Our Christmas Kitchen Is Filled With Sweet Smells

There is no better place to be this time of the year than in the kitchen. The heart of the home where many of our fondest memories are made. A time to gather with friends and family and share the simple pleasures of food and drink. Where counters will be turned into buffets and bars. A place where people would rather stand than to sit in softly in another room.

Our Country Kitchen

Gather Around Our Kitchen Table

Come gather around our kitchen table, the heart of our old country home. Our favorite  tree is decorated with simple ornaments and there is a teddy bear train underneath.

Christmas Tree Simply Decorated With A Teddy Bear Train Underneath

I have been spending most of my time in the kitchen of late. The Christmas cookies are baked and a rum cake is cooling on the baker’s cupboard filling the room with sweet smells. I have wiped the flour off the countertops and thought I would show you around.

We designed our kitchen to be in keeping with its 1730’s origin. It is painted with milk paint in period colors.  It has hand built cabinets that are all different.

The Only Major Appliance You See Is The Stove

The only major appliance that you see is our stove but there is a modern refrigerator, dishwasher and even a TV in the room.

Our Old Fashioned Pantry

Looking at my pantry, you would wonder where I keep all of our cooking ingredients but look at the surprise when the doors are opened.

Deep Pantry Pullout Drawers

The same is true of my baking cupboard.

Baker’s Cupboard

Deep Pullouts Hold Baking Utensils

The island holds baking ingredients and platters.

I hope you enjoyed the little tour. Now I must get back to preparing for a Christmas party.

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About Karen

I travel the back roads of New England and beyond, sharing great food and interesting places.
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143 Responses to Our Christmas Kitchen Is Filled With Sweet Smells

  1. katsmama says:

    Love, love, love your deep pantry! Your house is so beautiful.Lots of great ideas for if we ever remodel our kitchen (I can dream, right…)

  2. ceciliag says:

    I LOVED the lilttle tour around your ENORMOUS kitchen, and everything is so well planned and in its proper place. I love that in a kitchen. The central island is something i can only dream of as i think my kitchen is AS big as your island! Your bakers cupboard and work-top was especially clever.. thank you Karen. I can just see myself leaning with glass in hand chatting in there. Actually you would have to give me a job, as i am really no good at watching people work.. c

    • Karen says:

      Hi Celi, Thank you for your lovely comment. Most people would have no idea that we have such a large kitchen in a 1730’s home. Maybe one day we will chat with a glass of wine while both cooking in my kitchen. The bakers cupboard is nice as I had it built much lower than standard cabinet height. It makes it so easy to roll out pastry that way.

  3. ChgoJohn says:

    I love these tours of your home, Karen, and what better time to give us a tour than during Christmas! Thank you for opening your home & hearth to us.

  4. Your house is so beautiful, Karen. I love your tree and “den” as we would call it, off the kitchen….and the kitchen itself, oh my! My kitchen is also very small, a galley kitchen in a 1939 Cape Cod style house, and the floor space is probably not quite the size of your island! Still, it is the place everyone wants to gather isn’t it? Whether they have room or no. I love how organized you are and the beautiful traditional colors in the kitchen and your home. All the care you’ve taken in being true to the age of your house is so lovely, I think!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Betsy, Thank you for your lovely compliment. Believe it or not the room was originally this size. They were large because during the winter everyone stayed in what was called the keeping room. The whole family would sleep in front of the fire as that fireplace was never allowed to go out. Water was boiled in a special section of the hearth. Yes…everyone gathers in this room no matter if we encourage them go into our family room.

      • What fun it must be to live in a house with that much history. Just think of all the things that house has seen and the families it has sheltered. I know you love it.

      • Karen says:

        When you live in a home that was built way before the American Revolution, you can’t help but think of the people that came before you. This home was only in five families before us…passed down from generation to generation. The original staircase is worn more next to the handrail and I can’t help but think of all the little ones that must have held on to the rail on the step stairs. So much history.

