SoCal home.

Velvet accomplished this by designing every last inch of this “smart home” from the ground up. The home was made “smart” by creating lighting, fans, window treatments, HVAC, digital music and AV that are all controlled entirely via remote and integrated keypads. Both the design and technology in this loft are streamlined. Bottom up shades and custom floor valances were designed to control urban views, provide privacy, and yet still allow for access to spectacular vistas and plenty of California sun. And then there is the rooftop deck, complete with outdoor kitchen, fire pit and water feature. Read on to learn more about how Velvet created a dream space that embraces technology, art and nature with a tour that starts on the roof

Up on the Roof

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In the perfectly appointed kitchen with no cabinets for refuse, what does one do about the utilitarian and often unappealing trash can?

seletti trash can
Why you get a fancy one, of course! I spotted this Trash Chic receptacle from Seletti and thought that it might just be fancy enough to redo an entire kitchen based on it.  The spunky yellow handles could even make me look forward to emptying the trash. (One can always dream, right?)

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Grumpy mornings just may turn out to be a little less so if you had an adorable, vaguely animal-shaped mug from which to sip your coffee.

animal mugs

Generally I’m not a fan of pale pastels like the ones on these silicone wraps, but snuggled around the white porcelain bellies of a bear, a pig, and a deer, I adore them.

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When I was little one of my favorite breakfasts was a soft-boiled egg with a piece of toast. Sounds like a boring meal for a kid to love, but my grandmother served it to me in Humpty Dumpty egg cups.

shark diver egg cups

You can probably imagine my joy, then, when I saw these hilarious egg cups from Omelet. The pairing of the diver and the shark is my own, but I thought they’d make an obvious set.

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Perfectionist chefs, rejoice! At last you don’t have to fret over your unevenly chopped carrots.

ocd chef cutting board

Labeled the OCD Cutting Board by crackerjack designers Fred & Friends, this beechwood kitchen accessory is deeply satisfying for those of us [ahem] who appreciate geometric uniformity in our culinary endeavors. Now if only someone would make a laundry-folding guide so my dresser drawers could be as equally precise.

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