When season 3 of Kimberly’s Simply Southern premieres Monday, April 7 at 4/3c, you’ll notice something different about the set. Little Big Town member Kimberly Schlapman is still the host — but unlike the first two seasons, she’s now filming the show in her own kitchen. Kimberly and her husband Stephen recently more than doubled the size of their kitchen, turning a former guest bedroom and bathroom into a gorgeous, “rustic meets calm” space. She invited us over to check it out.
“We’ve been in our house almost 8 years,” says Kimberly. “When we moved, we loved everything about it except for the kitchen. It was really, really small. We always knew we wanted to renovate and put a kitchen somewhere. Before, we called this area ‘Paw Paw’s Room’ because that’s where my parents stayed when they came to visit.
“My husband had the idea to put the kitchen there,” she continues. “He drew up the plans. We had to get an architect involved because we took out a load-bearing wall. We had to put columns in behind the cabinets to support the weight of the upstairs. But we knew what we wanted and we got a cabinet maker to help us with the logistics. And then we brought the cooking show producer in to say, ‘This is what we want – but where should we put the oven? Where should we put the stove?’ to help us know the best angle to shoot from. And the head camera man came over too, to help us decide where to put things.”
When it comes to Kimberly’s favorite things about her new kitchen, the list is long but includes the thriving herb garden sitting in a sun-filled kitchen window (Stephen’s idea); the coffee maker she found on eBay; her “splurge” — an ice maker; the farm sink she always wanted; and pull-out pantry shelves. One must-have — a refrigerator hidden behind cabinet doors — is loved by everyone except Kimberly’s 6 1/2-year-old daughter, Daisy.
“It’s not magnetic so she can’t put her art up on the refrigerator,” says Kimberly. “I would’ve done something about it, like had one panel magnetic or something. On our old refrigerator, she had her artwork all over it. But I didn’t think about it; I just wanted cabinet doors on the refrigerator. So she’s mad at me about that,” she laughs. “But I do love the hidden refrigerator!”
In addition to the new favorites, Kimberly’s kitchen is a home for her many family heirlooms and treasured flea market finds. She’s especially sentimental about several homemade pieces, including pottery made by her father and a dining room bench made by Stephen.
“I would so much rather have something that someone that I know and love made than go to the store,” says Kimberly.
Spilling out of every cabinet door are stories — tales of her vintage finds and dishes lovingly passed down by previous generations. For Kimberly, the new kitchen is a showcase not only for the new season of Kimberly’s Simply Southern, but for the many happy memories of growing up cooking with her family — and the perfect setting for the memories yet to be made.