Touring the Bon Appétit Test Kitchen

And a walk down memory lane...

bon appetit test kitchen - photo by danlly domingo, architectural digest jan 2015

bon appetit test kitchen - photo by danlly domingo, architectural digest

bon appetit test kitchen, from architectural digest (photo by danlly domingo)

Many folks don’t know this unless you’ve read my blog for a very long time, but it actually started out as a food blog. After I graduated from college, I went to culinary school; following that, for a short time I worked as a freelance food writer, which is also around the time I started blogging. When I was freelancing, I worked in the San Francisco Chronicle‘s test kitchen, writing and testing recipes, styling shoots, and working in the wine cellar. It was a fun, interesting time in my life that sometimes feels like a million years ago! But those experiences in my early 20s were really formative, and oddly enough, sent me down the path that led me to where I am now, working as a web designer (it’s funny how life works out).

Anyway, this less a post about my wild career history, and more about test kitchens. I always considered the Chronicle test kitchen to be pretty decent — multiple stoves and refrigerators, more cookware and styling pieces than you would ever know what to do with, and of course, a professional studio for taking all those pictures. Earlier this year though, when I got a glimpse of the new Bon Appétit test kitchen in the One World Trade Center offices in Architectural Digest, my 23-year old self was immediately jealous. Have you seen this place? Well, technically most of the magazine’s test work is done in a much larger, still beautiful, industrial kitchen, of which there is a fantastic tour here. But there is also a separate private kitchen, used for events and probably photoshoots, that’s absolutely stunning. Both kitchens are high up in the building, meaning the natural light that floods in through the windows is insane — and if you’ve ever taken a photo, like, ever, you know that natural light is a very good thing.

I love how modern and clean they went with the private kitchen. Simple but impactful touches like the waterfall counters on both the bar and island make the space feel special and luxe, and the grid tiling on the backsplash lends a clean, modern feel. Meanwhile, while classic elements like hex floor tiles and wood paneling bring on the organic elegance. It’s neither too masculine or too feminine, and again — that light! Oh to be able to work in such a space all day! Even though it is in a corporate setting, it’s the kind of kitchen that could inspire any homeowner, don’t you think? What’s your favorite feature in the space?

If you’re interested in seeing more photos of the private kitchen space, check out Architectural Digest‘s tour here; you can also read more about the test kitchen and what it’s like to work in one over at The New York Times. It’s interesting to contrast how the BA test kitchen works versus a local newspaper’s…instead of having someone order products for us from FreshDirect, we used to go to Whole Foods nearly daily, and lug all the bags back on foot. Pre-Uber days for sure!


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Images: Danlly Domingo for Architectural Digest

"All we wanna know is where the stars came from, but do we ever stop to watch them shine?" - Jon Bellion

Apartment Update: Our New Dining Chairs!

Plus, get a special discount at Serena & Lily

serena and lily dining chairs

josephine dining chairs from serena and lily

mix and match dining chairs from serena and lily

Fun decor updates to share you with you today — our dining room has finally come together! We received our new custom chairs from Serena & Lily about a week ago, and have been busy breaking them in by eating at the table nearly every single day. It’s such a small thing, to be able to pull up to a table and eat a meal in your home, but boy have we realized how much we missed it. The chairs were the last piece we needed before really being able to enjoy this space, and we’re so happy with what we picked.

Remember how earlier in the summer, Joe and I had been debating between two chairs, the Grace and the Josephine (he liked the former, I liked the latter)? Well, Kathryn from Serena & Lily convinced us to mix them, with the Graces at the heads of the table and the Josephines in between. It ended up working so well, because not only did we each get a piece we liked, but we love the way the fully upholstered Grace bookends our dining table. It’s a great blend of feeling traditional, but still casual and modern. Because while the shape of the chairs — especially Grace — is more formal, mixing and matching feels like it brings it all down a notch, so it feels like an “everyday” space!

Now, on to a few unexpected details I really love about these pieces: Read the full post +

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Get 20% off your entire Serena & Lily order, now through 9/15, with the code VICTORIA20! Excludes fashion and art. Shop Here >>>

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Retreat: Garden Party in Paris

On y va!

Home in Auteuil, Paris - Exterior

Home in Auteuil, Paris - Staircase

Home in Auteuil, Paris - Living Room

“Most of the curious and charming parts of Passy-Auteuil are behind the scenes: green and pleasant enclaves called villas or hameaux where a colorful variety of private houses hide behind discreet vine-covered walls or down narrow alleys.”

– Alice Furlaud, “The Discreet Charm Of Passy-Auteuil

If we work together and pool our resources, can we all chip in and buy this house as a little Paris-based pied-à-terre/vacation share? I spotted it last week and felt like packing my bags immediately! Located in the 16th arrondisement, in Auteuil (an area apparently known for its large, beautiful homes and quiet, peaceful streets), the house has eight bedrooms (plenty of room for all!), a large guest house, beautiful yard, and even an underground swimming pool!

Home in Auteuil, Paris - Indoor Pool

Home in Auteuil, Paris - Balcony

Continue the tour below…  Read the full post +

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Images: Christie’s Real Estate