My kitchen didn’t exactly get discovered at Schwab’s Drug Store. I think the architect who designed it submitted it to a location scout and that’s how Rejuvenation Hardware came to me asking to use it for a catalog shoot. I should mention that none of this reflects on me and my taste or lack thereof. This kitchen is in the San Jose house which we took, as is, even with some of the furniture. (If some of you don’t yet know how we suddenly found the Way to San Jose, you can catch up here.) You know if I’d designed this kitchen, it would have been a space where Dale Evans would have been comfortable whipping up beans and cornbread. But I don’t think the parent company, Pottery Barn, would find that their look.
So anyway, no thanks to us, but our kitchen seems to be Gwyneth Paltrow. That would be Gwyneth Paltrow before extensive spa and beauty treatments. And a personal trainer and a Pilates instructor. And a stylist and and A-list couturier to dress her. Because, it took a crew of nearly a dozen, several hours, and a truck load of props to make one corner of the kitchen camera-ready.
Of course, they didn’t bring the one accessory that I think can sell anything: Smooth Fox Terriers. I offered two at no charge. They declined. So the terriers were shipped off to Dr. Dave’s Grooming and Boarding for a Day of Beauty. After Oscar and Lucy were taken kicking and screaming to the groomers, I circled back to watch in amazement as the crew unloaded new crockery, appliances, cookware, glassware, even shrubbery to bring my kitchen up to Rejuvenation standards.
What a production! There were so many people running in and out, I’m still not sure how many were in the crew. But I counted two photographers, two tech guys (there were several large screen Mac set ups and a half dozen laptops involved), a few grips, a caterer, a general coordinator and a skinny French woman whose sole contribution seemed to be wringing her hands and saying (no kidding) “Mon Dieu, Mon Dieu”.
Hours later, the kitchen still wasn’t ready for its close-up. But the terriers were. They came back bathed, perfumed, toenails clipped, ears and teeth cleaned and knowing all their lines. I still couldn’t convince the Rejuvenation crew that what would really move that hardware was a terrier or two with loads of star quality.
By this time, I’d learned that the skinny Frenchwoman was actually the Director. I blame her for the terrier ban. I think it was a bias against a classic English breed. I bet she would have accepted Tea Cup Poodles. I should note that the Director also had some very strongly felt, nationalistic opinions on the Whole Foods croissants the caterer brought in. But I’ll forgive her for that.
It was too hot to do much of a walk at the park. Although the terriers had enough time to roll in goose poo and undo much of Dr. Dave’s good work. So we were exiled to the upstairs for a few more hours. I did sneak downstairs long enough to watch the crew completely unload all my glasses and plain white crockery from the glass fronted cabinets, only to replace them with exact duplicate stunt crockery and glassware. Or maybe there was some indefinable something about the star power crockery that necessitated mine be dropped from the script.
So here’s the close to final shot. Although at the time I took this, the Frenchwoman was still pulling out some of my plates and glasses.
I guess you have to have to sell the look. Or as the French director kept saying (as I’m sure she was eliminating any dreadful thing that I had in the kitchen) “Eet ees about thee LIFESTYLE!” And full disclosure again, this kitchen has nothing to do with my taste as it was like this when I moved in. In fact, if this kitchen had been about the lifestyle and decorating I practice in Sonoma, I don’t think Rejuvenation would have come calling.