Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A Tale of Two Kitchens

Once there was a dream kitchen, two years in the planning, 9 months in the building - a gestation and birth. Our 30 plus year marriage was dying but I was too blind  and stubborn to see it. I thought we would come out the other end of the nightmare we were going through still whole. There had been a lot of personal denial spread over thirty  years, it had seeped into all the nooks and crannies of my life. And there was deception. Of course I never saw that. So the time came to begin the addition of the dream kitchen - my project - to busy myself with and take my mind off what became the dying of my life, my marriage, my family as I had known it. I charged ahead determined that I was going to saver every minute of the realization of this interior design of mine - this rebuilding - and hope that our relationship would be rebuilt along with my dream kitchen. But it was just a dream and a bad one at that. I was always alone in the work, alone in the dream. Alone in the belief we could withstand the poison that was spreading through our once I believed unbreakable bond loosening the ties. The final bit of work was to put up the hand painted tile murals and backsplash I had spent two years perfecting. I asked my then husband and was assured that we were going to make it - he said to install the tiles, we would be there to enjoy them. The tiles went up in January finishing the work. He told me in March he was leaving.

So I sold the house with the new dream kitchen. It had been our home for 20 years but it had become like a crypt for a dying dream. There were too many memories there for me to remain. I needed to find a new place to live and recover in. My only demands were a large art studio area and an inspiring view of the Mississippi River bluffs. I had decided I was not willing to give that magnificent view up - that was too much to surrender. I found all of that and more in my new home - and what wasn't there I added. I recreated my dream kitchen all over again this time just for me. I kept the hickory cabinets, the previous ones were alder, but changed out the cabinet hardware to the identical oil rubbed bronze twigs and butterfly pulls I had selected before. I switched the countertops to what I had chosen for the first kitchen and got matching appliances. I installed new oil rubbed bronze faucets and lighting and new paint to match the first selection. And I put up a new hand painted tile backsplash that I created all over again. This time I did the grout work all by myself and it felt great. I had my new dream kitchen and I did it all myself. And I wasn't surrendering again!

The top photos are from my new present and forever dream kitchen. The bottom photos are from my first dream kitchen that is being enjoyed by a new family now. I hope they have better luck there than we did. The photo of the large blue cupboard was designed by me for the first kitchen but taken to my new kitchen where it lords over my great room kitchen/living/dining combination. The strangest thing was that both these kitchen great rooms have the same exact dimensions = 18" x 26". Like it was meant to be.


  1. So sorry you have had such a rough time Maureen. Sounds like you've created a lovely nest for yourself now.

    The little details (especially the figures) are really cool in both kitchens

  2. What a wonderful story of survival and triumph! Hope you are enjoying your fabulous accomplishment!

    Jessie (jbguess)

  3. You go girl!
    Love the kitchen, especially the twig pulls.

  4. Maureen I love your tiles!! Good for you for rebuilding your life and your kitchen!! I have to ask you more about the mississippi river bluffs. My Mom grew up near the IL Iowa border in a house that overlooked the Misssissippi River bluffs!!

  5. You know for every door that closes, another one opens. It sounds like you are enjoying your new "chapter" and your new kitchen. It's lovely indeed .

  6. Life's not easy is it...but girl you've done something wonderful here...building yourself a safe nest...wish I could sit with you in your new kitchen for a cuppa and a chat...hugs to you...

  7. You put a lot of work in that little project. Congrats! on your new blog :)

  8. Gosh Maureen the work you did and the love you put into the kitchen both times, shows !
    I love the tiles you made, they are fantastic
    and adore the blue cupboard
    Hugs June x

  9. Constance, West VirginiaAugust 4, 2009 at 10:51 PM

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  10. Walk thru those new doors that Carol spoke of, with your head held HIGH!!!!!
    So happy for you, you deserve the very best, I know it!!!!


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