1. Thedogatemyhomework
    May 17, 2018 @ 1:59 pm

    I’m very afraid that you or your beloved is going to come down in for a midnight snack, forget about the floor to ceiling mirror, see one of yourselves in the reflection and SCREAM because you think it’s a prowler (but it’s really you). The other half up in bed will be awakened by the mayhem. I worry about your loss of REM sleep.


  2. Joanie Cottrell
    May 17, 2018 @ 2:02 pm

    ….aaaaand if you want to consider supporting a great organization that rescues retired and abused elephants, please check out the compassionate work of Carol Buckley at Elephant Refuge North America http://www.erna.org


    • Melanie
      May 18, 2018 @ 7:20 pm

      And ThE Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee!!


  3. Anne Elise Hudson
    May 17, 2018 @ 2:07 pm

    Have you considered an 18″ dishwasher? For just the two of you, it should work well; instead of waiting for it to fill up, you run it immediately. Then you can have a larger base cabinet…do not forget the drawers!!!

    Of course, I think symmetry is over-rated, as long as you have balance.

    Enjoy the process. Your kitchen, your rules.
    Anne Elise


  4. Robin Leah Howington
    May 17, 2018 @ 2:08 pm

    Fewer cabinets will give you more room for dancing.


  5. Cris Connelly
    May 17, 2018 @ 2:08 pm

    I love following the evolving plans. The only thing that has ever bothered me is the uncased opening (to the ceiling) of the diagonal entrance to the kitchen. Considering all your other openings are probably cased, the sheet-rocked opening seems…..new and not up to the fanciness factor of your home. Casing it to the same height as the windows would tie the room together. Just my humble .o2. Meanwhile, carry on!


    • Ryan
      May 17, 2018 @ 3:22 pm

      It could have a transom too!


  6. Allie
    May 17, 2018 @ 2:12 pm

    I like your philosophy of showcasing magnificence > storage. 90% of the stuff in a kitchen (or at least my kitchen) is only used 5% of the time. If you can part with it or store it elsewhere to show off an amazing mirror go for it!
    My only question is, how fancy are the light fixtures?


    • Shaz
      May 17, 2018 @ 5:10 pm

      OMG – yes! What is planned for the light fixtures? 😍


  7. Darling Lily
    May 17, 2018 @ 2:23 pm

    Your storage situation will be fine. I have been in European kitchens smaller than my walk-in closet, with hardly any storage to speak of, and the families all seemed to be perfectly normal and well adjusted.

    I am a trifle sad that the NWoF will remain a mirror, because I was on Team Repurpose, but I have every faith in your vision. Even with the induction stove in the island now, which seems almost sacrilegious to me, but again my faith in you is unshakable!

    And yes.. LOUDLY for the animals, always!


  8. Gennielee
    May 17, 2018 @ 2:38 pm

    Oh…Perhaps I am missing something here, but why all of the mirrors? I couldn’t stand looking at myself every time I turned a corner. A giant mirror in my kitchen reflecting my enraged chicken bed head first thing in the morning, BEFORE coffee, would be enough to send me over the edge.

    Get some cabinets girl. Forgo a a big fancy mirror in lieu of a big fancy FUNCTIONAL kitchen. If you don’t cook, only use paper plates, never have dinner guests, eat in front of the TV and never shop for groceries your kitchen plan might work.

    Go back and look at all of the AMAZING photographs you posted of your dream kitchen? Do any of them look like they came from a college apartment? They do not.


    • Sarah
      May 17, 2018 @ 6:02 pm

      To be fair, most college apartments don’t house monumental, historically significant, museum quality examples of fine Victorian craftsmanship. Also, I have 6 bazillion cabinets (we moved in and the kitchen had been done already) and they’re filled with items I use maybe 8% of the time, and even that’s being a bit generous. I think it would be hard to be dissatisfied with a kitchen filled with beautiful, special things you love, but what do I know.


