Of all the homes we looked at, we bought the one with the smallest kitchen.
It’s our “one-butt” kitchen, and I frequently have to shoo dogs and Mark from it while I’m cooking. Recently, I caught myself eyeing L-shaped kitchens and dreaming of tearing a wall out, opening the space up. I started pinning design ideas and pining over spacious luxurious spaces. I wanted it. I needed it. I deserved it.
I calculated out the cost and tried to rationalized it. In no way would a new kitchen increase the value of our home enough to cover the cost. We already have a fresh backsplash and soft-closed cabinets and drawers. We would lose our pantry in a re-model, of which we use every inch of. For the sake of our wallet and my sanity, I decided I needed to re-evaluate what was driving this unhappiness with part of my home that had previously been well-loved.
I remember telling our realtor with absolute clarity. “I don’t like wasted space, and I don’t want a large kitchen. I want our lives to center more around the family room.” We moved from an apartment with a huge kitchen. I hated the spaces we never used or (worse!) filled with things we never used. Today, in my tiny kitchen, I still have cabinet space I never touch, but at least I’m discouraged from buying redundant or ridiculous tools. Likewise, our lives do not revolve around the kitchen (Success!).
In all manners of what I had hoped, our kitchen performed. I cook and bake daily, and it is a breeze to work in.
Similarly, I was feeling down about our dining room. Mark pointed out, “Well, of course you feel that way. That’s the least decorated part of the house right now.”
With that in mind, I looked at my poor kitchen. It didn’t have a rug. It hadn’t been deep cleaned in a while. We had never painted it. It looked, with the addition of a blue KitchenAid, exactly how we bought it.
I went out and bought flowers that day and put them in the kitchen. I cleaned the kitchen, feeling grateful for the space, and resolved to find it a durable rug.
Frequently, the parts of our life that need the most care are the parts we seek to replace. My kitchen reminded me to always put a little time and effort in before dismissing something’s value in your home or life.