Ina Garten Decorating and Style Inspiration

I am not a foodie, I don’t even like to cook – not one bit, but I LOVE Ina Garten and have every one of her cookbooks.

Ina Garten Cookbooks

Hmmm!  So you may be asking yourself, Why would I have all of her cookbooks and recently buy her 7th if I don’t like to cook?

Ina Garten cookbook how Easy Is That?

Well, it’s confession time  – I don’t love her cookbooks  for the recipes, although I have made some of them. I love Ina Garten’s aesthetic, her taste, her ease. I love her STYLE.

Her style that she infuses in everything she does. I just LOVE the photos, colors, and the little glimpse into her home and life.  Buying her cookbooks gives me lifestyle inspiration.   I was more excited to see this photo of her kitchen in her 6th book, Back to Basics then I was to see the recipes.

Ina Gartens Kitchen

I get excited watching The Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network when the camera pans and shows another view of her home.  When Ina goes into her pantry to get an ingredient or outside to get a cutting from her garden, I call my foodie friend, Toni – who loves her as much as I do and exclaim, “Did you see her pantry? her organization? her simplicity? her elegance? her hydrangeas?

We are giddy with excitement over these little aspects of seeing Ina’s life.  I adore it when she hops in her car and goes into town to her favorite shops in the Hamptons  – sometimes the camera gives us a peek of what lays beyond the hedges she passes on her way – can I put the DVR on slow motion so I won’t miss anything?

When Ina was at my local William Sonoma signing her book there was a line a mile long snaking outside the store.  I could not wait so I just went into the store and pretended to shop so I could get a glimpse and hear her interact with all of her fans.

How can I not love a style setter who in her book’s compiled tips on cooking and entertaining tells you un-ironed napkins are just fine to set the table with?

Ina Garten Napkins

Or who loves white plates and platters as much as I do.

Ina Garten Syle and Tips

Who uses oversize baskets for storage and pretty stands to display delectable goods – like a french patisserie.

Ina Garten Style and Tips

Who serves simple fare in the most simple way and uses simple basic tools, but makes it all look so simply elegant!

Ina Garten Style and Tips

And how can I not love her after reading tip #8 of the 68 in her book where she tells us that “Plan B” is ok.  Gotta love her.

Ina Garten Ideas

People always ask me what my decorating style is and I can never give them a straight answer.   I can’t really describe it. It’s a little bit of a mix – simple, clean lines, neutral colors, close to nature – airy.  I can’t say it’s traditional or beachy or country or modern. 

Can InaStyle be a decorating style?  Cause that is the best way I can explain what I gravitate to.  I find Ina has a similar aesthetic to me and I figure that is why I am so inspired by her.

I love this quote by the legendary fashion magazine editor, Diana Vreeland.

Diana Vreeland Quote

I think many of us find it fascinating to see how other people live. It’s not being nosy or stalking – It is a process of trying to find that feeling of connection – the kindred spirit – the inspiration that gets us fueled up to be our best and true self.

As a blogger and reader of many blogs I think this is why blogs are so popular. We all want to find connection – someone who gets it, who views living life the same way we do day in and day out.

Inspiration is about that “A-ha” moment, but also of what we can become.  Best of all when we find inspiration it makes us feel worthy of our own way of doing things, which in the end makes us happy and isn’t that the goal in life to find what makes us happy and to live that way ever after?

So even though I buy cookbooks that I don’t buy for the recipes – but for the connection they give me to finding my bliss, I will keep watching and reading and seeking to keep me inspired and excited to create the life I was meant to lead.

Perhaps after going over every inch of Ina’s newest book,  How Easy Is That? with a fine tooth comb – Ina unknowingly may make a foodie out of me yet.

Do you have someone who inspires you – an author, teacher, total stranger, celebrity, friend, or relative who gets you excited about life,  about what you love, or who brings out the best in you without them even knowing it?

Ina Garten Kitchen and Style tips.

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  1. Julie Starr Hook says:

    You hit the nail on the head with this blog. You have identified why I am so drawn to Ina. Wow! She inspires me for all the same reasons. In addition, I love to cook! Thanks for putting me feelings to paper.

  2. Hi Diane,
    I just stumbled upon your blog while searching for images of Ina Garten’s pantry. Who knew that there was someone like me who reads her cookbooks for a glimpse at her home… and decor, and all around class. Do you happen to know where I can find an image of her pantry though?
    Thanks so much,

  3. Hi Diane,
    I love watching Ina’s shows, following her blog and trying out her recipes!! I am a big fan!

    I found your web site searching around for Ina’s recipes, etc. I like your site, all the beautiful pictures, decorating and ideas, cool!!

    In my shop I make alot of things but I also make cutting boards and made an end grain board for Ina. Shipped it to her a week ago, got a thank you note back from her administrative assistant, Lidey Heuck. She delivered the cutting board to Ina just the other day so I am still waiting to hopefully hear from Ina! check out my post on the thank you note and the cutting board.


  4. Yes – I love Ina also (and I love how ‘girly’ she gets around her husband:)

    I don’t think that is her house kitchen though – isn’t it in the ‘barn’ she built? No matter where she is – just think she’s great at what she does!

