128 Comments

  1. Susan
    August 27, 2013 @ 10:08 am

    I feel your pain/frustration/obsession. I am designing a 33 x 18 kitchen from scratch in a new construction huge New England home and all the endless possibilities are kicking my OCD into overdrive.

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      August 27, 2013 @ 10:16 am

      When people talk about “loving” Pinterest… I secretly think they are insane.
      To me, it’s an instrument of torture.

      Reply

      • Ann-M
        August 27, 2013 @ 11:17 am

        I am still heartbroken you were unable to repurpose the HUGE wardrobe in you kitchen. It’s breathtaking.

        Reply

        • Christina
          August 27, 2013 @ 12:42 pm

          Me too! It would be so perfect!

          Reply

      • margaret
        August 28, 2013 @ 1:09 pm

        I love Pinterest deeply. It is a file folder for possibilities. I do empathize with your “endless possibilities” stage of kitchen planning. I am doing my kitchen in stages which allows for a prolonged suffering tempered with small victories. I have refinished the cabinets which saved a ton of money over buying all new from scratch. Sometimes money trumps desire. I consider it an exercise in turning a sow’s ear into a silk purse. It is surprisingly satisfying in spite of not getting all new fancy cabinets. When my husband challenged some of my choices I told him he should be on bended knee thanking the kitchen gods that I didn’t opt for new cabinets. It was saving him so much money that if I wanted to paint the interior of the upper cabinets Aegean Sea blue he should be delighted.

        Reply

      • donnal
        August 28, 2013 @ 8:02 pm

        Most of your kitchens repeat the same theme, high cupboards, white, and lots of space for stuff . . .

        Reply

  2. Lori
    August 27, 2013 @ 10:10 am

    I want that huge fireplace.

    And a butler’s pantry.

    And a butler would be nice too.

    Tell Paul he can get on that for me, after he does your bidding of course.

    Thanks!!

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      August 27, 2013 @ 10:17 am

      I would be totally fine with the giant fireplace and rusting stove. Think of the time I’d save cleaning.

      Reply

      • Lori
        August 27, 2013 @ 10:25 am

        No, Honey. You cannot do the rusty stove. There is nothing sparkly about it; nor is it gilt; and I am pretty sure there are probably dead carcasses in it. It might not even make a good work bench in some unfortunate person’s garage. Unless, of course, your plan is to make Paul take you to brunch and dinner every day for the rest of your life. Which may not be a bad idea. But you still need something pretty to look at.

        Reply

      • Irene
        August 29, 2013 @ 5:18 pm

        I also love the huge fire place and the rusted out stove. I’m sure you could find someone to clean all the rust off it and bring it back to life and paint it in a beautiful color with some chrome accents. Then the oven could be updated with a self cleaning oven and beautiful color on the inside to accent the outside color. Then of course the stove will need the burners painted a color to accent the stove color. It would be so beautiful and your husband will be happy because you wont have to buy a new stove. Never mind that it will cost the price of 5 or 6 or more new stoves to get that beauty all fixed up. LOL I love love love the green kitchen best of all. The glass in the doors is so pretty. Your kitchen help could keep the glass cupboard doors cleaned and keep the inside of the cupboards dusted and your beautiful dishes and bowls and such clean bright and shiny. The green kitchen reminds me of the built in cupboards with glass doors and drawers below for table cloths and such in our dining room in the old farm house I grew up in. I loved that house and my heart is still there even though the house has been gone for many years.

        Reply

      • Robin smith
        August 12, 2019 @ 12:00 pm

        I WOULD live all life in that big room with the marble fireplace and the rusted stove,… !
        Even … will hopefully .. the stove doesn’t work and I can decorate it while I order food in… uber eats, peapod etc…..

        🙂
        SOmetimes I hear laughing when I put my search request into Pinterest… like it is laughing at the 4 milioon hits it will return and 16 hours later I still feel I may miss something on that next window!!