  5. Your country kitchen looks AMAZING. I love how much storage you have… I definitely will be looking for that when I buy my first home. And I just adore your tree. Thanks for giving us a peek inside your home :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Babygirl, Thank you for your lovely comment. Storage is so important in a kitchen. I worked a long time on the design to make the kitchen work for the way I cook and entertain.

  6. Janis says:

    WOW! I love your kitchen! I love your Christmas tree. I love how your cabinets are different but they come together with some odd uniformity. WOW! Your kitchen should be featured in some magazine. It would be a shame not to show its beauty to the world. And my curious self wants to know what that contraption is on your counter? :)

    Merry Christmas! I would LOVE to spend Christmas in your kitchen and wake up to the smell of sweet hot cocoa. You know where you’ll find me, by the tree.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Janis, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your very nice compliments. It would be nice if our home was featured in a magazine someday as it is very historical. The contraption on my counter is a spice grinder that we brought back from France one year. Have a wonderful and merry Christmas as well.

  7. Simply glorious, Karen. It is warm and inviting and I suspect everyone who walks into your kitchen feels right at home. What a wonderful place to create and nourish the folks you love. I hope you have a great day. Blessings…Mary

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Mary for your lovely compliment. You are right, everyone loves the kitchen and usually we end up sitting around the table there instead of sitting in our family room. Have a great weekend.

  8. Karen, your kitchen and beautifully decorated tree are quintessential country christmas and kitchen photos!! I love this style and your kitchen, although big, feels so warm and cozy because of the milk paint and the way you’ve decorated. I love the dedicated baker’s unit with those crazy beautiful tins on the front! Love it!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Smidge, Thank you so much for your lovely compliment. I’m glad you like the punched tin front on my bakers cupboard. There were so many designs to choose from but I wanted simple. We really enjoy the country feel of the kitchen.

  9. spicegirlfla says:

    Lovely, lovely kitchen! So homey and welcoming! I love how you kept it to the period and all the appliances are hidden! Truely a wonderful place to come home for the holidays!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you Linda, for your nice compliment. We are pleased that we have all the modern conveniences but that we were able to hide them…all except for the stove this is. We do love the house…even though it took more than three years of restoration work before we could move in.

  10. Sissi says:

    I’m sorry but now that I have seen your amazing kitchen I cannot even concentrate on the Christmas atmosphere. You don’t know what I would give to have such a kitchen! Mine is rather very big for a city centre flat but yours looks like a dream!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Sissi, Thank you for your lovely comment. I know that you will have a lovely Christmas atmosphere in your home as well. It just takes time to find what makes you happy.

  11. WOW, you have a dream kitchen and them some Karen – so beautiful and well planned! I love your sitting area which is incorporated into the kitchen as well – a dream of mine! Above all else, I am insanely jealous of your hardwood floors, yip, another dream of mine! Thank you for sharing more of your home with us – it is just too beautiful for words! :-) Mandy

    • Karen says:

      Hi Mandy, Thank you for your very nice compliment. It really is my pleasure to share our home with my readers. It’s like having friends over for a visit. The floors are beautiful and are original. The wood is called pumpkin pine because of the color the wood has become after hundreds of years. Some of the boards are well over a foot wide.

  12. Just beautiful! Hubby remodled the kitchen here the year before we met…it’s all at ‘man-height’.
    What I wouldn’t give to have a lower section for rolling pastry!
    Thanks for the tour – when do the carolers start singing?

    • Karen says:

      I’m happy that you enjoyed the tour of the kitchen. My husband’s bathroom vanity is man height and he loves it. But when it came to the kitchen that was another matter. And having a special section that is lower is wonderful for rolling pastry.

  13. Jill says:

    So gorgeous, and especially festive with your holiday decorations. I love how you have the old-fashioned feel but still have modern conveniences. Martha Stewart could film her Christmas show on location at your house!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jill, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your very nice compliment. Martha Stewart at my house…now that would be something special. We can all dream.