    • Darling Lily
      May 17, 2018 @ 7:18 pm

      You must be new around here…


    • Nikki
      May 19, 2018 @ 4:56 pm

      The current plan is still bigger than the kitchen that I’ve fed a family of 4 in for a number of years. Aside from the sink there were only two base cabinets. Two! And yes I cooked bolognese and quiches and cakes just fine 😉

      More cabinets does not mean more functional… Can you imagine how many would end up as simply clutter/junk storage? It’s wonderfully personal with the awesome mirror and the piano island. This is a historic home, not a mcmansion.


  9. fixitchick
    May 17, 2018 @ 2:48 pm

    The cooktop in the island you say? hmmmm. What will you do about the hated vent situation? Also, I had forgotten about how open the bottom of the piano island is, and to both increase storage and fanciness have you given thought to what kind of beautiful chest you will put there?

    As for forgoing upper storage, as long as you have figured out where your dishware/other crap will live, I say go for it. I think it will make the space look much larger, enjoy!

    and lastly, after not hearing from you regularly for so long, I thank you for coming back full force – especially as we are finally going to start our own kitchen reno [by moving it across the house]. it has reinforced my desire to go unfitted. In fact the guy is coming for a plumbing quote this afternoon.


  10. Erin
    May 17, 2018 @ 2:50 pm

    All. The. YES. You will be so delighted with this plan, I know it. How do I know it? Because we did similar in our MUCH SMALLER kitchen and everyone was all, “What do you mean you are going to have NO UPPERS in the entire kitchen??? Have you gone totally mad?!” But I held firm and I do not miss the hideousness that is upper cabinetry at all. I have open shelving and then I have a teensy pantry area with very narrow uppers, separate from the main kitchen space. It is perfect. We have tons of storage and the added bonus that our kitchen is actually pretty! Onward, Victoria! You are doing everything right. xo
    (Nope, not at all biased….)


  11. Jennifer
    May 17, 2018 @ 3:12 pm

    I really like this plan. It definitely makes the kitchen more like a room that you happen to cook in rather than a full on kitchen onslaught. And, you didn’t mention the best part of your plan…no corner cupboard!

    I’m always on team small kitchen means less to clean. I am curious how you will address storage, and even more curious about repurposing the piano island into housing a cooktop, but that may be more straightforward than I think.


  12. JeanFB
    May 17, 2018 @ 3:13 pm

    I love it. The mirror is so YOU. It’s gorgeous. No one else has one. Your kitchen will not look like a Pinterest kitchen and that’s okay because every kitchen on Pinterest will be wishing it looked like yours! 🙂 And here’s the thing…. if it ends up that in a year’s time you and Paul are driven to drink due to the lack of uppers….. it looks as if you could actually put some sort of enclosed storage up on the wall housing your sink, etc…. I won’t say cabinets, because I envision you being able to find a pair of marvelous, antique, fancy pharmacy cabinets or some such thing that will work beautifully. Thanks so much for letting us follow along….
    And it also mystifies me as to why there are still traveling animal shows anywhere. And it breaks my heart to think of a solitary elephant! I do not go to any event that has this sort of stupidity. Thanks for your activism.


  13. Jayne Zabala
    May 17, 2018 @ 3:21 pm

    Once a while ago, we had neighbors who had their kitchen built on the European idea that refrigerators and majority of their staples are in the pantry — not in the actual kitchen. I also just toured a model home and in addition to a beautiful kitchen, they had a separate sink, convection cook top and refrigerator in the pantry area with a door, so they could close it off if they didn’t want anyone to see a mess, keep the odors in that area or serve as a kosher kitchen. Hopefully you have a pantry area — maybe where Paul closed up the stairs down to basement — you can line with shelves and have more than enough storage. No matter what you decide I’m sure it will be stunning! I completely agree with you about how atrocious circuses and in most cases zoos are! I will not patronize either. Makes me sick, literally sick, how too many humans mistreat animals!!!


