Out with shades of gray and starkest white. Out with shelves of backward books. Out with rocks on countertops. In with cozy and friendly.
Like you, I would love to have that kitchen - so homey, so cheerful, and so friendly.
You would love the kitchen in the log cabin we're staying in in Finland. And you would hate the kitchen we just remodeled back home. But we haven't done the backsplash yet. I'll post pictures when it's done.
As we've nomaded around the world, my favorite kitchens have been in Eastern Europe and Italy where not much has been modernized and they are old and funky and full of charm.
My least favorite? The "modern" look of concrete, granite, and polished steel that leave you feeling like you're living in a museum exhibit.
I would LOVE spending a month living in that first kitchen!
Oh, this is fantastic! I have the same exact thoughts whenever I'm sucked into another House Hunters or Love it or List It marathon. That's a great kitchen from the 50s or 60s or 70s ... WHY DO YOU WANT TO CHANGE IT?!?
Oh, and I hate the obsession with "open concept." The hell? Hasn't anyone heard of ROOMS before?
I read the NYT real estate section weekly to look at photos of condos, co-ops and houses and they invariably have white white white kitchens and bathrooms that look miserably clinical--and there's usually not much color anywhere else. And no matter how gorgeous a kitchen is, if it's just a few years old, it's "dated."
As for HGTV remodeling show, I read a sort of exposé that claimed many of the jobs have to be re-done weeks after the show aired because of serious problems of all kinds. I'm not surprised if it's true. What can you expect when the crew sweeps in and does a job in a few weeks?
Spines out? That is absolute SACRILEGE! I'm not sure I'd go for lining books up by color or rainbow-y, either. But NO SPINES? Oh, my God, my heart rate is up. I've stopped watching, although hubby and I used to watch in all the time. I loved David Bromstead until I didn't anymore - way too fancy and snobby for me. And This Old House? What happened to the idea of old houses and all their charm? Man caves? Where on earth is the money coming from????? And who needs more than one house unless it's a cozy lakeside place somewhere on a big lake and away from everyone? That's what I'M talking about! (Don't get me started on Love It or Leave It....)
Oh my goodness I LOVE your kitchen. Those old red canisters, the seafoam green cabinets, everything. I watch those house hunter shows too and always wonder where the hell they get the money! Who has that kind of money! Who wants "open concept" - another buzzword - which is just one huge blended, cold, gray, echoey place with no walls. I WANT to be separated from people! What's next.....open concept bathrooms? Like a kitchen/family room/ media room/mudroom/lounge, entryway that you can poop in?
I've been a renter all my adult life, and short a catastrophe that would wipe out all my remaining relatives at one swell foop (I was supposed to inherit my parents' house but they cheated me out of it, so such a disaster is only for them, not me - but that's another story), so it's been year after year of nothing but "Landlord White". I've been in my current place for 21 years, and when I expressed a desire for something other than white in my walls, my current landlord told me he would trust me not to get too exotic with the colors (I was talking about nice earthtones) but he has to think about what happens when it's time for the next tenant.
He had no problem with me buying my own appliances, and I'm heading out today to shop for a new stove and refigerator. My current ones (which I also own) are getting long in the tooth, and I've saved up enough to afford one of those restaurant-style ranges. If I could, I would hire a professional restaurant designer to come on and redo my kitchen.
Loved seeing your kitchen article because I also say a big yes to small cozy kitchens of the past (and present). We're planning our kitchen reno, looking at the Frankfurt Kitchen for the basics of it. What once was the height of modernity becomes quaint and cute - like McLuhan said, "Past times become pastimes". Coincindentally, my last week's post is about kitchens - https://carol.substack.com/p/quietly-celebrating
I have taken the HGTV blue astheyic so far we came right back around to ugly and I like it that way.
I love your kitchen! It feels very much like Ramona, musing writer and thinker, lives there.
My first job out of college was writing books about interior design and architecture. And I never forgot, after a year of interviewing some of the best designers, and also some of the more pitiful ones, that the homes that looked the best were the ones that grew over time. One designer said that it’s better to have an empty house with just a few things that hold a lot of meaning to you than a house that was decorated by Hobby lobby in one weekend.
I like homes that look like the people who live in them. 🤗
P.S. I think you could do a sidebar on how Home Depot feeds the sins of HGTV. 😂 As we were looking for a house in Texas last month, there were so many “flipped“ homes, and I started to be able to pick out the materials that had been on sale at Home Depot. Because every single home that had been “renovated“ in the last 2 to 3 months all had the same tile, same flooring, same backsplash...
Spines in?! What kind of monster lives in a “spines in” world?
I LOVE this.
I think your own kitchen inspires memories and joy and more importantly, it's YOUR choice!
When we purchased our little coastal cottage back in the 1980's, it was the idiosyncratic atmosphere that we loved - that and it's half-an-acre of garden space. When in 2013, our son, by then a good carpenter, agreed to renovate for us, my one brief was pull it apart, sure, but put it back together again just as it was, only with new plaster, a more functional kitchen (that looks like the old one) and a new bathroom - you guessed it, that looked like the old one only with the loo out of sight.
Bless my darling boy, he did exactly what we asked and if the original owners (now passed away) walked in, they would think they had come back home.
Yes, its painted a creamy shade of white throughout but that's to reflect the glorious light and make it feel spacious because this is a v.small house.
People ask why we didn't extend especially as we had the garden space and I would just answer why?
All those TV Home shows produce homogenised properties with no heart, no soul and so many hard edges. Perhaps its reflective of the times? Who knows?
PS - we have all white appliances as well! XXXX
In our last house we had a kitchen just like that. Double hung windows, wallpapered, same floor, exact same counter top. Small but super charming. Once upon a time I renovated old victorian homes. I miss it sometimes.
As much as I like the homey kitchen I can’t get past the stove placed so close to the wallpapered wall. I would have bacon grease splatter on it in no time.
I’m with you on this. I’m not getting rid of my red wall in the kitchen and the tiles with grout. Someone after me will rip it out. That’s ok. I won’t be around to see it.