I woke up this morning thinking about my kitchen for some reason. Maybe it was because I've been surprised this week by how every meal I cook for my family is devoured within 5 minutes with no leftovers to be had. #teenagedboys
But then I thought about my stove - and the kitchen as a whole. It's a happy place. No, it's not big or new or gourmet at all. My stovetop is a 40" electric cooktop with push buttons from the 1970's. The electric elements are hanging on by some frayed loose wires and the coils come loose and get tilted sometimes (then I have to take metal tongs, grab the hot element and set it straight again). The countertops surrounding the stove are butcher block formica - indestructible. I often wish for a new gas range and a spacious area to prep the meals I make there but, when I have that someday, I think I will miss this little workspace. It's been the scene of many happy moments and the fact that I've created so many meals for my children on that stove makes it special.
Is there a place in your home that you hate? One that feels so behind the times or so NOT your style that you wish you could change it? There are two things that have helped me through this discontent with my kitchen.
1) Make it cheerful in some way by incorporating things you love. I have old 1950's cabinets and ripped linoleum* on the floor. So, to distract me from these disappointing parts, I painted the lower cabinets a happy turquoise - one of my favorite colors (which to me looks like a 1950's color so I'm not completely crazy, right?) I painted the walls a warm yellow and found a few decor items that catch the eye and draw attention away from the old floors (big peacock poster, little cake stand). My daughter made a little banner that hangs over the window and I made a valance with fabric that pulls all the colors together.
2) Think about the moments you've had in that space with your family. I recall nourishing meals cooked there, a gaggle of kids packing their lunches, two tired coffee lovers jockeying for their turn with the pour over and kettle, and the gatherings where 12 people have crowded into the tiny space to hold hands and bless the meal. When the REAL things fill a space, it becomes a happy place.
*The linoleum is ripped because in a moment of DIY optimism my youngest daughter and I pretended we were on HGTV and pulled up part of the sheet of linoleum hoping to uncover "Hardwood floors!" but we only found lots of glue and plywood. Back went the linoleum which was now ripped by our enthusiasm. So, yeah, we have linoleum floors and they are now ripped.
I had a moment of panic the other day as heard the furnace kick on in the early morning hours. "What if the furnace breaks? How would I afford to fix it?" What calmed me down in this moment of overwhelm was the truth that EVERYTHING THAT REALLY MATTERS CANNOT BE TAKEN FROM ME. Love and joy and the relationships I have with my children are the real things. Even if I couldn't afford to fix the furnace or had to sell this house and move somewhere more affordable, I would still have the things that matter. Only LOVE is real, everything else is just stuff. I hope this encourages you as you find ways to love the home you are in and to relish the REAL things that happen there.
For more ideas about creating a Home you Love, check out my PORTFOLIO or my COURSES.