Posts Tagged ‘kitchens’

kitchen with skirt sinkI love to wear skirts and dresses (although they do get in the way, and are not helpful at all when I really need to get housework and gardening done. I couldn’t tell you how many times I have stood helpless as the vacuum cleaner hungrily wrapped my skirt around its manic spinning brush, never mind explaining how much damage a weed wacker can do to fabric before you can hit the off button). But, as impractical as my wardrobe can be, I enjoy it, and I wear it anyway, but dressing my kitchen in skirts is another matter.

Eclectic, bespoke kitchens are in style, and I am so glad that we finally want them to look like a room in our house, instead of an institutionalized afterthought for preparing food and opening take out containers. We want them to be homey and decorated, especially decorated; rustic, without being too countrified, and sophisticated without being cold and unwelcoming. And, we want the windows open and wide, preferably overlooking a scenic meadow, and we all want poured concrete and butcher block.

And, I couldn’t be happier, because I think every room should be dreamy, and that kitchens deserve as much love, beauty and comfort as the rest of the house, but somehow, to me, having a fabric skirt in a kitchen just seems like going to the shops and buying a small headache; it’s something else to clean, and a thousand more surfaces to attract all those random splatters and spills.

I honestly don’t know how people stay clean in the kitchen, and if I had a zoom on my television, I would probably use it to see if that white blouse that she is cooking in is as spotless as it seems to be. Because I am such a messy cook. I cook and bake all the time, but I can’t even wash a dish without sharing it with my fabric clad tummy, so I always wear an apron. And even my apron gets dirtier than I think it should. I am constantly wiping up, and my kitchen still isn’t clean, so I can’t imagine turning around and seeing fabric covered in goo that needs to be washed every time I get far too exuberant with the chicken and the flour.

So, I think, that as beautiful as some of these fabric laden kitchens are, maybe they aren’t quite as practical as they want us to believe. Maybe the woman who lives there uses her oven for storage, or she has people to clean for her, or maybe, just maybe she does gaze out at the meadow in her clean, white blouse, and is a far neater cook than I will ever be….

Wendy E. Wrzos http://wendyandthebluegiraffe.blogspot.com/

Photograph from House Beautiful

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As a mom who has spent way too much time baking these last few months, I often find myself piling homemade cookies into a glass jar. Being in the kitchen is relaxing for me; I put on music, I am not organized in the least, and I wear an apron.

I absently tie the strings as I search through the cupboards, never quite sure what I am planning to make; flicking through cookbooks, getting stuck on the stories, and caring more about the life of the person who wrote the book than the actual recipe.

My daughter laughs that I will start to bake after dinner, making sure we have something sweet to end the evening with; not good for my waist, but good for my soul (and does anything taste better than a warm cookie?). Easier than most people think, I add whatever I feel like from the pantry, but usually begin with a combination of butter, sugar and flour. I could never be a stand-up comedian, but I will happily improvise a recipe at 9:15pm in my nightgown.

Once they are cool, I pop what is left in a large glass jar, with a really tight lid. It takes a few seconds to screw open the top (and the noise will always get someone’s attention) but it feels a little more special to reach in and take a cookie from inside the jar.

Regular cookie jars (you know, the ones that say Cookie Jar on them) while lovely if you are on Sesame Street, don’t quite work in the real world. The seals (if they have them) never seal, and they are quite heavy and clunky; not good for a midnight raid with milk and a spoonful of peanut butter.

Growing up, we called them biscuits, and they lived in the Biscuit Tin. It was usually an old tin from Christmas, filled with very fancy English Biscuits or Chocolates, carefully sitting in folded paper cups. Once finished, the tin was filled with biscuits for the following week – usually one packet of plain, and one chocolate. It was sealed tight, and there was a measure of excitement to opening it up, never quite knowing what was inside. Disappointment set in if our favorite was gone, and we had to decide between something we didn’t like, and having nothing at all. If there was only one left, we had to ask if it was okay to take it. In hindsight, it was more about the ritual, than about seeing how many you could scoff when no-one was looking.

I think, we should celebrate the most sweetest moments, and bring back the Cookie Jar and the Biscuit Tin…

Wendy E. Wrzos  http://wendyandthebluegiraffe.blogspot.com/

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“It’s all very well being all “designery”, and living a Polly-Perfect life, but what about the rest of us? Those of us with four children, two jobs and a home that wasn’t our first choice. Never mind telling us to spray paint the brass chandelier with chalk-board paint, what are we supposed to do?”

That’s a really good question, and, honestly, it’s not easy. None of us have charmed lives filled with matching doodads and champagne coming out of the faucet. Decorating a home isn’t about that. As our grandparents used to say, it’s about making do, but I prefer to call it “pretending as if”.

“What Not To Wear” is one of my favorite shows, and having a home, to me, follows the same principles that they teach. Their credo is that you have to accept the body you have right now. Even if you hate every nook and cranny of it, it’s yours, and that’s what you have to work with. If you dress that body as if you love it, then you will get nice clothes that fit, you will look better and, gradually, feel kinder towards yourself.  Maybe you will never, ever be the size you wish you were, but if you enjoy what you have, and take pride in it, you may begin to fall in love with it. 

Your home is exactly the same!  Even if you are not happy about where you are, you could still pretend as if it is the most perfect place in the world to be.  Make some changes as if you really do care; fix things that bother you on a daily basis, don’t cost a lot and can be done in an hour or two.

Here are some quick fixes for “the rest of us”:

  • Change ugly, dated lampshades or light covers (check out local Hardware and Retail stores for cheap, but classic, options). 
  • Declutter your kitchen. It’s often the most used room in the house;   keep the surfaces clean and remove what shouldn’t be there. This will make it a much happier place to be in (and it might be bigger than you think).
  • Place a decorative bin somewhere for each of your children (and yourself). Toss in everything that should be put away. When the bin is full, empty it.
  • Check your front door;  remove dead plants and fix anything that is broken (doorbell?). Coming home should be a good experience.
  • Buy everyday items (dishwashing soap, laundry powder and liquid soap) in colors, designs and scents that you like. Making daily decisions that please you will sneak into your well-being.

See, nothing wrong with a little pretending….

Wendy E. Wrzos http://wendyandthebluegiraffe.blogspot.com/

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ven1Have you always dreamed about covering your bathroom or kitchen in beautiful patterns only wallpaper could provide? Now you can, but it’s not wallpaper… it’s a new breed of porcelain tiles designed to look like linen, toile and damask. (To name a few.)

Sold in 24″ squares or large pieces. (20×40 for example) These fabric fakes have broken new ground.

This gorgeous damask (pictured left) is from Porcelanosa. Look for other styles and patterns from Artistic Tile, Hastings Tile and Bath and Casamood.

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