Picture Perfect Kitchens

stoveWe’ve all seen them. Those to die-for kitchens. When do we need them? When the kids are little! When we’re too broke to even think of such things. When do we get them? When we no longer need them.

Over the years I’ve cursed the kitchens that I’ve had. Most have been way too small. When we bought our first home I was so thrilled with its newness that I didn’t really pay attention to the lack of cabinet peppersspace or the lack of counter top. But once in it, I discovered it had that big corner cabinet that ate things. I had to get on my hands and knees, remove the front stuff, and crawl into it to find things that worked their way into the corner.  It also had that over the refrigerator cabinet. I wasn’t married to the Jolly Green Giant! I’m tall but even when standing on a chair I couldn’t really get to anything that went in there.

Kitchen number two was huge but very old. It had lots of cabinet space and cabinets that went to the ceiling. Nothing was placed above shelf number one. It also had a pantry. Kitchen pantrcookingies are wonderful things. We planned to renovate the house and that spacious kitchen with it’s breakfast nook was going to be the showcase!  After about two weeks of living there, I discovered the mice owned the cabinets. It was horrible! We set traps. We got a cat! My husband got transferred and we moved out!

We moved into a two-bedroom condo with a long skinny kitchen. I now had more room to cook than ever before, except no one could work in the kitchen if I was in there. I twas too narrow to pass cornanother person. After about a year, we went to a larger condo. My girls had separate bedrooms and their own bathroom. Thank goodness! And we weren’t all sharing the same bathroom in the morning! The condo had a U-shaped kitchen. It had two of those lower cabinets that tucked into the corners. I was smarter. I blocked the inside of the cabinet so nothing could get into the corners. It wasn’t a bad kitchen but wasn’t fabulous, either. Now I had teens and everyone was eating at different times. I needed the big freezer and there was no room for one. Nor was there room for a larger refrigerator.

I was working full time and keeping a spotless kitchen was impossible. One long counter was nothing but appliances. Coffee pot, mixertoaster, microwave, my big mixer that wouldn’t have fit into any cabinet, they lined up like sentries waiting for me. I tried to make sure the dishwasher was stacked before I left for work, but by the time I got home the kitchen had been used by the girls. I always walked into a mess. Yes, the one daughter had a job. She’d come through the door and had about twenty minutes to change, eat, and go to work. The other volunteered and didn’t have time to “clean up”, besides it wasn’t her mess. I’d come home tired and faced their messes. Clean up and fix dinner for hubby. Those were my SuperMom years and not a time I care to dwell on. At least when they went to college, they did it without college loans!

The biggest problem was that kitchen was stuffed into a dark corner of the building. My husband wanted to sit and relax, maybe catch the evening news. If I had stopped to join him, I would have fallen asleep and nothing would have been done! So I was left to handle a dirty kitchen along with everything else. It also had a white floor! Never have a kitchen with a white floor! True, I’m compulsive about things. I swear if water was spilled on the floor, it became a sticky mess! I hated being in the dark hole.

The next kitchen wasn’t even big enough to call a kitchen. We bought a tiny house to fix up and rent. It probably had five feet of coveggiesunter, a sink, six inches of counter and a stove. The other side was the refrigerator, washer, dryer, and hot water heater! Omigod! We ripped out the old cabinets and started. I used the gas grill for everything! Yep, outside in my robe fixing breakfast. The neighbors laughed. I can cook anything on a grill!

Now I’m in this old house. We started on the kitchen but it’s never been completed. This kitchen has the lowest ceiling in the house. Twelve feet. The upper cabinets go to the ceiling! We put a new refrigerator in and had to cut out part of the cabinet across from it so that we could open the refrigerator door.  You don’t want to know the rest. Galley kitchen doesn’t describe it.

But through my entire life I’ve known folks with beautiful kitchens. My mom had one. She was very gourmet and the kitchen was huge. cornIt was custom designed for her. My friend’s mom had one, but she rarely cooked. She had a woman who did most of the cooking. Over the years, I’ve had friends with gorgeous kitchens. One friend had a kitchen that I would have killed for, she never used it. Her idea of cooking was to open three cans of soup, pour it over the chicken, and place it on the oven. Another friend had a kitchen that looked like something from a magazine and she didn’t know how to cook. Breakfast was cereal and her husband took her out every night.

A dear friend finally got her dream kitchen when she and her husband retired. It was used twice a year when the children came home, once for Thanksgiving and again in June for her birthday. Two sets of ovens, one contained six ovens of various sizes, the other only four. Three sinks.  She used one sink – the little one! Three dishwashers and she only used the mini one. Two stoves. One with six burners and one with three. Guess which one she used? She didn’t want to mess up her pretty kitchen so her hubby took her out to eat unless the weather was bad. Then they’d stay home and share a can of soup or have a grilled cheese sandwich. Seh had a party at her house. Everything was catered and brought in!

Except for my years in the two condos, I’ve kept a garden, preparedbread food for canning or freezing, made my own jellies and jams. I’ve always baked my own bread (and not in a machine) and made my pastas from scratch. Maybe someday I’ll have that picture perfect kitchen. I wonder if I’ll still remember how to cook?

How’s your kitchen? Do you really use it?


