My title of this post says it all! What is the "One True Kitchen". I hear it bandied about on the kitchen forum.
It's the kitchen from the movie, Something's Got to Give. Here's a link, from Hooked on Houses...scroll down to the kitchen pictures and that should answer your question :)
Not my style, but very popular on the forum!
Here is a link that might be useful: Something's Got to Give kitchen
First off, I apologize to the folks who have done a version of what has come to be known "The One True Kitchen." So many folks here have embraced the style that I guess it inevitably had to get a name, but OTK is a little bit, well, snarky. It's a beautiful combination, but some on the board are getting style fatigue and want to see something different.
That said, it is look I wanted for my 1910 Edwardian until circumstances scuttled any chance of a major remodel.
1)White or off-white shaker-style cabinets
2)Marble or soapstone counters
3)White subway tile backsplash (ceramic or marble)
Some folks embrace the white cabinets but change up the other elements. You can see many examples of the style on the finished kitchens blog (http://finishedkitchens.blogspot.com/, link below). I searched for kitchens with white cabinets, and my non-exhaustive perusal turned up these fine examples of the genre (by the name of the poter):
Here is a link that might be useful: Finished Kitchens Blog
The OTK is very vanilla, IMHO. When you look at that picture, with Diane Keaton in the white sweater and pants...you realize that everything is white, black and a little bit of wood. There is no color...and it shows, when you see Jack Nicholson, in the next pictue, who is not color-coordinated...and stands out like a sore thumb! LOL
LL, you're very right! So many people have been in love with that kitchen and used it as a design inspiration, but the design itself was part of the art direction and story telling of the movie and was meant to convey ideas as part of the Diane Keaton's characterization, and to an extent, an evocation of a particular place, that most people wouldn't want in their kitchens. That's why the snarky name. The people who actually did copy elements from this kitchen, however, put their own color and depth into their homes and didn't build actual emotional voids.
What I don't understand is that, yes in the OTK there is "no colour" and yet for those who believe that stained wood is better, you make stained wood cabinets and there is still no colour in the kitchen. (No colour in houses/kitchens is my personal soap box issue)
I have a white kitchen, have had for 20 years, waaaay before Something's gotta give (a movie I have never seen or pics I have never seen before today) and wood never do wood.
But, personal preference.
P.S. Can we please not turn this into a white-kitchen bashing thread otherwise we'll have to bring out the popping pop-corn video.
I have always wanted warm white kitchen cabinets and a wood floor (still do) but I would want wall color...color at the windows, lighter countertops, color on the backsplash, etc. Everything is neutral and I don't think you'd see much difference if this movie set kitchen photo was taken in black and white.
That being said...white cabiets, wood cabinets, color cabinets...all can be wonderful or not, based on what is put with them. That's the fun part :)
I love that kitchen as much now as the first time I ever saw it (here of course). Where some people see bland, I see crisp, fresh and clean. You think it's boring? I think it's a blank slate for changing accessories on a whim. Thank goodness we don't all have the same taste - now that really would be bland!
The OTK is not about white cabinet paint.
The One True Kitchen was so named for the doctrinaire, almost fanatical zealotry of some of its adherents. The OTK must have white subways--preferably "creamy." Counters may only be soapstone, or white marble, or white granite or quartzite. Inset cabinets are preferred but overlay is tolerable. Nickel cabinet latches and apron sinks are de rigeur, along with one of 4 or 5 permissible Peacockesque pendant lights from Circa Lighting. Floors are wood. This is the one true look that shall be timeless and classic forever and ever Amen. All deviations shall be heresy.
I personally witnessed a number of auto-da-fes in which a few poor posters who veered into dangerous territory were compelled to confess their errors and beaten into orthodoxy. In two separate cases that come to mind, someone posted a lovely mostly-finished kitchen with white cabinets, and wanted to shake things up with backsplashes that were either a wall of color, in one case; or something a bit more rustic in the other, to contrast with the tailored appearance of the rest of the kitchen. A few commenters offered timid support--then quickly fled when the Inquisitors arrived. "Oh, no! Creamy white subways!" Over the course of these threads, the followers of the OTK changed their arguments fifty times, but never their goals. The OP would "tire" of any other choice. The alternative would be "too hard to clean." Subways were "timeless" and not "trendy" like the other tiles, which were "too busy" anyway, because the "marble/soapstone" should always be the star. By the end of the threads, the OPs had actually been threatened with financial ruin due to a garish, unsaleable kitchen, and there were even, I kid you not, dark warnings of future marital strife if repentance was not swift.
I've been in these threads, so I'm not listening to anybody who says that never happens. It does happen. It used to happen more than it does now.
So that's what made a white kitchen into the OTK. It's not about white cabinets. It's not about people who have white cabinets, or like white cabinets. It's about a kit of materials that simply must all be used together. For the real true believers, any deviation seems personally threatening to them in some way. Luckily not all the white kitchen fans are true believers, but they are certainly out there.