  14. Vickie H.
    May 17, 2018 @ 3:22 pm

    I am on board with the kitchen so far…..can’t wait for more…and thank you for your commentary about the circus and the animal cruelty…..slowly but surely….this MUST END.


  15. Perfectly Perfect
    May 17, 2018 @ 3:25 pm

    And my 1924 single story Spanish Colonial Revival train car kitchen sans partner/master craftsman in L.A. is trés jalouse. That’s fine though because I have lemons and finger limes ready for picking in my unglamorous urban garden. And lettuces outside the kitchen door.

    As for caged animals you can help promote understanding and admiring of wild animals in their NATURAL HABITAT in Africa, twice a day on an INTERACTIVE program called SafariLive on YouTube, et.al., where they take viewers on safari, teaching respect for animals and all nature by educating not only about individual animals but also about the interconnection of nature’s systems and species. They also do school drives engaging with classrooms directly during the show, answering questions from the kids. The show is a marvel and WildEarth, its creators intentions are of the purest focus : to help save animals/nature/the planet through education as firsthand as it can get without actually being there. Word of warning: it is initially addictive; lion prides and leopards with baby cubs playing, while we are learning from educated caring guides is phenomenal. Watching cats stalk prey and seeing elephants chase away lions, amazing. Seeing a newborn elephant they’ve happened upon take first steps, breathtaking. I hope you have a look. I happened upon it 2 years ago. It is life changing for the understanding it provides to anyone tuning in.

    I’ve just written more about nature than your kitchen! And I LOVE your ever transforming kitchen…but mine is smaller : l, while Nature is EVERYWHERE. 😀

    Love your rants, I mean rambles…I mean WRITING. Cheers!


  16. Lora
    May 17, 2018 @ 3:25 pm

    Confused. Is there still going to be a smaller mirror over the sink? Open shelving for drinks of water, coffee cups, and more room for decorative stuff? This is where you’ll come to check the length of your skirt before you dine with the Markles, I mean Windsors? Whichever Duke and Duchess they end up being named this weekend? Have to say I don’t understand the use of this very GFT in this location, but I’m excited that things are merrily rolling along.


  17. Kiki
    May 17, 2018 @ 3:35 pm

    Whoa! So exciting. I’m always of need of more storage, but I’m sure you know what you need. My thought would be to make the mirror swing out on hinges and have secret storage, but that’s probably crazy considering the weight of the mirror. Or roll like a barn door? But of course you could always decide to add more storage later if needed. Can’t wait to see how it all turns out!


  18. Laura Lind
    May 17, 2018 @ 3:43 pm

    Toronto Architect Donald Chong has been writing and researching a project called “Small Kitchens Make Better Cities” for some years now. The notion is that small kitchens (typical of European residences) reorient their users by encouraging them to shop for small items daily – resulting in more support for neighbourhood grocers on the nearby main street. Since there’s no room to store items bought in bulk from the big box stores with such compact spaces, people with smaller kitchens are more likely to have healthier diets, walk more, interact more and have companionship.
    One has to ask, how much of super bloated kitchen design is related to the cabinet sales industry? In any event, your current kitchen design has a proper work triangle, space on either side of both the sink and range for prep and a landing spot on the island for fridge contents. It includes, a dishwasher, storage under the island so it ticks all the boxes for a fully functioning room. It is stunning already! And it will never go out of style. Bravo!


  19. Katie
    May 17, 2018 @ 3:53 pm

    It’s a gorgeous plan, will work beautifully. BUT, HANG ON, wasn’t there a giant fancy cupboard/cabinet you were going to use as storage? Did it get sold and i missed it?


  20. NevadaNy
    May 17, 2018 @ 4:03 pm

    I think the big mirror is the kitchen is a great idea. But what has happened to the Woman Carved Mirror?
    Are you still going to put that over the sink? I hope so.

    Animal Rights Now! An idea who’s time has come. And while you are at it-The Environment of our Planet -must become a priority. No point in saving animals if we are going to destroy the planet.