  14. Zoe @ Pantry and Fridge says:

    Really really beautiful and warm. :)

  15. valcitygal says:

    Love your kitchen – it’s so warm and inviting yet modern and practical at the same time. I would live in this room and never visit the rest of the house. Awesome job on the deco.

  16. Robin says:

    Karen, I have to say that your kitchen is wonderful! That’s coming from a person with an architectural degree who is married to an architect. With that being said, I want to know who designed your kitchen…you?? What brand stove do you have and do I see some soap stone countertops?? If so, how do you like them? You were very very smart to have all those pull out drawyers. Just lovely….and I’m such a pain in the…you know..critic, especially when it comes to updating a kitchen in an older home.

    Oh, I can’t believe that you have all your Christmas Cookies baked already!!

    • Karen says:

      Wow Robin, Thank you so much…what else can I say. Yes, I designed my kitchen. The layout and the look of all the cabinetry. I was in charge of the entire restoration and worked with a man that only works on first period homes. It was a three year labor of love. Our gas stove is a DCS…we had wanted a Wolfe but the particular stove wasn’t available at the time. The counters are not soapstone but a wonderful granite that has that look.

  17. Wow, you have more pasta on hand than I do, which says a lot. Please ignore the fact that I am far too old to make this request of you and consider adopting me! Seriously, what a great place!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Greg, Thank you for your very nice compliment. We really do love our home. I do have a lot of pasta. I never know what I feel like cooking until the last minute and I believe that you need to have the correct pasta for the sauce you are making. If I get snowed in, I don’t have to worry about running to the store…do I.

  18. A beautiful kitchen Karen, and so well organised. You obviously put a lot of thought into the design. It must be a pleasure to cook there with everything at your fingertips. Have fun with the Xmas baking

    • Karen says:

      Hi Jenny, Thank you for you nice comment. Yes, I do really enjoy cooking in this kitchen. There is a place for everything and everything is in it’s place. It is great when you have a large space like we did to make a kitchen that works for the way you cook.

  19. Monique says:

    A beautiful Christmas kitchen! Thanks for sharing all of it! You must LOVE it!

  20. cabinet stew says:

    Really well-done! I love an “old fashioned” look with “modern” conveniences!! And a that is a true talent to have the different but coordinated look of cabinets! well done!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Carol, We really wanted the kitchen to be true to the period. Kitchens at the time would have never have had matching cabinets but would have had individual pieces of furniture. We tried to have the same feeling by using different colors and styles. I’m glad you appreciate the look.

  21. Michelle says:

    Such a beautiful kitchen!

  22. Oh so jealous! I would commit heinous, heinous crimes for that kind of counter space. Beautiful kitchen!

  23. Ann says:

    Love the kitchen tour! What a WARM place! So beautifully decorated (I have no decoration skills whatsoever!). Really stunning!

  24. Kristy says:

    I would love to move into your kitchen! Those cabinets are FANTASTIC! My hands-down favorite is the baker’s cupboard though. :)

  25. lulu says:

    You are absolutely right about the kitchen being the heart of the home. No matter where I try to direct people, everyone always ends up standing around in that area. Yours is certainly a wonderful place to be….I’m closing my eyes and imagining all the smells.

  26. What a beautiful home you have! Thanks for sharing it with your fellow bloggers. I think I saw a microwave on a kitchen counter – but other than that – so cool that your kitchen still looks like it might have many years ago. I spent my entire afternoon baking cookies – made me soooo happy. I’m sure your home smells delicious.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Linda, At this time of the year the kitchen has such wonderful smells. Thank you for your compliment. The microwave has a special cabinet but we chose to leave it out.

  27. Karista says:

    What a beautiful home Karen. So warm and inviting. I now have mega kitchen envy! Looks like something out of a magazine. Beautiful! Have a wonderful holiday season.

  28. Gorgeous! LOVE your kitchen. What a great combination of textures and colors. ~~Bliss

  29. Amy says:

    I love your kitchen! It’s so warm, cozy and inviting :)

  30. musingmar says:

    What a beautiful and inviting home. I love your kitchen, truly a cook’s dream!

