Monday, March 14, 2011

What do you need in a kitchen?

Would you like to start the day grabbing your cup
of coffee at a built-in coffee bar? My favorite part
is the cork backsplash. Very eco-chic.

This weekend, my sister-in-law Susan and I went shopping for kitchens. We are technically now in a race to see who can put their gutted kitchen back together first! She and her husband (with the help of their sons) just dismantled their kitchen over a week ago. If you have been reading my blog, you know mine was hauled away during let’s just say warmer weather.

Can you fall in love with a piece of stone? I love the
water-color like pattern on this brownish-gray granite.

While ours was barely hanging on by the hinges (in fact many drawer fronts had been glued back on repeatedly, some unsuccessfully), her big problem was an inefficient, dated layout (part of my problem, too) and not a lot of square footage (okay, that was also our problem). As they say, people always end up in the kitchen, so if the kitchen is small or hard to move around in without getting in the cooks way, then that can start to wear on you year after year, especially as our little ones become tall, hungry ones.

This kitchen featured cabinets made out
of sustainable bamboo. By adding a
farmhouse sink with a mosaic tile backsplash
done in a traditional running board pattern,
this Asian-inspired modern space
looks more early-American in style
(and feels “like home” to me).

While my kitchen has been relocated temporarily into our dining room, Susan is fortunate to have a second kitchen located on the third floor of her home. Having to cook and serve meals by heading up two sets of stairs each day (for Susan) or preparing family meals in shifts because the toaster oven can only fit so much on the tray (that would be me) is hardly an inconvenience when you think of what is happening in Japan right now. Even so, I will be very thankful when I our modest sized kitchen is back where it belongs, and I can cook and clean without tripping over extension cords and we can all sit down to eat a home-cooked family meal at the same time.

These cabinets look like they should be in my
100+ year old farmhouse. I love that they
are recessed, furniture-like, with a colorful
interior and vintage inspired hardware.

As I said to Susan, even if you have all the time in the world to wait to get it done (she is thinking by the fall or the holidays) it can be very unsettling to walk past a room that is down to the studs. It just doesn’t feel like home. When I see the footage of the homeless Japanese who are now living, eating and sleeping together in shelters, are missing loved ones, and no longer have their belongings or a place to call home, it truly puts everything in perspective. I have everything I need, all I am missing is a full sized stove. But soon I should be able to get out and use the grill again, so that will add some variety to our evening meals : )

With that said, I hope the photos on this post taken during our visit to Family Kitchens in Salem are helpful to you if you are planning your dream kitchen, or are a virtual field trip if you are in the mood to daydream. I think the name of their business says it all – our kitchens are a sacred room in which to honor our families (and ourselves) through nourishment. While bells and whistles are nice, what we basically need is an efficient space to easily prepare the meals that keep us healthy – and comforted – in our homes.

Do you like to watch cooking shows or the news
while you prepare your meals? A built in television
(or wall mount) will free up valuable counter space.

Do you bake a lot and need a place to store a large
mixer? If moving heavy equipment back and forth
is difficult for you, this might be a good option.

Is a martini bar a luxury or a celebration of the
unique design elements that are available?

Do you have ceilings that have seen better days
or would you like more light bouncing around
in your room? Tin might be a nice solution.

Does imagining a walk on the beach make you
smile? If yes, then this stone tile would be one
way to start your day off on the right foot.

Family Kitchens
262 Highland Avenue
Salem, MA 01970


  1. That martini sink is so cute! I also love the ceiling tiles!

  2. My kitchen is pretty basic, but my one "luxury splurge" was on the cabinet for the heavy stand mixer seen above in your pictures. If you have one of these LARGE, HEAVY mixers, you know it takes up a lot of space and weighs a ton! This cabinet lifts the mixer to counter height in seconds, and keeps everything stored away when not in use. Wow, I sound like a commercial!! Good luck with your kitchen shopping!! Can't wait to see the final outcome!

  3. Nice! I like those kitchen style. I think now I knew the style I want for my kitchen. Thanks for sharing this post. I've got an idea.



Thanks for visiting! I would love to hear your thoughts on today’s post. Please note: all comments will be reviewed before being published to protect readers from spam. Thank you!