1. Barbara
    May 22, 2014 @ 6:45 pm

    The kitchen renovation TV shows always make me laugh. Do they really think the granite countertops and stainless appliances they absolutely MUST have won’t date just as quickly as the kitchens they ruthlessly criticize? In fact, it’s my understanding that granite and stainless are already passé.
    I grew up in an 1840’s Greek Revival farmhouse, and while changes were occasionally made such as painting the cabinets and removing linoleum, the basic design was very simple and perfectly functional. It could go from 80’s cluttered country to today’s pared-down look easily and inexpensively. Numerous pies, loaves of bread and Thanksgiving dinners were made there, and they were utterly delicious.
    Not everyone starts out with a kitchen with innate character, but the rush to spend thousands, tens of thousands and more seems crazy to me. And I guess as long as my kitchen allows my husband and myself to cook delicious food for our family, I’d rather make a few cosmetic changes and go to Europe a few times with the difference.


    • judy
      May 23, 2014 @ 12:57 pm

      This describes what I think the heart of the house and where guests tend to congregate should be, kind of timeless, functional and charming. It’s the lives lived in a house that make it a home not the cost of the stuff-IMHO Veb has a genius for creating elegance while not spending a fortune which is why I follow this blog and not the people with seemingly bottomless wallets. Who can’t be impressive with an army of decorators, architects’ and a mansion to fill up.


  2. Karen
    May 22, 2014 @ 6:52 pm

    Oh my goodness Dear VEB, you have only looked at all the kitchens on Pinterest? You need to see all the kitchens on the internet! I think if it can be done, you can do it. Now go forth, and find the end of the internet.



  3. Vikki
    May 22, 2014 @ 7:19 pm

    Victoria, I am also desperately seeking items on Pinterest. re: finding the white porcelain planters. I have been trying to find this art work (two oriental looking figures) for almost 2 years. If anyone has any clues how to find them please let me know.

    I love Pinterest but I am currently in a 10 step program to learn how to go there only once a week. Wish me luck. Vikki in VA


    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      May 22, 2014 @ 8:07 pm

      Hey! You’re the very first other Vikki I’ve ever met! (My family calls me Vikki, spelled just like that.)

      I google image-searched your pin (because, hey I too like giant stuff for my walls and those are lovely.) I didn’t find a source for the wall hangings, but this link downloaded a pdf file… about the 10th photo is of the room. Seems to be from a furniture company’s catalog… maybe you could contact them? Cr laine?

      Again, this downloaded a pdf, did not lead me right to their site.


      • Vikki
        May 22, 2014 @ 10:42 pm

        I’m a Victoria also!

        Thank you for taking the time to research the post from Pinterest for the pictures I must have. I should have mentioned that I contacted C.R.Laine via e-mail and they answered that they no longer had the pictures???

        Checking the link you gave me I noticed their phone number and will be calling them. Maybe TALKING to someone will get me better results. Thanks to you I can tell them the page number to look at in their catalog to see the artwork I am talking about!

        Again ~ thank you for your help. I absolutely love your blog and read everything you post. Vikki in VA


  4. P.j.
    May 22, 2014 @ 7:39 pm


  5. P.j.
    May 22, 2014 @ 7:40 pm


  6. Nancy Busk
    May 22, 2014 @ 7:41 pm

    Read Joan’s blog
    Go to the “How we got here” post. In that section you will link to her very first post. She, like you, is a great collector and she does a terrific job of explaining her vision, her work with contractors, etc. Her kitchen is white and everything has meaning. Enjoy.


  7. Connie in Hartwood
    May 22, 2014 @ 9:14 pm

    Victoria, it sounds like you have fallen victim to Internet Overload. Remember that there is no rule that says that one must be aware of every choice out there in order to make a design decision. You already have your major priorities in place, which is a great start.

    Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and look into your imagination. Your dream kitchen is already designed in your mind, and you can see it if you just look.

    When we did our kitchen, I had a small list of Must Haves … a 48″ Subzero fridge, natural cherry cabinets, and dark counters. Every detail after these worked themselves out as I came to them … terracotta-type floor, handmade subway tile backsplash, etc., etc., etc. You can see a bit of our kitchen in the background of a photo of one of our dogs toward the bottom of this post. http://hartwoodroses.blogspot.com/2014/05/catching-up.html.


  8. Leslie
    May 22, 2014 @ 9:51 pm

    Good lord, do I sympathize! I’m about to start a kitchen renovation, which has caused arguments between me and my husband. For some inexplicable reason, I had many contractors come to give me a quote and THEN NEVER ACTUALLY GIVE ME A QUOTE. I actually had one guy give me a quote for the kitchen, then (because I absolutely had to get off the phone because my kid was about to be run over or something) never quote me for the bathroom, despite multiple calls.

    I’m doing the Ikea route. We don’t know how much longer we’ll live here, and my friend did an amazing job with hers. I figure at this point, it just needs to happen so my husband and I never, ever have to talk about “kitchen progress” again.


  9. Sally
    May 22, 2014 @ 10:09 pm

    Check our greendemolitions.com. They have some giant, fancy kitchens rich people got tired of and donated. Like this white farmhouse kitchen: http://greendemolitions.com/new-canaan-farmhouse-darling-may-2014.html



  10. Julia at Home on 129 Acres
    May 22, 2014 @ 11:01 pm

    Our kitchen is so far down the list and so dependent on other things that I can’t think about what it will be. However, I love that second last photo from BHG. The white and wood mix is perfect. And that marble! I love how thick that slab is.


