Thursday, June 23, 2011

Kitchen, Love Thyself

I love design blogs and 
home and garden magazines....
Etsy and HGTV.

The cool thing about
this age that we are
living in is the countless
Something for everyone,
be it traditional, modern,
bohemian or any kind
of mix that you could
want or imagine.

While I'm no expert on
 interior design,  I do know 
what I like and it's been 
fun collecting ideas in my
Pinterest files and on
Houzz and of course
the old tear and file
system, too.

But when I was asked
to join in a linky party
featuring what I love about
my kitchen, I stopped
in my tracks, uncertain
whether or not to participate.

We live in a society that
is preoccupied with those
things we want to change
when we look in the mirror ~
Use Botox! Lose weight!
Color your hair! which can
spoil the view sometimes.

And {at least for me},
magazines and HGTV
and YES, design blogs,
create wants.  And that can
also focus my lens on lack....
As in, my house lacks
beamed ceilings or wide
plank floors or a sweet

Wants all the way.
So far, far from needs.

I know you get it.

When I consider my kitchen
these days, I do tend to think
of the changes that I'd like
to make, since we are living
a 2011 life in a 1996 house,
one where we've been
 planted for over 10 years.  

But this invitation helped me
to set aside the magnifying
glass that enlarges flaws and
hone in on those things that
I do, indeed, love about my
kitchen.  To refocus the lens
on gratitude, a word that
seems to keep appearing on
my radar this year.

Because it's not, in fact, the 
things in my kitchen that 
melt my heart.

It's the people who have
graced the stools around
the island or the chairs
around the table....And
this little dog beneath my feet
 as I stir or chop, wash or dry.

It's their dear faces that 
come to mind first and what 
makes my kitchen a place to 
love and to be truly grateful for.

If you'd like to see what
others love about their 
kitchens, stroll on over and
say hello to the lovely Sarah.


PS:  The name drawn by for the
Shabby Apple Giveaway 
is {drum roll}:
Mimi-Toria's Designs


Julie said...

Love your post...agree wholeheartedly with every bit of it...I love my kitchen, my rooms, my house,'s an expression of what I tells about me...and it has come together over almost 30 years of marriage - many threads and pieces and moments and memories all wrapped up into each room where people gather for whatever reason and whatever occasion.. :-) How IS our little Gracie??????? hugs to you - love YOUR kitchen...**ps I DO love to frequent a few of my favorite blogs for inspiration and ideas...I have never seen HGTV...(!! believe it or not!!) don't watch tv...:-) but you are right... it can create desires for things you really don't want, or you would have already been looking for it- before you saw it on tv!!! HUGS SUZANNE!!!!!!

Joanna said...

Your kitchen really is the heart of your home, with all those memories of special (and not so special) meals cooked, friends and family gathered, deep conversations and light hearted banter, and with dear little Gracie to share it all (and a bit of chicken!).

Love those little birdies!


Happy Homemaker UK said...

Ooh, I love the way you say what you say. Your kitchen is beautiful, BTW. I've had a bit of a HGTV withdraw over here. If you come to visit, you must bring your 4 legged cutie pie too! Never heard of Houzz - dare I check it out?! XOL

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

Hello lovely, lovely girl,

Your posts ALWAYS bring a smile to my face - and to my heart. It's why YOU are one of MY favourites, Suzanne!!

I just love your perspective on life. So positive - but also so honest.

Here's a big hug from England,


Susan T said...

You always manage to hit the spot. You are SO right about the wants versus needs. I am trying to steer myself away from the WANTS, it is sometimes a struggle when I see the gorgeous images on Blogs and in glossy magazines. I know in my heart I truly have all I will ever need - and some - it is also my year to be grateful .

A pat and a cuddle for Gracie too, she looks a little sweetheart.

xxx Sue

Anonymous said...

Our home was built in 2003 or 2004 by a young couple here in the country. My kitchen reminds me of one from the late 1990's too. It has cupboards that are too dark, inexpensive countertops with NO tile backsplash, and tile floor that gives me chills just looking at them. *sigh* I know I should just be happy that we, like many others, are not losing our home and just quit complaining, but one day I hope we can remodel this dinosaur of a kitchen.


Castles Crowns and Cottages said...

Good morning gorgeous friend! Oh dear, your kitchen is lovely and the stainless is a dream. We just got a new fridge out of necessity; our old one kicked the bucket but the new one is a German brand, stainless and a slim but tall thing that is so elegant! I am loving my cottage kitchen and I can see you are lovin' yours...have a magnificent weekend in the presence of all those close to you! Anita

Lisa said...

I love your perspective AND....
I think your kitchen is timeless and gorgeous!!!!

koralee said...

