Layers of Love

I am convinced whoever said “food is not love” simply does not know food and cannot possibly be of southern heritage. This time of year as our Floridian fall begins to kick in, the mid- sixty degree nights create a desire for thick soups, with crusty breads and pumpkin spiced delights. I bit into my first piece of pumpkin spice cake with hazelnut crème cheese frosting and, that was love! It felt like a warm embrace from an old friend, very similar to a chocolate cupcake hug but with a twist of fall. As I visited with this old friend, my taste buds analyzed the cinnamon, nutmeg, and crème cheese and decided that this was a big flavor filled chunk of L-O-V-E! All things combined the different flavors create layers of complementary notes that blend so well, I concluded, baking is very much like decorating. Rooms may have different components that singularly don’t excite you but put them together and the harmony is as beautiful as homemade cinnamon buns on Christmas morning. Lovely food should be prepared in lovely kitchens so let’s take a peek into the newly refreshed kitchen of a Whispering pine somewhere in the heart of The Villages.

• The Whispering Pine kitchenShows the Windows and the wine refrigerator - Home Décor by Ruth Dyer - in the Villages of Florida.
This house was built when pink ash oak cabinets were all the rage about 20 years ago. Cabinets begin to show wear after 15 to 20 years depending on the maintenance habits of the homeowner. Finger prints will begin to appear around the doors that open the most and at some point cannot be removed. Also, the lacquer finish on stained doors can get goopy from fingers touching them day in and day out. Some maples and most oaks begin to look unevenly faded with time and it is usually not noticed until new granite or quartz is added to the old cabinets. This kitchen had some of these tell-tale signs and the homeowners decide it was time to refresh the space.

• Heart of the home
The kitchen is the heart of the home so I do encourage my clients to keep them updated and fresh. Nothing can take value from a home as much as old kitchens and baths.

• Why White
Often when my clients are purchasing a new kitchen I encourage them to choose bright white or some form of white. The first reason I do this is because people are always requesting a home that is light, bright and airy. Nothing achieves lightness in a space more than a white kitchen. Most homes that I work in are open concept and the kitchen can be seen from the dining room and living room which is the main living area. Usually, we need a light kitchen to brighten an open concept space. Also, white kitchens are classic and will never and have never gone out of style. Finally, when the client is purchasing a kitchen it is real money that we are spending, not TV money. My clients cannot afford to put in edgy cabinets that may be out of style in five years.

• Choose you counter tops wisely
I know that quartz is super popular but do your research before you choose between granite and quartz. I have clients that use toaster ovens and air fry machines on the counters. If you have quartz you will need an extra pad underneath those items so the quartz will not yellow from the heat. The majority of my clients chose granite because they do want to use on the counter cooking items without worrying. I like both solid surfaces quartz or granite but we do consider how the client uses the kitchen before we decide which item to buy.

• New granite
The homeowners chose granite for their new kitchen. They chose a granite with some peachy tan tones and flecks of burgundy. Also, they had a full granite backsplash installed. The full granite backsplash is so pretty and functional. There is no grout to deal with and it can be installed the same day as the granite. Finally, when the under counter lighting shines on the backsplash it looks so rich. Again, I encourage my clients to get an estimate on full granite backsplash and a tile backsplash. I like fully informed decisions and to make that decision the clients have to have the numbers from the fabricator.

• Lower the counter when possible
The Whispering Pine kitchen has a raised counter top bar near the nook of the kitchen. When that is lowered the bar area is accessible to the nook area and much more functional. Also, when you lower the bar you gain square footage of useable kitchen counter top space. If you have a model that has the bar, it is a great update for the kitchen to lower the bar.

• New cabinets
We added in new upper cabinets to increase storage space. Also, we added a wine refrigerator to the bottom cabinets. The new cabinet above the refrigerator is pulled out so that it can be reached with ease and the deeper cabinet minimizes the refrigerator depth.

• Add a trash pullout
Kitchens of this age generally did not have trash pullouts and the homeowners put the trash in a small can under the sink. You can put in a real trash pullout under the sink when you change out your sink. When you purchase your new sink be sure to get a large square sink with no dividers. The drain on this sink needs to be on the left or the right as long as it is on one side. The plumber will move the garbage disposal and all the plumbing to one side which frees up the other side to have a pull out trash can installed. This method keeps you from losing other cabinet space to the trash pullout.

• Nook windows
The windows were all trimmed out in white. The crown molding specialist installed a header that connected the three windows and the windows really pop.

• Paint
The paint is a rich pumpkin cake color that works beautifully with all the white popping everywhere. This kitchen is very conducive to a deep rich color on the walls because it is contained in the kitchen and the kitchen is closed to the majority of the house.

P.S. –Attention all club presidents! We give free decorating seminars. It is lots of fun and very informative. Call and schedule your club today. Also, we are on-line check out our web-site at and you can always e-mail us at or Call Ruth your full service decorator at 352-804-2056.

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