Where Guests Feel at Home

The stunning mission-style kitchen in this B&B cooks up delicious food and country comfort.

By Dennis Reed, Henry, Illinois

Jan and Dennis Reed

Jan and Dennis Reed

My wife, Jan, and I fell in love with bed-and-breakfasts from our first stay, 15 years ago, in upstate New York. The special attention we received from the owners and the peaceful setting led to our desire to open our own.

Our search for the right spot brought us to a quiet, 120-acre farm in rural Illinois, where we built a 7-acre lake and a home with a B&B incorporated into it.

Eleven years later, we opened Mission Oak Inn. Jan is the administrator and handles the bookkeeping, cleaning and organization. I do the cooking and have a custom woodworking business.

Comfortable Yet Elegant

Our guests were our first priority when we planned our kitchen. We wanted them to enjoy comfort and elegance, all in one package.

The design showcases rich, mission-style oak cabinets and trim. I custom-built the cabinets from quarter-sawn red oak; the tiger striping gives the wood an antique look. The upper cabinets have glass panes for displaying old canning jars, bottles and other collectibles.

Comfortable Yet Elegant

The majestic, built-in hutch has stained-glass overlay in the doors. The shelves are terrific for plates and decorative trinkets.

I also designed the kitchen's oak-beamed ceiling with recessed bead board panels and recessed lighting. A pewter, mission-style light fixture hangs above the dining table.

We chose glazed bead board and a paint color called "Morning Sun" for the walls in the dining area. This warm color looks wonderful with the mission-stained cabinets and our rustic, natural hickory floor.

Our guests like being able to watch me as I cook. As you can imagine, lots of lively conversations take place during meal prep and consumption!

Guests also thoroughly enjoy the view from the large windows surrounding the dining area. They can look out at the serene lake, fields and woods. It's also a great spot for wildlife watching.