A Recipe Developer’s Farmhouse Kitchen Goes MCM with a “European Vibe”

published Mar 13, 2024
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All cooks — whether they’re professional chefs or prolific leftover reheaters — can appreciate a functional, stylish kitchen renovation. For someone like Marcella DiLonardo (@modestmarce), an author, recipe developer, content creator, and founder of the all-things-culinary blog Modest Marce, a kitchen transformation was beneficial for both aesthetic reasons and business purposes. 

“I wanted a better kitchen designed for filming, more counter space, and more pantry space,” Marcella shares. “My previous kitchen didn’t have a pantry, which is not ideal as a recipe developer. My design goals were to create a Danish-inspired kitchen with a hint of mid-century modernity.”

DiLonardo sought inspiration from kitchen outfitter Nordiska Kök because she wanted a “European vibe that included natural wood tones and a bold marble,” she says. Interior designer Meaghan Jones, founder and Creative Director of Studio Hemma, helped Marcella achieve her vision by designing the new kitchen layout. 

A new peninsula replaces the “tiny island.”

“[Meaghan] went above and beyond to ensure I had a kitchen that functioned for both living and work,” Marcella explains. “Switching from a tiny island to a large peninsula was her ingenious idea and it might just be my favorite part of the new design.”

The peninsula is the perfect space for DiLonardo to test out new recipes (she calls it “a dream!”). But other elements benefit her functionally, too, like the wraparound storage around the fridge.

Drawers are easier than cabinets.

Replacing all the lower cabinets in the space with drawers has made it easy to access appliances, props, ingredients, and cookware while she’s photographing her recipes.

“Maybe it’s oversaid now, but having all drawers makes life so much easier,” Marcella says. “No more ingredients getting lost in the back of a cabinet. Anyone else end up with 10 cans of sweetened condensed milk because they all got pushed back and hidden in a cabinet?”

The kitchen is more stylish to boot.

For all the new functionality in the kitchen, there’s equal flair, too. Marcella wanted marble to be the space’s focal point, so she installed Ciot’s Viola Monet Honed Marble on the countertops and backsplash. The white and black swirl looks nice with the grain of the warm walnut cabinets (Swede’s Shinnoki in “Smoked Walnut”).

Pops of yellow “to give it a hint of playfulness,” brass hardware and lighting, and a striking picture window complete the space — which was renovated in just eight weeks.

“The layout functions so much better, and I feel spoiled to work in such a beautiful space,” Marcella says — and the kitchen renovation isn’t the only gorgeous room in DiLonardo’s home. To see more of her space, visit the full tour on Apartment Therapy.

This post originally appeared on The Kitchn. See it there: Before & After: Bold Yellow Accents and Walnut Cabinets Make a “Dated” Kitchen Pop