Ironically, seeing that exact same execution repeated over and over is making people tire of the style entirely, and will eventually ensure that the OTK is anything but timeless.
[sound of thunderbolt]
Marcolo, too funny! You've been struck by lightening!
My OTK is the one that was shown in Moonstruck. Large table, lots of room but not sterile and yes there are subway tiles but the feel of that kitchen is homey, comfortable, lived in. It is filled with the pain and joy of real life all amongst the smell of frying eggs, or tomato sauce with macaroni eaten with a rustic bread(baked at the corner bakery not necessarily "artisan")and lots of red wine.Those are the feelings I would like my future(not the one I'm working on now) kitchen to evoke.
Sometimes some people focus on the resale aspect too much. 50/50 chance that your kitchen will be ripped out no matter how much you like it. The next person may love the wood molding, high ceilings, big windows, large bath, fireplace or yard and buy it regardless of the fact that they are thinking "As soon as I get the money I'm ripping that kitchen out". Enjoy your kitchens, as you (and husband, partner, girlfriend, boyfriend) will be the one working in them every day, 365 days a year. It should look as pleasant, nice, cozy, warm or stunningly magazine layout beautiful, whatever you can afford. But above all it should be recognized that (for most) a kitchen is for preparing and serving food. Good luck to everyone working on their remodel..
Thanks everyone. There are many lovely elements with the kitchen.
So Plllog, I never saw the movie. But are you saying that the art direction, with all that white, was striving at visually imparting to the viewer the emotional void in the lives of the movie characters? If so, interesting.
First thank you for starting this post and for all who have participated and for reminding me of that movie I loved but it was bittersweet since two weeks later, a man I had fallen in love with broke up with me and since I don't fall in love easy, it was very difficult on me. But now that I see the pictures again, I remember how I loved the kitchen and he could care less so that should have shown me that we were so different. :)
I have fallen in one with the "One True Kitchen" and I never get tired of seeing it. But I also love when one deviates and the kitchen is still beautiful. I also love Cherry kitchens and Maple stained cherry cabinets. I am finding so many appealing styles as long as everything in the kitchen coordinates making the kitchen looks so nice. But I have been wanting inset cabinets or full overlay cabinets after seeing the beautiful kitchens on this website. Please everyone design the kitchen the way you envision it to be even if it is a version of the "One True Kitchen" or a deviation of it or something entirely different. We will enjoy all kitchen transformations that makes the one designing it and making it better than they have happier.
Lynn2006, so sorry that you had to struggle with lost love. It can be so painful. The upside to loss is that it allows us to discover our strengths that we never knew we had.
This kitchen touches so many.
I also think of this dude, Christopher Peacock, and his Scullery Kitchen:
Enduring, thank you for caring and you are so right that the pain from the break-up helped me grow and discover strengths that I never knew I had.
Yes, that kitchen really touches many and I find it having timeless classical beauty.
Christopher Peacock was the one true prophet of the OTK. Except he recently fell into apostasy.
Blasphemer, cursed be his name.
For all the bandying about of the "OTK" name on the board these days, I still don't see people putting much effort into trying to restrain themselves from forcing the entire continent to cover itself with white subways. Every backsplash thread seems to bring out the Ministry of Vice and Virtue in full force, regardless of what the OP wants or will work with the scheme.
Hugs to Lynn.
I thought the SGG kitchen at the time (and still) was spectacular. I have to give a round of applause to the set designers on that movie because they were awesome.
The blog "I am Bossy" had a very funny commentary
on the Something's Gotta Give kitchen:
Here is a link that might be useful: I am bossy blog
Thanks Marcolo, I had to look up "apostasy" in an online dictionary (and listen to the pronunciation:)!
Definition & Pronunciation of apostasy in the link below since like enduring I had to look it up. I really am enjoying this thread.
Thank you also gsciencechick for the hugs.
Here is a link that might be useful: Definition & Pronunciation of apostasy
Marcolo- LOL! It sounds like the fight for the OTK could be an online game...those who ruthlessly defend the OTK...and those who dare to challenge those beliefs. Could it have a 'World of Warcraft' spin?
Enduring, yes, it's been too long since I saw the movie to be specific, but the art direction in any top quality movie will enhance the story. Here, the beach house, unlike many people's images of the Hamptons in high season, has an isolated, cold look. The furnishings are spare and desaturated, but the rooms are full of colorful clutter. The styling of the rooms, especially that blue striped carpet, but in other details as well, reinforce that this is a wind scoured beach. Not fun in the sun, clear colors a la Martha Stewart, Party at Puffy's, type of Hamptons beachhousery, but clean, orderly, in good repair versions of craggy, old, out of the loop, desolation.
