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Kitchen of the Week: A Cookbook Author’s Deconstructed Australian Shed

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Kitchen of the Week: A Cookbook Author’s Deconstructed Australian Shed

Carter Were October 19, 2023

As a new mother living in Australia, Carter Were wanted to feel more connected to her sister Harriet in New Zealand. So she proposed that they embark upon a joint project that would allow them to collaborate creatively, both during their visits and remotely. And since Carter is a cook and Harriet is a photographer (see her Instagram), a cookbook seemed like the ideal endeavor. “We just wanted to create something tangible that people could have forever and that we could look back on when we’re older,” Carter explains.

Carter’s Cookbook, a collection of simple, approachable recipes, was such a hit when it first debuted in 2019 that it’s been printed three times. The second volume, which the sisters worked on during COVID lockdowns and as the world reopened, was published earlier this year. “People that aren’t cooks or don’t have a lot of confidence in the kitchen find the recipes very easy to follow,” Carter says of their success.

And while Carter has sworn that she and Harriet won’t put out another book, she still does lots of cooking in the rustic shed she calls home. The former horse stable already had a basic kitchen with a worn wood counter and a single lower cabinet, but Carter added lots of clever storage and a much-needed island so that she can easily whip up dishes like Greek salad and kale pasta made with the vegetables she grows in her garden.

Let’s take a tour:

Photography by Carter Were.

first, carter painted the concrete floors and lower cabinet doors dusty blue. s 17
Above: First, Carter painted the concrete floors and lower cabinet doors dusty blue. She then purchased an industrial stainless steel island for extra prep space. She keeps cookware on the bottom shelf and stores fresh produce in the vintage Japanese market basket that dangles overhead.
the island doubles as a dining table for carter&#8\2\17;s family. 18
Above: The island doubles as a dining table for Carter’s family.
next, carter replaced the old, dysfunctional oven with a new one and affixed a  19
Above: Next, Carter replaced the old, dysfunctional oven with a new one and affixed a wire rack to the wall above for hanging utensils. She also installed Aalto floating shelves to display her pared-down collection of dinnerware. “I try not to have a lot of things,” she says.
a gingham curtain adds charm while concealing the sink pipes. &#8\2\20;my s 20
Above: A gingham curtain adds charm while concealing the sink pipes. “My sister sewed that for me,” Carter says. “She bought the fabric when she was in India.”
tomatoes, green beans, peas, kale, lettuce, chard, herbs, flowers, spring onion 21
Above: Tomatoes, green beans, peas, kale, lettuce, chard, herbs, flowers, spring onions, and fennel can all be found in Carter’s garden. “There’s a lot of good produce around here,” she says. “I guess it’s a good climate for growing things.”
the pivot window looks out to the hills, aglow with golden hour light. 22
Above: The pivot window looks out to the hills, aglow with golden hour light.
carter&#8\2\17;s partner outfitted the shed with fluted polycarbonate dutch 23
Above: Carter’s partner outfitted the shed with fluted polycarbonate Dutch doors that are framed in wood painted fire engine red. “He’s not a builder, so he just made something that he could build himself,” she says. (For more on fluted glass, see our Trend Alert.)
a rectangular artek aalto table is paired with four michael marriott bentwood c 24
Above: A rectangular Artek Aalto table is paired with four Michael Marriott bentwood chairs for a minimalist dining area.
for al fresco meals, carter and her family gather on the brick patio. a checker 25
Above: For al fresco meals, Carter and her family gather on the brick patio. A checkerboard tablecloth and funky green stools complete the setup.
carter poses with her second cookbook, an enzo mari style bookshelf in the back 26
Above: Carter poses with her second cookbook, an Enzo Mari-style bookshelf in the background.

More kitchens with DIY and deconstructed components:

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