    1. Hi Karen – The old shows were in her house the newer ones are in her new barn – both of them are as Ina would say – “Just fabulous” I wanted so badly to get into NYC a few summers ago when House Beautiful had her kitchen (total replica of it) on display in midtown. I love everything about it. Thanks for taking the time to say hi.

  5. What is the quote you have of the designer you have??

    You sound like me…I love Ina’s style of casual and elegant…so beautifully simplistic, fun, cozy, and friendly!!

  6. Does anyone know where to find the ex large basket that holds Ina’s cutting boards? I would love to get one. What a great idea.

    1. Hi Valerie-
      I am not sure where her basket came from. I looked in her books, but she does not include the source for the basket. I know that Homegoods and Ikea have lots of baskets and I did find two that are similar to Ina’s about a year ago at HomeGoods. Did you try Williams Sonoma or Crate and Barrel? If I find out I will post about it.

  7. Carmie of the Single Nester says:

    I too love Ina. I love that she is messy when she cooks.

  8. Stephanie says:

    I absolutely love her style too and I’m glad you are writing about it. I think she was all the style behind Martha Stewart. Maybe she can’t create a decorating book because she has a non-compete with MS for a while…who knows?

  9. Jenny @ Simcoe Street says:

    I loved this post — I also adore Ina, she is brilliant.

  10. Yes,yes,yes!! I adore Ina, she’so so easygoing and inspiring!! Love her care for details! I’ve not bought her newest book yet..but I guess I’m gonna do it!! Thanks for sharing!

  11. Heidi's Recipes says:

    Love Ina! Once her kitchen was recreated in NY City. I so wanted to visit. Can’t wait to see her newest book.

    1. Hi Heidi-

      I so wanted do go too, but couldn’t. I was happy to see the spread about it in House Beautiful magazine and enjoyed it thoroughly. I clipped it out – it went right into my inspiration file.

  12. Madigan at madiganmade says:

    I *love* Ina. Watched her show for years… and I adore her kitchen, too! I have two of her cookbooks. They are like eye candy. Her recipes are consistently excellent (and generally pretty easy, too).

  13. I agree with every single word you said. Ina is FABULOUS. Everything about her.

    1. Hi Candida-

      I am sure there are a lot of others who love Ina as much as we do. At my lunch break today while waiting in the check out line there was Ina smiling at me from the cover of Town and Country. I nearly died. Of course I bought it. Already read the article about her simple T-Day in LHJ earlier this month. Waiting to read the T&C piece later tonight when I can relax and savor every word of the article.
      My best- Diane

  14. Modern Country Style says:

    I’m like that with *blush* Nigella Lawson. I have all her books!! But I DO also love her cooking. All warm and homely and comforting. It reminds me of my mother’s cooking which I’m sure is a big part of why I like her so much.

    I’ve not heard of Ina at all – I’m off to check her out!

    By the way, I DEFINITELY wouldn’t describe your sewing as passable!!! I can’t believe you even said that!!!!


  15. Girl, I also LURVE Ina! I’ve watched her show for eons and she relaxes me with the decor, the food and her lovely voice. As a cook, I do love her recipes too and I adore entertaining, so she has some great tips for me. I don’t have her cookbooks though, figuring I’d get all the recipes online…but now you’ve shown me that her books are much more than simply a collection of her recipes, but a window into her life and home too. (and I totally agree that it isn’t about being nosey, but about connecting with those who see the world in the same way). I can’t wait to sit by the fire with a glass of wine and leaf through one of her books! ahhhhh….

  16. Such pretty images, I may have to go check out her latest cookbook! My mom gave me all of her cookbooks when she decided she was no longer going to cook (I don’t blame her) I have many of her books with all of her notes in them and lots of my dads books with his notes. It means so much!

  17. Amanda @ House Revivals says:

    Funny, I just bought one of her cookbooks this evening for my newly married daughter! The photography is so gorgeous, and the recipes laid out in such an easy to understand way — I really enjoy them.

  18. I think Ina is wonderful too and watch her show on cable here in Australia every single day! Her new book looks so fabulous. I am going to have to see if I can get a copy.

    Best wishes,

  19. Lilianna Grace says:

    Fabulous post Diane! I really enjoyed it, and like to know where others find their inspiration. I find so much inspiration from blogging. It has opened my my world to so many things! I have become more creative and more productive since I started blogging and reading others blogs. It provides me a challenge everyday. For example you inspired me to craft more, and some of my other favorite blogs inspire me to take better photos, make unique gifts, or try cooking new foods. For example, see my DIY wine cork ornaments.

  20. Oh, what a fabulous post. It struck me and now I am in love with Ina. I sat at a dinner once with a girl from Stonewall Kitchen – they sponsor Ina and she KNOWS her. I know… I LOVE the picture of her kitchen. Thanks for helping me define my style… I am definitely getting one of those large baskets..

  21. Stephanie@cre8tive says:

    I have never bought any of her cookbooks, but you might have made me think twice about that now that I see her pictures. I am not a HUgE fan of being in the kitchen, would rather be behind a glue gun than a stove.