Notice that in the stills on Hooked on Houses, and if I remember right throughout the movies, Diane Keaton's character's clothes always match the room, like she's fading into the background. See in the kitchen how the things she's trying to fill up the room with, the bright pink flowers and bowls of fruit and all, make her disappear. The dishes are all neutrals, like the clothes. They're not alive. The vegetation and food are like the grass that grows through the cracks.
The colors are for natural things like flowers, the striped rug, which represents the waves (nature), and books and paintings, which represent the lives and thoughts of other people.
Contrast Jack's bedroom. It's the same way, though, if I remember right it's the same house. The point isn't consistency of interior design, but or characterization. The neutrals are saturated, and complex, but still blank and dark. When he's in the room, he blends into the background, when he brings his bright blues and blacks into her space, it's jarring.
She wears some black. He wears some white. I can't remember the sequence, whether that starts after they start affecting each other, or if it's there throughout, showing that they complement each other and have things in common.
Sometimes there are movies that I like just for the art direction. People get puzzled how they end up on my list of favorites. :)
Hopefully this OTK thing doesn't lead to people thinking that anyone who chooses such elements as white cabs, white granite, or white subways is simply following the crowd.
I agree that no one style should be held higher than another, and those who love the OTK shouldn't look down on those who don't. In the same way, let's not start discriminating against those who choose these design features as part of their kitchen!
Wow Plllog, I didn't know! I loved reading your post. For example:
"The vegetation and food are like the grass that grows through the cracks." That is such great descriptive writing. Thanks.
Singingmicki Its ok if people love or hate the OTK, it really doesn't matter on an individual level. We all love to talk design and kitchens and that's really cool.
I think few people intentionally "simply follow the crowd" but we live in a society and I don't think anyone's preferences are 100% immune to "trend" influence.
There are two of us remodeling the house and kitchen. Neither of us watch TV. I don't watch movies (he watches scifi). We run ad blockers on our browsers. We don't read magazines. We don't have long commutes so we see fewer billboards than most. We both HATE shopping and never go in malls. Before reading this forum, I didn't even know there existed a store called Restoration Hardware. Seriously.
Yet we are putting in shaker cabs -- seemingly today's (or at least GW's) most popular style. And that was decided before I posted here -- I think one of my first posts was even asking what "this" style was called: shaker (sincerely asking -- and none of you made fun of me for it, even!). Their popularity may explain why one kitchen designer/cab rep seemed to sigh as she showed us door panels and we both independently pointed to the shaker (and the plain slab (which she seemed also to have a disinclination toward) -- but slab was generally more expensive and we didn't have strong preference between the two so price won there).
We had not browsed house mags (never have yet) or online finished kitchen blogs (have since), no TV, no friends with kitchens remodeled in the last 20 years (most rent), no movie kitchens and yet the trends of the day had independently and unconsciously seeped into both our preferences (the white paint part didn't, though).
I'm not offended if someone suggests our choice is 'trendy'. Did we consciously choose them because they are popular? No. Did we unconsciously do so? Who knows for sure? Quite probably.
Some of the kitchen minutia discussions (others and my own!) do remind me of this, though:
Zartemis, that is a great cartoon! I love it. It is the way we are isn't it.
Enduring, thanks for the kudos, but that was really Malvina Reynolds. The song is really much less literal, but I've always appreciated the power of the grass because of it.
Plllog, That is an old folk song and singer that I'd never heard of. It was great listening.
When I was growing up another of her songs was a favorite of mine, sung by Pete Seeger. But what do you think about this link! precious singer. Of course I listened to a video of Malvina singing the song too.
Here is a link that might be useful: regina spektor - Little Boxes (Malvina Reynolds cover)
Actually, I've always pictured a swarm of flying monkeys coming in for the attack, each one carrying a creamy white subway. Your mission is to defend the gingham-clad homeowner and her little dog, too.
I really wanted to Photoshop a pope hat onto Christopher Peacock with monkeys flying out of an orifice but my skills are limited in that department. However, when I did a Google for pope hat and Christopher Peacock, I did get 29,000 hits. Such is modern life.
We all worry that we are making trendy decisions that won't be timeless. No matter what we do, we are a influenced by the era we live in. I have decided not to worry so much about it as long as I am true to my tastes and have some individuality. I realized while reading one of the "design around this" threads that we should embrace the era we live in. The thread showed a wagon wheel chandalier and it reminded me of my mother in law's kitchen prior to renovation. She embraced the trends in home design and fashion! I look back at some of those dated photos and think she was so stylish for the time. And her seven kids have the most wonderful memories of that kitchen and her sixties and seventies fashions.
I still like the white kitchens even though every commercial on tv has a white kitchen. Oh well, I am adding touches and color that make it relate to my center chimney cape...at least I hope. And my DH doesn't like subway tiles so no kit of materials for me.
Thanks for this thread. I was wondering what "one true kitchen" meant also.
