Original Kitchen Inspiration…From 1960 Paris?

You know the saying ‘There’s nothing new under the sun‘?  (It’s actually a Bible verse from Ecclesiastes.)  The older I get, the more I realize just how true that is.  Y’all know that the inspiration for my kitchen cabinet colors, as well as the design for the top part of my upper cabinets, came from a kitchen designed by Kelly Wearstler.  But where did her inspiration come from?

green and gold desk and bookcase desgined by Maison Jansen circa 1960, via Architectural Digestvia Architectural Digest

When I saw the picture of this desk and bookcase designed by the Paris design firm Maison Jansen circa 1960, I couldn’t help but wonder if that’s what originally inspired Kelly Wearstler in the design of Cameron Diaz’s kitchen.  I saw that for the first time a month or two ago in a tiny little picture in a magazine.  I think it was Elle Decor.  I couldn’t believe how it reminded me of my kitchen!  And then two people sent me a link to the same picture featured on Architectural Digest yesterday.

Could it have been her inspiration?

cameron diaz kitchen from elle decorCameron Diaz’s Manhattan apartment kitchen, designed by Kelly Wearstler, featured in Elle Decor

And then could my kitchen have been indirectly inspired by that as well?

I guess I’ll never know, but it’s certainly possible!  After all, even world-renowned designers have to get their inspiration from somewhere.

But I do love that the bookcase and desk are from Paris circa 1960, and they still seem relevant today, 54 years later.  That gives me hope that even though I chose to go with a very bold color, maybe it’s truly a timeless design, and that I won’t have to be breaking out the paint brushes in five years.  Oh, and the good news is that it looks like the bookcase and desk are for sale if you’re interested!  And based on the prices of other items I’ve seen that were designed by Maison Jansen, I’d guess that they’re available for around $30,000, or maybe a bit more.  A real bargain. 🙂

I’m still working on the cost breakdown and sources for my kitchen.  I didn’t do such a great job at keeping that info organized over the last several months, so it’s taking a bit longer than I had anticipated.

Can I just tell you how much I love using my kitchen?  It’s fun to be in there simply because I think my kitchen is beautiful, and I love to look at it.  Ha!  😀

But I also really love the layout of the kitchen.  The layout is so efficient, and makes cooking in there actually kind of fun!  I can’t believe I just said that, because cooking has never really been my thing, but I’m actually enjoying cooking.  Right now, because of our diet, the foods we can eat are extremely limited.  But I actually think the lack of variety has been a good thing for me.  It has given me a chance to ease back into cooking (two meals a day!) without being overwhelmed by thousands of possibilities.  I keep it simple, and it doesn’t take long at all to cook a meal.

They say it takes twenty-one days to form a new habit, and if that’s true, I’ve done it!  I’ve been cooking two meals a day for twenty-five days now.  We’ll be eating very simply for fifteen more days, and then I’ll start branching out.  And I’m actually looking forward to it!  I’ve been collecting recipes that I want to try (we’ll be doing the Paleo AIP diet, which is the Autoimmune Protocol specifically designed to help people reverse their autoimmune diseases), and I plan to get a ton of use out of my kitchen.  I really don’t want to go back to eating out every day again.  What a waste of a pretty and efficient kitchen that would be!

So it looks like finishing my kitchen remodel wasn’t just about making a room pretty,but it was also the beginning of a whole new lifestyle for us, and possibly the beginning of a new love for cooking for me.  That’s nothing short of miraculous, and I just hope it sticks.  🙂

And I’ve seriously become obsessed with finding good Paleo AIP recipes.  If you have some good ones, pass them along!



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  1. What an interesting correlation of designs!

    And and interesting correlation of lifestyle changes. You’re doing so well! Never look back.

  2. Hi. Kristi

    Can I say your kitchen is amazing?!

    I can’t wait to see how the rest of your house comes along. Since I found your blog, I’ve literally been hanging out each day to read your updates.

    Good luck with your diet. I read a lot of food blogs as well and Nom Nom Paleo is a good one but not sure whether it is AIP.


  3. LOL! Don’t you LOVE it when a plan comes together? Your kitchen is truly classic and should be ‘in style’ for decades to come! And all your hard work has accomplished exactly what the purpose of good design should be- to make a room that is functional and pleasant to live and work in. Great job, Kristi!

  4. Oh Kristi, your Kitchen “takes it” compared to the other, by far! I am not sure if the duo of a new Kitchen and loving to cook, just wasn’t in the God Lords plans all along…with an out come of taking off the weight you have wanted to for so long….I am in awe!!! Be Blessed!!

  5. I also think your kitchen is totally better than your inspiration kitchen. Amazing job Kristi!! I look forward to reading your blog every morning and I love how you keep it real. Thanks.