Oh your kitchen bits are lovely. I sooooo agree.... to me it is the most important space in the home. We just bought a new home and it was the kitchen that sold us...Happy Friday my friend. PS..don't you just love love Pinterest?!!!!!

Christie said...

You said it so perfectly...I am learning more and more each day what is important, what really matters....and that less is more. Scaling down and being content with basic, friends, and a loving pet make our house a home.
Have a lovely day, dear new friend...Christie

P.s. I have a tin of Paris tea on it's way to Rose piqued my I am always trying new teas in my antiquated tea pots;)

Low Tide High Style said...

Suzanne, I know what you mean about seeing new things and wanting to make changes or to want more. Mr. Tide and I just had this discussion last night as we try to decide what we want to do with the addition we have planned. Sometimes being happy with all that you have, instead of always being bummed about what you don't is so much healthier and definitely cheaper! Besides, with a kitchen as beautiful as yours, I'd be content each and every day!

Kat :)

Charm Bracelet Diva said...

I think your kitchen is beautiful! But you're right, it's all about the WHO and not the WHAT! Funny, on vacation last week my kids suddenly discovered out!


Whosyergurl said...

I do not have a big kitchen or an especially fancy kitchen...our appliances are old and need to be replaced. We are waiting for them to die. BUT...I love my kitchen, too. For the cat that snoozes ON THE TABLE...because of the Corgi that drives her crazy...for the Corgi ever at my feet...for the country oak farm table with six chairs so that everyone can crowd around. For the nights we've sat up late and talked and laughed. For the times when Doug and I were early on and I would sit on the counter and talk to him.
I grew up going to my paternal Grandma's house every blessed that was something akin to the Walton's...but she had a big table with six chairs so I've always had a big table with six chairs. And she had a trivet that read: "no matter where I serve my guests, it seems they like my kitchen best." It is in my kitchen, now.
XO, Cheryl

michele at hellolovelyinc said...

i love what you say so eloquently here about wants, desires, and happiness. happiness really is about wanting what you have, yes?

found you via Sarah's party. mine is a new-ish dreamy kitchen that i will never take for granted. i purposely kept the design as simple as possible so that my colorful family and our friends could shine.

can't wait to return to your lovely blog.

p.s. i think i have that 1906 edition of edith holden's book.


pollydove said...

A beautiful thought today ... and your kitchen looks beautiful too! I have great qualities about mine, but all I ever think about in there is that I need to get handles on my cabinets and wish I could replace the flooring. Good reminder to appreciate what is there now! ;)

Curly Haired Girl said...

I love reading your really make me think, and you're so right! I don't know who said it, but I love the phrase, "Comparison is the thief of joy." Is my kitchen modern & up-to-date? Nope! But do I love everything that makes it home? You bet! From the old icebox that my mother refinished, to my grandmother's cream pitcher, to the candle burning on the counter at any given moment, to the plaque my friend gave me reminding me that family makes a home. It's the first room my family & "back door friends" enter and it says to them, "Welcome! I'm so glad you're here." Thank you for the great's really not about "stuff," is it?

Anonymous said...

I love this post! So true that the kitchen is reall the center of gravity in a home. That was the way when I was a kid, and it still is today, as it is my favorite room in the house, even if I want to change a few things. Now, let's talk about you kitchen: I ♥♥♥ it. You have the one thing I've always wanted: a pot filling faucet (swoon!!) and your stove is lovely. Actually I love everything about it. Thanks for sharing this little corner of your world.

Maria @ Linen & Verbena

T's Daily Treasures said...

Hey Suzanne, your kitchen sure looks great to me. But that little face is the best thing of all. Happy Friday to you! Tammy

hometown girl said...

oh suzanne it's lovely! funny how we do tend to focus on what we want to change. i love the idea of being happy with what you've got. you are good woman my friend!! xo susan

Olive Cooper said...

What a compelling and truly honest post! Love it!

Courtney Walsh said...

I love this. And it's something important for me to focus on too...we wanted to do new countertops but with all the other things going wrong with our new house (none of the appliances work), we'll be putting that on hold! ugh. Thanks for the perspective! (And I WILL email you because I do want to know how to fix that whole "no email" thing!!)

The enchanted home said...

Really enjoyed this and your new found perspective on what you have and giving and showing thanks. My grandmother always instilled in me to "bloom where you are planted" and to not look elsewhere, I try to honor what she believed in though admittedly it can be hard sometimes! I think we all have things in life, whether its the way we look, the home we have,our weight, the clothes we wear, whatever....that we feel are not up to par, but then it doesn't take much to quickly count your blessings and realize how incredibly blessed we are.
On a side note your kitchen looks beautiful!! This was very thought provoking and well done:)

Carol@TheDesignPages said...

So very true. It's hard to focus on the good when we're bombarded with the idea that only change will satisfy us. It's the people...100%. If you've got happy faces putting butts in those chairs then you're doing it right.