Marcolo- LOL! Even better...maybe they could be dodging the trees throwing apples, too...but only the trendy green apples, of course :)
It is easy to poke fun at some of the trends, but if it's what someone really loves...that's great! It's when people don't seem to really want that style and are pushed into it anyway...then it does seem like the flying monkeys are starting to circle.
I find the SGTG kitchen and house to have a relaxed elegance. To me it is not desolate at all. It looks like a casual place that has been owned for a while by someone who does not worry about money or showing off. It suits her like a comfy pair of jeans. Her house reflects that she is comfortable in a certain look just as her wardrobe does.
It is the anti-Sopranos house. It was refreshing, and still is, when compared to other movies and shows that showed more conspicuous consumption.
While I enjoy it, I had a different vision for our house. If I could afford a house like that, I'd do well to have it turn out so lovely.... although, since seeing so many homages to that look here, I'd just have to tweak it quite a bit to not look like I was jumping on the bandwagon. One could do a lot worse than have their house look like that!
Zartemis, you've hit it exactly. The carton is perfect. We are all in our little GW box, chattering about backplash tiles and colour.
Dianalo, I also find the SGTG kitchen to be peaceful, elegant and beautiful. In 2007, I bought Durham's Royal Cottage solid maple furniture in the sand white finish which now I see looks like inset doors in a creamy off-white that has a rubbed out look. I love the look the more I have the furniture since it is to me so peaceful and beautiful. I have various creams and ivories in my bedroom with a touch of color here and there that again I love. Before the new furniture, I had outdated cheap golden oak furniture that had drawers too small and the look made me unhappy. I wanted a light bedroom or a beautiful cherry bedroom.
I couldn't resist. Just for you, live_wire_oak:
zartemis, the cartoon is perfect. We'll have to develop our own cartoon in which someone spends a year staring at swiss cheese ceilings and discovers the pure perfection of 5" Juno cans with wheat haze trim.
marcolo, I looked up apostasy in the dictionary, too, and I found your picture there.
By the way, I tried to make the monkeys granny-smith apple green, but I missed. Notice how the 50,000 cfm range hood is sucking them right out of the kitchen!
francoise47, thank you for posting the bossy blog. It's hilarious! This was my personal favorite:
Mpagmom...how dare you blaspheme my island inspiration picture!!! The shape of that island is sacred to me...I wore that picture out, staring at it during the long, cold, winter of my kitchen design last year. It had a place of honor in my "bible" (book of torn mag pics) that I carried with me everywhere I went. My dh worried that I was developing unnatural fantasies about Christopher Peacock, who, sadly, my budget could not afford.
Lol, this entire thread is hilarious AND educational...I love it when I have to use m-w.com in a kitchen forum! :)
I am just crushed that no one bothered to look up "auto-da-fe."
What the H**L does that mean Marcolo?!
Oh ya, I remember it means this:
The ceremony for pronouncing judgment by the Inquisition which was followed by the execution of sentence by secular authorities; broadly : the burning of a heretic!
Thanks online dictionary:)
Here is a link that might be useful: auto-da-fe
For me it's The Barefoot Contessa's kitchen from the mid 2000's. Black countertops, white cabinets, sstainless, and the two tone green wallpaper. Love it.
Same here. After taking a class set design I haven't looked at a movie or tv show the same.
Haven't click on this thread before today. Great way to start the weekend.
mpagmom that was entirely too----gratifying. I need my head examined. I don't know why he bothers me so much. Well, no, that's being dishonest. I do know why he bothers me so much. He found just the right charlatanesque mixture of bravado and snobbery to appeal to the not so secret Anglophillia that infects East Coast prep school crowd. I could forgive him because of the high craftsmanship of the line he developed, but then there he goes copycatting himself into oblivion with every kitchen the virtual "kit" that Marcolo is railing against. He's a great salesman and lucky, not a great designer. Give me Mick DeGuilio any day for a celebrity kitchen god. At least he's creative and can do something other than a "kit kitchen".
And he can do a white kitchen too!
Spleen vent over.
My favorite white kitchen ever linked below.
Here is a link that might be useful: Siematic Beaux Arts by Mick DeGuilio
I didn't look it up when I read it, but seeing it made me pause to consider whether the plural was indeed "auto-da-fes," or should it have been "autos-da-fe," which sounds more natural to me.
nini804, I would never blaspheme CP or his islands. I was just providing photoshop expertise for live_wire_oak. I personally like his kitchens and pulled all the pictures off his web site for my "kitchen ideas" file (which has like 800 pictures at this point). For my penance I will clean my sink WITHOUT Barkeepers Friend (I know, more blasphemy).
I am actually quite reverent in real life, but seeing Christopher Peacock with the papal mitre reminded me of who really invented the One True Kitchen.
Think about it -- who has been using marble-topped chunky islands for centuries?
It's not from Circa, but the pendant lighting is impressive:
Looking for just the right marble backsplash?
And who do you think came up with the idea of using a neutral palette and changing accessories with the season?
