The White House physician says Trump has tested negative, but experts warn about trusting the results.

President Trump has tested negative “on consecutive days” using a rapid antigen coronavirus test not intended for that purpose, the White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said in a statement released Monday before the president began a rally in Florida.

The memo said the president tested negative on a rapid test called Abbott BinaxNOW, but experts cautioned that the test’s accuracy has not yet been investigated enough to be sure that the president is virus-free.

“It doesn’t make much sense in my mind that they should be using the BinaxNOW test for this,” said Dr. Michael Mina, an infectious diseases expert at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “But it’s one additional piece of information.”

The BinaxNOW, which costs $5 and functions like a pregnancy test, looks for a protein produced by the coronavirus. It is most effective when the amount of virus in the body is high, but is much less sensitive than the P.C.R., the gold standard laboratory test. The Trump administration has purchased 150 million BinaxNOW tests and plans to ship them to states for use in schools and nursing homes.

In an announcement of the tests’ deployment to states on Sept. 28, the Department of Health and Human Services cautioned that “results from an antigen test may need to be confirmed with a molecular test prior to making treatment decisions; this may be particularly true for negative results if there is a high clinical suspicion that the patient is infected.”

“Infectiousness should be based more on symptom onset,” said Dr. Ranu Dhillon, a physician at Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. The BinaxNOW, he said, “could be giving false negatives.”

According to guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, people with severe Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, may need to isolate for up to 20 days. But it has been unclear when exactly Mr. Trump’s symptoms began, or how severe they have been. On Monday, he departed for his Florida rally without a mask covering his face.

Doctors said it’s somewhat reassuring that Mr. Trump has tested negative more than once, but said without more details from the more sensitive P.C.R. tests, it’s impossible to be sure that he is past the point of infectiousness.

BinaxNOW’s “real power lies in marking someone who is transmissible, not the other way around,” Dr. Mina said. “I think they’re mixing things up a bit.”

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Contact tracing for White House outbreak came too late, experts say

  • President Donald Trump and at least 34 White House staffers and contacts have been infected with the coronavirus following Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination ceremony at the White House Rose Garden on September 26.
  • The White House accepted the CDC’s offer to help with contact tracing on Wednesday, The Washington Post reported.
  • Epidemiologists say those efforts may have come too late: People should be tested within two weeks of getting exposed.
  • The outbreak has likely “spread beyond the White House at this point,” one expert said.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Recent visitors to the White House received a letter from health officials on Thursday. It came with a warning: If they had worked in the White House in the past two weeks, attended the recent Supreme Court announcement ceremony, or had close contact with people who fit that description, they should get tested for the coronavirus. Ideally, they should already be quarantining as well.

The letter, signed by 10 health departments in the Washington, DC, area, expressed concern about a lack of contact tracing following a superspreader event at the White House.

Nearly 200 people gathered in the White House’s Rose Garden on September 26 to see President Donald Trump officially nominate Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. The majority of those attendees didn’t wear a mask. Many hugged and shook hands. A smaller group attended an indoor reception following the ceremony, where they again mingled without masks. 

At least 34 White House staffers and contacts have since been infected with the coronavirus, according to an internal memo from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. That includes bodyguards, family members, pastors, journalists, GOP senators, and advisors.

Trump tested positive for the virus on October 1. Shortly after, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offered to help the White House with contact tracing, The Washington Post reported. The White House initially rejected the invitation, a CDC official told The Post, but finally began cooperating with two CDC epidemiologists on Wednesday.

On Thursday, a senior White House official told The Post that the White House had finished contact tracing related to the president’s infection. But White House staffers and administration officials said that many people with potential exposure hadn’t heard from health officials yet.

Epidemiologists say attempts to identify infections at the Rose Garden ceremony may have come too late.

“It’s hard enough to do a normal contact trace. I’m in the middle of doing one right now, and it’s hard enough to do when people are cooperative and you’re doing it by the book,” Yvonne Maldonado, an epidemiology professor at Stanford University, told Business Insider. “But when you have a random email out to a bunch of people and some people might respond, some won’t, it’s going to be really hard to know.”

The administration’s delayed efforts could forever obscure the true scale of the outbreak, she added.

