Shop the Show Q&A with Kelsey Nixon
This summer, we’re partnering with several of our Shop the Show alumni from past seasons to discuss essential finds for today’s new, home-oriented lifestyles from brands you can shop at Atlanta Market. Over the coming weeks, join us for useful tips from fellow retailers and designers on how to adjust in these challenging times, inspirational creative projects, and strategies designed to move the home industry ahead to the future.
Kelsey Nixon is an Emmy-nominated TV personality, author, wife, mom, and cooking show host. She hosts Kelsey’s Essentials and Kelsey’s Homemade on Cooking Channel and was a finalist on season 4 of Food Network Star. Kelsey’s cookbook Kitchen Confidence and her exclusive product line with HSN help home cooks navigate the kitchen with confidence. You can also catch Kelsey dishing about her favorite sweet treats on Unique Sweets, judging on Food Network favorites like Guy’s Grocery Games & Chopped Junior, and hosting a family food game show titled Dinner Takes All.
How She’s Been Staying Inspired
“For me, cooking is always where I turn when I’m looking for a creative boost and there has never been a better time to work through my never ending list of recipes I’d like to try. I’ve also found organizing (and re-organizing) those spaces in my home that are continuously a problem really therapeutic. Creating order during such uncertain times has felt like the ultimate form of self care. I also feel that time at home has made me appreciate my outdoor surroundings. It’s been a magnificent spring, and I’ve paid a lot more attention to the beauty of my surroundings.”
Kelsey and her family recently welcomed their newest member, a little girl named Penny! What are her nursery must-haves?
“We are simply smitten with our new baby sister Penny. As we welcome our third baby, I’ve been drawn to nursery items that are functional yet fun! I hope to continue filling her nursery with items that look as good as they function. Having a newborn means reaching for swaddle blankets daily. I’m really loving the sweet Mud Pie Muslin Swaddle blankets rolled up and stored in their large Ivory Rope Basket. I’m also loving their Pink Layette Burp Cloth set and can’t wait to nestle our favorite picture books in between their Wool Unicorn Bookends on a shelf in the nursery.”
Kelsey’s motto is “Cook Better to Feel Better,” something many of us would like to follow right now. What’s her best advice for those looking to cook their way into a better place?
“I love this question because food and cooking have been so pivotal as I’ve worked through the ups and downs of building my family over the years. While eating and cooking with wholesome ingredients is something we all can strive for, what I’ve learned is that the most healing aspect of food is sharing it with those that you love. The act of sitting down and breaking bread with your family is far more important than the individual recipes that make up your table. During quarantine I’ve been cooking my way through my grandmother’s handwritten recipe book and it’s been the perfect way to keep her memory alive.”
Kelsey’s Top Homemade Comfort Foods
“I can’t think of anything more comforting than Thanksgiving dinner. It’s all of my favorite comfort foods wrapped up into one meal – warm buttered rolls, mashed potatoes, roast turkey swimming in gravy, and last but not least, pie. I like Thanksgiving dinner so much I convinced my family we should break protocol and swap out our traditional Sunday dinner for Thanksgiving a few weeks ago. It was one of our most memorable experiences during quarantine!”
Kelsey’s Kitchen Essentials
- A classic set of knives is a must
- Beautiful dinnerware like the Lastra collection from Vietri she purchased at her last visit to Atlanta Market
- A large etúHOME cutting board that can double as a serving board
- I also love my Now Designs baking dishes and a solid cookware set
- Some favorites from Robinson Home are the collapsible silicone strainers from Squish, the Zing Jar Opener and Pivot Trivet -- I love them all!
How She’s Making Dinner a Stress-Free Family Event
“We map out a family menu every Sunday night and each member of our family gets to pick what we’re having for dinner one night a week. I’ve found that when I let my kids be more involved in planning our meals, they’re more interested in helping me cook those meals. It’s been a really fun practice that’s turned into a fun family habit.”
Her Go-To Picks For a Beautiful Table at Home
“I believe that we eat with our eyes first and so setting a beautiful table is always a priority for me that is super satisfying. Beautiful linens from places like Blue Pheasant in Made Goods set the framework to showcase beautiful dishes and serveware from favorites like Vietri. Even for weeknight meals I like to pull out placemats to easily pull a table together. Last but not least, fresh flowers at the center of a dinner table always go a long way!”
Simple Comforts or Luxury?
“During this time of quarantine I’ve really embraced the Scandanavian philosophy of hygge, the idea of working with what you have to create coziness and comfort in your own space. Think oversized blankets, candles burning, good music playing, and of course, something that smells incredible cooking in the kitchen.”
Her Advice to Designers and Retailers
“I think there is no better time to double down on the core values of your brand(s). Invest in listening to your customers and what it is their searching for. Embrace digital platforms to carry your brand’s look, feel, and voice from retail shelves to directly in their homes.”
What Retail Experiences Will We Crave As “Normal” Life Resumes?
“I think most people will have a new appreciation for those everyday comforts that they took for granted. Now a trip to a favorite department store or local boutique may feel like a luxury. I think you’ll see customers gravitate to the brands they’ve been loyal to for many years. I also think customers will genuinely just be excited to shop in general! I think you may see customers gravitate towards investing in essentials – those things that will be used and used a lot.”
Where is it Now? - A Past Favorite Item from Shop the Show
“My favorite item from Market has to be my new set of Vietri Lastra dishes and serving pieces. They have become the dishes we use daily and it brings me so much joy to serve my family dinner on such beautiful Italian dinnerware (...even if it is only boxed mac and cheese occasionally!). I use them for casual weeknight dinners and elaborate family celebrations. My favorite party where my Lastra dishes were the center of the dinner table was my daughter’s 3rd birthday party. Her birthday fell on the day before Thanksgiving this year, but I didn’t let that stop me from making her “rainbow party” request come to life. It was a wonderful party filled with beautiful food, dishes, and most importantly a newly minted 3 year old Nora!”