        So of course I had to go build a garden “she shed” so not only to I search for the 500 sq ft cottage, the yards , the junk journals, flower boxes, easy care plants and up-cycling EVERYTHING… Now I got all the she shed questions too! Oh boy…

        Reply

  3. Kiki
    August 27, 2013 @ 10:11 am

    I know EXACTLY what it is you want – having lived in one Victorian pile (1884-owned) & 1889 (rented), in a wintner’s home in a picturesque village in Switzerland, dating back to 1430 and added constantly (so I know a thing or two about bad, very bad surprises, severed water pipes and electricity conduits- falling ceilings and more) and being homed presently in a French stone house from 1920 (plenty…. surprises – bad ones – and tremendous costs) I can so rely to EVERYTHING you write. I also had and have scrap books and bulging folders with kitchen design and stuff you need to rob a LARGE bank first before considering going ahead and I shall faithfully put my thinking cap on an tell you what you REALLY need, my love 🙂

    Reply

  4. badkitty
    August 27, 2013 @ 10:16 am

    You don’t want a damned ladder in your kitchen, trust me. It will be in your way constantly, and you’ll hate it and be afraid to mention that you hate it because nothing about the kitchen works without the damned ladder.

    Also, you DON’T really want open shelving – you only want the feel you get off the photos you see of kitchens with open shelving, which is of great space, organization, and someone else responsible for cleaning dust and grease spatter off all the stuff on those shelves. (don’t do those drawers with the open bit for a handle, same reason)

    You DO want marble, because it’s awesome and can make any look just sort of MORE whatever it is. You do want glass-front antique cabinets, for the same reason. You want industrial/steampunky appliances, you want whimsical fixtures, retro hardware, ONE butler’s pantry that’s got all the repurposed goodies you can stack in it, different and totally unexpected lighting throughout the whole, and a fireplace in one corner to make it feel like you actually live in a castle but your prince totally updated everything else for you after he was done showing proper enthusiasm for the disco balls.

    You know I’m right

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      August 27, 2013 @ 10:19 am

      YOU HAVE JUST DESCRIBED MY KITCHEN THAT LIVES IN MY HEAD.

      (but I do sort of want a ladder, which is why I need an EXTRA pantry, so it won’t be in the way in the REAL pantry.)

      Reply

      • badkitty
        August 27, 2013 @ 10:21 am

        You’ve got the space, goodness knows… what else were you going to do with that weird addition?

        Unless it becomes the music room, or ladies’ salon, or something equally Victorian to the degree that it actually comes right out and asks you for the smelling salts

        Reply

        • Lori
          August 27, 2013 @ 10:31 am

          “You don’t want a damned ladder in your kitchen…”

          THANK YOU, and amen!

          She also wants hand-scraped, wide-plank wood floors totally updated to take the worry out of having wood floors in the kitchen. And crown moulding…she wants that too, everywhere it can go; not that carved stuff that belongs on furniture in a bedroom ala the portal to Narnia because cleaning grease and kitchen mess out of that is the devil and only for people who either have a maid or have too much time on their hands.

          Reply

      • tammigirl
        August 27, 2013 @ 12:07 pm

        She is right about how you do not want the ladder. I did built in book shelves in L’s office and did the ladder, too. Even though we NEED some sort of ladder to reach the top shelves. Now that ladder stays in the garage. You will hate that ladder. If you insist on a ladder, have it be in the Butler’s pantry.

        Reply

      • cassie
        August 21, 2015 @ 5:51 pm

        Want to be my best friends? This is the most divine site!!!!! Thank you Victorian Victoria. Baddddkitty, you are so good. I was just dreaming up plans to include a ladder in our kitchen after my boyfriend returned from a trip to South Carolina where he stayed in an old mansion from the revolutionary war era that had a library themed kitchen. With a rolling ladder. My inner library lady lost her hairpins ‘researching’ and I found you people! I’m drooling.

        Reply

    • Kiki
      August 27, 2013 @ 10:41 am

      Do do NOT want marble in your kitchen! Believe me; it’s hell – what you want is granite (or at a push something to look like granite. I had it twice and I did EVERYTHING on it, putting hot pans on it, cutting veggies, meat, bread and whatnot – marble actually should be called trouble… The Victorian kitchen make-over is IT!
      And yes, a ladder is a great hindrance, and no help – if you Victoria need a ladder to get something down, you lose interest in a matter of minutes.

      Reply

      • Laurel
        August 27, 2013 @ 12:49 pm

        I would suggest soapstone. I have granite, and although I’m ashamed to admit it, I hate it. I hate that it doesn’t weather nicely, and that it always looks clean (or always looks dirty) and the inevitable chips that it develops on the edges don’t give it that “charming lived-in” look that they would with soapstone. They just give it that “owner is a clutz” look.

