243 Comments

  1. Diana
    May 28, 2014 @ 10:35 am

    I have passing thoughts about spending lots of money to redo our 1990’s kitchen complete with formica cabinets with wood europulls and a faux granite coutertop. I have these thoughts mainly when I see kitchens like ours on House Hunters and they prospective buyers indicate that it’s hideous and they would have to gut the whole thing. But on a day-to-day basis, my kitchen is just fine. I do have off white appliances, but they work. And there are times I love our peachy formica cabinets because they are so easy to clean when I spill something down the front. Someday we might redo our kitchen, but for now we’re good.

    Reply

    • Meg
      May 28, 2014 @ 5:33 pm

      Oh yes…House Hunters. I can’t tell you how often they buyers are saying how awful a kitchen is and they couldn’t possibly live with it for 1 minute…and its soooo much better than the one I have. Perhaps my standards are far too low…or maybe just my budget. I agree with so many others here…create a great kitchen on a budget…now that is impressive.
      keep up the wonderful posts. You make us all laugh.

      Reply

      • christine
        May 29, 2014 @ 7:39 pm

        Meg – i thought the same thing!!! that the ‘oh it’s much too tiny’ bathroom is huge compared to mine. That’s OK, I make myself feel better thinking how they’re up to their eyeballs in debt (maybe).

        Reply

      • Dorothy Meyers
        June 12, 2014 @ 6:45 pm

        The comment that always gets me is that we love the charm and quirkiness of older homes and when they see one, they can’t stand the dark little kitchen, the bathroom off the kitchen and small rooms…among other things. These are the things of older homes.

        Reply

  2. carrie @ brick city love
    May 28, 2014 @ 10:35 am

    HAHAHAHA!

    Reply

  3. Kimberly ~ SerendipityRefined
    May 28, 2014 @ 10:39 am

    Oh Victoria, I DO …I DO “embrace” oak cabinetry from the 1980’s! Fortunately, the “embrace is usually more of a “bear hug” as I’m carrying it to the back of a van or truck waiting to haul it to the Re-store or, in cases where the plastic wood grained contact paper in the bottom of the cabinet has finally torn away and exposed the now chemical soaked particle board floor of the cabinet, I embrace the cabinet as I respectfully bid it farewell as the trash truck empties the dumpster on Tuesday morning just after coffee.

    Luckily for me, my current kitchen has been overrun with black mold from the leaking refrigerator and the oven needs a new thermostat which I’ve been told will cost nearly as much as a new unit so I’ll be getting a new kitchen later this year. I suppose that I should just put myself WAY ahead of the next 20 or so years of “trends” and just go ahead and order golden oak cabinets then wait for them to come back into style but with I figure that I’ll be moved to the retirement home about 6 months before they become popular and my brilliance will be lost on the next owners…..so I’ll probably just go with gray. Please let me know when you go to mine your marble, if you don’t mind, I’ll give you my measurements and just have you mine some for me as well. That’ll allow me time for things like trying to determine if I should order harvest gold appliances or not.

    Reply

  4. Cheryl Land
    May 28, 2014 @ 10:41 am

    I just freaking love your posts. I am so over the trend of white on white. It’s utter crap. I don’t want to NEED to wear sunglasses every time I enter the damn kitchen for how freakin bright it would be were it Peacocked up. UGH. And stainless steel can kiss my very large hiney. It’s a pain in the ass to clean, and is too damn sterile looking. UGHGGHHH!! RIGHT ON GIRLIE!! Viva le 80’s oak cabinetry!! *HUGS*

    Reply

    • christine
      May 29, 2014 @ 7:41 pm

      this is my favorite comment – your blog gets the *best* comments!!!

      Clearly all your readers are awesome.

      Reply

  5. Mary Deckert
    May 28, 2014 @ 10:43 am

    Even if I had the money, my fear is that I would be the last person in America putting in a giant-white-marble-stainless steel-dark wood floor- hide the fridge-Wolf range- Dualit toaster kitchen. As soon as designers heard I was on board, they’d say “that’s it, time to move on to super luxe garages.” I believe I’m known to them as the last person in America to put brass in a new house in 2002. And yes, I know brass is back, but not my brass.
    You really should snag that faucet to take advantage of the free shipping though.

    Reply

  6. Christine
    May 28, 2014 @ 10:44 am

    Thank you for this post! I am guilty of falling down the luxury kitchen rabbit hole via Pinterest, and it never leads to anything good. Everyone on the internet has amazing architecture, design, finishes, and beautiful marble. But, our old cabinets that I will be repainting and the laminate counters that are still okay are fine. The old white fridge and even older gas range do their job. We have a kitchen that is more than good enough.

