For my recent series of posts about the Murder, She Wrote opening montage, I spent a lot of time watching Jessica Fletcher typing at her kitchen table. As a result, I became just a little bit obsessed about all those objects I spotted in the background. I know that a lot of fans (including myself) look up to Jessica and the way she lives her life, and so I thought others would also be interested in finding some of those objects that make Jessica’s kitchen so homey.
Below, I have chosen a few choice screenshots from Season 1 that depict Jessica’s kitchen, and have pointed out some of the decorative objects. For now, I have focused on Season 1, but I may update this post later or create a new post with objects that make their appearance in later seasons. Where possible, I’ve also linked to similar objects that can be easily purchased online to achieve the same look in your kitchen.
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While in later seasons, Jessica elevates the style of her kitchen set up just a little bit, the first season really plays up the homey and casual feel. In the image above we can see she has set her table with colorfully patterned dishes and glasses. The dishes (including the matching cups) have a pattern that appears to incorporate leaves, flowers, and fruit. The glasses, on the other hand, have a yellow flower design (as seen on the glass of milk in the picture above). In other shots from the same scene, we can also see smaller juice glasses with colorful stripe designs.
The two major things we see on Jessica’s table this season is a stove-top coffee percolator (also seen on top of the stove in the picture below), and a blue gingham table cloth with a flower pattern. This same table cloth is visible in the opening montages used up until Season 10. Nowadays, it’s still possible to find stove-top coffee percolators similar to the one that Jessica has (clicking on the preceding link will take you to some options available on Amazon). However, while it’s easy to find blue gingham table cloths, I found it a bit harder to find ones that include the little contrasting flower design visible on Jessica’s table cloth. The closest I could find is from the “Newbridge American Tavern” collection.
Overall, Jessica Fletcher’s kitchen is quite busy with various kitchen accessories. Some of the things we can see in the above picture include: copper pots and cake pans; wooden spice racks; and various crockery such as cookie and condiment jars. We also see that Jessica has an accordion rack attached to her kitchen door as a handy place for hanging her aprons.
One of the things I found interesting when looking closely at the various art that Jessica has on her walls is that many of them depict historical figures. For instance, as seen in the picture above, one of the pictures next to the door linking her kitchen to her dining room is a picture of Abraham Lincoln. The specific image appears to be a reproduction of an 1864 photograph taken by Matthew Brady, and it is still possible to buy prints of it.
Besides looking at the specific pictures on Jessica’s walls, I was generally struck by how many of them were framed in oval-shaped picture frames. In addition to other decorative items (such as cushioned chair pads and lush plants), the picture above also highlights two crucial items that add a sense of coziness to the room. When I was growing up, my mom would always say a room is not complete if it doesn’t have sheer curtains and a rug. I think with the last few decades of minimalist aesthetic, people may have forgotten that these items actually have a purpose. In addition to providing privacy while still letting in the light, sheer curtains help diffuse the light streaming through a window, thus making it softer and cozier. Whereas a rug can help dampen the sound in a room, making for a quieter and more peaceful space. Even with the changing fashion, lace curtain sets and braided rugs are still quite easy to find.
In the picture above, we can see several easily-spotted decorative items in Jessica’s kitchen. There’s the colored glass lampshade (which the set decorators often remove if it would get in the way of a shot); there’s the tin tile backsplash behind her pot-belly stove; and there’s the pendulum clock on the wall over her bar area.
But there is one thing visible in the picture above that I never noticed until I started looking more closely at the set decoration — the horse head bookends that hold up the small set of books near Jessica’s kitchen bar. In the picture above, they are on the windowsill between the kitchen and hallway, but in other episodes they are often found on the bar itself. (They can also be seen in the picture at the very top of this blog post, which was taken from the episode “Tough Guys Don’t Die”.)
I will end this blog post by pointing out a few more of the smaller items — this time visible near Jessica’s kitchen counter. I have already mentioned that her kitchen is full of various crockery and containers, and one of the biggest containers that lives on her kitchen counter is her bread box. There are lots of different bread box styles, but Jessica seems to prefer a metal construction with a top lid.
Finally, there were a couple of things in her kitchen that took me a little while to identify. I was quite certain that one of the bigger pots on top of her fridge was a slow cooker, but what about the smaller grey-blue pot? A little bit of guess work and googling led me to identify it as a butter crock.
The second item that puzzled me in the picture is the object attached to the side of her wall cupboards. Thanks to @amyortell on Instagram and @columbo_fc on Twitter, I was able to identify it as a coffee grinder. However, it appears that the set decorators had installed it upside-down (which definitely contributed to my difficulty identifying it initially).
Is there any other item in Jessica Fletcher’s kitchen that you’ve been wondering about? Let me know in the comments!