  21. Emily
    May 17, 2018 @ 4:08 pm

    So you do what you want, but how are you handling the electrical coming up through the floor for the induction cooktop in the island. The piano island. The one with legs. That don’t disguise anything coming up from the floor.

    Love the fancy mirror :). Love the piano island.


    • Tammy
      May 17, 2018 @ 10:01 pm

      I, too, have been wondering about getting electricity to the island without it being something ugly that will be visible from some angle. I wish it weren’t true, but it is. I also need to share this from experience… One of our refrigerators is tucked into a nice closet type space, similar to what you show in your design. The problem is if something spills, especially below the drawers, the fridge has to be pulled out of the space far enough to let the door swing out enough to allow the drawers to be removed. It’s a pain in the butt. So, if you have enough room to make that space a little wider than the fridge, do it.

      As far as the limited storage, if you are smart about how you use what you have, with as many drawers or pull out shelves behind the doors, and you have a pantry, you will be fine. I do wonder though about where you will CONVENIENTLY store glassware. It should be near the sink and/or the fridge, where you would get water and ice. But without storage near either, and no uppers, where will you store these? Maybe a pretty antique display case near one or the other? I know you will figure it out and you probably already have done so. Can’t wait for the next installment!


      • Zim
        May 18, 2018 @ 1:41 pm

        I was thinking installing these lovely numbers behind the Woman mirror over the sink would take care of glassware.


  22. Christine Diaz
    May 17, 2018 @ 4:09 pm

    I would not have the heart to install the cooktop on the beautiful island! Your kitchen may benefit from having some open shelves for storage and for visual balance though as it may seem bottom heavy otherwise. Are you sure what you really want isn’t another living room???


    • Linda
      May 18, 2018 @ 11:40 am

      Ya, this is not a kitchen…


  23. TZ
    May 17, 2018 @ 4:14 pm

    Cabinets are overrated. One can simply store things on the floor in cardboard boxes, as I see you are currently doing. So handy should you fall and can’t get up. Sit there and eat a sweet potato and be glad they aren’t tucked away in some cloud-height cabinet! … I must add that my heart also hurts for all abused and neglected animals, VEB; thank you for being a warrior for them. If one Googles Lulu Shriners, there’s a spot to give a star rating review (at least one shows up on my laptop in the box that shows their website, directions, hours, etc.) I posted a one star review and commented they should surrender their animals into sanctuary. No child should be encouraged to support or endorse a business which engages in lifetime imprisonment (nor any length of time!) of these magnificent beasts.


  24. Tammy
    May 17, 2018 @ 4:20 pm

    In 2 years of marriage we have managed to acquire a few antiques…5 armoires, 2 secretaries, 3 glassfront bookcases and a victorian mirror that is also 4″ from the 9 foot ceiling (ours is narrow though…not wide like this GFT) … I shouldn’t wonder then why numerous friends sent me to this blog. ( I pointed out our armoire problem to my beloved who answered “and your point is…?” what a guy !)

    I love the mirror in this spot…I actually thought of it before she posted it but I was too lazy to bother making the suggestion. I can see why V doesn’t want to alter the integrity of the mirror and into shelves, but what about mounting it 6 inches out from the wall leaving enough space to construct (oh Paul, bring the tape measure) some shelves that would hide behind like mirror like pocket doors.

    Will the induction cooktop require a change of the nifty drawer system?


  25. Ophelia Darling
    May 17, 2018 @ 4:26 pm

    I can see this working beautifully with lots of upper shelves. Can I ask a question that has most likely already been addressed at some point in a past post? Why can we make the two windows match each other? In my opinion they still bother me, even without cabinets on that wall…


    • Lolly
      May 19, 2018 @ 4:03 pm

      Ugh, YES on those windows!!!! The varying heights make me insane! Lol!


  26. Bernie
    May 17, 2018 @ 4:34 pm

    Well….it is YOUR kitchen. It should reflect you…..and it will, literally.