  31. Tandy says:

    I love your kitchen! I am busy designing my new one and I am going to borrow some ideas from you! Love the Christmas tree and the train as well Karen :)

  32. Charles says:

    Ah, the kitchen – the heart of every good home! I love seeing peoples’ kitchens… more so than other aspects I think. You can tell a lot about people from their kitchens :D

    I’m so jealous of your kitchen – it’s so beautiful! It’s tough living in an apartment, especially a French apartment. For a nation so obsessed with food, they make no effort at all with kitchens in apartments. Usually they barely have a proper kitchen area… instead having just a corner where they have two burners, a microwave and a sink. So depressing. One day Karen… one day, I’ll buy my house in Sweden with a big kitchen… a kitchen to rival yours :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Charles, I can’t wait to see your Swedish kitchen. It really is odd what you said about French kitchens as the French are known for their food. It just shows you don’t need all the bells and whistles to create good food.

  33. Tom C says:

    Karen, can I date your kitchen please?? :)

  34. What a stunning and homely kitchen – can I come and live in your food cupboard?!

  35. Now that’s what I call a kitchen and such a beautiful looking tree. Hope you had a good weekend!

  36. CorkAndSpoon says:

    Can I come spend Christmas with you? Me and my entire family? I am excellent with cleanup….

    ~Emilie

  37. Linda says:

    What a beautiful home you have! It’s my dream to live in a home like that in New Hampshire. We love New Hampshire and spend a lot of time hiking and skiing with the family. I love your entire country kitchen, so warm and inviting, but I especially like the baker’s cupboard. Enjoy!!!

  38. Mary says:

    I have GOT to get my Hubby busy. Those pantry drawers are just what I need :-) . Your house is just charming. Happy Holidays!
    Mary

  39. Your kitchen is stunning!

  40. Caroline says:

    Look at all of that pasta!! You’ve got quite the collection, and yes, I’m a bit jealous. Your home and kitchen are absolutely gorgeous, Karen. Wow! x

    • Karen says:

      Hi Caroline, Thank you for your nice comment. I do enjoy having all kinds of pasta on hand. I keep all of my dry ingredients in this pantry…rice, pasta, beans, grains, etc.

  41. Cayla says:

    Karen! your home is GORGEOUS! i really wish i could have your kitchen. you have done such a beautiful job decorating too! i hope you have a wonderful holiday!!! :)

  42. Kim says:

    Wow, oh wow, look at your wonderful cozy kitchen. Oh, how I would love an older home to live in. What fabulous colors in the milk paint. Thanks so much for stopping by. Love finding new blogs with historical homes.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kim, Thank you for stopping by and you nice comment. Milk paint enables you to faithfully recreate historical colors from the first period of American homes.

  43. I think I need you to come and decorate my home!

  44. Karen, your home tells me so much about you and I think it is so lovely and cozy and when I look at it I think of novels and poems. Happy, happy Holidays to you.

  45. mary says:

    Thank you for visiting my blog and I’m so happy to have found yours. I so enjoyed the tour around your gorgeous kitchen, I’m not at all surprised you spend a lot of time there – it’s simply lovely.
    mary

  46. All I can say is “WOW!” Just loved this wonderful tour of your delightful country kitchen! I can only wish some day that I get to have a kitchen as lovely as yours! :) Thank you so much for sharing. Hugs & Happy Holidays to you!

    Cheers,
    Jessie

  47. Carolyn Chan says:

    Oh wow you have a house that exudes warmth ! And I couldn’t agree with you more about this being the best smelling time of the year !

  48. Kathleen says:

    Your kitchen is warm and inviting, just lovely! I bet it smells wonderful!
    There is a blog called Lulu’s Musings. She splits her time between Houston and Maine, and Carol at Serendipity between Sarasota and Maine.
    Thanks so much for stopping by, I will be back!
    Merry Christmas!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kathleen, Thank you for visiting my blog and your nice comment. I will pay Carol at Serendipity a visit…it’s nice to know someone that spends time in Maine.