“I bet you we’ll never find out because you’re assuming that everybody got tested whether they had symptoms

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A Barrett court would continue Trump’s deregulatory agenda long after he’s left the White House, experts say

Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court has brought the public’s attention to divisive social issues like abortion rights, but replacing the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg with a more conservative figure could have an equally important effect on business regulation and the U.S. economy.



a person wearing a suit and tie: Amy Coney Barrett.


© Getty Images
Amy Coney Barrett.

“Barrett is likely to be a pro-business justice, to restrict the ability of government to adopt some economic regulations, and would likely vote to expand the constitutional rights of business,” said Adam Winkler, constitutional law professor at UCLA and author of the book “We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights.”

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That could be good news for stock-market investors, as analysts have long pointed to the Trump Administration’s efforts to roll back Obama-era regulations and slow the implementation of new rules as a major driver of recent stock-market gains. Since President Trump’s election in November of 2016, the S&P 500 index (SPX) has returned 60.4%, according to FactSet. But it is a potentially troubling proposition for workers-rights advocates and environmentalists who have increasingly relied on agency regulation to achieve their policy goals.

One contentious issue being litigated in federal courts is Environmental Protection Agency regulations that limit electric power plants’ ability to emit greenhouse gases. President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency argued that the 1972 Clean Air Act requires it to issue such regulations, resulting in the 2016 Clean Power Plan. The Trump Administration subsequently rolled back those regulations, instituting a more business friendly Affordable Clean Energy rule.

But some conservative lawmakers, legal thinkers and activists argue that the Supreme Court should go further and strike down the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases whatsoever. Jonathan Wood, attorney at the conservative Pacific Legal Foundation, told MarketWatch that many federal judges have questioned, on constitutional grounds, the ability of federal regulators to use old laws to make new regulations on issues that weren’t on the minds of Congress when those laws were passed, and a more conservative court could potentially make this view the law of the land.

“The idea that the Clean Air act in 1972 answered the question of how to address greenhouse gas emissions is sort of laughable,” he said. “But because courts have been so willing to defer to agency interpretations of statutes, they’ve gotten away with stretching statutes and trying to create policy without having to go back to Congress and say, ‘Oh, we’ve run into a new challenge, we need you to write new legislation to deal with it.’ ”

Of central importance to this debate is the doctrine of Chevron deference, which the Supreme Court established in 1984, and which requires judges to defer to agency interpretation of statutes as long as that interpretation is reasonable. Conservatives have long railed against this principle as one that has led to the growth of the administrative state.

“[Chevron (CVX) deference] has become a direct threat to the rule of law and the moral underpinnings of America’s constitutional order,” wrote Sen.

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Lowcountry garden experts offer advice on combatting pervasive Virginia buttonweed | Features

The luscious lawns fronting Lowcountry homes aren’t immune to the warm-weather weeds that can leave lasting effects. 

Doveweed, nutsedge and chamberbitter are a few troublesome herbs that garden caretakers regularly encounter during spring and summer months when they fight to maintain healthy green spaces. 



Gardening: Diagnosing a plant pest problem takes some legwork

But Lowcountry residents have increasingly encountered what some agree to be the monster of all weeds, one that returns and keeps attacking no matter how many times it’s sprayed with herbicides during the summer, or dug out of the ground.

The Virginia buttonweed is deeply rooted and thrives in overly moist lawns. The pervasive, dark-green turfgrass weed that produces tiny white flowers above ground can be seen in yards across the Charleston region. It sprawls across yards with no mercy, often leaving behind brown patches.

It isn’t only impacting South Carolina residents. 



Virginia buttonweed

Carol Turnwald Feldhaus works to get rid of the Virginia buttonweed in her Summerville front yard Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. The pervasive plant has invaded lawns across the Lowcountry and proves difficult to uproot. The plant is considered the “monster of all weeds,” according to some experts. It’s dark green and often identified by its white, above-ground flowers. Brad Nettles/Staff




The weed is rapidly spreading along Atlantic Coastal states and is now spreading inland in the United States, said Bert McCarty, professor of turfgrass science at Clemson University.

Randy Howie, who works in the diagnostics center at Hyams Garden and Accent Store, regularly sees customers who bring the plant to the store asking for solutions.

“The Virginia buttonweed has been the No. 1 thing people have brought in,” he said.