  27. Barbra Kellum
    May 17, 2018 @ 4:54 pm

    I can understand the love of fancy and wide open….but what about having an actual functional kitchen too? Maybe clever Paul could mount the mirror on some type of slide so you could still have some storage behind it AND your fabulously reflective view?


  28. colette
    May 17, 2018 @ 4:56 pm

    A plethora of cabinets sure does not necessarily equal a functional kitchen. And I would gladly give up ALL my uppers for windows. All that to say, I love it.


  29. Kathleen
    May 17, 2018 @ 5:06 pm

    I applaud your design and glad you are happy with your kitchen now with the mirror. But not for me and not my taste. A mirror on a wall on the narrow side of the room is not my liking, I prefer a mirror on end wall to reflect the length, not my face every time I walk in. (Bleary eyed, before coffee, naked or in my favorite shabby nightgown, no makeup…urp no). And I adore my large island with nothing in it….always room for multiple projects without a sink or cooktop in the way. It’s your kitchen, but it would never be mine. I do have a place for that mirror in my very large entry with two story ceilings……


  30. D
    May 17, 2018 @ 5:08 pm

    I think you are drawing attention to the unmatched windows. I also think you will regret the lack of storage and function. What does Paul, the voice of reason, say?


      May 17, 2018 @ 6:23 pm



  31. Elise
    May 17, 2018 @ 5:28 pm

    I love this plan so hard. You are a genius, pure and simple. Watching your progress and decision-making is making me feel OK with the fact that I’ve been mentally planning our kitchen re-do for over 20 years. I think I have a good handle on what I want/need at this point. And the end result will be far different than it would have been had we remodeled when we first moved in.

    Thanks to your commenters pointing out how others around the world live, and thanks to bloggers like you (and Daniel, from Manhattan Nest) I’ve settled on doing as you did, with the fridge – only I don’t have to blow out a wall, as we already have a door to the outside, which we never ever use.


  32. Margy
    May 17, 2018 @ 5:39 pm

    You’re losing me. I really want to hang in to see the finished product, but the fact that it’s not done yet is making me nuts. I have no idea why, it’s not my kitchen! I just need closure on this one, but every new post is change. “I can’t live like this any longer” she said.

    Love your writing though! So talented.

    Best Wishes!!!


      May 17, 2018 @ 6:22 pm

      I am with you Margy. It needs to be a kitchen, like yesterday.


    • Darling Lily
      May 17, 2018 @ 6:51 pm

      Whereas I am dreading the end of the magnificent saga!

      For me personally, getting there is the best part of any journey.


    • Linda
      May 18, 2018 @ 11:39 am

      I couldn’t have said it any better! I too am finding this so irritating I will have to unsubscribe… so sad.


      • laura lind
        May 19, 2018 @ 4:39 am

        I am also illogically emotionally invested in this kitchen’s welfare. It’s as if, when it’s all done and beautiful, (and it will be so beautiful!) the outcome will be somehow partly a tribute to my careful monitoring of its progress. I’m like a sports fan who believes that his prayers and actions during a football game have an effect on the final score.


  33. Karen in Santa Fe
    May 17, 2018 @ 7:02 pm

    Dear Victoria,
    Truly I don’t think the loss of storage is a big deal. And the window situation will probably be mitigated by the distraction of the magnificent mirror. BUT I am concerned about marring the gorgeous island with a cooktop? And, as has been mentioned, what about the venting? And, furthermore, while I admire your clever use of the wall oven, why not just get a beautiful range with oven and put it on the sink wall?? Yes, of course, that will mean even fewer cupboards BUT “in for a penny, in for a pound”? And surely you are planning pantry storage somewhere, right? Just a thought.


  34. tamm
    May 17, 2018 @ 7:10 pm

    I can not even comment because all the hearts are flowing from my eyes.


  35. Andrea Bergner
    May 17, 2018 @ 8:08 pm

    There is no part of this post that I don’t love.


