Sunday, June 17, 2007

Dreamy Kitchens

My dreams about the perfect house always start with the kitchen. Many years ago, I thought that a herringbone brick floor and a wood-burning cookstove would be great. I was young. I was idealistic. I cooked frequently in Dutch ovens and tin reflecting ovens and brick ovens and wood-burning cookstoves. Things usually worked. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Luckily, it never got implemented and my dreams have evolved. The NYTimes has a series of profiles of kitchens in and around NYC earlier this week and that got me thinking about just what my dream kitchen is these days. There are a lot of fancy-kitchen trends that I don't love. I'm not that fond of granite counter tops. I don't really like sterile-looking kitchens. I don't feel the need for every new gadget under the sun.

What I do like in a kitchen? Personality, practicality, and fun.

I had a friend in high school whose mother had a red kitchen. Every pot, implement, appliance, and surface that could be found in red, was. It was fun! It was also practical because she liked to display a lot of those red things, so implements and pots were on open shelves, on racks, and in jars, and were, therefore, easy to grab when needed.

I don't think I'd want a monochrome kitchen, but I do want color. Greens feel very fresh and vibrant, two qualities I associate with kitchens, so I'll definitely stick in some green, probably in the floor with something like a watermelon or evergreen Marmoleum. Although, in a small space that requires definition, I wouldn't rule out something like this wave or block style. Marmoleum is a mostly natural product, often listed on green materials sheets. It's got some give and doesn't stain easily, making it a good choice for kitchen flooring.

I've been fascinated recently by PaperStone for counters. I cannot get their website to load today no matter how many times I try, but it's a recycled paper and resin combo that looks a lot like chemistry lab counter tops, but in lots of colors. They've been moving away from petroleum based resins, so, again, a relatively green product.

Cabinets will probably come from Ikea. I write that as if I'm in the midst of actually designing a new kitchen that will be built sometime in the near future. I'm not, of course. Isolationville is not a permanent living, we hope, and we don't plan to own a home here. And we don't have any money for a moderately expensive kitchen remodel/build anyway.

Now Ikea won't let me choose my dream cabinets without downloading the newest version of whatever. Light wood, nothing fancy, simple hardware. That's the goal. They do have the loveliest interior cabinet and drawer organizers ever, though, and that would be necessary to kit out good pantry spaces.

The other details? It would depend on the kitchen and the amount of space. A double sink, preferably very deep, is a must. Gas stove, also, a must. Almost everything else is a little bit optional. Well, I need to have a fridge, I'm just not as picky about that as I am some other things about my kitchen. At least, I think I'm not now. If and when I actually get to design the kitchen of my dreams, it might be a whole different story.

But in the meantime, a girl can dream.

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