"If you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." - Harry S Truman
When you come to visit me, please come right in through my green front door - don't you dare ring the bell or knock; just step right in. Walk through the yellow entry hall and into the doorway that leads to the family room. Glance to the right and this is what you will see:
Welcome to Ground Zero.
Yep. Here is where you will most likely find me. Because here is where it all goes down.
In the kitchen.
The kitchen is the heart of most any home and mine is no exception. So let me show you around.
First, step across the room and look back in the direction you came from.
|See that open doorway with the white door ? That's the doorway to the entry hall, where you just came in.|
As you will immediately notice, I am the proud owner of an eighties kitchen and I've got the oak cabinets to prove it. But honestly, I really like my cabinets. They are warm and natural and easy to keep clean.
Years ago, I started taking the doors off my upper cabinets. For a long time, I used these shelves as a bookcase; more recently, I have found that it's a really effective way to hop on the currently trendy open-shelving train without doing any work or spending a penny. While my doors are stashed safely in a closet, awaiting the day when they are once again cool, I enjoy having my favorite treasures in plain sight. I'll tell you a few stories about them.
|My third daughter gave me all four of these pieces. The blue and white porcelain cups came from San Francisco's Chinatown; the lovely plates were thrifted Christmas gifts. She bought them in Bremerton, just for me.|
|See these blue and green Tag bowls? I love them. Help yourself to the one you like best. On the left are the holdouts from my old set of Dansk Bistro china. Still love it.|
|I know...I already showed you this bowl. But I really love it, so please let me show you again.|
|Years ago, my youngest gave me this garland of origami cranes for a birthday gift. I'm very fond of it.|
|Here are the glass snack jars; feel free to take a serving...or just grab the whole jar and dig in.|
|Found this little scooping cup at the thrift store; it's originally from Pier One and I love it.|
Smack dab in the middle of the kitchen is a little Värde cart from IKEA. You'll find lots of useful things here - dishtowels for drying your hands, potholders, and my favorite cast iron skillets. Look carefully in the baskets; besides potatoes and onions, you might find a sleeping cat. When they were tiny kittens, all three could fit together in one.
|I'm forever rearranging what goes here and there on the various rods and hanging devices. I sometimes confuse myself, but the little cart always looks good.|
|I'm a fan of stripes. Have you noticed?|
Ready to move on? Okay, standing near the origami birds, here's the view of a little nook of cupboards and the pantry door:
|This is where coffee and toast happen. Care for a latte?|
|Here's the inside of the pantry; ready for a mini-tour?|
|Aprons hanging from Command hooks inside the pantry door.|
Ranger heard the pantry door open and came in to see if anyone was handing out treats. I succumbed to his charms, so here you see him finishing off his treat. In the meantime, here's another perspective shot of a different corner.
Check out that fridge.
That little almond beauty is the last survivor of the original appliances in the house. It is an ugly relic of a bygone era but bless its reliable little heart, it still works like a charm.
But wait, let's get closer and take a look at that freezer door.
|"Crunch, crunch, chunch."|
Wait. This is not the way refrigerators are supposed to look in bloggy house tours. But I think messy refrigerators are fun because they reveal so much about the people who stick stuff on them. So I want you to see mine in its natural state. Feel free to look and read and move things around. It's an ever-evolving collection of stuff.
But honestly, we don't always leave it looking like this. Every couple of months, the clutter will start to drive one of us crazy. Then we take it all down, sort through the rubble, reattach whatever needs to be saved on the side of the fridge, where it is accessible but much less cluttery, and the cycle begins again.
|Ahhhh. So fresh and so clean, clean.|
There. Same shot, clean fridge. My eyes are so happy.
Oh, here is one of my favorite bits of my kitchen. You know how we all have a bunch of plastic storage containers with lids cluttering up some corner of our kitchens? And no matter how cleverly we try to store them, they always find a way to flop and fall all over the place, creating an explosion of mismatched tops and bottoms every time we touch them?
Yeah, I finally found a solution to that drama. I keep a low, flat basket on top of my fridge. A person of average height sees only the basket; with my camera up over my head, I can give you a sneak peek of what's inside.
Yup, there it is. My random collection of plastic containers, all laid out in neat stacks. It's so easy to see what my options are, and to choose the matching lid. Sometimes I just pull the basket partway down, like this, and grab what I need. Other times, I pull the whole thing down to the counter so I can dig through to my heart's content. Most of my dishwasher unloaders enjoy the zen of keeping the stacks sorted and tops organized; for my family, this has been a foolproof system and I love it.
That door to the left of the fridge leads to the dining room and you can see my dishwasher is nearby; accordingly, I keep most of my tableware in this corner of the room.
|I do most of my actual cooking on the left side of the sink, and keep my tools over here on the right.|
|Most of my knives are Chicago Cutlery, my tried and true cutting boards are from IKEA and Target, and my mixer is cobalt blue. I'm always down for making cookies.|
|I used to be a stickler for keeping all my utensils put away in drawers, but I've gotten wild with time.|
All in all, I keep my kitchen fairly neat and orderly. But honestly, a lot goes on in this room and it does not always look as neat as you are seeing it today.
Take, for example, this view of the sink. I would say that in reality, this level of cleanliness is achieved approximately 2.53% of the time.
|If anyone leaves a dish in that sink, I may threaten to behead them. Just kidding. Sort of. Maybe.|
After taking that picture of perfection, I added back a few real-life details and took another shot.
You are also welcome to pull up a counter stool here and sit and talk with me as I cook. I'll make you some tea and if you're willing, I may give you a knife and put you to work chopping.
Just to give you fair warning, if you sit at that counter, you'll be right near the back door and I guarantee a non-stop parade of pets who would like you to open and close that door about a billion times, allowing them to go in and out to their hearts' content.
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Want to see the rest of my house? Check these out:
Home Tour: Old Dogs, New Tricks
Home Tour: She Will Move Mountains
Home Tour: Something Old, Something New