Star Kitchen: Kelsey Nixon

Cooking Channel star Kelsey Nixon shows us where she cooks at home in Oregon.

When Kelsey Nixon’s son, Oliver, requested a backyard for his fourth birthday, she and her husband, Robby, took that as a sign to leave New York City. They packed up their apartment two years ago and moved their family, which now includes daughter Nora, 2, to just outside Portland, OR. “I love that the kids are surrounded by green,” says the star, who hosts Kelsey’s Essentials on Cooking Channel. Because the house she and Robby found was still being built, they were able to customize the kitchen with engineered hardwood floors (Lego-proof!), quartz countertops and a ceramic-tile backsplash. They also added big sliding doors leading to the yard. These days, the family has more than enough room to spread out, but Kelsey admits all the action takes place around the kitchen island. “It’s more like a dinner table for us,” she says. “Our kids are going to learn how to be good people at this island — we’re committed to that!”

Custom shades: Kelsey had her buffalo-check curtains stitched by a vendor on Etsy. “It seems like custom shades are something only fancy people do, but they were much more affordable than I thought they’d be,” she says.

Quick-heating oven: “I’m completely obsessed with my Miele speed oven,” Kelsey says. It preheats in a flash, so she can get dinner on the table in no time.

Kitchen runner: Kelsey found her vintage Persian rug on Craigslist and loves the homey feel it gives to the kitchen. Robby wasn’t quite as thrilled: “He was like, ‘Why would you buy something old to put in our new house?’ And I said, ‘That’s the point!’ ”

Secret storage: The cabinets and drawers in the island contain holiday decorations and seasonal cookware. The island also includes a glass-front mini fridge at Oliver’s height where he can grab fruit and veggies or lemonade on his own.

Big color: The greenery in Kelsey’s backyard is so lush, the kitchen doesn’t get much light. So she kept everything inside bright and cheerful, including her kitchen island, painted in Farrow & Ball’s Pigeon.

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