  11. Donna
    May 22, 2014 @ 11:32 pm

    I live in an apartment and I can’t change the kitchen. It is tragic. 1940s building and the 60s kitchen is just this side of horrid. Stained sparkle Formica countertop, horrible configuration, shellacked plywood cabinets with drawers that smell like funky old wood, stained linoleum, and three different colors of appliances –black, white, & harvest yellow. The stains can’t be removed, I’ve tried EVERYTHING. The worst part? NO DISHWASHER! On the bright side, the apartment is 800sq ft for a steal, which is rare in the SFBay Area. I’ve spent many hours fantasy redecorating. > Sigh<


  12. Cath
    May 22, 2014 @ 11:53 pm

    Too funny. God bless you for bringing a breath of fresh air to the blogosphere. You nailed it with “soul sucking experience.” I can’t find the photo of the exhausted woman trying to throw together a weeknight dinner for the family before bedtime rolls around. I only see women standing around laughing and making pleasant conversation with people who also are not cooking. And, no, I would never let my kid, or anybody, sit on my kitchen countertop unless they they volunteered to Method them clean again immediately. Pull the blinds on your own kitchen and forget all these eyeballs are staring at you waiting for blog-worthy results. Do what makes you really happy and is practical, then take a selfie of you actually cooking dinner.


  13. Magali@TheLittleWhiteHouse
    May 23, 2014 @ 12:56 am

    I have a small fisherman’s cottage with a small kitchen and I’m in the process of remodeling it. Mine is a threesome: beach cottage meets brocante meets ethic. By ethic, I mean I tried to have it made as locally as possible… This is difficult and did influence the look of the kitchen! The last posts are all about the kitchen, if you want to have a look! Nothing pin worthy, but a real kitchen!


  14. Christy
    May 23, 2014 @ 6:31 am


    A link above to some cabinetry that is a must. The (butler’s) pantry latches on the same site are also a must have.

    I follow you on Pinterest. Saves time for me! No point in both of us looking at kitchens that I might like.

    Love your work!


  15. Kiki
    May 23, 2014 @ 7:10 am

    Will come back to you ASAP – Haven’t got the time right now but can’t wait to get a good read and laugh and give my humble advice, ha…..


  16. Apple Hill Cottage
    May 23, 2014 @ 8:33 am

    Here’s the thing: The Number One Rule for any renovation project with a house is to stay true to your house’s architecture. Does one of those white-cabinet-granite-countertopped-fancy island kitchens fit in a Victorian? Well maybe parts… Forget Pinterest (You’ve already wasted way too much time and mined everything there is to offer) and be googling Victorian kitchens. Butler’s pantry, small marble topped area, deep sinks, wall mounted faucets. Forget trends and keep your gorgeous house true to its roots.
    We’ve been two years of weekends gutting our 40s cottage…http://applehillcottage.org/2014/03/11/100-the-not-final-kitchen-post/ ‎
    Get out the paper and start drawing. Count your blessings. You’ve got a hub who can do anything; and that’s something you can’t buy or find on Pinterest. 🙂
    Can’t wait to see your drawings….


  17. Toni
    May 23, 2014 @ 5:56 pm

    I don’t know – I am sick of all these white kitchens, with or without touches of wood. I’m a builder for uber rich and we’ve been building these kitchens for years. I’m so done with them and with gray. Right now I am working with a client and decorator and they are doing different things. It’s refreshing.
    You, VEB, are an original. Depart from Pinterest and go be original in your 1890 Victorian.


  18. Danielle
    May 23, 2014 @ 10:41 pm

    Our kitchen remodel has been stuck too. I have to say that it’s much easier to pin a pretty kitchen than it will be to actually begin the monster project. I just asked Tyson if we might have the cabinets painted in time for Evan’s grad party in two weeks and then we laughed and laughed.


  19. mary wyatt
    May 24, 2014 @ 9:24 am

    I did a google search for “chinese blue and white porcelain jardiniere” and came up with LOTS of planters like those. Very pretty!


  20. Paula
    May 24, 2014 @ 10:29 pm

    We spent the past 4 months renovating our kitchen, right down to the studs. It had to be done because of water/ice damage caused by a storm in December, so our homeowners paid for ALL of it – bonus!

    I wanted a white kitchen and my husband wanted brown. I won. However, when choosing our cabinets, I didn’t want them to look like laminate cabinets from IKEA and that’s exactly what everything was looking like because everything painted was done on Maple. I had the cabinet maker do a sample door on Oak and it was perfect. We had to sign a waiver that we would see wood grain because of the Oak – LOL It is GORGEOUS!!! We ended up going with eggshell instead of stark white, soapstone countertops, Carrera marble subway tile backsplash, gray walls, and dark oak handscraped wide planked flooring. I make big decisions daily and hate to make any decisions when I get home from work – I fretted over a lot of the details for longer than I wanted to, so in the end I just went with what I loved and stopped looking at Pinterest and wishing for what I couldn’t afford. My biggest PITA decision was the hardware on the cabinets! I changed my mind 5 times and ended up with the original pieces. :/


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