        Reply

    • Elizabeth Alexanderia
      August 28, 2013 @ 12:07 am

      Badkitty – you are my hero.

      Reply

  5. Jude
    August 27, 2013 @ 10:17 am

    We’ve just finished our kitchen diner and the amount of decisions we needed seriously made my brain ache. Picture overload available here: http://1910housetohome.wordpress.com/after/kitchen-diner-2/
    Not everyone’s taste, but we absolutely love it.

    My desire list started off just as whimsical but then my practical kicked in (along with budget realisations……) and then it all just fell into place. Good luck with narrowing it down!!

    Reply

    • tammigirl
      August 27, 2013 @ 12:12 pm

      Amazing kitchen! You did a wonderful job with it. And you’re right, it’s not everyone’s taste. I never understood why any of us should make our homes in everyone’s taste. We live in it, so needs to make us happy. To me, that should be all that matters. The only decorating rules I care about are my decorating rules. As far as I know, the only rule I have is “If it makes me happy, it is good.”

      Reply

      • Jude
        August 27, 2013 @ 12:25 pm

        Couldn’t agree more, thanks!! The Mother-in-Law was less impressed with our choices. But hey, that’s a style barometer for me. Just wait till she sees what we’re planning to do with our master bedroom!!

        Reply

  6. Julie
    August 27, 2013 @ 10:17 am

    After reading all your prose about your wonderful ideas and gazing longingly at the photos, including your multitude of pinterest board pins, all I can say, Victoria, is that you need to keep looking on craigslist for another Narnia/Downton Abbey portal or two!
    Pilar Guzman’s design is by far my favourite for your gigantic personality!
    Nothing less will do and I KNOW Paul will be exceptionally happy to support you in achieving this goal. After all, he now has some experience with those amazing portals.
    Onward and upward!
    Nothing less will do!

    Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      August 27, 2013 @ 10:34 am

      Everyday… I. LOOK. EVERYDAY. So far nothing… although I DID find a neon Elvis sign.

      Reply

      • Helena Handbasket
        August 27, 2013 @ 11:17 am

        Which you bought, right?

        RIGHT???

        Reply

      • Julie
        August 27, 2013 @ 11:34 am

        Persistence is only one of your incredible attributes- where others may fail, I know you will succeed .
        I’m cheering for you.

        Reply

    • Cheri
      August 27, 2013 @ 12:06 pm

      I agree with Julie. Victoria, you must keep looking for inspiration. I am at the end of restoring my 1880 farm house. I found my inspiration on ebay through a man who salvages leaded glass doors, fixtures and windows. There are so many cool old homes that are being torn down in big cities. I know what you need is still out there. It is waiting for you to find it. If you want his number just send me an email. If this guy can’t help you then he might have some ideas for you. It also helps to have a carpenter who is a perfectionist and takes great pride in what he does.

      Reply

  7. Laurie
    August 27, 2013 @ 10:17 am

    Yes. This. I get this. 40,000 adjectives and a “feeling” and I can’t turn any of it into action or a plan. In the meantime, my kitchen is gone, I’m walking on a sub-floor, and firing general contractors pretty much eliminating any hope of having a kitchen.

    Maybe you and your husband should come to my house to “practice” what you want for your own kitchen.

    I give.

    Reply

  8. Dianne
    August 27, 2013 @ 10:17 am

    I am absolutely sure you’ve thought of this already (and I certainly don’t want to add many more choices to your list) but…. I have found that searching a real estate site (like zillow or realtor) for homes just like mine lets me look at rooms that are, indeed, just like mine. They are not mine, they have been decorated and designed by someone else. But the period of the home is the same and the general shape of the rooms is the same. This prevents me from spending hours on “dream room” sites that show me ideas that are totally impractical for a home just like mine. Because my house is where I live now, not what I will build when I win the lottery. Just saying.

    Reply

  9. Bob
    August 27, 2013 @ 10:23 am

    Reply

    • badkitty
      August 27, 2013 @ 10:26 am

      OMG, I totally change what I said now to include a trapdoor. There should ALWAYS be a trapdoor. And a lever. And another lever next to it, so I can ask, “why do we even HAVE that lever?” Every Single Day.

      Reply

      • Bob
        August 27, 2013 @ 10:36 am

        My favorite is the trap door with the kids table over it. My bet is that it swings down.

