Kitchen Inspiration: Functional Style from Julia Child

Kitchen Inspiration: Functional Style from Julia Child

Leah Moss
Mar 5, 2009

As many of you know, The Smithsonian's Museum of American History in DC is home to the reassembled kitchen of Julia Child, the master chef who demystified French cuisine for the common cook. There is a wealth of kitchen design knowledge to be gleaned from a space where function and comfort went hand in hand, so we've compiled a list of what we've learned from the pro and what you'll need for a Child-style kitchen for your own home...

1. Pegboard Storage. Julia's husband, Paul, hung a wall of pegboards for various kitchen utensils and pots and pans. He also traced outlines of her pots and pans onto the pegboard so that she'd instantly know where to return them after cooking and clean-up. In a modern kitchen, the outline — black lines on a white pegboard or vice versa — would make a crisp graphic statement. Any local hardware store will supply and cut a pegboard to your liking. While you're there, pick up some spray paint to customize the color.

We loved this updated version that we spotted on TheKitchn. The subtle tone on tone pan outlines are fabulous.

2. Good Lighting. Each work space has adequate task lighting, often wall-mounted. IKEA's ISFALL plug in light is an easy, flexible option for under $20.

3. Store Items Where They Are Used. Commonly used ingredients like oil and vinegar are kept next to the stove, cutting down on the time needed to gather them while cooking. The sleek lines of Crate & Barrel's Oil/Vinegar Cruets are a practical and stylish option for your counter. She stored some knives in a block, but stored the most commonly used knives on a magnetic knife strip above the spot where she did most of her chopping. We've been pleased with the heavy-duty magnetic strip we found at Target.

4. Simple, Accessible Storage for Large Items. Rather than stacking baking sheets under a mound of heavy, bulkier items, Julia stored them vertically in slotted racks next to the dishwasher. You can easily install a few rows of wooden dowels from a hardware store to create your own vertical storage or use a pre-made version like this one from amazon

Go check it out yourself, and tell us what you've learned!

(Images: 1:onlyv's photostream via flickr, 2: WBUR.ORG, 3: Via Nibsblog, 4,5: afagen's photostream via flickr ,6: Wikipedia)

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