It wasn't Christopher Peacock!
I had looked it up after the complaint was raised and the plural is "autos-da-fe". See my above dictionary link. BTW, I couldn't find the original post that Marcolo was referring to.
live_wire_oak, those are beautiful, I especially like the wine room.
enduring, it's in about the 10th post of the thread:
"I personally witnessed a number of auto-da-fes in which a few poor posters who veered into dangerous territory were compelled to confess their errors and beaten into orthodoxy."
I would love to read these posts. I'm newer to the forum and the only thing I've seen comparable to that is when someone posts their "final kitchen design" and then refuses to move their sink 6 inches. Those get scary.
Mpagmom, You nailed it!!
People tell me my fridge and freezer look like the Holy Ark, but I have to say the inspiration was the office door my father built when I was a kid which no one would have mistaken for anything holy. :)
In general, both are from a confluence of rectangles and basic materials, but it does say something about us that the materials that we used to pull together as a community to afford for our houses of worship are what we're currently putting into our kitchens. Kitchens have gone from utilitarian and spare to the finest room in the house.
Enduring, I love Regina Sperber! I just can't listen to more than one song at a time from her because of her intensity. :)
And the One True Kitchen spoke to her, making her heart sing:
I. I am the One True Kitchen, who brought thee out of the land of cheap builder's grade oak and shiny brass. Thou shalt not install any strange kitchens before Me; nor paint thy walls a non-neutral color; nor make for thyself any likeness of the Sopranos' kitchen, or early '90s Tuscan. Nor shalt thou apply any graven appliques upon thy Shaker cabinets. Thou shalt not prefer other kitchen styles, for I, the One True Kitchen, am a jealous Kitchen, visiting iniquity on them that hate Me.
II. Thou shalt not take any countertop unless it came with veins.
III. Remember the annual Crown Point holiday sale; eleven months shalt thou pay full retail; but on the twelfth month thou shalt negotiate, when it shall be surprisingly affordable.
IV. Honor thy subway tile and thy farmhouse sink, that thou shall not tire of thy kitchen for many days.
V. Thou shalt not spill, especially wine or lemon juice unless thou buyest soapstone.
VI. Thou shalt not commit to any slab unless thou hast tested it first with ketchup.
VII. Thou shalt steal everything from Christopher Peacock's website that isn't tied down and copy it exactly.
VIII. Thou shalt not bear to go without a false door unless it is up against a neighboring cabinet.
IX. Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's colorful countertop; or her colorful backsplash; or her colorful paint; or her stained cabinets; or her dreadful four-inch strip of granite before the tile starts, what was she thinking.
X. Thou shalt not covet anything that is thy neighbor's, for it is not timeless and classic and she has no taste.
Tooo funny and clever. Amazing. Nice job!
Marcolo, you win. Best post ever.
That red in the church with the white pendents raises a little passion; don't you think?
The OTK must be a regional thing, as I don't think it is too common where I live. For sure not as ubiquitous as here on GW. Hey, for something that was so timeless and classic, I didn't even know what subway tiles were until I vacationed in Montreal and saw them on the walls of the Metro. I had pretty much finalized my kitchen re-do before I found the KF, but I certainly noticed a lot of gentle bullying applied to anyone who questioned the universal wisdom of making their kitchen "neutral".
I did most of my inspiration shopping by visiting the local kitchen showrooms, where I saw a huge variety of great kitchens, featuring all manner of trendy materials and finishes, and features, to suit any budget. I also dropped in on any friends/relatives/acquaintances who had renovated their kitchens within the past 10 years. All were different, and most were nice enough that I could have cooked and eaten happily in them. As I said, all were DIFFERENT. I really cannot name any common feature or colour that they all possessed, with the possible exception of an island. (Does anyone NOT do islands these days????) So, I had a really difficult time coming to grips with the very noticeable race for uniformity and conformity I encountered here.
Well, I still fall in love every time someone post a beautiful kitchen with cherry cabinets or maple stained cherry color cabinets. I also fall in love with very dark cabinets and other looks also. I really love kitchens that have a look where everything goes so well together and compliments what is chosen that it just looks so nice. There are so many white kitchens but to me each has their unique look. If I had a lot of windows in my kitchen and a lot more light and had gone with light floors in my other room, I would do Cherry or Maple kitchen cabinets with a reddish cranberry or some kind of glaze to make the cabinets a little more red. I am just tired of living my whole life in every place I lived in with builder grade oak cabinets or when growing up oak cabinets. Of course there were the few places where the cabinets were nonexistent or worse. For instance, for 14 months I live with the dreaded tiny laminate slab broken cabinets with no real storage in an apartment I moved in when I graduated college. I also remember the horrible places I lived at in college since I paid for it myself. It was difficult to live like that since I grew up in nice houses but I had to do what I could to pay for the college and did not even have a car until I was 22 until I saved and bought a used car. The memory of my mother who passed away when I was 16 got my through the hard times hearing her voice telling me I could do whatever I had my heart set to do if I tried hard enough.
