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  1. Barbara Chapman
    February 7, 2015 @ 6:45 am

    Hello Victoria,
    It’s okay. I think whatever kitchen you eventually install will be beautiful! I think for you, the hardest part will be, and you probably already are aware of this… your kitchen, being in an old Victorian home, is going to be small. Every photo you’ve shared is of kitchens which are massive. So… with that, take the common likes of each of those photos and build your kitchen. And, yes, put in boxes! 🙂
    You’ll need some of those boxes to actually hide “stuff.” 🙂 With having said that, I would LOVE to remodel our kitchen. Surprisingly, it’s not to change much except to fix the water-damaged cabinets around our sink. Two differnt leaks caused the now-needed fix. If we get to keep the house (still making payments, just hubby needs a job ~ currently out of work and hemorraghing money… Did I spell that hemo-word correctly? This is what I think of when writing after waking up at 3:00am… :)), then maybe we can fix them in a year. No real need, otherwise.
    Just put in one or two non-traditional buffets, bureaus, tables to make it feel “different” and I bet you’ll be happy with the results. Custom is expensive, and you have a wonderful carpenter right there at home just waiting for you to trust him to make yours and his home beautiful! (This is the beauty of being beyond only 10-15 years of marriage; life smooths out after year 20, btw. Year 28 in currently.) Hubby says I have trust-issues with Hubby, but really, it’s him not being okay with me asing questions and feeling comfortable that he understands what I am envisioning. I think we all get in that same boat. 🙂 See, I blamed him, afterall… No, he’s a good guy and I do trust him most of the time! Trust runs both ways and so does Love. 🙂
    Happy Almost Valentine’s Day to you! I’ve missed a bunch of your posts so will have to go back and catch up. Been learning to blog over here myself. Draw out your ideas and let Paul ru free with building. You come back and add the sparkle and corbels!
    Blessings to you , always,
    Barb 🙂


  2. Lynne @The Ornamentalist
    February 8, 2015 @ 6:13 pm

    As many have said, it’s YOUR kitchen. But it may help to justify your ideas by recalling that the fitted kitchen is a 20th century invention (think Bauhaus.) Victorian and 19th century period kitchens never had built-in storage. High chests of drawers were used for sugar, flour, and grains, tables and counters were moveable, and the arrangement flexible. I grew up in a gorgeous 1970s house with built-in floor to ceiling formica covered cabinets in its kitchen, and in that setting it works great (and still looks fresh and uncluttered 42+ years later) but in my 1870 home I kept it a lot more loose and flexible, because that’s what I like and the spaces are too small for “standard” 24″ deep anything. Also– there is a happy medium between open shelving and upper cabinets– it’s called a hutch. The top of a hutch helps keep dust off the dishes etc stored on its shelves, just as a bookcase does.


  3. Moriah
    February 10, 2015 @ 8:37 am

    Hello! I must say, I love your blog! :~D My Mom and I are constantly trying to read your posts when they come out before the other does. I also love spotting things when I’m out and about, usually large sparkly necklaces and knick-knacks that you’d enjoy.

    Yesterday after I spent some time shoveling, I posed next to one of the snowbanks, and as I did so, my Mom remarked to me that I posed just like you in the picture in the top right corner of your blog. I had to laugh and I figured I’d share it with you:

    Have a lovely day! :~D


  4. Krista Petersen
    February 10, 2015 @ 1:34 pm

    You are a hoot to read! Thoroughly enjoy your blog.


  5. Christine
    February 10, 2015 @ 2:02 pm

    I can tell you exactly why people are so rabid about nontraditional kitchens: Because if it’s different, it might mean that they are wrong. Like people who argue. They argue to get people to agree with them, so THEY are not wrong!

    Poverty, the actual mother of invention, has helped me create a very unfitted, .. eclectic kitchen. Yes, I have boxes. I admit it. But their sweet faces are so nonconformist it stops most people in their tracks. People either love it or hate it, but everyone seems to agree that I’m pretty innovative.

    I can’t have (nice things) open shelving without losing my mind. I’ve been rebuilding, going into the 10th year after a fire. The dust. The cat fur. The piles of crap. All nicely hidden behind cabinet doors I’ve built myself. Also … eclectic. Did you know cat fur simply adds texture to paint? I defy someone to replicate My look!