  6. I am curious about the concrete countertops–how are they working out? stains and cleaning? Were they worth the hard work? I love your blog.

  7. Love your kitchen, and all your work!! And your weight lose. I’ve looked at your hands all this time, without seeing your body, and almost said something once. That it looked like your trigritulites ( misspelled) was high. Fat in your blood )have you been for check ups. My brother in law’s was high and the dr. Could tell by his hands. Just a thought. Not in the medical field as you can tell. Ha!ha!

    1. Yes! I found her website just last night, and ordered her cookbook. 🙂 So excited! From what I understand, the AIP is based predominantly on her research. Love her site! I’d like to get the other book (the non cookbook book) and read up on it as well. I like to understand the why’s behind what we’re doing.

  8. I’m hooked on your progress. We bought a foreclosure last year south of Seattle. It’s a brick 1949 overlooking the green river valley and we stare right into Mt. Rainier! We have to keep pinching ourselves about the view caus it feels like we are looking at a picture.
    The home was stripped of its copper and electrical. It worked for us, my husband builds. The home was updated several times during its lifetime. We’ve been taking one major project at a time. Right now the new walk in closet and master bathroom. The kitchen is in the future, however we bought all the faces from IKEA and they are screaming for color. Your kitchen remodel is giving me inspiration and making me excited to begin. Concrete or granite countertops? So many decisions.

    So impressed with your determination and stamina! Your kitchen is a piece of art. Keep up the good work sister!

  9. I love your kitchen and that you love using it! That is the best! Isn’t it interesting how decorating and fashion just go in circles? The inspiration photo was amazing and you could fit that in your office, right? : )

    Good luck with your new lifestyle and can’t wait for your next project to begin.

  10. Kristy, you are an inspiration for the rest of us! When I first saw that picture from 1960s Paris I immediately thought of your kitchen. They are both incredibly beautiful.

    I am so impressed with your lifestyle change and admire your strength of purpose. A new paleo-based cookbook available here in Australia (& hopefully also in the US) is Pete Evans’ Healthy Every Day http://www.peteevans.com.au/ he’s a strong proponent of the Paleo diet & has actually received some flak about it over here. His recipes are great & easy to follow – I’m loving re-learning how to cook with mindfulness.

  11. There is something to be said for a timeless design.
    Frankly I think that your kitchen looks much more timeless and classic than Cameron Diaz’s kitchen does one ANY day!
    But even more importantly I think that it is WONDERFUL that you are COOKING! You had told me a LONG time ago that you HATED cooking – and that you were going to be putting your kitchen together, more so for it to be looking nice, than for the ‘whole cooking thing’ (more or less),,,,so, when you really started to “dig deep” into this remodel, all I kept thinking was,,”I wonder if she’ll start to ‘like the room, enough and be inspired enough by it, to start cooking”! And you WERE!!!

    How great it is that you are now getting healthier, loosing some unwanted pounds, and actually using your beautiful new kitchen as well! This room may have taken 7 months, and a lot of curse words 🙂 but, the fact that it got you into an new groove, that is going to put you into a awesome new lifestyle as well,,,well WOW what can I say – except that I’m so happy for you, and proud too! It just seems logical that with all that HARD work that you did, you certainly did DESERVE to have it become a useful, ‘working kitchen’ (having it just sit there, would have been so sad!) It’s a kitchen WORTHY of so much more than coffee and take out 😀 ! So once again, I can’t help but say it over and over,,,,ya done good lady!

  12. Hi Kristi,
    Have you considered using some wood onlays in your kitchen? The soffit area above your wall cabinets would be the perfect place for them. If you painted them the same gold color that you trimmed the cabinets with they would really pop! If you Google “wood onlays” you will find lots of sources.

  13. Kristi, Your kitchen is a thousand times prettier than Cameron Diaz’s…hers doesn’t hold a light to yours…

  14. I’ve loved following your beautiful kitchen renovation! I’m not a commenter normally but I know Paleo AIP can be challenging so I thought I’d chime in. I second paleo mom and I really enjoy Mickey Trescott’s blog (autoimmune-paleo.com) and cookbook. I’d recommend you research Dr. Terry Wahls as well. She is a physician and has had great success treating MS with her variation of the paleo diet.

  15. Being you love the table…..I think you will make it work. Go for it. When I went to design school. I wished I had you for an instructor. Not that I am putting my past instructors down. I loved them & learned a lot But they most certainly weren’t ”edgey” like you are…[lol] So looking forward to your next adventure..

  16. I am absolutely in love with this kitchen. And if I was rich I would add a beautiful Aga vintage stove to send it over the top. In shiny black or rust. You need to go on HGTV!