In Renovations

If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it…right?

Someone recently e-mailed to ask me some questions, and in passing, asked whether I could send her pictures of our kitchen. My reaction was “ARGHHH, are you kidding me!?” But, after the past week, I started wondering why I was so resistant to show anyone our kitchen. I felt like kind of a snob. Our kitchen actually isn’t half bad. We’re really quite lucky that the house with all of it’s flaws when we bought it, presented us with a kitchen that was workable.

Our kitchen wouldn’t be inspiring to you, nor would it be a contender for the worst kitchen ever contest. Our kitchen although dated, is no where near awful …. which is why we haven’t done anything to it.

The counter, uninspired, is clean and in good condition. The cabinets, although straight out of 1985 properly hold our plates, mugs, and bowls. The backsplash, not my style, and maybe cracking here and there, is still holding up. So, although not to our taste, we try to go by the … “Why fix what isn’t broken” rule.

So, here are the pictures of our traditional galley kitchen….


kitchen new

I adore my awesome Bosch Tassimo machine courtesy of my Mom + Dad and ontop of the microwave is a must have for when guests come over, a Nespresso Aeroccino Milk frother. πŸ™‚ Our oven is pretty small, and won’t hold a traditional cookie sheet, which is my only annoyance.

kitchen new 2

We haven’t spent any money on reworking this kitchen, but we have done some changes. One thing we immediately did when we moved in was we moved the fridge from the farthest left area of the kitchen and moved it to our eat in area to create more space. (When the door would open, you would block the entry way to the front hall) You can tell where the fridge “used” to go by how the cabinets are much higher in the left hand area. The house a rolly-polly-plug in dishwasher which didn’t work well for us, so we sold it on Craisglist and got a built in dishwasher free from a family friend who was renovating and put it in this area + installed a cutting board on top.


Honestly, our kitchen is, apart from dated, awesome. I love the galley kitchen and it looks onto our awesome eat in area that overlooks the garden. It gets so much light. It’s a simple layout, but works so well. Having lived in a basement apartment prior to this with Aubrey, the light that we got in this kitchen was mesmerizing…We had sunlight!

So here is the honesty part of the situation. Do I wish we could tear it out and redo it? Yes. That’s just me – I love the idea of a new room. However, here is the reality of the situation; It’s not a priority since the kitchen, although not to my taste, is totally fine. And the biggest part – budget is an issue. (Let’s face it, if I had all the money in the world, I think the kitchen would be long gone)

I couldn’t articulate very well why the kitchen irritated me so, even in it’s functioning state. It was when Margot Austin, someone whom I admire immensely for her design style, was recently asked a series of questions for that my issue was articulated perfectly. She was asked;

“What do you think is the best renovation you can do to your home?”

and she answered;

“The kitchen. When it’s right, you can live with anything else that’s not quite right in your home. When it’s wrong, nothing in your home – or life – is quite on target.”

Her answer was articulate, and resonates with me. (And for the record, she has one of the most beautiful kitchens ever. )

Although the rest of our house is beautiful, not having our kitchen like the rest of the house bothers me. (And only me). And so, I remind myself of our rule “Why fix what isn’t broken” …but as you probably can guess, I’m patiently waiting for the cabinets to fall down, the oven to go poof, and the counter top to mysteriously crack in half so we can do that *fix*

So, Is there a kitchen renovation in the works? No.
Will we ever do our kitchen? It’s a maybe.
Have I threatened to take down the cabinets while Aubrey is at work? Once.


You Might Also Like


  • Reply
    February 8, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    too funny. I have the EXACT SAME galley kitchen & have said for the 4 years that we've lived in the house that it has to GO. But it is still here. Our cabinets are starting to fall apart which means it is on its way out soon (I hope).

  • Reply
    [email protected] at Home
    February 8, 2010 at 4:21 pm

    Lindsay … everyone has those kitchens. I saw a makeover recently on a TV show where they painted out the wooden piece the same as the doors so it essentially disappeared and then added some sleek modern handles (those relaly nice long ones) and it really transformed the kitchen … might be worth a pot of paint.