    I’m waiting for the boiling oil. or the end of the world. I can’t say. I’m also not worried about it. There are so many other reasons I’ll BURN that this is minor.

    You’re going to have a very cool kitchen a million people will copy. That’ll give you a reason to reno again. LOL!
    (I have a lot of those pictures you displayed pinned. Great minds…)


  6. Liz
    February 21, 2015 @ 11:18 am

    I am total agreement with a non traditional kitchen. I would be more than delighted with every one of the pictures you have used to illustrate your wants!


  7. Rebecca Polich
    February 22, 2015 @ 2:02 pm

    What interesting reading! In search of unusual ideas for a kitchen in the process of final design, I stumbled upon this forum. I have spent years studying magazines, DIY shows, and endless hours of postings on the internet and experimenting with my homes.

    We purchased our first “new” home when we were transferred to KC,KS about 15 years ago. We needed to make a fast purchase and after countless home viewings I came to the conclusion that basically they all looked alike except for the amount of moldings/trim that had been added to up the price.

    For 15 years I worked to make that home look like it had a story. After my husband was diagnosed with cancer, I had been begging him to downsize out of that house that never really felt like me. He finally retired early after 6 years. We “fell” into an opportunity and purchased a church (our current home) in another state where I had grown up. The church was closing it’s doors and we were able to get a steal.

    We have lived in our church full time now for about six months. The kitchen is really the final big item on the list. The opportunities are endless. I don’t want it to look like any other kitchen. At the end of the day it is all about function but I love a beautiful space. (I’m still looking for that “self-cleaning” kitchen!)

    When we were ready to put our KC house on the market we interviewed several different realtors. The realtors acted as if we had a difficult/unsaleable home with all of the personal touches I had put into our home, especially the kitchen. I was advised to tone down my personal touches which was impossible in the kitchen.

    I had rearranged and painted the “lovely” oak kitchen cabinets, added decorative painting/glazing, elaborate moldings, painted ceilings and even painted my oak kitchen floor to look like tile. Visitors would reach down and touch it to see if it was tile. One entire wall was a treatment using joint compound to make it look like a block wall. Some people that came into our home would roll their eyes about my style. I didn’t care. Mostly, people were fascinated what you could do to make your style unique. My husband had given me permission for the re-do but it was to be done with a very tiny budget.

    I loved our home in KC but I was ready for the “new” adventure to take an empty shell and design top to bottom just the way I wanted it instead of trying to adapt someone else’s design.

    When it was all said and done, we sold our KC home in 7 days for $5,000 less than the asking price. Our house was shown many times in that time period, but we only needed one buyer. Due to today’s technology we had “feed-back”. The house was either loved or not. Since there were endless photos on-line along with a virtual tour that featured everything, I didn’t quite understand why some bothered to walk through it.

    My decorating philosophy has always been – have no fear. Who wants to be the same as everyone else?

    We recently brought in a local cabinet maker for an estimate on our church kitchen. The first thing he tried to tell me was that I did not need two kitchen sinks although the plumbing has already been installed. Everything he proposed was plain and simple – not my style. It was way more than I was willing to invest – more than three times the amount we paid for our 5,000 plus sq ft church.

    The day after we told him “no” we happened upon a Habitat for Humanity about 80 miles from us, that has thousands of brand new kitchen cabinet doors. Many styles, every size, and multiple woods. It was our answer to prayer. We will make the cabinet boxes, and the doors – ($5 each for small, $10 each for 4′ plus) will turn into a beautiful kitchen exactly as we want it to be.

    I believe there is a misconception in our society that “experts” run the rules and amateurs don’t have any design sense.

    I think it was Christopher Lowell that use to say that if you can put together an outfit, your makeup, hair, etc. you can decorate your house. Thank you Christopher and Lynette Jennings! If only I cared about my outfit and hair as much as I love decorating!


