recipes for life

It’s easy to see why Elisa Chambers views the kitchen as the heart of a home. From birth, her family traditions and history have informed the person she is today. Her grandparents on both sides of the family were Italian immigrants who came to America decades ago. As a young girl, Elisa had aspirations of being just like her Italian mother who was also passionate about food.

“I always hoped I could one day be a fraction of what my mama was. In my case, she was such an intense guiding light,” she says. Her maternal grandfather was a winemaker and an amazing chef, who knew so many secrets of heritage Italian cooking. “My grandmother went to heaven a few days before I was born, so I am her namesake. Maybe it’s corny, but this is truly where my love of food was first cultivated.

When I was growing up, our food was created with love every single night. Family was everything to us, and cooking was an incredibly integral part of our lives.” In the evenings, Elisa and her family ate together and dinner was always thoughtfully prepared from fresh, wholesome ingredients. “My mother was very before her time, so to speak. She was an original granola hippie, always making homemade jams, breads, and pastas.” In their family, nothing was prepared ahead or readily made. She always had lunched packed by her mother with homemade jam, bread, nut butters, and fresh garden vegetables. “I had these gorgeous home-cooked meals, but I wanted what everyone else had. I dreamed of eating twinkies, wonder bread, and bologna. How crazy to think about!”

Ravioli, gnocchi, and pasta were Sunday treats that were shared with so many members of her extended family. They all dined together and everyone was invited to Sunday dinner. “My grandfather would always serve all of his grandkids a shot glass of a vintage wine that he carefully selected. This is where my love of food, cooking and treating your friends as family began — it’s my first real memory of sharing and gathering that’s centered around food.”

Later in life, Elisa had to modify her family pasta to suit her husband’s battle with celiac disease, so she learned how to take her traditional recipes and format them in a new way. “How brutal that was for an Italian! Really though, all you have to do is substitute a gluten-free flour for the conventional one — I promise, you’ll be fine!” Trying out many different methods, Elisa finally found a recipe that tasted just like the original gnocchi she enjoyed at her grandparents’ house as a child.

As a working mother, Elisa now finds it ultimately important to connect with her family through cooking in the evenings. “I segue into this with a glass of wine and while mulling over the day, I prepare dinner. My kids have developed their own love of cooking, and they enjoy finding and executing recipes. It’s a time to hear about everyone’s day and listen to them critique what we eat.

Cooking and kitchens have become such a fundamental part of life for Elisa. “The kitchen is the soul of your home. I design these spaces to be beautifully appointed without compromising functionality,” she explains. Traveling extensively throughout Italy and France, she’s taken note of kitchens that are both working and aesthetically pleasing. “Other countries use marble, even though Americans get so hung up on surfaces that etch or have imperfections. Italians have been using marble for centuries, and the patina is amazing — rolling out gnocchi on marble is heaven!”

She now works to create an environment where everything feels intuitive. “First and foremost, it always begins with listening and hearing how a family lives together, plays together, and eats together. Everyone is unique, so it’s important to understand the mechanics of a family. I try to create an experience, and a relaxed feeling. When you walk in, you should be arriving at a place that’s full of warmth and with every amenity that you need at your fingertips. Functionality, efficiency, and beauty are the key components to beautiful living.”

We sat down with Elisa in her own kitchen to taste her gorgeous gnocchi and hear more about her family heritage. Try this recipe for yourself at home! We suggest to add a table filled with friends, family, wine and lovely conversations. 


Elisa’s Gluten-Free Gnocchi Dough


3 cups gluten-free flour blend

2 eggs

1 lb ricotta cheese

1/2 cup water


Mix 2 cups GF flour and 2 eggs in a food processor. Add 1 lb of ricotta cheese slowly. Once the dough forms into a sticky ball, remove the mixture from the processor and transfer to a floured surface to knead by hand.

The dough will be very sticky so place some of your remaining 1 cup flour on the counter and try to dry it up a bit. Knead until the dough gets pliable or rubbery, about 15 minutes.

Just pour yourself some wine and get into it!

Once your dough ball is formed, take a piece off and roll it into a long rope. Cut the rope into 3/4 inch pieces. Take your index and middle finger and press into each piece against either your countertop or a gnocchi press, rolling gently towards you to make an indentation. Then flick the pasta away with the tops of your fingers.

No matter what it looks like, don’t worry! The taste will definitely be amazing, even if they’re not perfect. (We like the imperfections!) Continue until the whole dough ball is finished.

If there’s any wine left, serve it with dinner.

project zoom: alpine haven

How do you live? This is the first question we ask as designers. Do you live outside, coming home at night to recap and regroup? Or do you come and go, stashing and storing your stuff throughout the day? How do you play: on bikes, skis, skates? How do you relax: by the fire, in the tub, with a book? What’s your morning routine? And bedtime? What rooms receive the most wear and care? At Snake River Interiors, we ask these questions and then intently listen to your answers.

A recently-finished project provides speaks to our inquisitive approach: Trusting us as designers, the family of five shared many stories of their domestic patterns. Close and active, they adventure outside then come home to spend time together in their Shooting Star cabin. With this intel, we knew communal spaces would be the primary focus on the project.

Migrating from the city, the parents did not want to compromise sophistication for function—a challenge achieved to harmonious effect in the open living area. The soaring space—designed by our long-time collaborators JLF Architects—provided a frame of rustic elegance and natural immersion. To anchor the expanse, we imagined a living area for the family to gather over games. Anchored in functionality, details layer luxury: a cashmere sectional folds around two coffee tables, arranged in alignment or apart, each hiding two large storage drawers. Velvet floral chairs with shearling pillows, ottomans and our sister firm Twenty Two Home’s throw add to the feeling of commodious camaraderie.

Beyond the core sitting area, we created moments of intrigue: A cantilevered console, capped by a leather-strapped oval mirror, creates a sculptural counterpoint to the panorama of the picture windows. In another corner, an abstract encaustic by Pamela Gibson—one of our favorite local artists—complements the arc of the Georg Jensen bowl placed beneath it (also available at our Town Square showroom). All told, the home remains rooted in respect for the family’s rhythms.

See the full project, here.

our new home

On behalf of the Snake River Interiors family, we whole-heartedly welcome you to our new website! In this space, we will carefully and thoughtfully curate posts, forums, and informative pieces that will aim to create a deeper connection between the realms of design and daily living. As a source for inspiration, we will use this space as a platform for showcasing processes and insight on all elements of interiors & design. We will also share our thoughts on everyday living within your designed spaces, and the methodology that goes into living a beautiful life.

Setting the stage for experience that matter, we believe that design and exceptional interiors are the true backdrops for our lives. The spaces we spend our lives in can create a greater sense of happiness, joy, and beauty in our everyday encounters if we allow them to do so. As designers, we know that each item existing in your home serves as a larger extension of the self. With this platform, we will invite you to fully interact with your designed spaces. Interiors play a tremendous role in our day-to-day lives — from the items we choose to surround ourselves with, to the rugs on the floor, and the colors on the wall — the unique character of our own homes is what creates the palate for our lives.

We believe in the deeper connection found between our lives and the interiors that we’re each surrounded by — there is transformative power to be found within design. We hope this platform will become a place that allows you to feel encouraged, while guiding you in finding inspiration and a greater sense of home.

Live with intention. Live with personality. Live, beautifully.