19 Responses to Picture Perfect Kitchens

  1. Mona Risk says:

    I custom design my kitchen when we moved into this condo. It was too narrow, so we took two feet out of the living room. Now, it’s open on to the LR, actually separated from the LR by an isle with a glass shelf forming bar. I put an old Chinese vase with a silk orchid in the middle of the shelf so that when we sit in the LR we can’t see any mess on the stove behind the bar.


  2. Mona Risk says:

    And BTW I cook a lot and continuously invite friends for dinner. You’re welcome any time.


  3. PJ Sharon says:

    Cooks like you deserve to have fabulous kitchens! Homemade bread and pasta? You go girl! When we moved into the 1840’s farmhouse we live in now (that was 8 years ago already), the first thing my husband did–after replacing all the plumbing–was put in a new kitchen, complete with an awesome pantry! We built cement countertops-gorgeous-and added a center island with a breakfast bar, gas stove top and double wall ovens. My husband does most of the cooking, we love to entertain, and yes, we have often used both ovens at once. Great for making multiple batches of cookies or keeping food warm. When we have guests, it seems everyone hangs out in the kitchen! it’s not huge, but its roomy, well designed, and welcoming–as all kitchens should be! I hope you get the kitchen of your dreams someday soon:-) Fun post.


  4. Calisa Rhose says:

    As kitchens go my favorite was in a house my dad rented for us when I was 15-17. Bit, roomy kitchen with plenty of room. The only problem was for all that space, there was one cabinet with five feet of counter and storage and a floor to ceiling (9 ft) 2 ft wide pantry. No counter around the stove, or anywhere else. But I was a teen and didn’t care. lol My parents divorced when I was eleven so kitchens were mine and my sister’s to share. My dad cooked when we were younger, but once we got old enough it fell to us. We both like to cook so we were good with our arrangement. Today I have a fairly large kitchen with fifteen feet or so of counter and glorious storage under it all, except where my dw is. The only thing is that it’s narrow where the sink and stove is so gets cramped if more than two people are in it. We make do fine. It also has a pantry off the main kitchen area in the laundry room. Eventually we are putting in a booth table to utilize the dining area better.


    • E. Ayers says:

      No counter? How did you do anything? I’ll assume you used the table like a counter.You made up for those years with today’s 15 feet of counter space!


  5. woolfcindy says:

    We bought a new house 5 years ago and it has the dream kitchen…for my husband. He does all the cooking. I’ll cook breakfast sometimes but for the most part the kitchen is his domain. The only think I don’t like about our kitchen is the refrigerator. I let him pick it. Never again. he went with a side by side (no freezer space) rather than the french door with the freezer on the bottom that I wanted. Now we both hate the refrigerator we have and are just waiting for the thing to die. Unless, of course, we shoot it first.


    • E. Ayers says:

      The average life span for a refrigerator is 8-10 years. You know yours will last for 18 just because you hate it!

      Girl, you got it all! A hunky cowboy who cooks, it doesn’t get any better than that!


  6. What I see when I look at those pictures of those massive dream kitchen is more space I have to clean. I have a tight, efficient kitchen with windows that look out onto my flower garden. Great post.


    • E. Ayers says:

      Just being able to look into the garden is wonderful. That was the one redeeming factor for our first kitchen. Lots of light and two big windows that looked out into the yard where our girls played. One bird feeder in my direct line of sight and the ability to watch the girls as I washed dishes.Yes!

      I swear those birds could see me. If the feeder was empty, a male bluejay would sit on top of it and fuss at me. “Hey, fill this up. We’re starving out here!”


  7. Missy Lou says:

    Thank goodness I have a galley kitchen which means that even a vertically challenged person like me can stand in the center and reach the sinks, the stove, the refrigerator, the dishwasher and the microwave!—I SELDOM cook! Once made dinner for my gentleman friend who then commented, “I thought you couldn’t cook.” No what I said was, “I DON’T cook” a big difference between can’t and don’t!

    My mother, grandmother and all my aunts good cooks in true Southern style. Youngest daughter, my only granddaughter and her husband all gourmet cooks! I guess I really have no interest in cooking is because I am a super taster and thus have a very finicky appetite.


    • E. Ayers says:

      I’ve reached that point. I don’t cook! Why? It’s me. If I’m home, I’ll drop squash in the microwave, add butter, and call it dinner. I’m tired of cooking.


  8. We have a really cool kitchen. We had a crack in our entry way so we gutted from the entry way through the kitchen and attached dinning area. What use to be forest green tile is now a warm stone, we have moved our stovetop from one side to between the fridge and oven/microwave, converted it from electric to gas. We had to repour the foundation, new cabintry. We took out the boxed lighting with the tubes (I forget what they are called) and installed canned lighting. There used to be cabinets hanging over the bar area–no more which really opened up the space. Now thats where everyone hangs out when we have a karaoke party…but the karaoke is in the living room!


    • E. Ayers says:

      Everyone gathers in the kitchen. We do we even have a living room and why is it so far from the kitchen?

      I can’t imagine having to re-pour a foundation. That must have been a nightmare to live through.

      Thanks for stopping, Kathy.


  9. Our kitchen is still in need of a remodel, but I use it all the time. After the kiddies have left and I get my dream kitchen I’ll still be cooking. I love to cook.


  10. E. Ayers says:

    Wow! I’m amazed at how many have great kitchens! And hubbies who like to be in the kitchen – awesome. Consider yourselves very, very lucky.


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