  8. Kathleen
    March 13, 2015 @ 4:21 am

    To each their own. My grandmother’s kitchen was made with furniture pieces…a dresser, a hoosier, a floor to ceiling pie safe. And when she saw modern kitchens with cabinets all joined and gleemingly clean she just had to have one. I had a 1900 farmhouse with a farm. Cabinet sections were a LARGE single sink with a small base cupboard on either side. And those hated open shelves. God, how I grew to hate those shelves..try dusting those gluey, sticky greasy dusty shelves. I had to completely wash and scrub the shelves and items weekly. I cooked often then with a large family. It is a chore I do not miss. Like my grandmother I now have base and upper cabinets. I did add tons of details to make it merge with my house of antiques and the cabinets are a natural maple, so I love the graining, cracks and even a knot or two. I loved that things behind glass doors don’t need to be washed weekly!No open shelves for me, but if others like it and have commercial ventilation then fine by me.


  9. Michelle
    April 28, 2015 @ 4:39 pm

    Love your energy and imagination, wonderful project can’t wait to see it completed.


  10. Eden Hares
    September 10, 2015 @ 7:16 pm

    Your blog is so funny! It mirrors our endless home reno/Craigslist obsession/don’t bother me with logic or measurements argument life. I want to scrap all signs of typical cabinetry and use furniture pieces in the kitchen. My husband is far to logical for such crazy whimsy lol. I am totally addicted to craigslist, ( we call it crack-list) the bigger, the gaudier the better. My husband however thinks Pinterest/Craigslist is some kind of calculated attack on the free time of husbands across the world lol. I love the idea of a buffet to house the sink and dishwasher. It’s hard to find inspirations of furniture kitchens, thank you fo the great ideas.


  11. Linda
    January 16, 2016 @ 10:20 pm

    Hi, I just popped on looking for non traditional kitchens….
    I kinda have one. Only have 2 regular cabinets that got from Habitat for Humanity restore shop. The others are an older 6 ft tall cabinet with glass doors that we keep dishes in. Then have two primitive cabinets one 5 ft tall the other closer to 7 ft tall. We cleaned them up and sprayed a sealer on them as we loved the “patina” of the worn paint. Our island consists of the drawer banks from an old roll top desk. Wood on the top, casters on the bottom. The icing is a1956 O’Keefe & Merritt stove along with a 1950 GE refrigerator. We just love the relaxed atmosphere we have created. I hope you find your “atmosphere” too!


  12. Lauren
    February 14, 2018 @ 10:16 pm

    I am so with you! I bought an old farmhouse in Maine that was built in 1834 and you can tell all of the cabinets that are currently hanging were not part of the original plan! They block the light and look so horribly out of place. I’ll be changing past mistakes this summer! I love open shelves. I like to see my dishes. I enjoy scattering little treasures around the shelves as surprises for anyone taking the time to look. I also use my dishes pretty much daily-so they get washed-no fear of grease or dog hair! I think of my home as a canvas-waiting for me to touch every single surface and make it my own. I just know that if I show my house love and care it will do the same for me and offer me peace and shelter and protection. I do enjoy your writing; you are bright, creative and have a wonderful sense of humor! Thank you!!!


  13. Terry
    December 12, 2020 @ 11:39 pm

    I do want boxes around the perimeter of my kitchen, but I would also love to have some of the pieces pictured here (i.e., Vintage Contemporary, Farmhouse) for my island. The problem (among other things) is availability…in my part of the country anything worth having was either burned up during Sherman’s urban renewal project or snapped up long ago from any classrooms, chemistry labs or restaurants that still used pieces not made of mdf or stainless. I have managed to source a vintage stove and an antique baker’s hutch, as well as antique dressers suitable for converting into bath vanities, but nothing large enough to serve its purpose as a kitchen island. And if I did find it I would be loathe to cut the holes in it necessary to make it functional.

    As for the boxes, I imagine one reason they’re so ubiquitous is that they work. Vintage pieces are all well and good but at the end of the day if they can’t hold what I need to put in them then they’re just showpieces for someone’s Pinterest page – like the wood card catalog I’d love to find but have no idea how to repurpose. And I do favor doors over open shelving but I will allow the latter for those who prefer them. Maybe someday our boxes will be such a thing of the past that THEY will be featured in blogs like these for readers to sigh over and wish for the good ol’ days.


  14. Jenn
    April 5, 2021 @ 3:42 am

    Seriously… you are my spirit animal, VEB. Everything you say: check, check, and check. If we were neighbours, such wicked fun we could get into. Why MUST everything kitchen be so unoriginal? XOJ


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