I work with a great guy named Trey. I first met him when he was a young (early twenties!) culinary graduate, about 10 years ago. He was in and out of my work life as a freelancer during that time, then he eventually went on to be a restaurant chef and I hardly ever saw him. I always missed him, though, as he was just one of those people who either knew exactly what to do or quickly figured it out—and he was always such a good guy to work with. Kind, fun, easy-going…and super productive!
Then, around this time four years ago, the stars aligned and he began working with me full time. What a great day that was for me. Since then, we’ve done two cookbooks, countless video projects, big commercial shoots…oh, and there was this small matter of filming my cooking show during a pandemic. Trey is old enough to be my buddy and peer, but young enough that my kids all think he’s their friend and not mine. He's a super guy with two adorable daughters, a gorgeous wife, and a solid soul.
Usually Trey resides squarely in the culinary world, but recently he jumped into the world of design! I mentioned to him that the open shelves in the Lodge were full of random bowls and stacks of plates and that I wished I had the time and decorating ability to make them look spiffy and up to date. But I have neither.
These shelves are very visible when I film my Food Network show, and I almost always feel like they should look better than they do. When my TV crew from England was here, they would help me organize and dress up the shelves here and there, but the default state is "random." (Note that I don't necessarily think they look terrible in the above photos…I just feel like since they’re on TV, they should stand up a little straighter!)
Well, long story short, Trey spent a day or two at the Lodge and worked his magic!
Here are the kitchen shelves now.
It's hard to see how gorgeous the shelves are in person now, but they just look so much more intentional, and so pretty. I love the wood bowls and boards; I think they add such a pretty, natural texture and color, and I love the little plants he chose.
I think the shelves look great, Trey! Why have you been hiding your decorating abilities from me all these years?!?
Oh, and then came the Lodge pantry. If the kitchen shelves were looking a little tired before, the pantry was actually kind of gross. It had been ignored for a couple of years, and we had the all sorts of bags, boxes, baskets, and cans that needed attention. There were half-eaten bags of Cheetos, crumbs, and a canister of pecans that looked like they were from 1972.
Here’s the pantry after Trey got a hold of it! I love all the organization!
Not only did Trey tackle the pantry from the angle of ingredient organization, he also lined up pitchers and mixers to make little rainbows of color…
AND he even hung little botanical prints on the wall. I love it so much, and now the kitchen (and pantry) are all ready for a bunch of Lodge Tours this spring and summer! Visitors often take pictures of themselves in the kitchen and pantry, so I’m grateful Trey made them into prettier picture spots.
Trey, if you leave me, I’m coming with you! 😂
I’m a desperate housewife, I live in the country, and I’m obsessed with butter, Basset Hounds, and Ethel Merman. Welcome to my frontier!