  49. Kathleen says:

    I just saw Lulu commented! So you’ve met! I also see Cathy at Wives, and Monique on your blog roll. I have been friends with Monique for years, before blogging. We used to belong to the same cooking forum.

  50. I loved the tour Karen, it all looks so welcoming. Thank you for sharing :)

  51. val says:

    Wow- truly beautiful. I love every detail.

  52. Absolutely beautiful! What a warm and inviting home you have! Stunning kitchen.
    Very pretty tree. Wishing you a very Merry Christmas.

  53. How nice to have such deep pantries and drawers. I have a great kitchen but not with lots of deep cabinets like that. How nice!

    Happy Holidays!

    • Karen says:

      When designing my kitchen, I knew that I wanted plenty of storage. Since there was not a place for a walk in pantry, deep pullout drawers was the answer. Have a wonderful holiday season as well.

  54. Wow! That is an amazing kitchen! So much storage…oh I think I have storage envy…actually and bench space envy.
    Gorgeous. No wonder everyone wants to hang out in the kitchen.

  55. Kat says:

    Your home is beautiful and I love your kitchen! I always enjoy seeing a modern kitchen that looks like it has been there for hundreds of years!

    Kat :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Kat, Thank you for your nice compliment. We went to great pains to keep the character of our 1730’s house but have every modern convenience as we are true foodies.

  56. Love your beautiful kitchen! A place for everything and everything in its place! There are baking aromas coming from your pictures!

  57. Thank you for sharing these wonderful pictures of your home and kitchen with us Karen..
    I love how tidy and organized everything is and I love the warm earthy colors you have…so welcoming

  58. Your kitchen is picture perfect, Karen. I love the way you have combined different shapes and colors. It is informal and very sophisticated all at the same time. And all that storage and counters…and the island…and…and… Stunning.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Cathy, Thank you for your lovely compliment. We do enjoy all the colors in the kitchen…much the way it would have been so many years ago. It is a nice place to spend time.

  59. Christina says:

    What a beautiful kitchen! I love that you painted it in colors from the period to keep it original. You have such a warm and inviting home. :)

  60. Wow, your kitchen is spectacular. Your baking cupboard is so very beautiful. My mother has one like it, but yours looks like a glossy catalog of home beauty, except that it is very warm and welcoming. -kate

  61. Your kitchen looks so cosy and inviting and I LOVE your baking cupboard!

  62. Kim says:

    I can smell the sweets just by looking at these pictures :)

  63. Karen – I want to come and live at your house:-). I love this kitchen from the ceilings to the floors to that wonderful baking cabinet with the marble counter. Then there is the rum cake…probably my favorite holiday dessert!

  64. Emily Gooch says:

    What a lovely, lovely home you have, Karen. The photos look like they are from the pages of those country home magazines that I used to buy and dream about having. That kitchen is surely a chef’s dream. :)

  65. I want to come and create concoctions in your kitchen ALL DAY!! Just beautiful- and I love that you’ve kept the period of the home. All of those pull out drawers…heavenly:)

  66. Beautiful pictures! And your kitchen is definately attractive. Very different tour around the kitchen, it kept me captivated! Very nice post!

  67. Hannah says:

    Yeah, that’s pretty much my dream kitchen alright. So beautiful, tastefully decorated, spacious, and functional. I would want to cook even more than I already do!

  68. congratulation for your beautiful home! and I saw a lot of barilla in your pantry :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Barbara, Thank you for your nice comment. Yes, I do have a lot of Barilla in my kitchen. Everyone seems to have noticed that I like pasta…and lots of different kinds depending on what sauce I am making.