I admire all new kitchens and anyone who did their best to renovate and improve on what they have. I would be happy at this point with cabinets with more drawers and no blind cabinets and able to reach things in the kitchen better whatever the door color as long as it was not builder grade oak like I have now with the tarnished hinges that look out of place with all the fairly new beautiful stainless steel appliances that I am enjoying for their look and functionality.
I don't see a "race for uniformity and conformity" here. Certainly people come here looking for ideas, see things they like, and copy them. The Restoration Hardware Benson Pendant comes to mind.
If I looked at the last 5 finished kitchens posted here, what would I find? (I'll post the links and then one picture so you won't have to go back and forth)
mick2 at http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg111239053142.html?19
tilenut at http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg111412124546.html?55
quelle4 at http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg1100341323687.html?26
renovationronnie at http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg111926063754.html?15
prospect711 at http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/kitchbath/msg111640088422.html?58
Four of the five have painted cabinets, but they really couldn't be more different. Only two have islands. There are six very different countertops. Only 1 (I think) has inset doors. Not a Benson pendant to be found.
More of the "famous" and often-shown kitchens fit the OTK mold perhaps, but most everyone does what works for them and they're thrilled with the results.
Can anyone actually link back to any threads here where people were truly brow-beaten for not choosing the elements of the "OTK"? Maybe they do exist...I don't know.... I've been a quiet lurker here for at least some time. I have a vision for my future kitchen that I have't shared yet (involves wood not painted cabs) but I never got any feeling that people here would try to make me feel bad about that choice.... ? My impression has been that people here in general support good function over form.
Jenny_from_the_block, I also feel the majority of the posts are from posters supporting one another and enjoying the various renovated kitchens shared. I would love to see your kitchen ideas when you are ready. Maybe someone unintentionally commented when asked about an opinion on a backsplash that they would go more neutral but that is only their opinion and they were asked. I love this Kitchen forum and I feel everyone has been very helpful to me and others and I feel very comfortable sharing.
Do you go to hotels or restaurants? That might be where you are picking up trend viruses.
I once redid a bathroom, following my own muse. I was very happy with it. Then I went to lunch at one of my favorite bistros. I used the ladies room. Ta da. There was my floor, my wall tile, my paint color, my hardware, and my mirror.
What an idiot.
mpagmom - excellent idea to post the last five kitchens. Not an OTK among them, three painted white but all soooo very different, none with wood floors, and only two with subway tiles.
I have had that dream, too! In yours, were they out of TP, and you had to go searching for it down a long corridor filled with cabinets, but none of them would open? ;-)
blfenton, I agree that was an excellent idea to post the last five kitchens showing us all how each one of us strives to create a kitchen that we love in our own unique style even though we do find what we like from looking at other kitchens. Each kitchen is so different and there is not an OTK among them and none of them have wood floors.
Thank you for this wonderful post.
Angie_DIY, I think we all pick up magazines, see commercials, watch TV shows, see pictures on the Internet and sometimes our brain picks up styles we like and we don't even realize it. As long as you are very happy with your bathroom, that is what matters.
I think our next topic should probably be how Super-Rich White People Who Live in Southampton Are the Last Group It's OK to Discriminate Against, Poor Us. After all, if we're going to take the dominant aesthetic on the board and hold it up as a Victim, why stop there?
Can anyone actually link back to any threads here where people were truly brow-beaten for not choosing the elements of the "OTK"?
It absolutely has happened a lot. It still happens, a lot. I don't need to prove it, and I won't. Anyone who's been here any length of time knows it, and has seen it. Any backsplash thread here always becomes overrun by the Creamy White Subways monkeys. Just say "backsplash" and watch them fly.
4 of the 5 have white cabinets (one mixed), as opposed to what's normal in real life. Curious examples.
True, only 2 have soapstone. Plenty of stainless. Only 2 shaker style doors. Can't see all the backsplashes. I would say the middle 3 are OTK types, or as close as possible. Certainly not off-trend. Even the last one sticks faithfully to the shaker-soapstone-bigsink style, only with stained wood.
Been stopping by here for 3 years and it seems to me the OTK has been s-l-o-w-l-y vanishing. Time was when all 5 would have been identical. Now maybe a third are different. it's going away like any trend.
Before the internet, women redid their kitchen without always thinking "timeless" OR "trend". They thought "New Cabinets!" There wasn't any way to see hundreds of other kitchens. It's different now with social media and technology flooding us with images.
Marcolo..laughed so hard thought I'd bust something!
P111og...great movie set observations. Very true. Set designers go crazy trying to convey a whole back story with every prop.
(I think that place looks lonely and desolate, too.) You know I only watched that movie recently after hearing about it on HERE forever!
LL...are you a gamer??? Ever watch "The Guild" on Youtube? LOL!