Bringing Pretty Back said...

Suzanne, OH! YES! I agree - I see all of the gorgeous homes in blogland and I drool and see what I DO NOT have! Right now we are living in our current home - our new little house is far from done - the kitchen I have now is TINY. I am going to admit I have hated it snce we moved in here almost 20 years ago. I think the kitchen floor size is three by eight. NO counter space, and it is the middle of our ranch home. When I am in there I am secluded and it feels like I am in time out~ like I am being punished. haha! The new little house... even though it is a small house, the litchen /dining room is open and I will have an island. I am SO excited about that! My family can now gather in there with me - the heart of the HOME!
Have a PRETTY day! Kristin

Kelly Frances Dunn said...

Dear Suzanne,

I just caught up on all your posts and I loved everything you shared and had to say :) I'd love to hear that Hotel California sometime! It gave me an idea for my almost 10 year old to play! He started guitar 2 years ago and it brings me joy to hear him play. The pictures of your home are always gorgeous and inspiring and with all the love that has pumped through those wall, it's the way we all hope to live as well :) I love your humble, real and really great viewpoints on everything..from blogs to kids and the lives we should live!! XO, Kelly

Tiffini said...

I love what you said about creating wants. This just hit me in a whole new way. How focusing on our lack can take us away from what we truly have..and like you - the people around you are all we need. I love your authenticity. I value it. I think that is one of the things that really drew me to your heart. I love your stove and your little doggie and the towel but most of all I really like you:) have a happy weekend. Thinking of you now as I your adjusting:)

Chookie said...

How very true!
(visiting via Modern Country Style's link party)

A Rosy Note said...

I wish I could write like you, Suzanne. Everything you say always comes out so pefectly and with such feeling. I'm in such agreement with everything you expressed in this post...the feelings of want and the love for all the people and animals that make our house a home.

LeAnna said...

Blog hopped here from Becky's, and I absolutely LOVED this post. So often it's easy to look at what people are doing, and you forget that it's not the way something looks, it's the love that's there. Thanks for the reminder that I should love the countless hands that have opened and closed my honey oak cabinets that I reeeeeallly want to paint. :)

patty said...

what a great post... i've wondered here from farmgirl paints... and so glad i did. love that pup, and those birdies... but especially your sentiment.

Biz said...

What a wonderful idea.
Focus on the things we love!
I would totally join in on showing parts of my kitchen that I love except we are kind of in between kitchens.
I may not be in MY kitchen until our new home is built on base.
And although it may be military housing and I may have no say in what it looks like I know that there are many wonderful things that will come from it!
Can't wait to have pictures to share with you!

Mona Thompson Providence Ltd. said...

As always I loved your post. I would love to meet someday. You are so real and that is very endearing. I totally agree that blogs turn our want button to high vs. our need button that is so low. As a designer, it's a fine line...what do I show from my own home, because it's not all staged and every single thing the latest and greatest even though I know it's very well done. There are many designers that never show their home,,,I understand. We are expected to come up with all the current and most creative ideas and most of us do. That doesn't mean we can change our own homes every year to keep up with the latest trend and probably don't even want to. I'm rambling. I guess you just hit a chord that I ponder often. Happy weekend. Mona

lisaroyhandbags said...

That's why the kitchen is the heart of the home - the spot where everyone gathers and shares. It's so much more than what kind of backsplash you have or what brand of refrigerator. Sure, we'd all love the "wants" but when I look at my parents' kitchen, the one they built over 50 years ago and only renovated once 20 years ago, the wants aren't important - it's the memories that have been made there around that kitchen table. :)

Anne Marie... said...

I think that this is the perfect description of a kitchen - at least mine :)

Kristin said...

So sweet said! And that dog is so adorable!!! Happy Sunday!

Kristin xo's

Anonymous said...

Sigh. Another beautiful, heartfelt post, Suzanne! Perfectly lovely!!!

pretty pink tulips said...

So is the people who grace our homes that give it that special quality. Sometime our preoccupation with having/being better eclipses the enjoyment of where we are and what we have.

I know I'd love your kitchen, for that's where we would sip our coffee and talk about our day!!

xoxo Elizabeth


Ah, perspective. I think your comments could be true of all the rooms in our homes.


Linda said...

This is SO lovely, Suzanne...a very sweet reminder of what is really important...XO

LuLu said...

Your kitchen shines, it is the heart of a home and your home is filled with so much love!!!

Lili said...

You always have the best perspective of what is truly important Suzanne. I was inspired by all the litle glimpses you showed us of your kitchen, especially how you placed that sweet birdie print over your hood range. All your special touches combined with the timeless elegance of your kitchen are what caught my eye. Your kitchen is gorgeous! xoxo ~Lili