Two years and one month ago, I was walking onto the set of the Daytime Emmy-winning talk show Rachael Ray in Chelsea Studios in Manhattan. I was there to help interview and photograph the amazing chef, designer, TV personality and Lake George native that is Rachael Ray for the Spring 2018 Design Issue of Saratoga Living. The studio itself was nice enough, but it was everything you’d expect a TV set to be: smaller than you thought, bustling with people and definitely not homey. It didn’t quite match the down-to-earth personality of the woman whose name was on the building, a woman whose television fame has brought her to the Big Apple, but who would just as soon escape the bustle of the city for her rustic Upstate New York home.
Flash forward to present day, and the COVID-19 pandemic has forced many talk show hosts (see: Ellen DeGeneres and Jimmy Fallon) to start filming shows in their own homes. Ray has hopped on the bandwagon, but instead of filming from her NYC apartment, which she has said has a “tiny little kitchen,” is doing so from her home in Lake Luzerne, just a half-hour north of Saratoga Springs. That kitchen, unlike the one in Chelsea Studios, is definitely more Ray’s speed.
“I decorated the house before it was ever built,” Ray says in a video tour of her kitchen and pantry. “I drew the house on a piece of paper so I knew what I wanted it to be in my mind.” The kitchen, a mix of American farmhouse and Italian villa styles, features an industrial range hood, a butcher block island, a pizza oven, a 90-second commercial dishwasher and an indoor herb garden. And the pantry? “It’s daunting, but I understand it,” Ray says of the chock-full wall of spices, oils, cans and pastas.
Back in 2018, Ray told Saratoga Living, “I think that having a home environment that you’re proud of and is welcoming is an essential part of life. Whether you’re rich or poor, it makes no difference. It changes the quality of your life. It changes how you treat other people. It changes how you face your day and how you end your day.” If that’s the case, every day spent in Ray’s Lake Luzerne house is probably a pretty good one.