Considering his job as an art director for well-known bakeware maker Wilton Industries, it’s no surprise that Batavia, Illinois, homeowner Dan Masini’s kitchen is perfectly seasoned with smart design and comfortable style. When he and his wife, Katie, built their 2,600-square-foot home in 2005, their mission in the cook space was to keep it open to accommodate them and their three children, Anna, 15; Joe, 14; and Robert, 9. “When we built the house, we really wanted a big kitchen because that’s where we congregate,” Katie says. “Originally, the island was a peninsula, but it was too confining, so our builder disconnected it and turned it into an island.”
In addition to a spacious floor plan with good flow, the Masinis also desired division from the nearby family room. “We wanted some separation between the rooms so it wouldn’t be distracting if the dishwasher was running or if there was a lot of cooking noise,” Katie notes.
The result is a cozy kitchen and eating area that’s perfect for entertaining—and decorating. In preparation for Easter, the Masinis invited Country Sampler stylists Sally-Jo Enstad and Catherine Parker to use the room as a testing ground for different spring looks, from farmhouse to garden to classic country. Put a little spring in your own kitchen’s decorating step with their delightful ideas!
Written by Elizabeth Preston Morrissey
Styled by Sally-Jo Enstad and Catherine Parker
Photographed by Brian Nightengale
Produced by Dennis Morgan
1. Tray something new. Don’t wait for sunrise to shed some light on your kitchen: Compose a vignette to crow about by placing an accent lamp inside a wood tray alongside other accents, such as a clock or a bird’s nest. 2. Herb your enthusiasm. “Herbs don’t always stay fresh in the refrigerator, but they’ll stay alive longer when placed in water,” Catherine says. “We put some parsley in a red teapot filled with a little water, and it really brightens up the space.”
3. Get your vegetables. Take a fresh approach to your next springtime soiree by utilizing produce for displays. On the island, the stylists piled veggies and potted herbs into a burlap-trimmed plate rack. Next to the sink, they used raffia to secure asparagus stems around a vase of flowers. 4. Push your cluck. Milk a farmhouse theme for all it’s worth with vintage-style milk cans that contribute graphic punch and much-needed organization space for utensils, cookie cutters, or other odds and ends. 5. Coordinate your efforts. If your kitchen has one standout accent, such as the rooster canisters, repeat its motif in subtle ways. Prop up a chick-adorned sign against your backsplash, or rest a basket of faux eggs atop a breadbox. 6. Square off. “Dan and Katie did a wonderful job conceiving this room,” Sally-Jo says of the Masinis’ thoughtful design and details. “To continue the shape repetition in the square bar stools, the squares on the rug and the backsplash design, we put up valances with a square-block border.
The Lawn Haul
7. Show your turf side. Even if your front yard isn’t showing signs of greening up just yet, you can still get a fresh-cut feel indoors by spreading artificial turf across the table as a runner; find it at a craft store or a floral shop. 8. Dish it out. Play up the bright green landscape with daisy-dotted milk bottles and a cheerful-hued dish hosting jelly beans and a jar candle. 9. Approach the bench. Re-create the coziness of a breakfast banquette without overcrowding your eating area by bringing in a small bench or a footstool to fill an empty spot against the wall. Top the bench with a cute seasonal pillow and a wall sign that ties in with your space’s springy theme. 10. Take a rest. Perch a stand-alone accent, such as a wood-block letter, on top of shutters to utilize often-overlooked decorating real estate.
11. Grow with the flow. Miniature gardening is currently enjoying a fresh wave of popularity, so invite the tiny trend to take shape on your breakfast table. Fill a large terra-cotta saucer with river rocks and moss, and then rest a smaller saucer on top. Stack a pair of flat rocks in the center and position a seasonal figurine on top. To enhance the scene, arrange small pebbles and bits of moss around the base, and then add an arbor, pint-size plants and a tiny wheelbarrow containing a brightly hued accent, such as these yellow faux flowers. 12. Hold a candle to it. Repeat your garden-themed centerpiece’s terra-cotta tones by repurposing more clay pots as candleholders. Set a colorful raffia-tied pillar in a 4" or 5" pot, or give a smaller vessel holding a votive more heft by resting it in a pebble-filled wheelbarrow.
13. Leaf it be. Even if salad isn’t on your brunch menu, leafy greens can still make an appearance in your tablescape as an accompaniment for an Easter accent. Rest a figurine, such as these marching bunnies, on a serving platter, and then spread lettuce, spinach or aptly named spring mix around the base. “You can set up the platter and the accent anytime, but wait until the last minute to add the lettuce so it doesn’t wilt,” Sally-Jo advises. 14. Have a jelly holiday. Want to get in touch with your sweet tooth? Contrast your nutrient-rich centerpiece embellishment with some jelly beans tasked with contributing color and fun to the rest of the tablescape. Alternate filling seedling pots with votives and candy that picks up on other hues in the scene. Or, rest a hyacinth in a jar inside a tall glass cylinder, and then pour jelly beans around the base.
Round and Round
15. Box it up. For a classic country centerpiece, invite a cuddly rabbit dressed for spring to share tabletop space with a stack of decorative pantry boxes. Place the top box’s lid on its bottom, and nestle colorful eggs inside in a bed of excelsior. If you have a spare box, use it nearby as a boost for a rusty watering can. 16. Wreath all about it. To give your stack of boxes more visual oomph, rest them inside a forsythia wreath whose bright yellow blooms add a sunny outlook to the scene. Or, crown your centerpiece with an ivy wreath peeking out to give the impression of an Easter basket handle. 17. Sniff around. Infuse your table with an unmistakable aroma of spring by tucking sprigs of lavender into napkins at each place setting. Tie a few stems together with ribbon or raffia so that guests can take home a bouquet as a fragrant favor to enjoy after the meal is over.
For more information, visit our Craft Fair online.
Rooster accent lamp, Home Decor For Your Style
“Co-op Chicks” sign, The Hen House Shop
Milk cans, Simply Country
Homespun valance, Home Sweet Homespuns, LLC
Breadbox, Timeless Treasures
THE LAWN HAUL
Black cutout “H,” Auntie Em’s
“Fresh Eggs” sign, The Hen House Shop
Bunny pillow, Williamsburg House, WI
Bench with drawer, DNL Woodworks
Scented candle, My French Neighbor
Fluffy Tales figurine, Old Mill Originals
Bunnies on Parade, Country Harvest Gifts & Stitcheries
ROUND AND ROUND
Hippity Hoppity shaker boxes, The Black Sheep Primitives
Gina Spring Rabbit, Country Harvest Gifts & Stitcheries