Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Pinterest and My New Dream Kitchen

My sister-in-law introduced me to Pinterest last Thanksgiving, and I have to admit, at the time I didn't get it.  It was amusing, for sure, but I couldn't understand what anyone would ever use it for.

That was then.  This is now.

Seeing as how we're in the middle of the big transition, downsizing and working out just what we really value in our lifestyle rather than going quite so easily with the flow, it will be many a moon before I'm ready to commit to a kitchen of my own, dream, nightmare, or cookie cutter.  But that doesn't stop me from looking.  Looking at other people's idea of the dream kitchen, that is to say, because at the moment I'm still trying to decide if my rented kitchen should include an automatic breadmaker, and just how bad the oven has to operate to be worth contacting the maintenance people.

Other people's dreams are pretty interesting.

A couple of cousins, for example, who are in their twenties and either living at home or sharing college apartments with friends, are dreaming of something rather grand, like this:

or this:

These are gorgeous kitchens, and if my whole life revolved around gracious entertaining, I'd be all over  kitchens like these.  Especially if I had the money to pay someone else to keep it looking just like the picture.

Alas, real life is not like this.  Small children want to pour their own milk or juice; they want to help make muffins.  They want to fling their lunchboxes on the counter as fast as they can so they can get down to the good part of the day.  A more realistic kitchen (at least, I suppose, for the 99%) looks something like this:

It's a nice kitchen!  No, really!  Can you tell?  It has a pretty up-to-date color scheme with the apple green paint and the printed valance over the window.  It's got some love going with the plants on the windowsill.  They have some very nice pots in hip colors there stacked on the stovetop (those look clean to me, and the stuff that was used seems to be stacked around the sink).  There doesn't appear to be any significant amounts of dried goo stuck to the white cabinets, all the doors of which are closed and appear to be hung properly.  This is a kitchen where people live.

So the question is, when you're using Pinterest, and you actually have a home which needs to be cared for, and you're fortunate enough that the care includes planning for a custom (or mostly custom) remodel, how far do you go to get that 20-something dream so that if or when you're in your 40's you feel like life hasn't totally let you down, and how far do you embrace the practical, throw in the towel, and just build something the kids can't destroy too easily?

I happen to have a very artistic friend who just turned 40 who is in exactly that position.  And the interesting thing about perusing her Pinterest boards, is that she still has very fancy kitchens pinned, but her comments don't say "I want this entire thing."  They say "Love the chalkboard pantry doors." or "trash and recycling chutes to the garage! out of site trash? awesome. want to do this in my mud room when we build it." or my personal favorite for a kitchen from Better Homes & Gardens, "I love the tiles and love the shelves on top of the cabinets instead of the bulkhead."

Which is to say, while it would be lovely to make cookies with the kids in a space like this:

the truth is, the kids always run off as soon as they've eaten all the cookie dough, and there's no staff around to clean up 1500 square feet of splatter.  Except you.  Which is not nearly as much fun as enjoying warm cookies with the grateful masses.

BUT... you don't have to settle for the kitchen from your old college apartment.  Simple and richer work together, no army required.  Jen Jones at iHeartOrganizing.blogspot.com demonstrated this with her own house, as when she took her kitchen from:


(one reasonable article for determining how to make your kitchen perfect for you is at decorative-design.net)

It's a good thing I don't own my home at the moment, because I am still learning the lessons of my rented kitchen to figure out what I want from my dream kitchen.  The one thing I know for sure is I'd like a bar to park my three wee ones while we make the cookies, eat the cookies, and negotiate how many cookies they can have.  

But please don't ask what I've pinned for my dream laundry room...

HGTV 2011 Dream Home


  1. Cindy
    I really enjoy reading your blog posts. The "Magazine" format is one that I was exploring but I could not get that design to keep my Widgets so I reverted back to a simpler format. I must say that I've really enjoyed this Gotham class. I hope to read more of your posts (I'm a mom in a tiny cluttered house with waaaay too many books and toys -- my son's and my husband's). --Linde

  2. Linde, thanks!!
    We've been slowly working through the whole less is more process and I have to say the children are definitely the weak link in this process. I'm trying to remind myself -- it's not cluttered, it's life in process!
    Looking forward to reading more of your posts as well, thanks being inspirational!

  3. Cindy,
    This is great! I loved the look of your blog and the information was well researched. Yeah, I'm gonna have to add it to my blogroll.--Denise

  4. Denise, thanks! I'm glad we had the chance to "meet." -- Cindy

  5. Pinterest is fast emerging as one of the most popular social networking sites. With its high visual appeal, it has caught the attention of a large number of users. By the way, you kitchen looks really nice!