A new house, a kitchen remodeling and a trip to France

I need to confess: it’s a bit difficult to cook these days. Many things are going on in our end, including an upcoming trip to France, a newly purchased house, a complete kitchen remodeling, the upcoming sale of our current house and a move. And that’s not even all of it. You’ll hear, though, that all of these things are exciting, and I very much look forward to them. So please, excuse my momentary absence from behind both the stove and computer. I have boxes piled everywhere in the house and most of my props and dishware, as a start, are already packed.

But come close: I still have a favor to ask you. Do you happen to know anyone in the Boston area with a fabulous talent to help me make my kitchen vision come true? That involves a designer, architect and builder. Any advice is more than welcomed.

Many thanks. When I am in France, I promise to post pictures and scene of Spring in the French countryside. I am hearing the cherry trees are already in full bloom.

Posted in Food & Travel, Life and Us


  1. wow – congrats on all these wonderful things. it will be fun to see photos of your new home, eventually…and your next visit to france, perhaps sooner. you should contact the ‘this old house’ folks to see if they would take you on for your kitchen project! that would be a cool mix of client and contractors….

  2. So many new things in your life and they all sound great! Good luck with moving your house and enjoy the trip to France. I bet it’s beautiful there at this time of year. Look forward to new photos both of the new kitchen and from France!

  3. Je n’ai strictement aucun tuyau pour la rénovation de cuisine à Boston mais me réjouis vraiment de découvrir votre regard sur la France printanière!

  4. Do you read the blog Elements of Style (elementsofstyleblog.com)? Erin Gates is a self-taught interior designer who seems to do a great mix of high/low and is in Boston!

  5. Bon courage avec le déménagement, je sais à quel point ça peut être fatiguant et très bonnes vacances chez toi!J’attends déjà les photos avec impatience!

  6. Sounds very exciting, Bon courage for your move (has to be one of my least favorite things to do)

  7. wow, i’m looking forward to the photos from france and seeing the new ‘dream’ kitchen when it’s done! having gone through a kitchen remodel myself, i can relate to the excitement (and also the frustration) it brings. good luck on the project!

  8. Wow! Congratulations on all these wonderful things and good luck!
    I would love to see photos of your new home and the spring in the French countryside…

  9. Hi Bea
    We are in the throes of moving too! There are boxes everywhere and will be living with the bare essentials for the next few weeks.
    Good luck with your move, enjoy your trip to France and I look forward to your next post 🙂

  10. I’m sooo happy for you! I wish I could help you but I’m sure you will find all the help you wish for!…I’m looking forward to see photos from France and your new home!
    Have a great time!

  11. Good luck, Béa: courage et bonnes vacances! I’m sure it will all go well and be beautifully stylish (in spite of the stress). Hope Lulu enjoys her French sojourn. (I’ve been loving all the gorgeous blossom here, too)! A x

  12. Oh so looking forward to hearing about all of these amazing things! We’ve been living in boxes for over a year as our moving date keeps changing so I know the difficulties you’re encountering better than I’d care to. Tres bon voyage en France et a tres bientot! Bises.

  13. Super! Bienvenue dans notre charmante petite ville!!! Bon voyage et tout et tout!!!

  14. L’oncle et la tante de mon mari sont architectes à Boston. Leur style est assez classique, je ne sais pas si tu aimeras, mais à tout hasard… Ils sont dans le métier depuis 25 ans et ont conçu/rénové beaucoup de belles maisons dans la région.
    Hope that helps !
    J’espère que ça

  15. Béa,
    I love your blog! I’ a French-speaking Bostonian with a Belgian mother and Irish-American father, so I feel especially connected to your story, and my husband and I find great inspiration from you for our many cooking adventures. I wanted to throw my name in the mix as a designer who would love to help you out with your kitchen. I just received my master’s in interior design and am starting my own business. That means I don’t have as many projects in my portfolio as others, but you’ll get lots of attention, and my rates can’t be beat while I’m building my experience. Please let me know if I can help in any way.

