Strong negative feelings make me rejoice. I should rephrase that. Strong negative feelings about design elements that I have some control over, make me rejoice. After renting for 5 years, I learned to not focus on negative feelings about things that I could not change. If you’re renting or it’s not currently in the budget to renovate, look for the best in your current abode. Maybe you hate those windows, but they look out onto the backyard where your kids’ sandbox is. Maybe your kitchen is cramped, but you really love the color you painted the walls. I’m a firm believer in doing what you can where you are. Put lipstick on that pig, baby, and don’t apologize for it. Our homes are our homes because of the people who live in them, not because of the light fixtures or the furniture. Any small change to make your space more welcoming, comfortable, and beautiful to you will have profound effects in your happiness at home. Don’t waste time focusing on what you can’t change.
My kitchen was not horrible by any standards, but I was stoked to be able to, for the first time, demo the whole thing and start from the ground up. Even with a complete renovation, there were plenty of restrictions that would limit us. Mama always says that constraints are a good thing. They not only force you to be creative, they narrow your options, which is incredibly helpful for someone like me who feels compelled to analyze EVERY POSSIBLE OPTION.
The kitchen was divided into 2 parts. The actual kitchen was very small, with an oddly placed wall (where the fridge stood) dividing it from the eat-in area. The ceiling in the kitchen proper was a low tray ceiling that made the whole room feel as if it might close in on you at any moment. The kitchen door opening from the hall felt small (not shown here), and there were 2 pass-throughs going from the kitchen to the den. This is the part where I feel like I need to apologize to someone somewhere for ripping apart this perfectly functional and fine kitchen, but then I have to remind myself that this is sort-of, kind-of, almost a design blog. I also tell myself that if I apologize to you every time I do something that is not the essence of practicality, we might as well pack this puppy up, strap on our velcro orthopedics, and go sit on a log (cause logs are totally practical.) Thanks for working through that with me.
This is the best pic I could find of the kitchen looking in from the breakfast/dine-in area, pre-renovation.