I have a confession to make.
For a long time on this blog, there have been very few pictures. The reason for this glaring omission can be summed up in one word.
There. I said it. Up until now, I have been embarrassed of the decor and colors of my house.
I know I’m not the only woman out there in the traditional foods world with an ugly kitchen and living space. So I’ve decided to post about it anyway and *gasp* go ahead and do a video series in my ugly kitchen, with atrocious 80’s peeling wallpaper and all.
Because it’s real life. Because my kitchen and my home aren’t perfect. Because I don’t have a limitless budget to get the best of everything. And I bet for the vast majority of you don’t, either. So I refuse to rent space or borrow the kitchen of a friend’s expensive and perfect house to make my life look like something it isn’t. I believe that’s part of the reason why so many people think they can’t do traditional foods. Their kitchen isn’t roomy enough, they don’t have enough space, the right equipment, the right whatever.
Do what you can with what you have, where you are. Even in your ugly kitchen with 1980’s wallpaper. Even in your galley kitchen the size of a bathroom. Even when you’re traveling, the kids are sick, the budget is tight. Eliminate your excuses, accept your reality and do the best you can with what you’ve been handed.
I am saying goodbye to my house and hello to a home. A home that isn’t perfect, but a home that is lived in. And a home that I’m trying to change, a little at a time.
We’re attempting to re-do this 1980’s house in non-toxic ways, including a major overhaul on a shoestring budget for the living room, dining room, bathrooms, master bath, boys room and kitchen. Basically, every room in the house except my daughter’s room, which was re-done as a Christmas gift. I’m keeping the hardwood floors, but everything else needs to be updated.
Here’s the ugly truth: our split-level house was built in the 80’s. While the house does have lots of room, a wonderful amount kitchen counter space, a good floorplan and gorgeous hardwood floors, every room in the house is painted in a different, 1980s color. My bedroom is drab salmon orange. As someone who is a porcelain winter, prefers cool colors and has a love affair with purple, sleeping in that room is responsible for more than one nightmare. Another bedroom can only be described as having a wall color that looks like the sun threw up. So bright you can see it smiling with your eyes closed. Yet another room is lavender with neon purple trim and the world’s gaudiest lighting- it’s a former hair salon. The living room, thankfully, is off-white. However, the brown and orange, ungrouted floor to ceiling fireplace with oversized chair railing more than I can bear.
Then there’s the kitchen. It’s dark with very poor lighting. It’s a country hearts nightmare, complete with the original wallpaper, dark cabinets, an even darker tile floor and little country-blue-house-and-washed-out-red-hearts porcelain cabinet pulls.
Remember the Julia Child sign I blogged about a while back? Black and white “If you’re afraid of butter, use cream” goodness? I was in love. So in love. So much, in fact, that I bought two. I haven’t posted a picture of it because it is surrounded in a country blue nightmare. I’ve been too embarrassed.
Yeah, that’s bad.
Nope, not any better. And I hate the popcorn ceilings. The little red sign to the left is a children’s church craft, in case you’re wondering.
We’ve purchased the paint to re-paint the living room, dining room and kitchen. Now we’re trying to find the time and everything else needed. Then we need to re-do the cabinet and countertops, re-tile the kitchen floor, paint the bedrooms, rip out the bathroom and re-do it and the list goes on and on. Meanwhile, I’m doing crafts and other decorating in an attempt to fill in the gaps until the bigger work gets done.
I hope you will enjoy this journey with me. I’ll blog little bits and plenty of pictures of the renovations and the crafts and other homemaking I’m doing as we find the time to research, purchase and do the work.
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