Saturday, April 20, 2013

Sift my Thrift - Dream On - Kitchen

Titus 2:5 "To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home..."

I do feel it is the womans calling to make her home as useful as it can be - of course within her means.  Its her job to keep the house tidy and a haven of rest for her family as well as for herself (I'm not saying that I do this well.  I just feel this is what I should be doing and what I apire to do).  I know not all women feel the same way that I do, but this is me.  I do though wonder what is the balance between just dealing with the circumstances (making do with what you have) and taking action to organize your life better (making changes to have better flow of life for you and your family).  I'm sorry to say that I don't have that answer.  What comes to mind though is that you should not do what you cannot afford to do. 

I often think of the term 'Opportunity Cost' that I learned in college.  It was a facinating concept to me and still is.  It's basically taking one thing in life (whether it be monitary or not) and putting it on  one end of a see saw, and then putting something else on the other side.  For instance, putting 'time with children' on one side of the see saw and then putting 'volunteer overtime' on the other side.  If you lift the side of the overtime, it's costing you time with your children.  If you lift the side of your children, its costing you 'overtime' income.  So in my circumstances, the see saw would hold 'better home life' and 'saving money'.   

It has recently become my dream to have an EAT IN KITCHEN.  For Example, something like this:
I found this lovely at . 

Convenient.  Space saving.  Old Fashioned meets modern.  Wonderful! 

Now that we will be a family of 5 (soon) my mind has been going in overdrive on ways to make our house seem, well, bigger, more useful to us.  Right now we have an open house plan (kitchen flows into living room, and living room flows into dining room.  In that order.).  I've seen photos of homes like the one above where they have simply put the kitchen table in the kitchen (instead of a bar or island).  Genius!

Right now we have an island that houses our cook top and microwave.  We as a family NEVER use it as a sit down place, unless we have people over and we all stand around and talk mostlly. 

Note:  All these photos of my home are AFTER I cleaned.  It normally is not this picked up. 

Here is a photo of the said location:

And here:

I must say that it is nice, but not space saving.

At the same time, most people NEVER make it over to our Kitchen/Dining table.  The table and the area is pretty much neglected.  Why not put a table in the kitchen instead?  We can all talk around that table just as much as the island.  Actually, I think people might just be inclined to sit.  It can also be used as a prep area just as the island is used now.  Why not?  In fact, I only use the little square of space to the left of the cooktop for prep.  If I can keep the chairs low, then using the table to prepare meals could be extremely useful.  And think of all that time savings.  I can't tell you how many treks I make from kitchen to dining area for one single meal.  First, get the glasses to the table.  Two hands, 4 glasses equals two trips.  Then the plates.  Same thing.  Then the condiments.  What?  Inky wants a refill?  Be right back!  Oops, more napkins.  Well, here goes another trip.  Woops, the breads done, I'll get it!  Whew!  Dinners over.  Now, it's the same back and forth trips in reverse.  Having a kitchen table right in the kitchen is sounding better all the time, right?  I suppose if my children were older, then I might not be feeling the workload as much (delegation), but right now, it's rather inconvenient.  Yes, I could flip flop the living area with the dining area.  I've tried it.  It doesn't work well.   The dining area is smaller than the living so its a bit awkward.  Also, our corner cabinet in the living area does not fit in the smaller dining space.

Here's a view from our kitchen into the living area

And here are some shots to show how the living room transitions into the dining area.  It's kinda like an L shape.  Sorry bout the towels on the dining room chairs.  That's just life with small children.  :  )   


Here's a view from the dining area into the kitchen:

What else would we be gaining if we put a table in place of our island?  Another room!  Two separate, yet together, living spaces.  I think it would give us a sense of transition from one space to the next, but also be open so as to feel connected.  I'm thinking a little round coffee table with two comfy chairs, maybe even a window bench and a wall of shelves with a built in mini desk for a laptop.  Under the desk could be one or two little tuck away stools (I have these already).  The shelves could be for books, nicknacks, storage for presentable kitchen overflow.  It could be a reading/coffee sipping/chit chat space.   When you pull all the seating together (stools, chairs, and bench) you've got 5 seats around a little round coffee table. 

The look is kinda like this:


combined with this:

I can't say that these two photos meet exactly what I have in my mind, but if you take the white wall shelving, and add the two small but comfy chairs in the photo above this one and add the few things I wrote about, it's just about right.  Oh and by the way, that rug is divine!

Ok, ok, so I'll have to milk craigslist for all its worth to even consider such a space.  A girl can dream right?  

Hmmm.  Where to put the cooktop and microwave.   


  1. Just found your blog...are you in the Louisville area? I am! :) So, I have an eat in kitchen and I love it. Multiple trips to the table are a lot less annoying when you are only going a few steps, so I understand why you would want an eat in kitchen. Looking at your photos I was wondering why you don't just switch the living area and the dining room? The island looks lovely as it is and I speak from experience that prepping food at the kitchen table just doesn't work that's too low. If I were you I would think about swapping out the dining/living areas. :)

    1. Shelby,

      Glad you found me! Wow, I bet it is great having an eat in kitchen. About the swapping of the dining table and living area. We have tried it, but the dining area is smaller than the living area and it ended up being awkward because of the size of our living furniture and the diniing room table seemed very swallowed up in the larger living area. Also, I was hoping to use the dining area as another living room space by eliminating the island. Right now, I only use the small square of space next to the cooktop for prepping so its not much anyway and I don't really use the upper tier of the bar for prep work. Oh I'd be so willing to bend over to prep on a table to eliminate the leg work and also to have another living space. Sigh. Oh, and we are located about 50 miles outside of Louisville.
      Thanks for your comment!

  2. I didn't even know you had a blog, Marsha! It's beautiful! There's nothing like having a little place to vent about whatever's on your mind.

    Your home is beautiful, too, by the way!

    1. Hey thanks Tanya! My husband is wringing his hands because I can't seem to keep still with the 'trying to stretch our space' ideas. But he does get what I am trying to do. I am in love with your blog! It has helped me so much. I can tell you must be an avid reader because you are a great writer! Love your ideas. Can't wait to read more!