    Have a great trip!

  16. congrats! i have to say i usualy like small design firms but i love the work that this company does! they have blown me away in a few different occasions!

    m.f.design group boston!

  17. So exciting! But it sure is a stressful time. Have done a kitchen remodeling 2 years ago and know the up and down sides. But when it’s done it’s a wonderful feeling to have your dream kitchen 🙂 Hopefully you find a good designer and builders.

    Enjoy your spring visit to France. I’m sure Lulu will love it, We are all waiting for the sure-to-be gorgeous pictures.

  18. For a full-service architecture firm in Boston, I’d recommend Warner & Cunningham. They are a small firm, have worked with many local contractors and a great woodworking company. They’ve done really nice kitchens and also can help with custom interiors.


  19. What can I say? Congratulations! Such an exciting time…wishing you all the best…El

  20. Congratulations! And I have to ask: what kind of flowering tree is in your picture? I love those flowers and have been trying to figure out the name of the tree for years but no one seems to be able to tell me what it is… any assistance you might give is much appreciated. 🙂

  21. Bon séjour en France et bon courage pour le déménagement… Ce n’est jamais simple et avec une t’ite marcheuse qui doit vouloir fouiller partout encore moins 🙂

    J’ai hâte de voir ta cuisine devenir réalité..

    gros bisous et euh… prend des vêtements chauds, on est en Novembre, même en Provence!!!!! Pouark

  22. Looking at it from here, a new house, kitchen remodelling and a trip to France, seems soooo exciting. But I know from my own experience how messy and chaotic things can be around there. Although I just arrived from a one year round the world trip, I must confess, I envy you for going to France for the spring. Bon voyage! Cannot wait to see your beautiful pictures!

  23. Hello – Taking the liberty of introducing you to our company, Jewett Farms & Co. – a full service design & build cabinet maker. We design & build for all interior spaces and specialize in kitchens. Please take a look at our work on line and contact us to set up a visit in our Studio, 1.978.961.1538 or elena@jewettfarms.com Elena Bachrach, Partner

  24. Des projets bien sympas mais qui prennent du temps en effet ! Dépêche-toi de venir en France, les cerisiers sont en fleurs (j’en ai un magnifique dans mon jardin) mais ils ne tarderont pas à perdre leurs jolies fleurs malheureusement !

  25. that is a lot of things at once, but all so exciting and wonderful. i must imagine a kitchen remodel to be hectic but so rewarding at the end. i can’t wait to see the images from your trip to france. exciting bea!

  26. Ah, France in Spring. Here in the Pyrénées (Ariège) we have had half a metre of snow fall so far today and it is still snowing! It is quite dramatic. Hopefully in NE France and Alsace you will have better weather. I look forward to seeing your photos, Béa.

  27. Mais dis moi, n’est-ce pas à présent que l’on doit te souhaiter joyeux anniversaire ?!…
    Profite de ton séjour au pays. J’attends avec impatience de voir les photos !

  28. bon courage pour le demenagement… et surtout bonne chance et bonne vie dans votre nouvelle maison!

  29. Bea, all exciting stuff! When we bought our house (Victorian) we redid our kitchen and if I do say so, it’s really beautiful. Though it’s an old house, we eventually decided on a kitchen with a modern, open feel. My friend Maryann Thompson was the architect–she is very collaborative (important! you want someone who will work with your vision, not theirs!!) I can’t say enough about her. (www.maryannthompson.com) She does mostly modern work, but as I said, can really help you come up with a vision, YOUR vision. Our kitchen had a dilapidated greenhouse that needed to be removed and replaced…lots of structural stuff, so an architect was a must. She was also willing to find cost effective ways to solve problems, not just high-end! Even if Maryann doesn’t work for you, Andy Marvel at Marvel Construction was wonderful! He is also collaborative and worked with us on cutting costs. E-mail me if you want more details. There are so many choices out there! Bonne chance et bon voyage!
    ps, I have an idea for you re: appliances purchases

  30. Forgot to say, you can get an idea of what my kitchen looks like if you go to my blog with my Monday morning teenagers cooking in it!

