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  1. Amy
    May 22, 2014 @ 11:02 am

    Phellow Philadelphian here and I, too, feel your pain. And also jealousy for your magic Craigslist touch that gets you all those amazing mirrors. But mostly, your pain. I was laughing through your whole post because yes you are right.

    Unlike you, I am so not DIY-friendly and we had the budget and wherewithal to hire architect + contractors to gut the 1960s half of our ancient (1740s) rowhouse but everybody I tried to work with ended up flaking on me. I guess they had bigger fish to fry (although, believe me, my budget was (and I feel gross admitting this) 6 figures). Luckily they all flaked before they busted anything up.

    So, the more time goes on, the simpler & simpler my kitchen wishes become. I just want a new goddamn kitchen dammit! I don’t have anywhere to put things! The 1960s cabinets are badly laid out AND too tiny, with their divider, to fit a regular 9″ dinner plate. And the drawers, solid wood that they are, expand and contract and get stuck all the time.

    …because I can’t have an ACTUAL kitchen remodel, I pinterest. A lot. I may have spent more time there even than you have 😀 I got over the <3 ostentation right about the time I wanted to put a brick through the second architect+builder's skull.

    Here are some of my more favorite simple kitchens for your viewing pleasure:

    This one is pretty sweet, and it's IKEA:

    Seriously considering hiring somebody to gut and lower the floor, and put the french doors in the back, and then put in those damn free-standing IKEA kitchen bits, because it COULD NOT BE WORSE than what we're living with now:


    • Elizabeth
      May 22, 2014 @ 12:06 pm

      Amy for the win! Seriously awesome.


  2. Kim
    May 22, 2014 @ 11:04 am

    Your posts never fail to bring a smile (or outright guffaw) to my face 🙂 I dream of kitchens, I pin pretty kitchens, I have drawn a gazillion (okay, maybe only 300 or so) designs on graph paper of our future kitchen… We started building in 2012. Not sure we’ll ever actually get beyond the garage. Why the garage first, you ask? So we could store ALL OUR STUFF while building, of course.

    All the while living in a teeny, tiny, less-than-400-square-foot casita. Two rooms and a bath. Not two bedrooms, TWO ROOMS. My kitchen is the most impractical one I’ve ever had, lacking any measure of functionality. In 2013 we designed a set of cabinets that would also give us countertop space, but we haven’t had time to build it yet. We’re still FINISHING THE GARAGE. Because we live overseas, things take longer. Much, MUCH longer. Until the garage is actually finished, my husband has no space to work, and can’t get to his tools, to build those cabinets. Meanwhile I make do in the 9×15 space we call the kitchen/dining/living space of our casita.

    And dream of kitchens, pin pretty kitchens, and continue to draw designs of my future kitchen on graph paper…


  3. Melissa @ HOUSEography
    May 22, 2014 @ 11:07 am

    Here’s my kitchen!

    I was too much of a wimp to use marble but in my next kitchen (hah!) I will!!


  4. judy
    May 22, 2014 @ 11:10 am

    I am surprised that you (with your genius for finding stuff) are pursuing a manufactured kitchen that I am afraid will end up looking like every other kitchen on the pin boards. I see LL heart pine floor pickled and 6 coats of poly applied by a guy with a pick up truck who works cheap. An enormous side board or two back to back with a cutting board top or quartz top. Found glass fronted cabinets very tall, some burly open shelving and a pantry closet if space allows. If I’m not mistaken Victorian kitchens were for the servants. Utilitarian, charming, but not the realm 0f the Lady of the house. “Do not wallow in the furrow made by the lowing herd.” VEB- you are far too smart for that and I wanna see what a genius working to a small budget can actually come up with. I don’t imagine my suggestions have merit, just a brain jog to get you away from what everybody else has already done. Blow the budget on that fancy stove you so admire. Love ya and you are a genius!


  5. Elaine
    May 22, 2014 @ 11:18 am

    Why even question? Your kitchen MUST be Liberace meets Versailles.


  6. Cecile W. Morgan
    May 22, 2014 @ 11:18 am


    I always enjoy your posts! We have been working on our circa 1900 Folk Victorian for the past 30 years. No, we aren’t finished yet, but it gives you plenty of time to change your mind or make it even better than your original idea. Only one bathroom is left and hopefully, that will happen this summer. Meanwhile we have raised, educated, and married off children with very little debt. Old houses are so forgiving.

    I do have one little suggestion: DITCH THE WHITE PAINT. An old house should age gracefully and be allowed to be imperfect. White requires perfection. Maybe consider a mellower color…there are some lovely shades of golds, gray greens, even eggplant. I can tell you enjoy extreme :> Trust me, you will love it.

    I have a couple of photos of our kitchen on Pinterest. Unfortunately, I haven’t posted any toward the work area, but I will try to do that soon.

    Again, I really, really enjoy your posts!

    Cecile W. Morgan


  7. Stacie
    May 22, 2014 @ 11:22 am

    Check out my friend Leah’s kitchen in Tuesday’s BHG 🙂

    I know her.

    We’re friends.

    And she’s in BHG.

    My friend Leah.



  8. Jude
    May 22, 2014 @ 11:23 am

    I am beyond caring if people like my kitchen or not because we absolutely love it and that’s all that matters. Here, if anyone cares:

    Go with your gut and quit looking for inspiration. You clearly have what you need in your head and looking at other images just probably stops it from tumbling out!


