More on Modest & Quirky Kitchens

denicastAugust 7, 2010

I think that has been forgotten. A kitchen is now "the heart of the home." But that no longer means, where a patiently- stirring ethnic mother creates a miraculous cornucopia of old-country treats, drawing the family together. No, it means where the middle-schoolers do their homework while the teens nuke their frozen entrees while the ballerina student checks her schedule while mommy plans play dates. That's not the heart of the home; it's the office cubicle with breakroom attached. - Marcolo


This is from my favorite thread "Seeking Images of Modest or Quirky Kitchens" that has seemed to reach its limit of 150 follow ups. It would be cool if the forum would have a way to keep a thread going as long as it has to.

Monuments to McKitchens are aplenty. Let us celebrate plucky kitchens for the rest of us.


"Why NOT Formica?"

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Thanks for reviving this topic, denicast. Below is a link to the original thread.

That thread was born on one of _those_ days--I had looked at so many GW threads and images but did not feel very much at home. My budget is not lavish and my taste is not fashionable. I started typing and that odd combo of "modest" and "quirky" were joined together. One of the most remarkable things about the thread--besides the conversations and the images--is the gems of wisdom. I don't know how to italicize on the GW, but you can imagine italics for these lines. My purpose in retyping these lines is to keep them from being lost when the old thread becomes unfindable. There were many more that I could also have added--apologies to those whose wisdom has not been copied to this thread.

First, a line from moi..."If I could rename this thread, that's what it would be: comfortable, authentic, unapologetic kitchens."

"You will clean willingly what you love and you will admire the patina of things well-loved."-- grlwprls

"I can take a big sigh of relief and just do what my heart tells me to do. Of course anyone with half a brain and a little integrity (confidence?) should know this already! ;) " --theresse

"I think kitchen utensils have an innate sculptural interest."-- pickle2

"...many of these kitchens remind me, in an odd way, exactly of Julia Child's kitchen-- a room clearly made for cooking."--marcolo

"I'm looking for a kitchen that is comfortable and authentic. I don't think those elements ever go out of style, because frankly, I'm not sure they are ever in style. What I like most about these kitchen is that they are *unapologetically* kitchens!" -- grlwprls

"I had hopes of creating a "perfect" or "desirable" kitchen and this thread has been a god-send. It has convinced me to do what I will love and enjoy working in and seeing daily and not what the magazines are showing. Magazine/perfect kitchens are gorgeous but the quirky ones make it feel like home."--wallycat

"My kitchen will be quirky but it will be fun and it will be mine."--debrak_2008

Here's amyjean on Uncle Thorvald's Happy Kitchen
"oozes charm and authenticity. The specifics are not at all what I would put in my own kitchen, but they quite obviously reflect the cook. It looks simply like he's taken things he already had and added to and adjusted them so as to surround himself with a kitchen that pleases him. It's something I aim for in my own kitchen. (This is as opposed to going out and purchasing specific items to give the idea that you used what you had!)"

I tried to cut down SandyPonder's rant, but decided to include this much: "It's been making me literally sick to my stomach dealing with all the marketing hype every architect, and kitchen designer that I've tried to deal with, wants to shove down our throats. My husband and I are doing much better without their "help". It's like I have two heads when I tell them "no, I DO NOT want a fancy pot filler". "No, I DO NOT want my refrigerator encased in cabinetry". "No, I DO NOT want a "breakfast bar"...or "nook". I want a REAL kitchen where I hang some pots and pans on a pegboard near my stove, and have a walk in pantry or two. I want a REAL hutch for my dishes. And we have decided that we want our beautiful oak table (that I refinished myself), in our kitchen......where the food, drink, and warmth is. So what if we happen to see a little flour from making the homemade from scratch biscuits. And really, I don't want my computer or a T.V. in there. I'd much rather look out the window at my garden. Do I believe in purchasing the best quality I can afford? Certainly. I surely do not want cookie cutter blandness though."

GoPintos said, "I pretty much could have done anything I wanted, but wanted to stay simple, but when I see some of these other beautiful kitchens, I do the shoulda coulda woulda two step...I saw this piece, it is metal, and I just loved all the colors. ...Anyhow, I saw this, and it is really what started my journey on exploring color and formulating ideas on how I invisioned everything looking in the whole house, and then the metal lead me to the 5 elements, and so on....[fast forward] it just all worked and I just felt all warm and fuzzy that it came together how I had hoped."

And at the end of the thread, denicast taunted the world: "@#&* yah, I'm getting Formica! Got a problem with that?"

I'll end this post with another of my own comments which, despite a garage sale trove of decorating magazines littering my lobby, I try to live as well as to pontificate: "Extra money should not be spent on more stuff but on your family and your future."

Lotsa love, folks, and may the Modest and Quirky Force continue to be with you. Remember to ask yourself, "What Would Thovald Say?" when you're in doubt about things --F.

Here is a link that might be useful: The original Modest and Quirky thread...

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 11:40AM
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Updating the link to Uncle Thorvald, to make it easier to find....

I've taken to calling any quirky or personal element in kitchens a "Thorvald." As in, my kids' artwork which is hanging directly on the cabinetry (eek!) is a Thorvald, as are my hand knit dishtowels that hang about the kitchen, and my 55 year old stove. Or an exposed garbage can, or a work table that only leaves a narrow aisle space, bright or unusual colors, multiple doorways (from walls NOT torn out) that make the space challenging, Etc.

Thorvalds are kind of the opposite of kitchen widgets.

Keep showing us your Thorvalds!


Here is a link that might be useful: Uncle Thorvald's Happy kitchen

    Bookmark   August 8, 2010 at 1:02PM
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Welcome to the world of Modest and Quirky kitchens. Things are getting too big and elaborate and granite-y for me on the Garden Web Kitchen Forum. What is your impression of this kitchen and this cooking experience? Hope it's a good one.

I have no idea what this building is. Just decided that the kitchen and this cooking event are too much fun to keep to myself. Wadaya think?

SPCO=St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, one of the nation's premier small orchestras.
This is some kind of fund raising item, I believe. Welcome to St. Paul, Minnesota, guys!

Here is a link that might be useful: SPCO cooking on UTube

    Bookmark   October 22, 2010 at 12:56AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

I know it's too late to bring this post back to page 1, but I'm adding my kitchen for those of you who enjoy modest budget, DIY, quirky kitchens.

florantha, I've really enjoyed both of these threads, as well as your kitchen and comments. Thank you.

The ceiling trim and flooring is not yet completed--not sure when that will be finished. Going around the room:

For photos of the whole process (with captions), you can click on my albums. There are separate albums for the kitchen, countertop runnels, hood, fridge cabinet, and marble table.

Here is a link that might be useful: SkyDrive albums

    Bookmark   November 26, 2011 at 1:35PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Since I'm the last to add pics of a quirky kitchen, I'm adding a progress picture of the DR, to try the new 'bump' feature, as well as the picture icon feature. I still need ceiling trim.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 12:11PM
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Mamagoose: still love your kitchen. So charming! And thank you for bumping this thread which links to the older thread which I'm having a blast reading through... The pictures!
Totally a quirky kitchen person and this is so much fun reading through and looking at links....

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 5:44PM
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And thank you for bumping this thread which links to the older thread which I'm having a blast reading through... The pictures!

I agree. I had heard of the fabled "Modest and Quirky" thread, but had never dug it up and read it before. Fascinating.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2012 at 6:45PM
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Of course I am biased, but I love all the modest and quirky kitchens posted and hope to see more. And florantha, thanks so much for your hilarious post, and while I am prone to ranting - a lot - I cannot claim that particular one as my own, as I have never even engaged a KD, let alone told one off (however, had I engaged one, the telling off part is a given).

I have been working on some changes to my modest and quirky kitchen, only involving paint so far, but some more bookshelves may be in the works, further blurring the line between our LR and kitchen, cuz they won't house cookbooks. The weather in NNY has been spectacular this summer, far too nice to do anything but mess around in the boats and have fun, so it won't be done till probably November or, umm, February, but I will post pics at that time, whenever it is.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 10:08AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

I haven't seen any posts lately from florantha, and since she didn't actually post this follow-up, she may not be aware that it's back. I'll take the liberty of clarifying--florantha quoted sandy808, who used to post a lot on Smaller Homes. Sandy808, if you read this, please give us an update!

Sandyponder, I'm looking forward to seeing the changes you've made to your wonderful kitchen.

deedles and Angie, thank you!

    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 2:59PM
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Oh, thank you for the clarification mamagoose, I am embarrassed to say that I didn't even look at the dates on the posts (yikes, 2010!), and since I haven't been around here much lately myself I didn't notice florantha's absence.

In any event, modest and quirky types, please keep posting your pics, they are a great antidote to the ailment of trend adherence and OTK-ness.


    Bookmark   July 31, 2012 at 3:06PM
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I'm quirky & original.
Someday I'll have photos.
I love all the magazine kitchens here, but frankly? Wudn't want to live in a magazine.

I need some color and warmth. My Buddha needs a place on the kitchen windowsill. My Maurice Sendak figure needs to be up high to look disdainfully and curiously down on life in the kitchen. My kitchen is my size. That in itself is quirky!

I'd forgotten about that thread. Glad you brought it back up!

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 1:52PM
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Oh Can not wait to read through the whole older thread. Right now I am making our kitchen ever quirkier if that is possible. and I am sure it is not a word. LOL

Mama_Goose I think your kitchen is my all time favorite.

    Bookmark   August 1, 2012 at 2:15PM
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Imhappy&Iknowit IOWA zone 6b

mama_goose - What did you do for a floor?

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 5:43PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

When I saw this thread surface again, I was hoping to see another quirky kitchen!

I still haven't finished my floor (hanging my head in shame), but I'm thinking about it. My parents and my favorite aunt have all had health issues this past year, so I haven't had the time or the interest that a such a big decision deserves. I'll post as soon as I've made some progress. Thank you. :)

    Bookmark   February 15, 2014 at 6:08PM
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