        Reply

    • Victoria Elizabeth Barnes
      August 27, 2013 @ 10:36 am

      Dumbfounded… who knew there were still ideas on the internet that I hadn’t seen?

      Reply

    • thiacomo
      August 27, 2013 @ 2:23 pm

      I saw these in Paris sidewalk cafes over the summer. Some cafes were too small to house the wine collections and other such things. It’s brilliant, and very fine to look at. You should do it.

      Reply

    • Lori
      August 28, 2013 @ 11:09 am

      I want one at my front door with a button to open in on the inside.

      Reply

  10. Rebeccah
    August 27, 2013 @ 10:24 am

    Maybe someone should just come start knocking things out with a sledgehammer. It’s amazing how much more quickly your brain narrows down a decision when sh*t starts to get real.

    Reply

    • JamieAbe
      August 27, 2013 @ 5:59 pm

      EXACTLY!!! Nothing brings on lower expectations that ripping out the only two bathrooms you have (AT THE SAME TIME) and leaving nothing but a teetering toilet and tub to use for months. And I might mention that that was for 5 people. Sh*t got real!

      Reply

  11. Melissa
    August 27, 2013 @ 10:26 am

    DO NOT put in a ladder unless you can remove it easily and stash it way out of the way. It seems like a good idea, but at some point, you will want to set it on fire to get it the hell out of your way.

    Reply

  12. Susan Wener
    August 27, 2013 @ 10:28 am

    Love your kitchen photos… I rather like the one just before Martha’s butler’s pantry 🙂 !

    Seriously, I find that sometimes with kitchen “remodels” it’s best to start all over again. Just tear everything out and look at it like a blank canvas, er, room. Think out of the box… no, realize there is no box. I know, I know…there are plumbing issues to consider but, really, you have The Amazing Paul so what’s the problem??

    And if you really don’t need another bathroom, lose that powder room… You’ll have a fairly large space to work with so get at it!! We’ll all be watching!

    Reply

  13. Melissa from the Blue House
    August 27, 2013 @ 10:31 am

    What really stinks is we only get one kitchen. ONE. And dangit, it has to be practical unless, you know, its for the servants to cook in.

    Reply

  14. LINDA
    August 27, 2013 @ 10:34 am

    You are a woman after my own heart. I am a kitchen designer and I love your blog! I have shared this with so many of my crazy friends in and around the business. Now you are talking_ kitchens the heart and sole of the home!
    Check out Habersham Home- kitchens it is custom-fitted furniture for the kitchen, oh girl_ it has you written all over it! It would look great in your home! I’ll be your muse, ask any questions you have about your kitchen design questions!

    Reply

  15. Elizabeth
    August 27, 2013 @ 10:34 am

    Logic would dictate you need to build out both your old kitchen and your horrible family room and I think that is where you are falling down. Only a crazy person would push through the wall and including your dining room in your new kitchen. I think you might be just that person!

    Reply

  16. LINDA
    August 27, 2013 @ 10:35 am

    Not sole, soul! LOL

    Reply

  17. John @ Our Home from Scratch
    August 27, 2013 @ 10:38 am

    Christopher Peacock, you SOB! Why have you forsaken me? (Waves fists)

    Don’t forget the dumbwaiter!

    Reply

  18. Siouxzie Q
    August 27, 2013 @ 10:40 am

    Your Pintrest board made me dizzy and euphoric and greedy all at once. Talk about gateway drugs.

    Reply

  19. Susan Garner
    August 27, 2013 @ 10:41 am

    Who is this “Don” person you want to be comfortable in your new kitchen??
    Have I missed something?
    If it’s any comfort, deciding on any kitchen design can be a major headache. It’s a huge investment, so you want to get it right. Our house is contemporary….lots of glass. Not much wall space for cabinets. Planning took a long time (without the added distraction of Pinterest)….but the end result is fabulous. Your future kitchen awaits and it will be fabulous as well!! Hang in there!

    Reply

    • Naomi J
      August 27, 2013 @ 1:08 pm

      She is talking about Don Draper, of Mad Men fame. He is dreamy,but oh-so-sleazy too. She has a crush on him.

      Reply

  20. Ellen
    August 27, 2013 @ 10:41 am

    MUST. HAVE. DUMBWAITER. – preferably without HARRIET THE SPY hiding in it. I’ve always wanted one & have only ever seen two, in REALLY large houses. It should come with at least one scullery maid to operate it for you….

    Reply

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