The weed has gained a presence in homeowner’s yards mainly due to its ability to produce both above and below-ground flowers, which in turn produce viable seeds, McCarty said.

Therefore, even it the tops are controlled or removed, the plant can still reproduce from below-ground seeds.



Summerville's Katie's Krops reflects on over a decade of national community garden work

What makes it even more frustrating is the herbicides used to kill Virginia buttonweed aren’t effective in weather above 90 degrees.

Howie recommends Weed Free Zone, but the product is only effective during cooler months, when the temperature is below 90.

Homeowners also can use Image Kills Nutsedge, though the product will only suppress the plant, not eradicate it.

Get a weekly list of tips on pop-ups, last minute tickets and little-known experiences hand-selected by our newsroom in your inbox each Thursday.

The main way people can combat the pervasive weed is with preventive measures, such as applying pre-emergent products in February, then again in May or early June. Doing so prevents buttonweed seeds left over from the previous year from germinating and producing more weeds the following summer.

“The key is prevention,” Howie said. “Preventing it as much as you can is going to give you the best control.”



Virginia buttonweed

Carol Turnwald Feldhaus works to eliminate Virginia buttonweed in her Summerville front yard Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. The pervasive plant has invaded lawns across the Lowcountry and proves difficult to uproot.

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A Barrett Court could carry on Trump’s deregulatory agenda long after he’s left the White House, experts say

Judge Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court has brought the public’s attention to divisive social issues like abortion rights, but replacing the late Justice Ginsburg with a more conservative figure could have an equally important effect on business regulation and the U.S. economy.



a person wearing a suit and tie: Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump's nominee to the Supreme Court


© Getty Images
Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump’s nominee to the Supreme Court

“Barrett is likely to be a pro business justice, to restrict the ability of government to adopt some economic regulations, and would likely vote to expand the constitutional rights of business,” said Adam Winkler, constitutional law professor at UCLA and author of the book “We the Corporations: How American Businesses Won Their Civil Rights.”

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That could be good news for stock-market investors, as analysts have long pointed to the Trump Administration’s efforts to roll back Obama-era regulations and slow the implementation of new rules as a major driver of recent stock-market gains. Since President Trump’s election in November of 2016, the S&P 500 index (SPX) has returned 60.4%, according to FactSet. But it is a potentially troubling proposition for workers-rights advocates and environmentalists who have increasingly relied on agency regulation to achieve their policy goals.

One contentious issue being litigated in federal courts is Environmental Protection Agency regulations that limit electric power plants’ ability to emit greenhouse gases. President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency argued that the 1972 Clean Air Act requires it to issue such regulations, resulting in the 2016 Clean Power Plan. The Trump Administration subsequently rolled back those regulations, instituting a more business friendly Affordable Clean Energy rule.

But some conservative lawmakers, legal thinkers and activists argue that the Supreme Court should go further and strike down the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gases whatsoever. Jonathan Wood, attorney at the conservative Pacific Legal Foundation, told MarketWatch that many federal judges have questioned, on constitutional grounds, the ability of federal regulators to use old laws to make new regulations on issues that weren’t on the minds of Congress when those laws were passed, and a more conservative court could potentially make this view the law of the land.

“The idea that the Clean Air act in 1972 answered the question of how to address greenhouse gas emissions is sort of laughable,” he said. “But because courts have been so willing to defer to agency interpretations of statutes, they’ve gotten away with stretching statutes and trying to create policy without having to go back to Congress and say, ‘Oh, we’ve run into a new challenge, we need you to write new legislation to deal with it.’”

Video: Protesters Demand Extension Moratorium On Utility Shutoffs Mandated By Officials Due To Pandemic (CBS Philadelphia)

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Of central importance to this debate is the doctrine of Chevron deference, which the Supreme Court established in 1984, and which requires judges to defer to agency interpretation of statutes as long as that interpretation is reasonable. Conservatives

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2020 Election Live Updates: Despite Concerns of Health Experts, Trump Plans Rallies at White House and in Florida

Here’s what you need to know:

Credit…Anna Moneymaker for The New York Times

President Trump is planning to host hundreds of people on the South Lawn of the White House on Saturday for his first in-person event since he announced he had tested positive for the coronavirus, three people familiar with the plans said on Friday, and his campaign announced that he would hold a rally in Florida on Monday.