    Reply

  7. Jean Thomson
    May 28, 2014 @ 10:45 am

    Victoria, You speak the truth! I like to look at Julia Child’s kitchen (on display at the Smithsonian, but you can google it) and think about all the fabulous food she cooked there.
    It’s simple, and it’s homey…Ok, granted she did have a lot of kitchen “toys”, but still…
    I have a theory that grandiose kitchens do NOT make for better cooking!!! XO

    Reply

  8. tammigirl
    May 28, 2014 @ 10:50 am

    I think these big white fancy-pants kitchens are gorgeous. But they also aren’t my style because they are a bit harsh for me. Luckily, we built our house, so I got to make a lot of choices. I took the maple butterscotch glaze cabinets. They are pre-dirtied for you, so gunk build-up looks like it belongs there – which is the PERFECT cabinets for me.

    I think people should get something they really which works for them instead of what they think other people think they should have. This way, the love will last.

    Reply

  9. Stacey @ dohiy
    May 28, 2014 @ 10:50 am

    Victoria Elizabeth Barnes: the antidote for the common blog.

    I feel your frustration. It’s so easy to get sucked into the aspirational quicksand. Fight the power!

    Reply

  10. Lori
    May 28, 2014 @ 10:50 am

    Don’t you mean that you will be going to Italy so PAUL can mine your dream marble?

    Reply

    • Cheapdiva
      May 29, 2014 @ 8:31 am

      Hahahaha! Boy, you have VEB down pat!!!

      Reply

      • christine
        May 29, 2014 @ 7:43 pm

        so true! probably Paul will have to mine it, and then re-customize some customized cabinet that doesnt *quite* fit the house shape (or a better Peacock idea comes along…)

        Reply

  11. Diane Amick
    May 28, 2014 @ 10:50 am

    What we all need to understand is that each and every one of those glorious photos/kitchens you and the rest of us lust after require: a full-time cook so that the stove/ovens are constantly producing the most glorious food imaginable/a full-time cleaning person so that every glass-front cabinet, open-shelf storage area, farmhouse sink, baking center, glassfronted refrigerator and/or wine fridge is always sparking and spotless, a full-time floor polisher so that the gleaming wood floors look like NO ONE has ever walked upon them/a full-time florist and gardener to produce the stunning arrangements of flowers and/or fruits and vegetables that seem to pour from every possible corner, and a full-time marble/granite/soapstone professional to keep all of that glorious stone in tip-top condition. Let’s just face it – none of us live like this…and never will. Reel in the idea that we deserve the kitchen of our dreams because someone(s) will have a lot of work keeping it looking like those photos. I’d rather have an OK kitchen that gets dirty and used when I feel like cooking, and frequent the local restaurants when I don’t. I’m OK with not having a pot-filler at the stove, marble everywhere, open shelving, and flowers/veggies sprouting on every surface. The pinkish-busy granite that I didn’t choose and the over-sized island with a strange layout will just have to be good enough………..for now.

    Reply

    • Mia
      October 13, 2014 @ 9:12 am

      You are SPOT ON…!! Do you think the kitchens in those photos are ever used for anything but to impress..? While the cleaning ladies are in there, making everything look ‘magazine worthy’, the ‘frazzled’ woman of the house is out at her exercise class, then yoga, followed by a round of golf and a mani-pedi. After which she’ll call the posh restaurant in town to get ‘gourmet take out’, to be delivered to that fabulous kitchen, just in time for the ‘staff’ to get there to set it all out, as she jumps into the shower to ‘fluff and buff’, after her HARD DAY..! LOL My simple kitchen, which my husband built in the space of the gutted one, in one month, about 10 years ago, with stock Shaker cabinets, for about $3,500. I was lucky (if you could call it that) because there was very little room for deviation from the plan that used to be a long galley kitchen. Like Victoria says, she wishes there was only one way to put it together. Hubby is now out there now, trying to clean up after the fabulous dinner I put together last night. I was a cooking fool all day. Yesterday. Today I was hoping to enjoy, but I have to save my kitchen from ‘the builder’ who is trying to clean it… The dishes will all be broken, so gotta go..! Have a great day ladies.. And keep posting. I’m so enjoying this blog..!

      Reply

  12. Patience
    May 28, 2014 @ 10:51 am

    Down with the tyranny of Pinterest! Why would anyone want a kitchen island the size of a king-sized bed anyway? You wouldn’t be able to reach the middle to clean it and it must take three minutes to circumnavigate the thing. I’m definitely on board the humble kitchen trend.