  31. Congrats Bea.. for a moment, I thought you were going to say that there will be a new addition to the family ;).. All the best and I look forward to your pictures.. have a good holiday!

  32. Wow! That’s a lot to deal with at once. But lots of good stuff, so congratulations! And aren’t you glad that we have clean water once again around here. What a nice present for you today. Happy Birthday! : )

  33. such exciting adventures ahead for you!
    congratulations on all the good things happening..
    and happy birthday dear bea!

  34. that is so wonderful.. I can’t wait to see your new kitchen. I am sure it’ll be fabulous!!! wow, exciting things are happening in your life. Hope it never stops…. and thank you for sharing :o) Have a safe trip.

  35. Thank you *so much* everyone for the advise and contact information. And also, thanks a bunch for the birthday wishes. Can you believe one year went by, already?? I cannot believe it

  36. I have so enjoyed your blog and your wonderful pictures. We used a wonderful architect and cabinet maker, both out of Hingham. They have a beautful, classical style. The architect is Sally Weston Associates and the cabinet maker is Faneuil Kitchen Cabinets. They both do wonderful work. Enjoy your trip.

  37. PS: Not sure about the name of the tree in the picture, I am afraid. It happens to be close to our home and I always watch for it to bloom every year as it is *so* beautiful!

  38. Mmh les bonnes nouvelles! J’ai hâte de voir ta nouvelle cuisine, une fois qu’elle sera toute faite et finie!

  39. I’d like to recommend my aunt and uncle – http://www.hawthorninc.com — they’ve done a lot of great work in Atlanta and recently moved up to Boston and are continuing their work up here. They’ve been featured on HGTV and are delightful to work with (full disclosure – I’ve worked with them before and happen to like them quite a bit). Have a great trip!

  40. Hi Bea:
    Your new house and the design will be an adventure for sure! Congrats!
    I am a former chef and food writer who is now a publicist for the hospitality & design industry. I’m based in Boston and can point you to gleysteenarchitects.com. They get it. Marcus Gleysteen would have been a chef had he not been an architect. His stunning homes and kitchens are published regularly. Get in touch with him, use my name or shoot me an email and I’ll make the intro. Good luck!

  41. I recommend contacting Crown Point Cabinetry out of Claremont, New Hampshire. The website is http://www.crownpoint.com.
    They do custom period kitchens, and beautiful work. Their kitchen designers will work with your architect and they are very responsive, creative, and reasonable compared with other local small custom cabinetmakers or kitchen design showrooms.

  42. Pingback: Architectural Technologist – French Gutter Detail

  43. Well, I can’t wait to see this kitchen! here, at Maureville, in the Poitou-Charentes region of France we are ‘designing’ a kitchen for our gite! So much to fit into such a tiny space! I look forward to seeing yours!

  44. Ne s’agirait-il pas d’un cerisier du japon?
    Bonne chance pour le grand chambardement et bon voyage!
    Vivement les photos! 🙂

  45. Congratulations on your new home and good luck with the remodeling!

    Around here, the pear and cherry blossoms are gone, some apple varieties are stilling hanging on, the vineyards are getting greener by the day, little flowers ready to burst.

    I am looking forward to see France once again through your magic lens,
    bon voyage,

  46. Au plaisir de découvrir ton nouvel univers !
    Pour les cerisiers en fleurs, je crois que c’est trop tard ! Ou alors dans le nord de la France.

  47. It looks like you have had a good number of recommendations but I really think it would be worth your while to work with my close friend Kelley Ann. She has been doing Interior Design in the Boston area for many years and is currently working on a Masters in Architecture. She has incredible taste and is in favor of sustainable design and function. Her website: http://kelleyanndesigns.com/ Bonne chance!