  9. Sarah
    May 22, 2014 @ 11:35 am

    I am just finishing an 18-month long DIY kitchen overhaul. Literally. Like, today I will decorate, tomorrow I will take pictures, and by sometime next week you will be able to read a blog post with pretty pictures that you can add to your Pinterest hoard. In the mean time, this post has a couple of pictures that give a pretty good idea of what my kitchen currently looks like, minus a few newer projects:

    Go ostentatious or go home! 😉


  10. Deb
    May 22, 2014 @ 11:48 am

    I am now looking forward to a robbery/heist video in the future!! A “heist” seems more your style than a simple robbery, BTW.

    And linearity and sensibility?? Bah. That’s for statisticians. We’re creative types!!!


  11. Michele
    May 22, 2014 @ 11:48 am

    I am on the last two days of a total kitchen tear out in our 1960 California Ranch style house (original kitchen including appliances – UGH) – then will spend the 3-day weekend restocking the kitchen and cleaning, cleaning, cleaning the front part of the house (the dirt is the absolute worst part of the reno, that – and no kitchen sink – be warned, using the tiny guest bathroom sink to wash anything is horrible!). I can provide before and afters next week.

    The kitchen is a U-shape with a large peninsula and open to the breakfast room; we added a wall of pantries opposite the open part of the U. We have espresso hardwood floors (even in the kitchen) and chose: white shaker cabinets, Berenson Metro 160MM pulls – all set center horizontally (my husband thought this would be weird but it’s awesome!!), Carrara counters and slab backsplash including a huge slab to the ceiling behind the hood (no grout lines – yay!), stainless appliances, 30″ Risinger Farmhouse fireclay sink (thank you!), Delta Trinsic faucet.

    We tore out a monstrosity 8′ tall by 8′ wide brick fireplace that was built diagonally in the breakfast room and ate up so much space you actually could not put a table in there … well we don’t need a breakfast room and a dining room anyway, so we put in upper (glass fronted) and lower cabinets on the wall to make a bar area and two club chairs (Pottery Barn Catalina Small Upholstered Armchair in washed linen/cotton Lagoon) – for a lounge area – great place to have a coffee or glass of wine – can’t wait for the furniture and rug to arrive!!


  12. Jeanette
    May 22, 2014 @ 11:51 am

    Ahh…the kitchen. I am so enjoying your kitchen saga as I put off my own (total gut/rehab). Blank slates are a bit intimidating!

    Here is a link to the pinterest board I have started:

    I only have a few pins, mostly around farmhouse/salvage style kitchens. As the kitchen is still a far away hazy place, I haven’t been too serious yet about finding the perfect one, but I love the laundry shoot (my laundry just happens to be directly under the kitchen).

    Good luck! I look forward to seeing what you come up with!


  13. DB
    May 22, 2014 @ 11:51 am

    Why not create collections on Houzz . com which has sources for designers and materials shown?


  14. Elizabeth
    May 22, 2014 @ 12:11 pm

    When we lived in Japan we would buy those planters at shrine sales, for $25, $50 or $100 dollars. We called them hibachis, but they are also sometimes called fish bowls. Those look like the real deal.


  15. Denise
    May 22, 2014 @ 12:13 pm

    Just did my kitchen winter 2014. First drawings from H Depot/Kraftmaid in 2009. Things I learned. #1 Function, function, function. Cabinets & countertops come in lots of styles and colors, do not concern yourself w/style until you have a floor plan. See your kitchen plan in different styles not other peoples.
    My favorite things that happened in at least a dozen rethinks: Huge single bowl sink (can wash dog in it), lots of deep drawers for everything (doors are for people who like to explore caves), water heater moved behind the big sink (like having instant hot water), drink/bar area separated from cooking area, huge separate Whirlpool sidekicks (budget friendly & no garage frige necessary), quartz counter tops and matching backsplash (won’t become the avocado of busy glass tile backsplash) etc. Good Luck!


  16. Tina C.
    May 22, 2014 @ 12:23 pm

    My dream kitchen does not have white and does not have glass cabinets. I hate cleaning and wiping!! I choose surfaces and colors and flooring that do not show dirt / greasy dirt so i don’t have to clean until i want to. I recommend cork flooring because it is warm and easy on the feet while you are standing there cooking. I got natural cork because it is awesomely random patterns and thus hides dirt!!! Also got the biggest, undermount stainless sink – fits so many dirty dishes!!!


  17. Colleen
    May 22, 2014 @ 12:26 pm

    Geez. I’ve just spent 15 minutes looking through all of *my* kitchen pins, hemming and hawing as to which is my favorite. I typically love anything with wood and/or brick/stone in it, so of course I went with a pin that has neither of those in it. Some day I’ll have an actual kitchen I can decorate that will make this intense decision worth it. 😉


  18. Katherine
    May 22, 2014 @ 12:26 pm

    I hear ya. I cannot even write about my kitchen because it will bring me to tears of frustration.
    However, when my ship comes in, I’ll be having one of these:

    Best wishes for a resolution….you’ll have a lightbulb moment soon!


  19. Caroline
    May 22, 2014 @ 12:34 pm

    I did a Google image search on those planters and came up with a source for similar, if not exactly the same:


  20. Pattie C
    May 22, 2014 @ 12:36 pm

    If you really want to feel bad about what you can afford to do in your kitchen go to and check out those kitchens. I guarantee you’ll feel like a loser for days.


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