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Brad Sherman on Kitchen and Home Design

October 14, 2014

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Today: Brad Sherman of B. Sherman Workshop talks interior design, styling, and what's in his fridge.

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Brad Sherman is an interior design mastermind. We know because we were lucky enough to get him to design our office. His goal is to provide his clients with great interiors on a budget while also being environmentally conscious, which means you likely find him spending his weekends scouring flea markets for interesting finds. 

We recently spoke with Brad about his design, style techniques, and how he likes to showcase his work.

What’s your biggest kitchen styling pet peeve?
Plastic fruit. Period. 

What can we always find in your kitchen?
I was going to say something chic like coffee and sugar from Monmouth in London (which is true), but while hosting a dinner party last night I got called out for always having ketchup packets in my fridge. Always. I have to admit, I don’t like ketchup out of the bottle, and much prefer a fresh cold packet on the occasions I need it.  

What’s the best “find” you’ve ever gotten at a flea market or vintage store? 
A set of perfectly seasoned cast iron skillets, almost a century old.

More: Learn how to season your cast iron skillet here.

Any tips for shopping flea markets? 
Make conversation and keep in touch. Vendors know a lot about a lot, and I’ve learned so much about the utility of all the odd kitchen items you find at a flea market. All those mini dishes and oddly shaped utensils have a specific purpose, which can be fun to display and use when you have guests. Some of my best finds have been because I've kept in touch with vendors. I tell them what I'm on the hunt for and give them my contact information. Many times they’ll follow up when they find what I’m looking for.

What's one thing we can do to make our kitchens instantly better? 
Change your faucet. It will change your life.

In most rentals, it’s not easy to fit a decent sized pot or water filter under the tap, making it impossible to fill with water. For around $150, you can buy a gooseneck fixture. They’re easy to install yourself if you know how to work a wrench.

It will instantly add style and greatly improve the way your kitchen functions.

Lighting can be hard to change in rentals -- what’s an easy way to remedy less-than-ideal overhead lighting?

Ribbon LEDs for under cabinet lighting. It comes in a warm white, easily plugs in, sticks to the underside of your cabinetry, can be cut to any size, uses very little energy, and at 3mm thick it hides nicely out of sight. 

How to you bring your design to life on your website?
It’s all about the images, and Squarespace provides a clean crisp template for me to showcase my work.

Top photo by Eric Moran; all others by James Ransom.

This article was brought to you by Squarespace! Use code FOOD52 to get 10% off, and leave a comment below for a chance to win a yearlong subscription --we'll pick a winner by Friday, October 24.

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Sheela Prakash is a food and wine writer, recipe developer, and the author of Mediterranean Every Day: Simple, Inspired Recipes for Feel-Good Food. Her writing and recipes can be found in numerous online and print publications, including Kitchn, Epicurious, Food52, Serious Eats, Tasting Table, The Splendid Table, Simply Recipes, Culture Cheese Magazine, Clean Plates, and Slow Food USA. She received her master's degree from the University of Gastronomic Sciences in Italy, holds Level 2 and Level 3 Awards in Wines from the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), graduated from New York University's Department of Nutrition and Food Studies, and is also a Registered Dietitian.


Patsy S. January 29, 2015
Downsizing to a rental after 40some years of owning. Your rental changes will help a lot. Thank you.
wills October 15, 2014
I love the idea of a wall full of interesting and highly unusual kitchen utensils that serve as conversation pieces for guests. I'll bet finding them is half the fun. Time to go spork hunting!
tortellini October 15, 2014
I love my 20 year old cast iron pan too.
But I really love my iron lyonese pan I found in a cool shop in Berlin. It's seasoned perfectly and works beautiful for all my frying needs.
Briana P. October 15, 2014
Lighting will make a world of difference, and having the ability to have different amounts of light and different times helps!
Julie W. October 15, 2014
Love cast iron ! Love my really giant one too ! Ore seasoning does not bother me because nothing seasons cast iron like bacon and ever since I stopped cooking bacon when I got married 2o years ago they don't season as well . I miss bacon ...
Anne October 14, 2014
I love cast iron, and find that the newer cast iron pans have a bothersome "pre-seasoned" finish on them. It's just not right! Thus, I scour the second-hand shops for the older stuff.
claire M. October 14, 2014
It'll take a lot more than a new faucet to improve on our kitchen, but at least it's a start.
Carly October 14, 2014
There is nothing quite like a well-aged cast iron pan!
Jesse M. October 14, 2014
Flea markets and thrift stores are our favorites for furnishing. We found an amazing dining table this way for next to nothing.
Whitney October 14, 2014
Make conversation and stay in touch is just great life advice.
Andrew B. October 14, 2014
I love floor lamps, simple I know
Laura October 14, 2014
I've been looking for those ribbon LEDs I just didn't know it! Perfect.
AntoniaJames October 14, 2014
Great ideas here! We "discovered" ribbon LEDs right when they first came on the market - cost effective and a great idea if you're upgrading the kitchen you own (don't rent), too! Also, I agree about the good faucet, but would argue that a single control, though perhaps not as chic and stylish as the double taps you link, are a real time save, and well worth the modest additional cost. Mine has a super handy pull-down spray. I simply cannot imagine operating a kitchen efficiently with two taps. Here's what I have, and recommend highly: