Sunday, January 19, 2014

Not In My Kitchen

Trends do come and go as most of us know. A few that I would like to see fade away in the design world are antlers EVERYWHERE, Eames Chairs, stainless appliances, the word "curated" being used for items in homes when you really mean "collected, hoarded or purchased" and the ever dreaded open shelving.

Now, I am not saying you cannot have these things if you find it suits your needs. What I am saying is why does everyone think HGTV, Houzz, Dwell, Architectural Digest or Apartment Therapy should tell you what to do and like? They are merely there to suggest and perhaps inspire. Unfortunately, people see is as the "written word" and have made certain elements mandatory.

I found this post on Just Me With... called "An Argument Against the Open Floor Plan" and I have to say I agree with a lot of her points. It is pretty amazing how most have been convinced that your house has been laid out incorrectly and you must rectify the matter immediately.
Now, I live in a small bungalow. Small by US standards is 1400 sq ft. And since it is from the 1920's, it has quite a few quirks. Luckily, we have learned to live with said quirks, rectifying some and planning to improve others. That being said, as of right now, we have no plans to blow out walls to make our kitchen the size of a small country. Wouldn't look right anyway ;-)
With the open floor plan it puts you in the thick of things which is nice. I do like to be involved with my guests in conversation, but I also use the kitchen as my sort of getaway when I cook. I put on a movie or episode of a show and cook to my hearts content. I can't say if I would enjoy having a space where everyone can watch while I cut carrots. I do think an open kitchen into a family room is nicer than having it open to the whole darn house.
Our dining room is right next to the kitchen and I can see in there fine and can participate in conversations. The only thing I do wish is that we had a breakfast area in our kitchen but it is way too small to make that happen. And you know what? That is okay.

To me, the true design nightmare is this ongoing obsession with open shelving. I don't live in the country in France and I am not a restaurant. You want to display your fine collection of Fiesta good on you, but for myself, I don't want to dust anything extra. Everyone who has opening shelving will tell you nothing gets dusty, etc. Don't care. It is not my style and I refuse to have it in my home. 

Here is a fine example of a renovated kitchen with serious open shelving that most people adored, but gave me a twitch.


I don't deny the below looks lovely, just not to me. Remember, the photographers and staff go home and then you are left alone to keep this kitchen looking this pristine. If you have that kind of time, please come to my house.

I have to say I love the kitchen below, especially the window, but having an island in ours is not possible unless serious construction happens. I can still incorporate certain elements though.

I like this too. Those windows!

I did a search for "Cottage Kitchen" and had to share some of the photos that came up. Perspective is pretty funny in different people's hands. Here are some that made me chuckle.

I would not turn down a one of them, but cottage?? Come on now. LOL



  1. My dream has always been to have a bungalow/cottage preferably of Craftsman design. I'm fortunate enough to own a condo but although it's far from my dream I'm extremely lucky for roof over my head.
    Most of the kitchens shown are pretty but actually 1/2 to 2/3 the size of my entire condo! Some of the finishes would be beautiful in a cottage/bungalow house but the scale seems off. As you want a country look but not a look the size of a country.
    Open shelves are attractive to look at but I always wonder who must regularly clean all the dust and kitchen cooking grime particularly off the insides of all the beautiful things on display. An open hutch in a dining room, if I had one, would sufficiently fulfill my desire for frequent dusting and washing delicate items. That sounds so lazy!
    My philosophy is take elements we like and use them in our own scale and way that complement our lifestyle.
    From a fellow Jersey the best sense.

  2. This is too funny! I agree with pretty much everything you said. My biggest fear with open shelving is things falling down...on me. Close it up! ~ Pru