  48. Béatrice, je n’ai pas de référence pour toi. Mais j’ai fait faire deux cuisines. Pour ma part, avant de parler à mon designer, je faisais la liste détaillée de mes besoins. Mais vraiment détaillée. Tiroir par tiroir, armoire par armoire. Je me suis fait un scrapbook avec des photos de tout ce que j’aimais ou n’aimais pas. Puis je le rencontrais. Lui me donnait son avis et partait avec ma liste. Je sais. Je connaissais LE designer à Montréal. Je te souhaite de trouver ton Guy Gibeault (le nom de mon designer montréalais) Il y en a un à Boston, c’est certain.

  49. I’m an architect in Boston – I would be happy to help you!

  50. J’ai connu ça il y a 6 mois maintenant… épuisant mais grisant… et imaginer une belle cuisine où tu pourras mitonner tes petits plats, c’est certainement passionnant !
    Bon voyage en France…

  51. I’m really glad I found this place.
    Here is everything I like – beautiful pictures, good food… and it is a great pleasure to read your stories!

  52. Thank you everyone. We are working on our kitchen project and look forward to getting started!

  53. Salut!

    Just found your blog today! Not sure if you’re in France at the mo, but I’m sure you’ll love the cherry display! 🙂

    My cherry trees have blossomed already, but there are some late bloomers…


  54. Good luck with all the changes Bea! I hope its not too stressful but I am sure you being you it will all work out wonderful and beautiful! Enjoy your trip to France!

  55. You should have better weather now in France, because it has been almost winter those days !
    I hope you will enjoy your trip in France.

  56. Hi there,

    Congrats on all the exciting adventures. Friends of mine bought and then re-did a house in Boston recently and their architect is Andrew Reck of Oak Hill Architects


    Their house is under ‘Progress’ -> Thorndike st.

    And the kitchen people they used were Weston Kitchens

    Their home is gorgeous. Good luck!

  57. For kitchen design help, I recommend Amanda Cotter of Habitat Design in Dedham. Her work was featured in the Boston Globe Magazine. You can see a picture of her kitchen on elementsofstyleblog.com. We worked with her to choose paint colors for our home. She’s terrific.

  58. I am so in love with your blog, particularly the images. What wonderful photography. What lens do you use? The color absolutely breath taking.

  59. Best of luck with and congratulations on all your exciting transitions coming up! And we look forward to your photos from France!

  60. Hola:
    Es 1° vez que visito tu blog y me ha gustado mucho.
    Un abrazo desde Chile
    La Brujita

  61. I have just found your blog via FBC and had to say what a truly beautiful and inspiring site you have. Your photo’s give me a lump in my throat, and the one’s with your little one are so endearing. I very much look forward to hearing your talk at the Food Blogger event, and maybe I’ll be lucky enough to meet someone who’s life is so full of happiness. Good luck with your new kitchen too!
    best wishes.

  62. Découverte de belles photos grâce à Elysa, bon retour et bon déménagement.

  63. Je t’envoie de Provence des ondes pour que ton énergie revienne et que ces durs moments fassent moins mal…


  64. Bonne chance pour vos nouveaux projets. La saison des cerises est excellente en Provence, par contre les abricotiers ont gelé.
    A bientôt,

  65. i love your blog… i used to live in boston years ago and i know if i still lived there… we would become good friends… so happy to have found your blog… xx

  66. Pingback: Apricot tart, simply — Tarte aux abricots tout fruit | La Tartine Gourmande

  67. Thank you so much for sharing all these lovely stories and images. Loved the mini TART photo/story with Lulu. It’s GREAT!!!!

  68. Your photo’s give me a lump in my throat, and the one’s with your little one are so endearing. I very much look forward to hearing your talk at the Food Blogger event, and maybe I’ll be lucky enough to meet someone who’s life is so full of happiness. Good luck with your new kitchen too!It will be changed in the next release.