  69. susannye says:

    Karen – dream kitchen – thanks for sharing! …Susan

  70. Your kitchen is to-die-for! I love it, and I’m jealous!

  71. InCucinaDaME says:

    Your house is so beautiful

  72. Eva Taylor says:

    Hi Karen, thanks for stopping by my blog. I LOVE your kitchen! LOVE IT! I’ve always wanted to combine two finishes on my cabinetry and had hoped to do so in our 2007 renovation, but sadly it did not happen. I plan to switch out my island for a slightly smaller one (it’s a bit tight around the stove and fridge) and when we do that, it will be more of a piece of furniture and I think I may choose the same profile for the cabinet but I will have it painted an antique white! I’m hoping to salvage the Canadian soapstone as it would be the most expensive part to replace!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Eva, Thank you for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. I enjoyed looking at the photos of your renovation. Even though my island is large…it is a free standing piece. I’m sure that you will be able to salvage your soapstone top.

  73. David says:

    I think your kitchen is half the size of my house! What a lovely place to gather and celebrate freinds and family!

  74. Karen, I would feel so at home in your lovely kitchen. It is wonderful to see someone design a new kitchen that respects their centuries-old home. Fabulous! Though my kitchen is much smaller, I love it. One of the things I appreciate every day is the pull-outs (and I imagine I will appreciate them even more as the years go by!).

  75. Fragolina says:

    Merry Christmas to you all. Your kitchen is amazing, so warm and lovely. I love the big kitchen, I dream of my own one day. The big drawers are so adequate for the big appliances. I bet you enjoy cooking and baking in it.

  76. Cheryl says:

    Hi Karen,
    Loved the little tour of your kitchen. You have an amazing kitchen.I fell in love with your bakers cabinet and a granite counter top which is so user friendly for baking.I guess HGTV should ask you for kitchen ideas. I love the rustic look. It’s big yet,organised and cosy. Happy new year 2012. Happy blogging :-)

  77. after reading your comment on my pasta post, I had to find your pantry… and I am so in love with your beautiful, breathtaking home! I grew up in a 1750s farmhouse in rural Virginia, and have very fond memories of the house, although my mother was not too fond of the brick floors and stone walls. I love historic places… maybe that explains how I ended up in Greece! but anyway, thanks for the tour of your beautiful home!!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Heidi, Thank you for taking the time to search out this post and your nice comment. We love living in this home…it has so much character. Your farmhouse in Virginia must have been nice. That is a beautiful part of the country.

  78. Beth says:

    Absolutely stunning! What a lovely kitchen.

  79. Pingback: The Season To Be Jolly | Back Road Journal

  80. viveka says:

    That kitchen is to die for … is it always that tidy ?? *smile
    Great with draws inside of cupboards – do you know that IKEA was the first one with that idea.
    I wish I had it – with it’s about the kitchen aid machines – I have learned if they are not easy to get to, they will never be used.
    Just love everything I see from you kitchen, except the micro – you should hide that … ugly thing behind a door or something … I love micro waves, but I don’t like to look at them. *smile

    • Karen says:

      Hi Viveka, I’m glad you like my kitchen…I designed it. I didn’t know about IKEA being the first. I do love drawers in the kitchen…everything is easy to reach. The microwave does have a spot behind closed doors but it stays out. The refrigerator and dish washer are hidden from sight though.

  81. petit4chocolatier says:

    Your home is so comfortable, inviting and warm :)
    Love all that history!

  82. soffiagudrun says:

    Dream kitchen ! But is it a Kitchen Aid I see in the drawer? Put it somewhere I can see it :D
    Your house is way too cozy and very inspiring.

    • soffiagudrun says:

      hihi, :D just saw your comment about the Kitchen Aid being easy too reach…that is true…and that´s good enough for me :)

    • Karen says:

      Hi Soffia, I have to agree with you about my kitchen. I designed it and all the cabinetry…so it is perfect for the way I cook on a daily basis. Yes…you do see a Kitchen Aid in my baking drawer. Since I don’t do a lot of baking, I don’t keep it out on the counter but all I have to do is pull open the drawer and place in on my baking table right above. Convenient for when I am using it…out of sight when I’m not. Thank you for your nice comment…it is appreciated.

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