The Laughing Zebra


door in Italy with turquoise bike by it.

The Doors of Italy

What stories do they tell?

So I have always had a thing for doors and windows. Long before this trip to Italy I have gravitated towards the rigid simplicity of these entryways into people’s inner spaces. They are like the faces on a building and tell so much about the character of what’s inside. For years I have had 6 framed photos of doors from around the world hanging in my living room that I purchased from a photographer at a street fair. Their colorful presence has been a happy spot on my wall and I would often look at them and wonder about what secrets they held. Maybe that is part of the fascination for me just the mystery of what lies behind them. Mostly though I am drawn to their visual statement, the textures, colors and contrasts that they form.

For those of you who have been to Italy you know that the beautiful old buildings with their colorful doors and windows are subjects begging to be photographed. Everywhere you look there is an amazing combination of colors, textures and designs. And because of the age of many of the buildings and doors you see are a wide variety of sizes. At some of the places we were staying in particular the buildings had these huge doors that made you feel like you were entering into a magical story set back in time. The Airbnb we stayed at in Florence used to be the servants quarters for the Medici family. Each time we walked through those doors I could feel the history rushing towards me.

The Amalfi Cathedral in Amalfi city had this incredible huge green door. I felt like I was in the Land of the Giants. Then there were the doors of the Baptistry in Florence that are major works of art. The Baptistery is renowned for its three sets of artistically important bronze doors with relief sculptures. The south doors were created by Andrea Pisano and the north and east doors by Lorenzo Ghiberti. Michelangelo dubbed the east doors the Gates of Paradise. When you stand before these magnificent golden doors you can totally see why he said that.

But my favorite doors were the ones we stumbled upon in our miles of walking, whether it was in a hill town in Tuscany, or on the back streets of Venice. Here are a few of my photos. I took a ton of these types of pictures because I am hoping at some point to do some paintings and I wanted lots of ideas to choose from. 


My Beautiful Tuscan Kitchen

So I just realized looking through old pictures that I never posted any photos of our kitchen remodel. It is now officially 2 years since we completed what was a huge undertaking. All new flooring, cabinets (LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the yellow color), appliances, and countertops. It feels like a bit of Italy in here, which I love! We spend a lot of time in this room. Me at the counter working and creating art, and my husband cooking.

The bright colors and warm feel really make a difference in the cold winter months. It always cheers me to be in this space, and I do my best art in here, (even though I have a classroom/studio downstairs). Something about the light, and the amazing view, and the bright colors are just the right environment for my creative juices to flow. I am so thankful to have such a talented husband. He is a cabinet maker by trade and did an awesome job on the whole kitchen.

I have to admit though that when he brought all the cabinets home and I saw the color, I was a little worried about too much yellow, (even though we had agreed on that color, there was just a lot of it!) But as soon as they were installed with the flooring and appliances and the red island I knew it was the perfect combination. 


And After!