  • Reply
    [email protected] at Home
    February 8, 2010 at 4:24 pm

    another thought … if the different levels of cupboards bothers you where the fridge was, you could put up a box that goes the same depth as the longest cupboard … and insert the microwave (not sure if it is on your other counter)

  • Reply
    February 8, 2010 at 4:26 pm

    Trina, if you do redo your galley kitchen, do show me! I want to live vicariously through you. πŸ™‚

    Sharon – Oh, I know, these kitchens are quite "popular"! And like I said, it's really not half bad.

    What I failed to articulate in the blog post was my other home reno philosphy is that I don't like spending money on things, if one day I just want to tear it out. It sounds silly, but if I'm going to do it, I want to do it right, and never again. πŸ˜‰

    Even $200 on a temporary fix, is $200 less that I have in a few years time. And the other concern is that if I royally screw up the painting job (which is possible) I'll be even more inclined to tear it all out. So since I'm "OK" with the kitchen, I'm not touching it for fear of a meltdown. πŸ˜‰

  • Reply
    [email protected] at Home
    February 8, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    I don't spend money of anything that works either, if it doesn't drive me nuts, I live with it.

  • Reply
    February 8, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    We have the same delightful cupboards. Ours is circa 1988 when the whole house was renovated. I too, dream of tearing the thing apart. I think that we can rationalize it as we seriously lack counterspace and storage. Finding the budget to make it happen is another story. Why are kitchen renovations so dang expensive !

  • Reply
    February 8, 2010 at 8:21 pm

    Your kitchen is maybe not the most gorgeous one in the world, but it really is not so bad. It's very bright, has the nice white tiles, and it's designed very simply–no fussy, annoying woodwork. You'll be fine. And if you are feeling down about it from time to time, remember that you can go recline on that gorgeous bed of yours until you feel better. : )


  • Reply
    [email protected]:podge
    February 8, 2010 at 10:42 pm

    I can so relate. I am renting and have a circa 90's oak kitchen. If it were mine I would paint them out, change the counter and backsplash. In the meantime I can just dream…..

  • Reply
    February 9, 2010 at 1:00 am

    Hey Lindsay! I so often watch The Unsellables on HGTV here in the US. Your cabinets are the same as the other homes in Toronto. Sophie Alsopp(on the show)just has them repainted. But thanks for posting your pix! : )

  • Reply
    February 9, 2010 at 4:20 am

    Jbhat – that is perfectly said, as that is exactly how I feel. It's not a fussy kitchen, it's not overly dramatically dated. It's really not that bad! I think it was when I immediately freaked out at the thought of showing someone my kitchen, then as time passed I realized that "hey, wait a minute….why am I complaining?" and decided to reveal it to the world.

    Tammy – I love that show with Sophie – she does amazing, amazing transformations, I wish she showed more of how she did certain things!

    I think as I said to Sharon, I'm resitant to touch anything in forms of "updating" because if it goes horribly wrong, I'll be VERY tempted to want to start fresh. Although I feel the kitchen is dated now compared to the rest of the house, it's clean, functioning, and would never, ever, win a "Worst Kitchen Contest".

    If I could only make that oven BIGGER so I could make cookies, I would be happy. πŸ™‚

  • Reply
    February 9, 2010 at 5:08 am

    Thanks for keeping it real πŸ™‚ It's sooooo easy to think every pretty room in the blogosphere is part of a *perfect* home that belongs to a *perfect* family. It's great to be reminded that you can actually enjoy life with a 1980s kitchen πŸ™‚ Who knew!?

  • Reply
    Elle - Little Blue Chairs
    February 9, 2010 at 2:49 pm

    Thank you for sharing-

    Our kitchen was uninspiring, but not broken. However, I had to at least do a little bit. Scraped together a small budget ($150) so far and put up some paint. But I am struggling with the island issue. It is not broken, it actually functions, do I really need it. Anyways, your post resonated with me. Thank you.

  • Leave a Reply