In defense of the Creamy White Subways monkeys...
Let's say I have soapstone countertops and creamy white subways (with the perfect amount of crackle). I am so excited about my new kitchen I can't contain myself. It's been six months and my heart still sings every time I walk in. I can't stop caressing my soapstone. Cluelessinseattle posts that she just got her soapstone (she can't stop touching it either) and she just came back from the tile store with 5 samples. Which one does everyone like better? I'm going to like the creamy white subway with just the perfect amount of crackle, and I'll even post pictures to show how perfect it is. Of course I'm going to like it best - that's why I installed it myself. I'm not trying to get her to conform to my image of backsplash perfection. I'm just stating my opinion after someone asked for it.
The people on this forum are SOOO nice. They are genuinely caring and go out of their way to help others. Sometimes they go a little overboard in trying to prevent someone from making what they see as a big mistake, but there is almost always someone there to say, "Go ahead and get the tumbled travertine if that's what you really love."
What a thoroughly fascinating and informative thread.
I was vaguely familiar with C. Peacock's white kitchens before, but not with the term 'Scullery Kitchen'.
Could be just me, but scullery without fail evokes children (aka scullery maids/boys) toiling sixteen hours a day on icy stone floors with raw bleeding hands, scouring endless pots, pans and dishes with caustic soda.
Or is the word still in common use today in the UK, in the age of the dishwasher, for a more pleasant space? Anyone know?
Marcolo, I laughed until I cried at "The Ten Commandments of the OTK!"
I have a scullery (in my "before" kitchen showing no signs of ever becoming an "after" kitchen). In other words, my sink is not in the same room with my range and refrigerator. I really do not see what is so cool about that.
Maybe if I had a prep sink in with the range and fridge, it would make more sense. I don't think the original owner of the house (1910) had a refrigerator, so maybe it made more sense then.
Right. So we're supposed to believe that occasionally people merely meekly mention that subways might sometimes be nice now and then. That's all. Just a suggestion.
In fact, barely does someone stumble in here and innocently opine that a "busy" backsplash might be OK in a white kitchen, and suddenly the OTK clergy nails them in the forehad with Exsurge Cucine, the OTK Bull of Excommunication, "Arise O Kitchen, and expel the wild boar from Thy 48" aisles." Then they get tied up on the 22K BTU Culinarian burner and it's all over.
Cawaps, I'm sure you're right, but in 1910, the sink might have had a pump, and it almost certainly had one of Lanval's beleaguered pot boys or scullery maids sanding the pots.
Cawaps, I gather that was the 1910 version of kitchen zoning. Makes perfect sense, really; cleaning up and laundry was a far messier job back then. As you mention, somewhat annoying for the modern inhabitant.
I realize I didn't phrase the question very clearly. What had me wondering is why CP chose to call so pristine, so pure, so downright virginal a kitchen a 'scullery', when there wasn't so much as a trace of just that.
So I checked Wikipedia, that fount of information. It states, among other interesting facts, that:
"The term is, however, still to be found in modern use as an alternative term for kitchen in some regions of Britain, typically Northern Ireland, North East England and Scotland, or in designer kitchens."
Ah! Linky  then transports me... you guessed it, to a 2008 NY Times article called "And now, the Six-Figure Scullery". And hello, there's CP, winsome smile and all (no papal crown, though). Sadly, the only info regarding the curious naming to be found in this long article about Why Rich Folks Love CP is that it was, like, inspired by a house he once saw in London. Meh.
Oh well. It's still an awfully pretty kitchen.
...the OTK clergy nails them in the forehad with Exsurge Cucine, the OTK Bull of Excommunication, "Arise O Kitchen, and expel the wild boar from Thy 48" aisles."
Okay, I admit I had to look this one up. Nice allusion!
Then they get tied up on the 22K [sic] BTU Culinarian burner and it's all over.
As orthodoxy has not yet been reached on this point, first there is a lively debate amongst the faithful over the relative merits of the Bluestar burner.
The OTK was around long before CP -- I first fell in love with it in a AD kitchen designed by Victoria Hagan long before CP did that infamous showhouse kitchen. It is a convention that goes way back and it works because it is without extraneous ornamentation and it is all neutrals-- wood, white, black. It's bright and photographs well. It is timeless, like jeans, boots and a plain tee shirt. It just works, in its simplicity. Telling folks here to keep the backsplash simple is quite a lot like Coco Chanel getting rid of the ruffles and furbelows. Think about some of the things she said about fashion and design: "elegance is refusal." "space is the greatest luxury." The OTK works because it is restrained, refined, essentially without color or ornamentation. But not everyone dresses like Armani and not everyone likes the OTK. Not everyone dresses in no color and jeans boots and tees every day. (but I do).
May-be someone should start a thread about how you dress and how your kitchen reflects that. Since dress is one of the most available and widely used means of self expression, your choices here say a lot about what you like and what you value and how you see yourself. Kitchen as costume?
