“My Life in France” inspires my kitchen in MPLS

A few weeks ago I was getting ready for a trip and realized I had finished my current book and needed something else to read. I REALLY wanted to bring my stack of fashion magazines but, they get really heavy…and who wants extra dead weight when said dead weight could be more shoes? Anyhow, I went to one of our bookcases and started looking for something. I noticed that I had 4 copies of “My Life in France” by Julia Chid & Alex Prud’ Homme. I suppose I should mention that iffy movie that was based on this book and that (whiny) Julie lady’s blog. Talk about “meh”. I mean parts of it were unbearable. Some brilliant person actually took the time to edit out all of the Julie parts and post it on YouTube because, BRILLIANT! Good to know I’m not alone on my review of this movie. Back to the book. The book is fantastic. What a romantic vision of France. I’ve always loved Julia Child. I loved watching her on PBS when I was little. I have most of her cookbooks and I’m a Francophile. The book has a few sections of old photos. One particular picture is of her kitchen at 81 Rue d’loo (as they lovingly referred to it).

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In this picture you can see a tiny detail under the cabinet lip. It’s a thin copper bar with brass mounts that kitchen utensils, pots, pans and and dish towels can be hung from. You’re probably wondering where I’m going with this… Our home was built in 1910. Most of it is original. The kitchen had already been partially remodeled…and by remodeled I mean the original butler’s pantry was ripped out as were the original hardwood floors. The kitchen cabinets were from the mid 2000’s and had been painted a pale cream. They were in good shape and we really couldn’t justify ripping them out. There was no more cabinet space to be claimed by doing so and the layout worked. We decided to leave the cabinets, paint the entire interior, lay a new grey PergoXP floor  , and add Italian marble counters and a hand hammered copper sink. I know, I know, where am I going with this? Well, the cabinets feel unfinished on the ends.

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Only 2 are exposed and they just look like painted-boring-non-fancy wood. I thought of several different projects to try and finish them off to no avail which brings us back around to the point of my rambling. That tiny detail I noticed in that old photo clicked in my head and I knew that’s how I’d finish off the ends! I ran to the small hardware store in our neighborhood and dug through the brass pipe fittings and copper pipe scraps. I only needed 22 inches of half inch copper pipe. I took the pipe piece to the brass fittings and started playing with the pieces. Two minutes later I had it all figured out. I grabbed a pack of 4 brass screws and took the pipe to be cut. (The brass fittings were 1.5 inches so I had to have them cut 2 inches off the pipe .5 inches of pipe went into the fittings on each end…YAY math) I went home and gathered my drill, level (Mom will be pumped for this extra step) and the supplies from the hardware store. Five minutes later the rails were up! Standing around admiring my handiwork, I realized that I needed to go back and get a couple of feet of 10 gauge wire to make into S hooks for hanging my pans and utensils. All in all this project took a little over an hour and cost $14.87. The most time consuming part was stripping the coating off of the wire and bending it into S hooks!

Julia Child Remix

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In the words of Juila Child, Bon Appetit!

-XO Malibu

ps: Check out this fab plush Julia that I styled for LochNessMpls available on Etsy! OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA