John Besh lieutenant Kelly Fields cooks up a New Orleans home renovation

September 10, 2015
By: Chris Waddington,

"It doesn't matter if I'm entertaining guests or home alone, this is the center of my house," she said. "The heartbeat is here in the kitchen."

Fields tapped the kitchen's thick, pine countertop to emphasize her points, and discussed the textural elements that make her front rooms so distinctive: The exposed brickwork of a freestanding chimney, the salvaged weatherboard details, the painted wood floors and antique doors deliberately "scuffed" with a power sander.

"I like things that are a little timeworn," she said. "I made my coffee table from a salvaged warehouse cart, something you might have seen at a railroad depot in 1930. I stripped 17 coats of paint off the cart to get down to the raw wood I wanted."