  36. OutsidePlaying
    May 17, 2018 @ 8:39 pm

    Nope. Don’t like it. It just doesn’t look finished, polished, sexy, cool, or any of those things in your inspiration photos. I admit I am pretty much a traditional kitchen girl, cook a lot, and can really throw the pots, pans, trays, and what-not around in a kitchen when I cook. This would not work for me for sure. I would go nuts not having plenty of drawers, large and small, and would still be looking for my potato peeler and corkscrew next year.


    • judy
      May 17, 2018 @ 11:52 pm

      I think I am right in saying Paul & Veb are not anywhere near the usual users of Kitchen functions. I doubt if they have anything canned that was not canned by them from produce from their own garden. They don’t eat any animal associated foods so Their needed kitchen amenities must be so much less than the huge storage needs of the average omnivorous humans. Really as long as VEB has her rice cooker ( they take it on vacation) they probably don’t need much more than a big bowl of veggies. Healthy way to live.


  37. Ed Perry
    May 17, 2018 @ 9:54 pm

    I have a couple questions. Is it to code to install an oven right next to your sink. You may want to verify this with your city or county. If not, I’d move it to the wall next to the fridge. That would open a space that you could put a drawer base. Unless you have a lot of storage in the island, there’s only two 22″ wide drawers on that wall, and that is not enough. I hope you are also putting some sort of shelf above the sink. If you wanted to keep it simple, you could run a single shelf down that entire wall.
    I assume you cook some of the time, so you still need to store some basic pots & pans, baking ware, measuring cups, a toaster, a blender, a hand mixer, silverware, serving utensils, storage containers, glassware, dishware, linens, knives, serving platters, bowls, etc. That’s JUST the basics in a kitchen.
    On the other hand, if you only eat takeout food and beverages, you can ignore all that. You’ll need a dishsoap dispenser and a kitchen towel.
    I do like the openness of the plan. You will like the cooktop on the island. I grew up with that feature. I’d probably offcenter the cooktop so that you have a larger prep area on the one side. You don’t have a ton of counter space. If you leave a coffee maker & toaster on the counter, you’ll have even less.


  38. Paisley25
    May 17, 2018 @ 9:55 pm

    I’d get rid of the fridge nook and put the mirror on that wall. Find a way to put a fridge (not necessarily the one you have) in the cabinet configuration. That way you could keep most of the cabinets and not have to put the cooktop on the beautiful piano island. With your new extremely limited cabinet layout, where do you put things like the trash and recycling bins?


  39. Camille
    May 17, 2018 @ 9:57 pm

    My 98 year old dad, a 32 degree Mason and Shriner recently passed. Years ago we discussed the deplorable use of wild animals in ANY circus and particularly those supported by Shriner’s International. He hated the concept and voiced his opinion strongly to all who would listen. The Shriner’s do wonderful things with monies they raise for their hospitals and other charities BUT…this particular method is heinous. We’ve looked the other way long enough. I will pick up the gauntlet, write to “Doug” of the “LuLu” lodge and verbally beat the hell out of him and then follow up with a phone call. These practices are foul, cruel and unacceptable to the extreme. Thank you for being in the bunkers and standing up against all animal cruelty.

    On a brighter note. I love your altered kitchen plans and adore the new mirror. Honestly, you have made me laugh out loud so many times that I’ve thought….book! Is this woman ever going to write a book to document this crazy journey? X


  40. Elaine Stark
    May 18, 2018 @ 12:07 am

    I agree completely. I recently had mere weeks to choose EVERYTHING for a new kitchen (and two bathrooms) and then I left town for a few months. When I returned I took one look at the completed cabinet installation and ordered the installers to remove all the cabinets above the sink/ dishwasher etc. I was warned that I would be short of storage space and that I would receive no money back for unused cabinets. I insisted and I never regretted it. Just thinking of how it looked before gives me claustrophobia and my kitchen isn’t really small. Always trust your gut instinct. It is your kitchen‼️


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *