Colorful DIY Kitchen Ideas

A children's book illustrator creates a modern farmhouse kitchen full of charming do-it-yourself ideas.

In a Cook's Kitchen
Photo: Deborah Jaffe

In a Cook's Kitchen

In an illustration for a children's book titled Incredible You, artist Melanie Siegel depicts a girl in a chef's hat and loud, checked mitts flipping cookies off a turquoise-and-purple stove. Melanie's own kitchen, in Conway, Arkansas, may be a quieter place, but it's plenty playful. Walls are partly clad in barn-style planking; pantry access is through an old-fashioned screen door; and storage drawers bear cryptic letters. ("Where are your dish towels?" you might ask. Answer? "Try looking under D.")

In light of her profession, Melanie's explanation—"I find it hard to be serious"—makes sense, and so does the kitchen that she and her husband, Bill, a psychologist, built in 2011. Although architects designed the kitchen and contractors installed most of it, many details flowed from Melanie's imagination, resulting in the Siegels getting exactly what they wanted—a kitchen that's playfully styled yet highly functional.


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