Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Style Guide: Country Kitchens (Part VI)

Long after Christmas and holiday parties have passed, a joyous spirit lingers in this Pennsylvania kitchen.

Yuletide Colors

As an interior designer and self-described "redaholic," the owner of this 1756 home in Embreeville, Pennsylvania, had no problem deciding on the primary color for his kitchen. Settling on a pleasing second hue, however, proved difficult.

White was too bright, black simply not right. A stunning green hue was ultimately selected. The complementary colors are a perfect match, particularly during the holidays, when the homeowner hosts his annual Christmas party.

In preparation for the festive evening with family and friends, the kitchen shelves are decked with potfuls of holly, boxwood, and juniper, all of which are found on the five-acre property. The quilt rack holds vintage linens waiting to be called into action.

Festive Stripes

The kitchen cabinets are painted in a translucent green and red stripe finish. "My cousin came up with the idea of using green," says the homeowner, "and I thought the result was beautiful." During the party, the kitchen countertop acts as a buffet and the sink is transformed into an oversized ice bucket. An oyster trap on the floor holds beverages for the party. A green curtain conceals the pantry and helps keep cold drafts at bay.

Celebration of Color

This early-19th-century table exhibits its original yellow paint, a pleasing complement to the room's red- and green-painted pine walls. The salmon-colored chairs, which also feature their original painted finish, were crafted in Lancaster County, Pa., around 1840.

Over the mantel, a 19th-century clock not only keeps near-perfect time but also indicates the day and date. The homeowner found the small antique reindeer and fire engine toys on the property.

Holiday Finery

The Christmas tree in the kitchen provides a beautiful backdrop to the festive holiday table setting. The tree is decorated with vintage ornaments: one or two antique balls and stars bought annually by the homeowner, mixed with those received as gifts from family and friends over the years. "The ornaments are among the most personal things I own," says the homeowner.

The gold crackers on the table -- party favors -- were a gift from a friend visiting this holiday season from England.

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