    Reply

  13. GreenCanary
    May 28, 2014 @ 11:00 am

    I would agree with the whole “accept your kitchen as it is!” mindset – it would be a whole lot cheaper to do so – but I have only two drawers in my whole kitchen, and neither of them work. Tell me, who can survive in a kitchen with only two drawers?! I need more drawers. I need them.

    Reply

    • Linda
      May 31, 2014 @ 12:20 pm

      Yes, you do! That’s nearly impossible to deal with. That’s an actual emergency. Good luck. I’ll pray for you.

      Reply

      • GreenCanary
        June 5, 2014 @ 10:25 am

        Thank you, Linda! I will take your prayers. Goodness knows my kitchen needs them!

        Reply

      • GreenCanary
        June 5, 2014 @ 11:05 am

        P.S. I once dated a guy who had NO drawers in his kitchen AND had no dresser in his bedroom! Also, no drawers in the bathroom. His ENTIRE HOUSE was DRAWER-LESS. It was the apocalypse of stashing-stuff, all chaos and woe.

        Reply

  14. Kissa
    May 28, 2014 @ 11:03 am

    Beg pardon, but my range is “BISQUE”! It goes much better with sauce splatters.

    Reply

    • Kate
      June 1, 2014 @ 9:13 pm

      Just lol’ed at this! Loving this comment thread as I am also a proud owner of a 90s kitchen… Though not bisque. 🙂

      Reply

  15. Sarah
    May 28, 2014 @ 11:04 am

    I have been staring at my kitchen for two years now trying to decide what to do. I have a 1960s oven/range thing that takes up half the kitchen, works, and I plan to keep it. How do you build a kitchen around an oven/range thing (technical name I know)?

    Reply

    • Chad's Crooked House
      May 28, 2014 @ 12:02 pm

      The only challenge I could see with this is that it might be a width that’s not common today. You might find a hood that is the same width and you might not. but you could always get a chimney style hood and go a little narrower than the range if necessary. Style wise, I’ve seen recreated retro kitchens that are awesome and old stoves in both high modern and fancy traditional kitchens, so you can do what you want.

      Reply

  16. Susan
    May 28, 2014 @ 11:15 am

    You are soooooo right on! Love your posts!

    Reply

  17. Teresa Hamlin
    May 28, 2014 @ 11:18 am

    Victoria – what’s with all the whiter-than-white kitchens? This does not reflect your normal style or our (by “our” I am referring to the “Victoria Elizabeth Barnes fan club”, but you knew that) dream kitchen of Pilar Guzzman What with all your Craigslist skills and the incredibly resourceful, creative & talented Paul by your side, you HAVE to be able to replicate or re-invent, surely? Here’s a little more (warm & colourful) inspiration for you:

    http://www.pinterest.com/customhousedesi/kitchens-to-cook-in/

    I hope this gets you back on the straight & narrow….!

    Reply

  18. magge b
    May 28, 2014 @ 11:30 am

    I feel your pain. When I first saw the kitchen in the old farmhouse (shack) we purchased my first impulse was, “Everything must go”. Then I thought, “I can’t afford everything” So I stripped and repainted the cabinets in a Martha Stewart white (we all know she knows color), added new antique looking cup pulls that said, “You aren’t living in a shack you are living in an antique house so crummy cabinets are really sheikh” And I’m adding an island using an 18″ & a 24″ base cabinet with a dishwasher between surrounded by bead board painted a trendy color. Top not yet decided. Total cost for the rework about $400. Like cheap wine. Instead of showing the label with the year you show the price tag.

    Reply

  19. Penny Mason
    May 28, 2014 @ 11:32 am

    Dear Victoria,
    You are truth, faith and laughter to my heart!

    Reply

  20. judy
    May 28, 2014 @ 11:33 am

    We had to replace the appliances in this 40 year old house because they died, one by fire-the microwave- and the others of old age. I researched what I needed, at the time a large fridge/freezer so the Samsung bottom drawer freezer/French door fridge which we love. I wanted gas for the stove and only had propane so the Electrolux propane gas stove, kitchen aid dishwasher, and Samsung microwave. Total $6500.00. We covered the floor with a dark looking vinyl tile that has glued sides on strips of large tiles. And we put it down when in our seventies when neither one of us could bear to kneel. Ouch! kept the white counter top, very clean looking-painted the cabinets black and used the long dull chrome tube like handles. Collection of old toile trays and prints on the painted bead board walls. Only regret is stainless that is constantly not stained but smeared. YUCK! To me it’s not at all impressive, it’s my idea of pretty and that’s what I enjoy. Pretty says come on in and relax and lets have a chat, the white monuments to money spent say WE are quite spectacular and you may not quite measure up-and for Gawds sake don’t spill anything!

    Reply

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