The president was expected to make remarks from one of the balconies at the White House to the crowd, which was expected to include people attending an event elsewhere in Washington staged by a Trump supporter, Candace Owens, one of the people familiar with the plans said. The event, which was first reported by ABC News, continues Mr. Trump’s pattern of using the White House for political events, as he did with his speech to the Republican National Convention.

Some in the White House and on the Trump campaign expressed concern about what the president might say in his remarks at the Saturday event, and feared the entire event would serve to underscore existing criticism that Mr. Trump has been cavalier about a virus that has killed over 210,000 Americans.

The event will come just two weeks after a Rose Garden celebration of the nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court, an event that White House officials are looking at as the possible source of an outbreak of the coronavirus that has infected Mr. Trump, the first lady and at least two dozen other people.

Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious disease specialist, told CBS News Radio Friday that there had been “a superspreader event in the White House,” noting that people had crowded together there without wearing masks.

One person familiar with the planning for the White House event said that all attendees would be required to bring and wear a mask, and that they would have to submit to a temperature check and a fill out a questionnaire.

And Mr. Trump is planning to hit the campaign trail again, even as outside medical experts caution that doing so could pose risks to himself and others: The campaign announced that he would deliver remarks at a “Make America Great Again” event at Orlando Sanford International Airport on Monday at 7 p.m. Eastern time.

Attendees at the Florida event will be asked to sign a disclaimer stating that “you and any guests voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to Covid-19.”

In a meeting after the Republican National Convention, where the president staged his acceptance speech on the South Lawn in front of supporters — many of whom had not been tested — the president joked about the agitation he had caused among his critics about how he may have violated the Hatch Act, which prohibits federal employees from engaging in political activities while on the job,

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Use of Coronavirus Rapid Tests May Have Fueled White House Covid-19 Cluster, Experts Say

At least eight people who attended the White House’s recent Supreme Court nomination ceremony for Amy Coney Barrett have tested positive for the coronavirus, and public health experts say they expect more attendees to be diagnosed in coming days.

The White House says it has relied on rapid testing to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 among officials and guests. Officials don’t wear masks or socially distance because they are tested daily. The president is also tested for the coronavirus every day, as is anyone who comes in close contact with him.

The administration relied on

Abbott Laboratories

’ ID Now rapid test at the Sept. 26 event for Judge Barrett. After guests tested negative, they were ushered to the Rose Garden, where few people were wearing masks. The White House didn’t comment on whether anyone screened at the event tested positive.

Public-health experts say the White House isn’t using the test appropriately, and that such tests are not meant to be used as one-time screeners. Regardless of the type or brand of test, any strategy that relies solely on testing is insufficient for protecting the public against the virus, epidemiologists and researchers say.

President Trump’s schedule in the week before he was diagnosed with Covid-19 included a Rose Garden event, a presidential debate, and visits to three states. Photo: Getty Images

“What seems to have been fundamentally misunderstood in all this was that they were using it almost like you would implement a metal detector,” said Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s school of public health.

All tests, including those processed in a lab, can produce false negatives, he and other experts say. Some studies have shown that the Abbott Now ID test, which can produce a result in minutes, has around a 91% sensitivity—meaning 9% of tests can produce false negatives.

“A metal detector that misses 10% of weapons—you’d never, ever say that’s our only layer of protection for the president,” said Dr. Jha.

Such rapid tests trade some accuracy for speed, and need to be administered multiple times to a person over a period of days or weeks to be useful for screening, he said. The idea is that if the test misses the virus one day for whatever reason, it will be more likely to catch it on another.

“No test detects the virus immediately after the person becomes infected,” said an Abbott spokesperson in a statement. “Today we have lab-based and rapid tests that help reduce the risk in society and slow the spread of the virus. The goal should be to test often—or if that’s not possible, to test if you’ve been exposed or have symptoms—and find out if you have it. If so, you’ll know to isolate to prevent spread.”

A multipronged approach is vital, epidemiologists and researchers say. That includes socially distancing, masks and avoiding crowds.

Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and other guests at the ceremony for Judge Barrett. Mr. Christie has tested positive for coronavirus.



