Dated Kitchens Can Be Liberating

In the lives of glamorous kitchens, you will find your share of Marble, Soapstone, and Butcher Block. Beautiful millwork may grace the custom cabinets that scale from floor to ceiling. You may spot a Wolf range or Aga for the cooking, while a Miele does the dish cleaning. A stainless fridge and additional wine fridge will help keep those beverages chilled.  Ann Sacks tile backsplash may compliment the countertops nicely in a perfect herringbone pattern, while pendant lighting chosen from Circa or Visual Comfort will illuminate sophistication and a touch of luxury for everyone to see. Your walk-in pantry will showcase your dried goods with grocery store precision, and the sliding barn door that encloses it will make you that much cooler.  Large  windows will be interspersed between the cabinets (and of course hang over the porcelain farmhouse sink), to allow volumes of natural light into the room.  The gorgeous, reclaimed, wide-planked hardwood floors will be perfectly stained to blend seamlessly with your already stunning room.  And, finally, those lucite barstool chairs and Eames breakfast table chairs will add that touch of contemporary to your space, to ensure a balanced mix of modern and traditional. Pinterest can make life awfully hard. With thousands of perfectly curated kitchens, all waiting to be pinned and gawked at, the reality of enjoying and embracing my very dated kitchen could get very depressing. I'll admit, when I first moved in my new/old house, the kitchen was one of the first things I was ready to redo. It is an old 80's kitchen with a bandaid fix slab of black granite on the countertops. The fridge has a large dent in the top of the door. The microwave is probably from 1990: a free-standing plug-in that heats food either lukewarm or scalding. The single oven hails from decades ago, and is so small that half my baking sheets and large muffin tins won't fit! The dated electric stove sits on the island and takes up most of the counter space. Oh, and watch out for that burner that remains hot long after you've cooked something. The checkerboard black and white square tile pattern screams "80's!!!" from the backsplash, while my two tiny kitchen windows (that a small child could not fit through), resemble portholes in a ship rather than actual windows needed to see the beautiful side yard. Cheap, short cabinets with no space for anything, a large overhead florescent light, and hardwood floors with worn spots where dogs had clearly slept on for years, are also all there. And yet, I haven't changed a thing. As the months have gone by, I have begun to feel liberated by this dated, well-worn kitchen. I wouldn't say I thoroughly enjoy the kitchen itself, but rather, I have enjoyed the lack of stress a kitchen that is already in bad shape has provided me with. Right now, life is really busy and messy. My kids are constantly running, jumping, bumping into things, climbing on top of things, making forts with our old barstool chairs, spilling things, scraping things…..basically just being kids! Add two dogs to that mix, and you have a house of happy chaos. I have embraced my dated kitchen with humor and gusto. It's allowed me to crack up at the spilled glitter glue everywhere, rather than go into a panic attack that my newly varnished floors are ruined.  Figuring out what baking sheet will work when making cookies, is always comical. Mulling over how to cleverly stack food in our cramped pantry cabinet, so that all can be seen, would rival the greatest of mind teasers. The spots on the hardwoods that are worn from past dogs, only remind me that homes were made to be used and played in .. not tiptoed around in. And finally, being able to pepper both fridge doors (since it's not stainless) with my girls' artwork, athletic schedules and grocery lists, has made me happy. To me, it's just a reminder of my crazy and full life…and that I should enjoy it daily. At some point down the road, a kitchen redo will be inevitable. The kids will be older and there will be more time for me to focus on such a task. But until then, this dated space will remain, and I'll be living happily and chaotically right in the middle of it.

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Happy Monday!

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