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The Empty Kitchen

I took down the art work in the kitchen in preparation for the renovations, which will start soon.  It feels really really weird.

It reminds me of the night we moved in, when I didn’t know where anything was, and nothing felt familiar.  I sat on the kitchen floor and called my best friend and sobbed that moving had been a mistake.  It obviously hasn’t been a mistake, and I stopped saying that once I found a home for my dishes.

But it felt like a mistake in that moment because the kitchen felt like such an alien space.  But moreover, we had these empty bedrooms upstairs, and I felt like my house would never feel like a home because it would never be filled with the people in my brain who made up my imaginary family.  Do you know what I mean?  I didn’t just want to know where my stockpot was.  I wanted the inhabitants of the house to match the dream-family in my head.

Which was a task that was a lot more difficult than unpacking.

I’m excited to have a pretty kitchen, and I’m definitely excited about the literary decorations.  (And, yes, pictures are forthcoming.)  But I’m really going to miss the art work and the way the art work made me feel.  It was the opposite of that first night in the kitchen when I sobbed about all the unknowns.

I leave you with the first of the very important decorative decisions: The drawer and cabinet handles.  They’re silver twigs!  They pull together the racing brooms in Harry Potter and the beaver dam in Narnia and the Ents from Tolkien and Fillory.  Twigs!  The common literary denominator.


Totally off-topic, but tomorrow is #MicroblogMonday.  Get writing.


1 SuzannaCatherine { 04.26.15 at 8:30 am }

I do understand that alien feeling of a new space. My family moved (across town) in January and it has been an emotional roller coaster. I wasn’t expecting that, because the back story of my life included moving every 2 to 3 years as a military family. I suppose it was harder this time because I’d been in the previous house for 12 years. Lots of memories.

I’m excited for you to be getting a new kitchen. Food, the preparation and serving, is obviously important to you and your family. I was thinking about the art work and remembering a suggestion I read (though I can’t remember where). I would love to give credit where credit is due, but I honestly can’t.

The suggestion was to put the displaced artwork in a personalized “Scrapbooking” type of scrapbook. It would preserve it and keep it all in one place. Then, whenever you felt the need to see it and touch it again, it would be at your fingertips, so to speak.

The drawer pulls are fantastic! I love them and the reasons you chose them. Perfect.

Thinking of you during this renovation project. I know it will be stressful, but so worth it in the end.

2 Andy { 04.26.15 at 8:53 am }

I’m glad you found drawer pulls that you love. and I love how hey tie in to all the books. Can’t wait to see more pictures.

3 Rachel { 04.26.15 at 9:01 am }

Ahh I love those!!! So clever and nice and so fitting – yet without looking so (someone can look and think ‘ah, tree huggers’ or ‘fantasy lovers’ or ‘how insanely creative!’ Or ‘how weird!’ Or ‘how interesting and cool!’) very versatile and unique!

I have had moments every house I move into similar to the above. While I love change usually, I always a moment when I first move in and realize nothing about this home is familiar.

Can’t wait to see pics!

4 loribeth { 04.26.15 at 9:39 am }

Your post reminds me of when we moved into a new house in a new town on a hot day in July 1974 — a small, storey & a half post-war bungalow. They had already lived in 8 previous houses in four different towns, so you would think they would have been used to it. But the house had no air conditioning, it was sweltering, and the kitchen was tiny, about half the size of the one we had left. Most of what little floor space there was, was piled high with boxes. And it was their 14th wedding anniversary to boot. My poor mother took one look and burst into tears. I remember my sister & I patting her on the back & saying, “It’s OK, Mom, we’ll find a place for everything.”

And we did. And of course we all cried again when we moved out of there six years later. 😉 I’m sure your space will start feeling homey again in no time, once the renovations are done.

Love the handles. 😉 And I second Suzanna Catherine’s suggestion about putting the artwork into a scrapbook. Or, if you start getting too many scrapbooks, you could just keep the best/favourite pieces and scan the others. Takes up much less space. 😉

5 loribeth { 04.26.15 at 9:40 am }

(“They” meaning my parents — sorry!)

6 Karen (formerly Serenity) { 04.26.15 at 9:47 am }

I was going to ask you what you had decided on for the drawer pulls. LOVE.

Interestingly, when we moved into our house, it was already full with our imagined family. My process over the past ten years has been less about unpacking and more about putting things away.

7 Lori Lavender Luz { 04.26.15 at 12:13 pm }

Oh, I love them!

It’s hard to be in the in-between place. So unsettling.

But I bet, just like before, it will be sooooo worth it.

8 Laurel Regan { 04.26.15 at 12:37 pm }

I totally understand that feeling – I experienced something similar when we moved into our current home a couple of weeks before any of our stuff was to arrive – just the two of us (and one cat) rattling around in a big, empty space. Thankfully I got over it and am rather smitten with our home. 🙂 And I LOVE the drawer pulls – perfect!

9 Turia { 04.26.15 at 3:51 pm }

I LOVE the drawer pulls. Amazing!

I can’t handle keeping all (or even most) of E’s artwork. I take pictures of everything and make a photobook each year and then hold on to a few really special pieces.

I moved a lot as a kid (military family), so I am so pleased to have been in this house for six and a half years now. I hope we don’t move for years and years.

10 Mrs. Agony { 04.26.15 at 7:17 pm }

Like everyone else, I totally love those drawer pulls. Nicely done!

11 earthandink { 04.27.15 at 5:03 pm }

Love the doorpulls. Perfection.

I would have the kids do some literary art. Then you can have art and lit, all together.

I know what you mean from a sideways place.

12 Ann Z { 04.27.15 at 8:21 pm }

Those are simply perfect drawer pulls!

13 Justine { 04.28.15 at 2:19 pm }

I love you for saying this. We’re looking at a house right now that doesn’t feel right partly because of the kitchen. And we talk about renovating it, but how can we do that without even having lived in it?

Oh, how I love your twigs.

14 Tiara { 04.29.15 at 8:06 am }

I love that you feel so deeply about so much, even your kitchen. It is going to amazing. I love the twig drawer pulls!! They are just gorgeous!

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