Photo:

Rod Lamkey –

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The rise of White House COVID-19 adviser Dr. Scott Atlas, a lockdown skeptic who increasingly has Trump’s ear and is worrying experts like Fauci



Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie: Dr. Scott Atlas (right) speaks at White House press conference on September 23, 2020, as President Donald Trump (left) looks on. MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty


© MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty
Dr. Scott Atlas (right) speaks at White House press conference on September 23, 2020, as President Donald Trump (left) looks on. MANDEL NGAN/AFP via Getty

  • President Donald Trump brought Dr. Scott Atlas, a vocal anti-lockdown critic, onto his coronavirus task force in August.
  • Atlas is a healthcare-policy expert who works at the Hoover Institute, a conservative think tank at Stanford University. He is not an infectious-disease expert.
  • Yet the White House has increasingly brought him out to speak at recent coronavirus briefings instead of experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci or Dr. Deborah Birx.
  • He appears to be worrying top US health experts: CDC Director Robert Redfield was overheard saying “everything” Atlas says “is false,” and Fauci called him an “outlier” in his coronavirus views.
  • In response to Redfield and Fauci’s comments, Atlas told Business Insider: “Career government public health officials do not have a monopoly on knowledge.”
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Dr. Scott Atlas has only been on the White House’s coronavirus task force for a month, but appears to already have President Donald Trump’s ear and is worrying top experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci.

Atlas was brought onto Trump’s coronavirus task force in August, after appearing on Fox News for several months, where he often echoed the president’s views — including an opposition to lockdowns.

He is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution, a conservative think tank at Stanford University.

Unlike the other experts on the task force, Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, Atlas does not have a specialty in either infectious diseases or public health. Instead, he focuses on healthcare policy and has a background in neuroradiology, which is the reading of X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs.

Nonetheless, Atlas has become a favorite of the president, appearing often at the White House’s coronavirus briefings. Birx and Fauci have not spoken in those briefings as much in recent weeks.

Fauci, Redfield wave red flags

On Friday, an NBC News reporter overheard CDC Director Robert Redfield referring to Atlas in a phone conversation, saying “everything he says is false.” Redfield confirmed to the reporter after the flight that he was indeed talking about Atlas.



Robert R. Redfield wearing a suit and tie: CDC Director Robert Redfield seen testifying before the Senate on September 23, 2020. Redfield was overheard on a flight recently saying that "everything" Atlas says "is false." ALEX EDELMAN/POOL/AFP via Getty


© ALEX EDELMAN/POOL/AFP via Getty
CDC Director Robert Redfield seen testifying before the Senate on September 23, 2020. Redfield was overheard on a flight recently saying that “everything” Atlas says “is false.” ALEX EDELMAN/POOL/AFP via Getty

And in a Monday interview with CNN, Fauci described Atlas as an “outlier” when it came to his opinions on the virus.

“You know my differences with Dr. Atlas, I’m always willing to sit down and talk with him and see if we could resolve those differences,” Fauci said.

In response to Redfield and Fauci’s remarks, Atlas told Business Insider: “All of my policy recommendations to the President are directly backed by the current science, and they are in line with what many of the world’s top medical scientists advise, including Martin Kulldorff and Katherine Yih of Harvard Medical School;

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Should You Use Your Good Kitchen Knives to Carve Pumpkins? Here’s What the Experts Say

Believe it or not, Halloween is right around the corner. And what better way is there to bring in the season than to carve some pumpkins with your loved ones? (Bonus points if you grew them in your garden.) Whether you are a seasoned pumpkin carver or do it just for the family fun, the right tools make all the difference. But should you use your good kitchen knives for carving pumpkins? We checked in with our Test Kitchen and a Vice President of WÜSTHOF, Adam Fischer, to learn more.



a wooden cutting board: Getty Images/Basak Gurbuz Derman


© Provided by EatingWell
Getty Images/Basak Gurbuz Derman

Our Test Kitchen Manager, Breana Killeen, told us that she would definitely use her kitchen knives to carve pumpkins. “We cut squash with our knives, so why not pumpkin?” Killeen adds. Our test kitchen recommends getting your knives sharpened frequently (around twice a year) to keep them in tip-top shape, which would make it less likely to get dull (or stay dull) after carving a pumpkin.

