When Chip and I were first married, we had such a small kitchen, we used a 3’ x 3’ wooden cart as an island. I’d clear it of the picture frames and books that normally sat on top and wheel it from the living room into our tiny kitchen so guests could hang out with me while I finished cooking and preparing drinks. Somewhere along the way, as we laughed and ate pie around that cart, the quirky spot became the heartbeat of our home. Even now that we have a much larger kitchen, I still think about that cart sometimes—the memories it held of belonging and connection. The role it played in our unfolding story reminds me of this truth: home is the people we love.
Maybe an item like this comes to your mind too—a piece that connects one generation to the next and has held you up through all that life brings. I asked our team to create a series of posts and share their own stories, so that together, we can step back from the day-to-day and look at our homes in a new way—each as its own story in the making. Up next in the series: pieces from the kitchen.
I was really fortunate to grow up with my great grandma and I now have several items from her, including two of her rolling pins. I think of her every time we use them, which is often since my wife and I love to bake and cook. When my wife makes tortillas, or it’s Christmas Eve and I’m rolling out the cinnamon roll dough—all these memories come back. Not just of my great grandma in the kitchen, but simply of her. When she taught me how to paint pine trees, or the quirky songs she’d sing when we visited, or her distinct, high-pitched voice on the other end of the line: “Tanna, this is yuh Grandmotha Betty!”
Tanner DiCamillo, Senior Creative Project Manager
Every Christmas, my family draws names to help assign presents to each other. Several years ago, my youngest brother drew my name, and I asked if he could build us a dining table. He’s a carpenter, and our family had just moved into a house in the DFW area—one finally large enough to hold a nice table of our own. It became our little project together: I designed the table and paid for the materials, while he crafted it into shape. He built it in Nashville, our hometown—so it was like a piece of home was coming with me. When the table was almost ready, my brother came to assemble it in our garage. The rest of our family came from Nashville to join us, and our first meal at that table was Thanksgiving dinner.
Everything happens at this table: meals, craft time, conversation. This table is as close to raw wood as you can get, so it’s had some wear and tear over the years. You can see scratches and marker stains from the kids. But it’s solid. And to have something in my home handmade by someone close to me…that’s so special.
Hilary Walker, Creative Director of Photography + Styling
When my grandmother passed away, there was a lot of tension within the family about her will, her inheritance, her land. When my mother asked me, she was surprised to hear that the piece of my grandmother that I cherished most and wanted to keep was her rolling pin.
My grandmother was a huge presence in my life while I was growing up. Her farm was the hub for our family, and we spent so many hours in her kitchen, huddled by her oven. Everything I know about cooking and baking, I learned from her. Now, all these years later, I love to spend time with my own kids in the kitchen—to bring out the rolling pin and tell stories of my Grandma Pauline.
Kate Barton, Chief Brand Officer