Thursday, June 18, 2009

That Dysfuntional Kitchen

Sometimes I get this overwhelming urge to tear remove the cabinet doors off my cupboards. Other times I feel obnoxious adventurously diligent to scheme a way to take down the wall that slices our kitchen into tiny fragments of square footage. Other times I strive to be content by merely loading the dishwasher which results in a more open feeling since the 3' of counter space no longer is covered in dirty dishes.

These urges come when I sense myself being suffocated by the closed in feeling my kitchen boasts of. And pretty much anything would make it feel more open.

I've toyed with the idea of moving the fridge out. Seriously, count how many cultures you know of that don't have a fridge. They survive, right? Just think of the counter space I could create where the fridge sits now!

I've thought about using a hammer and hacking air holes into walls. But I knew my carpenter husband wouldn't like the unprofessional look that would give.

I've put off baking and doing any major cooking. The results usually produce tight quarters and insufficient food any way.I even accidentally removed the entire front glass from our stove. That gave me about two extra inches of knee space in the vicinity of the stove but it also eliminated the insulation feature on the front of the oven. I learned fast that burning your knee once is all you need to always take an 18" bypass of the stove every time you waltz through your kitchen.

I've dreamed of creating an outdoor kitchen. But that would cost more than removing that wall that makes my kitchen a tiny cracker box. And what would we do about the flies?

I've threatened to ban myself from the kitchen. You know, the whole "out of sight, out of mind" theory? That doesn't work when mealtime rolls around and everyone wants food from the kitchen.

I've resigned myself to experience my kitchen as a Shrine of Contentment. On the stove I daily sacrifice my unthankful spirit and offer up my 5'x8' kitchen as a piddly incense. I wear a smile to brighten up the dark corner of our house we call our kitchen in hopes of making up for the poor lighting. I've determined to forgive the manufacturer who created the homogeneous light that takes up half the ceiling but only gives off about 13watts of brightness. Seriously.

I inch around the kitchen like a sardine in it's tin can. Only using the bare minimum of space for the traffic I create from one side of the 5' wide room to the other side. I've realized I can basically rock from side to side in order to use the sink and stove at the same time. I've looked for ways to find convenience in my kitchen. But it ends up resulting in the same disappointment a convenience store gives - seriously, how convenient is it to spend $4 for a bag of popcorn you could get at the grocery store for 99 cents?

That's how my kitchen is. It's like a convenience-store-four-dollar-popcorn-bag disappointment.

I hear Scandinavian Open Shelving Kitchens are the in thing. Did you know that? I didn't but when I heard it, I knew it had to be true. I mentally calculated how I could bring Scandinavian hope to my Cave Man Kitchen. But the problem remained. That wall is just in the way.


There's no place to put open shelves unless I remove the fridge and the stove. But what would a kitchen be without a fridge or stove? It would be a utility room. Or a wet pantry.

So, I sigh and remember the many cultures that don't even have a kitchen. And I wonder what they'd be able to do with a kitchen like mine. It dawns on me that really the only thing I lack in my kitchen, isn't space or counter top. Rather, it's a I-can-make-this-work attitude.

But man, how much better I can make this work if I didn't have that wall in the way...

1 comment:

Jean said...

Are you talking about the wall beside the stove? That is the only one I see in the picture other than the outside one - which of course if you remove it you'd have your outdoor/indoor kitchen all in one but the bugs and the winter might make a slight problem. I certainly would not recommend open shelving unless you particularly like to wash dishes even when they haven't been used.

Way back in the late 50's (ancient history to you) my parents remodled a tiny kitchen and the most unique feature of the new one was the nice stovetop/oven unit that they bought. The oven was on the top and the electric burners were a draw affair that went under the oven when not in use - when it was closed there was a narrow cutting block counter but it pulled out with four normal elements. The fridge and stove occupied one side of the room and the double sink and counter the opposite side with a little section of counter and upper cabinets across the end. It was such an improvement over the original kitchen that we all thought it was great.

PS-A family of six lived in this house and my Mom believed in having the daughters helping in the kitchen. The only thing was we alsways ate in the dining room.