Thursday, April 8, 2010

K is for Kitchen

This post won't have pictures because child services would be here almost as quickly as my mother in law.

My friend Alphahas a gorgeous, award-winning kitchen that gives her sense of style and organization a big shiny gold star. My sister is going to renovate her already just fine kitchen into a much much finer kitchen. Princess Kiss the Kitten is renovating her kitchen for the purposes of selling it to someone else and then running away to a place where it never stops raining which is seriously worrying me (is she okay? has she gone bonkers? is living in this neighborhood that bad and maybe I'm just not noticing because I'm the one who's bonkers?). I know that nice kitchens are possible, within our financial reach, and important if we are to live like a modern family and have people over to sip chilled beverages and marvel as we produce miracle after miracle from our German-imported appliances.

People enter our house and comment nicely on the mid-century modern ethos vaguely discernible beneath the clutter and when they're not too distracted by the early-70s ugly. They like our art. They like the windows. The carpet--lovely. Nice teak. They're willing to overlook little things like harvest gold tin closet doors. Then they get to the kitchen and conversation stops. Usually with an "oh" and a sharp intake of breath.

Man, the kitchen is ugly.

And poorly planned.

And rarely clean, let's be honest. Rarely clean. I'M A WORKING MOTHER, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.

So I've been looking at magazines and websites about kitchen renovations. Oh the granite. Oh the walnut. Consider the travertine. And you know, it all leaves me cold.

The kitchen is the heart of the home, they all say. Tear down those walls, open it to the rest of the house. Let in the light!

Uh-huh. So that the glory of the 36 semi-retired coffee cups and last night's edamame can chirp at visitors right at the front door.

Knobs and pulls from Home Depot are so. . . . ordinary--how about these lovely hand-carved bone handles from woolly mammoths reconstituted from DNA gathered organically by Mongolian peasants?

And make the kitchen worth more than the entire rest of the house, guaranteeing that I won't be able to take a holiday until I'm 80.

Why not bump out that wall and install a breakfast nook?

If I bump out a wall, it will be for a soaker tub or an isolation booth, not another place to wipe up orange juice rings. Or it will be because I've heard one too many knock-knock joke that ends in "I know you are what am I?"

My dream kitchen would have 100 cupboards for crayons, glue sticks and bits of Lego and would be large enough for me to hide in if necessary; floors the colour of spaghetti sauce with splotches that look a lot like the gold acrylic paint that Kid currently favours; an outline drawn to the size of a recumbent coonhound so he'll know just where to lie down so as not to be in precisely the center of all activity involving hot food, liquids or stemware; a rubber floor that would instantly bounce back all dropped cutlery; perhaps peel-off layers of acrylic on the walls that I could tear away, revealing a pristine new layer beneath; ooh, and a tree growing right up the middle and into the sky so that I could make a quick getaway when it's time to do the pots and pans.

Show me THAT and you've got yourself a reno deal, boys.


  1. I hear ya. Our kitchen is big and spacious - our house is only 12 years old. But it is all oak with brass (I can hear the gasps!)accents and non stainless steel appliances (in fact, we inherited 2 different colours of appliances). And, I don't really care. It's not important to me.

    We just started a travel account last month, because that is more important that renos. Mind you, it'll likely be 2015 before we can travel, but still. It's a distant possibility.

  2. Darling...I accept the challenge. I am planning you a kitchen in 7 weeks! Look out, Luke, I'm bringing swatches!!!