I was recently flipping through the pages of a great design magazine when I came across the photo of an amazing kitchen. I immediately had two thoughts. The first was "these people don't actually cook". The second was "They don't have children". 

The open concept cabinets with all the spot free (and matching) glassware along with the photos on shelves and on the wall above the stove were my first clue. 

Perhaps it's just that at our house we're potentially over zealous cooks, but my experience has taught me that the steam from boiling water and splatter from hot oil can disperse across a broad area of the kitchen. Those fancy glasses and beautiful photos would be ruined after one evening of my husband and I in that kitchen. Dinner, however, would be amazing!

The next thing I noticed was the furry fabric covering the bar stools.  Once again, experience has taught me that the steam from boiling water and the splatter from hot oil can disperse across a broad area of the kitchen! But the main thing that came to mind were my kids. White fur covered bar stools? Who sits on those? Who would dare? I see ketchup and kool-aid all over that.  

I admit I would love to walk on plush carpeting and sit on luxuriously fluffy and high end upholstered furniture. But every day I am reminded of the logic of slipcovers and wood floors. And I am thankful for the modern invention of the washing machine.

I believe good design is not only aesthetically pleasing but functional. I love our cast iron pans. We hang them on our wall, not only because they cover a large area of a wall that quite frankly needs a little help. But they are within easy reach, we use them all the time and they look good, they add interest.  

Ease of use and accessibility are key in a kitchen. I love the idea of open cabinets. But I love the reality of doors. With 7 children in the kitchen, at all hours of the day and night, I'm just thankful if they put things away. How they put it away and where, is a whole other issue; which is why I love doors. I would hesitate to have anyone open one of our closet doors in this house. They are closed for a reason.

Utensils, oven mitts, cutting boards and knives are helpful when in close proximity to the work area. Sometimes they can be displayed in pretty containers. With the exception of knives for me.  There's something about bad feng shui when it comes to knives being out in the open. I also think it has something to do with the younger ones in the household. But we keep them in their own drawer below the shelf that holds the cutting boards.

Spices are trickier. It's best if they are not out exposed to light, heat and moisture. All of the things that happen when you cook. But it's nice to have them nearby. I go ahead and put some out in pretty jars on a shelf, then there are those in the cabinet (with a door) nearby. We use a lot of them. We go through them quickly. I tend not to worry about them being exposed to much of anything, because they're not here long enough for it to be a concern. 

As for the barstools? Save the fur for a beautiful coat or perhaps a throw pillow in the bedroom.

Ah, the bedroom...that's a whole other blog....

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