Senior Food Editor, Devon O’Brien, adds that many of her knives are too big for pumpkin carving. “That being said, I always use my paring knife for details and bread knife for taking off the top and bottom,” she says. However, be careful to use sturdier knives when carving a pumpkin. Some thinner knives or serrated knives can break, our Food Features Editor, Carolyn Malcoun, speaks from experience.

Fischer echoed the recommendations of our test kitchen and assured us that you absolutely can carve a pumpkin using a kitchen knife. “Like any task, using the right tool can make the job easier and more fun,” stated Fischer. “That being said, it’s important to be mindful of proper care of your cutlery. A serrated utility knife (like this WÜSTHOF one from Williams Sonoma, $45) will cut beautifully into the pumpkin… but stay away from cutting the pumpkin stem. The stem is much harder and could dull your blade.” He also added that a smaller blade will help you be more precise in your carving, and the serrated edge will help you cut through the thick skin and softer interior flesh of the pumpkin.



Amazon.com


© Provided by EatingWell
Amazon.com

Even though it may be totally fine to use your kitchen knives to crave pumpkins, some may still prefer to have tools specific for the task at hand. Lucky for us, Amazon has this all-purpose pumpkin carving set from Elmchee for only $15.99. With 13 different pieces, you can get as creative and specific with your pumpkins as you like. And don’t forget to save the seeds for delicious recipes like Everything Bagel Pumpkin Seeds and Cinnamon-Sugar Pumpkin Seeds. Happy (early) Halloween to you!



a wooden cutting board: Become a pumpkin-carving pro with these tips and tricks from our experts. Plus, some tools you can snag for less than $20!


© Getty Images/Basak Gurbuz Derman
Become a pumpkin-carving pro with these tips and tricks from our experts. Plus, some tools you can snag for less than $20!

Video: How To Preserve Pumpkins To Keep Them Looking Fresh for Longer (Southern Living)

How To Preserve Pumpkins To Keep Them Looking Fresh for Longer

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How To Create a Kitchen With a Soul, According to Home Design Experts


Of all the rooms in the house, the kitchen may evoke the warmest emotions. After all, it’s here that people gather with family and friends, to share food and good company. It’s no wonder the kitchen is often called the heart of the home—and that it’s a key selling point, promising a great lifestyle.

But kitchens also run the risk of being cold and soulless. What’s the point in having top-notch appliances if no one actually wants to hang out and use them? Like food, a kitchen needs to have a certain depth—let’s call it soul.


“A kitchen with a soul is a unique space that provides comfort, warmth, and a sense of peace,” says Ron Woodson of Woodson & Rummerfield’s House of Design in Los Angeles. “These are spaces that honor one’s personal style or the original time period in which a home was built.”



A few personal touches that both move you and reflect how you live are key to achieving this effect. These design elements can really allow the kitchen’s soul to shine, and to make its effects felt throughout your home. To bring out the soul of your kitchen, try the following tips.

Use materials to tell a story


Photo by Davenport Designs

Every kitchen has a story to tell. Woodson recommends mixing different textures and patterns that complement the existing color scheme.

“We associate natural stone, wood, and other materials found in nature with soul—they add warmth and bring life to a space,” Woodson says. “Luckily, you can still get the same look of natural stone with ultradurable alternatives. For countertops and flooring, I love Dekton Laurent by Cosentino. It makes such a bold design statement, yet it’s ultradurable and impervious to heat, scratches, and stains.”


If you’re not in the market for a full kitchen remodel, add warmth and character to your space by displaying a collection of cutting boards crafted from different material like wood ($138, etúHOME), marble ($89, CB2), or slate.

Laurie March, home design expert and host of The House Counselor on HGTVRemodels.com, says this is one of her favorite budget-friendly tricks.

“They double as functional art when leaned against, or hung on, the wall, and truly step up your hosting game when presenting a beautiful spread for your guests,” she says.


Respect the bones of the space

Photo by KitchenLab Interiors

A soulful kitchen will always emphasize the room’s good bones, or unique architectural touches.

“I always research the era the home was built in and try to pay homage to it in some way, whether through paint colors or decor style,” says Woodson, who co-founded the nonprofit organization Save Iconic Architecture.

March says for spaces craving more architectural detail, add faux ceiling beams, which can quickly and affordably transform the look of a space.

“They can also give you the

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