Archive for June, 2011

How did I miss that Julia Child, prior to her fame as a kitchen virtuoso, had served as a spy for the United States?  I missed that fact just as I had missed seeing her biopic where Meryl Streep stood in for the unsurpassed Julia. But I never missed her saying that the only time to eat diet food was when you were waiting for the steak to cook!


Photo by CNBC

CNBC reports that the original Julia Child home kitchen designed by her husband in 1961 has become a fixture at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History.

It was in this kitchen that Julia taught cooking, designed innovative recipes, and revealed to the American public the culinary tools and techniques that for decades had been common implements in the Continental kitchen. Were millions surprised!

A kitchen design for a regular family

To have a look at her original kitchen the Smithsonian might give you an even greater appreciation of Julia’s ability to work in a confined space…even as her imagination was never trapped by her surroundings. This kitchen was scaled at 14x 20 feet, hardly the dimensions of today’s industrial-sized kitchen monstrosities of television chefs. Compare Julia’s workspace to Rihanna’s kitchen.

Coldwell Banker

Photo by Coldwell Banker

According to the Smithsonian, the maple counters in this Kennedy-Era kitchen were raised two inches from standard kitchen design to accommodate Julia’s 6’2” frame. You won’t find elegant trappings—like formal curtains—anywhere. At the same time, the kitchen was built with utility in mind, with an oven spacious enough to house two, 25-pound Thanksgiving turkeys.

Child of patriotism

Before her fame, Julia worked for the Office of Strategic Services, the first incarnation of what is today’s Central Intelligence Agency. Posing as a typist, she gathered intelligence during WWII in Ceylon, today’s Sri Lanka. During her spy days, she met her future husband Paul Child, the man who would go on to design her 1961 kitchen.

Now you know!

Bob Vila Twitter chat update

Home improvement fans: There’s been a change in the Bob Vila Twitter chat that you should note:

Originally slated for today, the chat has been rescheduled for next Thursday, June 30, at 10 a.m. Pacific time/1 p.m. Eastern time.

VinylSidingZone will join with other home improvement experts in participating with Vila in a discussion of renovations, siding, stains, paints and other exterior options. The chat can give you a great insight on house exteriors and you can connect with home improvement guru Vila in real time.

Again, you can participate by going to!/bobvila and!/vinylsidingzone and select the +Follow” buttons on each site.

Twitter fans, use the chat hashtag:  #GetReadyThurs.

A Vila tweet is a serious treat!

Recent Comments

  • Kid's stuff:Bedroom furniture for dreamers

    Hey Woodrow,

    You've put together a great post here. Hardwearing and long-lasting bedroom furniture is so important when you have young children, and choosing pieces which can handle the rough-and-tumble that comes with having little ones is key!

    Best wishes, Alex.

  • Awesomely Oddball Lawn and Garden Accessories

    I plan to do this. What was your process in painting the bottom...outside portion of the tub?

  • Poor staging can crush your home sale

    Woodrow, you have once again 'nailed' the essence of the issue of staging your home for sale with easy to understand pics and words. These are definitely rules to live by, oh wise one! I know I"m soaking up the knowledge you share--- now excuse me while I wring myself out. Can't wait for the next issue.

  • To everyone, a room of one's own

    We've recently bought a house which needs A LOT of work and I'm trying to convince my other half to let me build a "room of my own" for the house, one where I can put my games console and beer fridge. She's not gone for it yet though. The most I've managed to get is an office I can work out of ... not quite the same ... LoL.

    Mine would certainly be like the car boot room in the first image :)


  • Home designs you haven’t seen before

    I wonder how far the folks in the Rock House are able to drive in their car? Maybe down to their boat? It's so true that home is where you are at the moment.