How the Heart of the Home Became Blogger Emily Barlow’s Most Cherished Space

Lifestyle blogger Emily Barlow’s inspiration for styling her space—and in particular, her home’s heart, the kitchen—blossomed from her family.

Whether you consider yourself a professional chef or not, you can’t deny that the kitchen is the heart of the home. From trying new recipes to enjoying a charcuterie board with your pals, a kitchen holds endless memories, lots of laughs and a whole lot of love.

Emily Barlow, the blogger behind food and lifestyle blog Handmade Farmhouse (which also features photography by lifestyle photographer Brooke Richardson), can easily say that her kitchen is the room in her home that she’s most thankful for. Emily’s crisp white cabinets mixed with her stainless steel appliances to give her kitchen space a “light, airy and minimalist” vibe that evokes an overall cozy ambiance for anyone who steps foot inside.
“I knew I wanted a very neutral-colored kitchen so that I could decorate with a pop of color for the seasons,” said Barlow. “I’m at a point in my life where my family and I are very busy and I have found my kitchen to be a comfortable, clean, bright and airy space to walk into at the end of the day.”
Along with Barlow’s kitchen being a place for her and her family to gather and spend time with each other, it also serves as a place where Barlow enjoys baking up tasty treats for all to eat. Among her many craveable treats crafted in her kitchen, Barlow has made a fresh loaf of white bread from scratch, french macarons with hand-painted designs and perfectly packaged sea salt caramels. Her “Cooking from Scratch” recipes are all ones that she’s created in her beloved kitchen.
“I wanted to create a space that reflects my love and passion for cooking and baking,” said Barlow. “I show my love for others through sharing good food. For me, food is a form of time travel—as we taste familiar flavors, special memories instantly come to mind.”
Barlow’s ultimate inspiration when creating her kitchen was her family. The family of five, which includes her three kids and husband, spend hours in the kitchen. In the morning, Barlow bakes a breakfast and packs her kids’ lunches and during the afternoon, she helps her kids with homework and listens to them practicing their instruments. When the evening hits, Barlow begins cooking supper.
“We spend hours in our kitchen each day,” said Barlow. “A good meal will always call my family to gather at the table at the end of the day. Our kitchen is the gathering place and when we sit down together at the table, we connect, learn, grow and love each other.”
One of Barlow’s favorite decor pieces in her kitchen is a vintage green scale that was passed down from her great grandmother. According to Barlow, decor trends will come and go, but when it comes to pieces infused with memories and meaning, those are the items that will always be in style.
“My great-grandmother used to use the scale to weigh her chickens,” said Barlow. “This vintage scale reminds me of simpler times and to be grateful for modern day conveniences, but to never forget the true purpose of a kitchen—to gather family.”
Although Barlow’s visitors may think her kitchen is perfect as is, Barlow claims the room is ever-changing through her constant tweaking and rearranging. As the seasons come and go, Barlow says, “eventually my kitchen always makes its way back to a blank slate.”
Before Barlow called her current kitchen her most cherished room, she lived in a house with a very tiny kitchen. But, it was in that very space that Barlow gained her true love for cooking and baking with her little ones at her feet.
“While I longed for a kitchen with more counter space and seating, it didn't ever rob me of the joy that comes from sprinkling fresh chopped herbs on a finished dish or wrapping a plate of warm chocolate chip cookies to share with a neighbor,” said Barlow.
Now that Barlow is thriving in the kitchen of her dreams, she’s thankful everyday for the space she’s able to practice her passion in.
“Now that I do have a kitchen with more work space and extra seating, I never take it for granted,” said Barlow. “I'm grateful and blessed to have a functional space that fits my needs and allows me to provide meals for those I love.”