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Gathering Place



On Wilmington’s popular Back Door Kitchen Tour, guests are made to feel like family

By Jason Frye • Photographs by Mark Steelman

y grandmother had a sign hanging in her kitchen that read, “Back door guests are best.” It’s a common sentiment, one that implies familiarity, an intimacy between visitor and resident. Anyone who came to Granny Thelma’s back door was greeted with a smile and a hug. “Tea or coffee?’ she would ask, putting the kettle on the stove. Her kitchen was humble — little more than a stove, sink, refrigerator and table in a room so small, three people made it feel crowded — but the warmth felt there expanded the room and welcomed you into the home and, at least temporarily, the family. The Residents of Old Wilmington (ROW) are looking to spread that feeling with the 9th Annual Back Door Kitchen Tour on Saturday, October 11, 2014. During the tour, ticket holders and guests will be welcomed into ten historic homes via side and back doors, and get the chance to admire one of the most personal, intimate spaces in these homes: the kitchen. One of the homes on the Back Door Kitchen Tour belongs to Carole


Salt • September 2014

Carr. She’ll open the doors of her South Fourth Street home to some 600 guests. She calls her kitchen the center of her home. “Kitchens are always the center, aren’t they?” she said. “They’re where we have the most intimate conversations and where we create the meals we share with the people we’re close to . . . Every house party I’ve ever been to ends up in the kitchen, standing around the island, sharing a bottle of wine and telling stories. It’s true here.” Carr’s kitchen is large, but not ostentatious, and her center island is certainly a popular spot for gathering when her home is abuzz with guests (as it was recently when she hosted nearly twenty visiting relatives during a family reunion). But the window seats and spacious deck right off the kitchen also fill with friends. A cozy space, thanks in part to the dark, natural wood finish on the cabinets and marble countertops reminiscent of an old soda fountain, all elements of the kitchen work in harmony together. The stamped tin backsplash is shiny and chrome-like, reminiscent of the stainless steel front on the range, and The Art & Soul of Wilmington

September Salt 2014  

The Art & Soul of Wilmington

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