Sunday, November 11, 2012

# 373 - Unique Kitchens are Great!

Searching the Internet for pictures of kitchens is something that is not easy to do, especially since I am drawn to kitchens that are rustic in appearance. I do not really want too many upper cabinets because the space could be better utilized by other means.

I've had a couple of kitchens with white cabinetry in my day and I must say, they were not any harder to take care of than the country-green painted cabinets I have today. The white was actually easy to maintain --- I painted them with paint designed for bathroom/kitchen cabinetry, and it was scrubbable. Loved it!

I also keep extra paint on hand in an empty water bottle with a clean stone or glass bauble dropped inside, ready for quick touch-ups. You just shake the bottle, dip in a touch-up sized paint brush and your life is less complicated! In fact, I do this with ALL left-over paint, for every room. It has saved me frustration for countless paint-touch-ups.

I love the shelving.
As for the country cabin, I adore elements that are rustic. This island with the plank top might not be good for a chopping block because of the cracks, but it is beautiful. The towel hanging rod is a smart idea. I would have one side with hooks to hang big, frequently used utensils, etc.

I nearly dropped when I saw this kitchen. Our second home in Germany had a kitchen that was extremely small, but the wall had tile, just like this, and it had white shelving that we installed. Perhaps that is the reason I love this look and the reason I appreciate the functionality of having shelving instead too many upper cabinets.

The kitchen in the photo below is so nice, but I'm not so sure about the hanging carriage lights. I like the warm colors.

For some reason, I am drawn to a kitchen with warm wood elements or a mixture of white and warm, natural wood. However, this kitchen with the country red and white checkered accents is like a magnet.

Incorporating some of our German memorabilia from the years we lived overseas will be a part of our country kitchen design. However, true German kitchens are high-tech master-pieces, like their vehicles. There's not really a rustic German design. French rustic, yes, I love that look...Julia Child is the master! American pioneer, yes, I love it.

If I could get this trivet, I would. I had to read it a couple of times, then laugh. So true.

I guess the country cabin will be so far-removed from a cookie-cutter designed house that it is difficult to find a kitchen I can decide upon. So, it becomes a question, or a series of questions about the elements I'd prefer to have in a kitchen.

1. Less upper cabinets of typical kitchens, more shelving for cookbooks, large pots and such.
2. Wood, need areas with wood, unpainted.
3. Area with pegboard, even a small area, to hold favorite cooking utensils and prevent counter-top clogging
4. Triangle design of kitchen with cooking, cleaning and refrigeration.
5. Area of hanging pots with lids slid over handle for easy pairing and retrieval.
6. Love sheet metal or stone at area under serving bar, no sheetrock to paint and scuff.
7. Lighting, under-cabinet and inside glass cabinet lighting.
8. Dining area adjoining kitchen must have wall space to accommodate my German Shrunk (china cabinet).
9. Large farm table is a must --- only one dining area with ample seating for our growing family.
10. One sink faucet with one handle --- having two faucets to adjust for temperature is not the most bacterial resistant method nor more convenient, love the faucet that detaches to make a sprayer, kind of like the one used in restaurant kitchens.
12. No sheetrock on backsplashes, must be tiled and sealed for easy clean up.
13. Most lower cabinets will be slide-out drawers, not caverns.

Love the stone walls. Always love stone and wood together.

I suppose the stone would have to be sealed?

I am getting close to being able to draw out the kitchen design. I've seen a LOT of kitchens, especially because I was a Real Estate professional for years...when houses are your business, you see a lot of kitchens of every sort.

From my point of view, the people who would spend a small fortune on their kitchens were never on the mark. The more functional kitchens might have provoked a second-thought, but those were usually the most memorable. The only problem with having an out-of-the-box kitchen in a cookie-cutter neighborhood is that it is so scary to depart from the "norm."

Me in an unglamorous shot, in my "now" kitchen.
It seems that more and more people would LOVE to own a kitchen that is less about selling cabinets and more about individual preferences. Catering to your own tastes is the best part of home-ownership. Even places we rented throughout our lives were fun to decorate with our own flair, but getting to build a country cabin is taking this freedom to a new level.

Getting some distance from city-suburbs house-next-door expectations will keep you chained to the status quo. It is a challenge to look at kitchens in a different way. I can see that my cookie-cutter brain-washed mind will encounter some struggles with this country cabin, but I believe obstacles can be conquered so that a new way of life can be enjoyed.

After all, I did love our little German kitchen that had a huge picture window, the kitchen that was devoid of upper cabinetry. It was small, but I loved it; however, back then we didn't entertain on the scale that we do now and our family wasn't this size. Heck, we were basically the only ones in our sibling groups that truly had a family. Now, the chain reaction has taken on immense proportions. It shows during every gathering we host. Also, neither of us knew how to cook like we do now. But, I loved the uniqueness of that little kitchen and am looking forward to having something different once again.


Susan Flett Swiderski said...

I'm a huge fan of natural wood. Those tables in your pictures are amazing. Love the stone, too. Our kitchen is filled with scads of natural wood cabinets, just as it was when the house was built in the late '60s. Some of our neighbors have painted theirs or replaced them altogether, but I love them. Murphy's Oil and Liquid Gold keeps them looking good. Oh, and I have that trivet hanging on my kitchen wall, along with two others that say, "Home is where the heart is" and "Kissing don't last; cooking do." They were originally my grandmother's, so they've been around a lot of years.

Patrice said...

Love the stone kitchen, but they would be so heavy that they would probably make this old farmhouse fall over!We still have remodeling of the kitchen on our to-do list, but we spent a lot on the other parts of the house, so I may have to rethink some of the cabinets. It's all good anyway. Life got better when a friend gave us their Viking stove that they were upgrading. What an awesome thing to receive! said...

Susan --- I use Murphy's Oil Soap for my wood floors and Liquid Gold is incredible! I also use the cheap, off brand furniture polish to condition and clean my leather, it works beautifully. I am going to have to find that German trivet! I love keeping things that had belonged to my mom, grandmother and great-grandmother. Very special to have things passed down.

Patrice - It's hard to remodel, good thing is, we can take it one room at a time. Once we build the shell of our cabin, we will take it one room at a time. Viking is incredible. We had a Viking cooktop a few years ago and I loved it. Congratulations! Good luck figuring out your kitchen too!


LindaG said...

Very interesting pictures.
We will probably have upper cabinets, but right now I don't know.
Nice pictures.
Good luck with your design, Lana! said...

Linda --- Thanks! You too! I know you guys had all that plumbing to do first. I hope you are not wearing yourself out. I know we'll be living in a disaster zone for a while, but that's okay. At least I won't have this house payment! :-) And I won't have the high taxes and insurance for Harris County.