"May-be someone should start a thread about how you dress and how your kitchen reflects that. Since dress is one of the most available and widely used means of self expression, your choices here say a lot about what you like and what you value and how you see yourself. Kitchen as costume?"
Interesting ... I wear a lot of jeans/boots/tees, too. I like clean lines, but not too modern. Traditional with a twist. Not no-color, but neutrals with a shot of color somewhere. Sometimes the color is just jewelry, but I do have a pair of mustard yellow cords I wear with riding boots and a fisherman's sweater, something like that. I can spend good money on my footwear (quality is vital) and usually my pants (fit is vital), but my shirts are usually from the Gap or TJ Maxx. Accessories are often from either Tiffany (the minority) or Nordstrom Rack (the great majority).
I would say that fits my kitchen, too. Basically high-quality, long-lasting, clean-lined elements, but with some personal quirks.
Sayde, I was thinking about this as I got dressed this morning. My go-to outfit is gray jeans, a white t-shirt, and a black sweater. Today I mixed it up a bit with a blue-gray t-shirt and a dark brown sweater. So if I come up with an essentially colorless kitchen, nobody should be surprised! That said, I certainly don't want anything bleak. My husband wants something "happy." That narrows it down, doesn't it?
You're also so right about white kitchens photographing well. I've developed a humongous file (maybe 800 pictures, and I'm glad it's all digital) of kitchens and kitchen components I like. Most are white kitchens, many are gray, some are light/medium wood, and a few are very dark wood. The only thing I can say for sure is that I like well-designed, professionally-photographed kitchens. I mentioned this to my daughter one time, and now when I show her a new kitchen picture and ask, "What do you think about this one?" she might say, "Great photography, Mom!"
She's only 10 but my daughter is my favorite sounding board. She doesn't watch TV, read decorating magazines, or pay attention to kitchen forums. Her family and friends (except her grandparents with the uber-kitchen) have the most ordinary suburban kitchens in the world. She gives me the best advice! She had just turned 5 when she went with me to look at the house we are currently living in. She gave it a quick once-over and said, "The kitchen's too small and there's no place for our piano." How right she was!
ROTFL!! It is timeless, like jeans, boots and a plain tee shirt.
I'm showing my age here. I'm not old, but I remember when that was the uniform of the working man, farmer, hiker, cowboy/girl, or drudge and absolutely not a timeless look that one could wear in town and be considered "dressed". A woman, at least in the West, might dress like that at home, to get her work done, but would have been looked down upon going out like that. Yes, it's a current, unadorned look that can pass just about anywhere, but timeless, it is not.
The OTK might be timeless in some parts of the country. Where I live it looks very 21st century. It just wasn't the look here the first few times around. Makes me realize that I'm being true to my heritage, however, as colorful tiles, though very different ones than I have, are a hallmark of traditional kitchens here.
Depends on the exact jeans, boots, and shirt, I guess. :-)
My mother wore gloves to go downtown. If you wore jeans, someone would have handed you a trowel. I didn't grow up in the 19th century, either. Watch how people dress on "Pan Am."
There are two characteristics of the OTK phenomenon that make it a quasi-religious doctrine. The first is its missionary zeal, as we've discussed. The second is its catechism of fantastical beliefs.
The OTK is not "timeless." Period. Virtually nobody was renovating kitchens in the 60s and 70s and even '80s with white subways plus soapstone plus white inset plus plus plus. You couldn't even easily buy new subways until relatively recently--maybe ten, fifteen years ago? I know, because friends of mine tried to repair some old tilework some years back, and couldn't find new subways anywhere. The predecessors of the OTK "look"--the kitchens of Edwardian houses, bungalows, and early '20s houses--died out by the 1930s. From then on, for most of the 20th century, kitchen cabinets mostly had overlay doors and drawer fronts. Some were indeed white-painted wood, but many more were stained wood or metal or whatever. And they had a lot more "frilly" details than the OTK, such as scalloped valances. Even Victoria Hagen has only been in business for 20 years.
Ten or twenty years from now, nobody will call the OTK "timeless." Large-format tiles have already begun to creep up on subways.
I understand the attraction of the vintage details of the OTK and plan to use many of them in my own kitchen. But many of the OTK claims make no sense to me at all. One is the insistence that an all white and black room is "warm." Especially in context of the fact that nobody says that about any other all-white room in a house, even on GW. There is regular grumbling on the Decorating forum when somebody posts yet another magazine cover showing a completely white living room or bedroom, and many people find it cold. Apparently white is cold when it's the color of flokati rugs and drapery and chenille upholstery, but it really warms up when it's rendered in ceramic, steel and stone.
You couldn't even easily buy new subways until relatively recently--maybe ten, fifteen years ago?
True dat. When we first looked at houses in 1996, I fell in love with a bathroom with its 1920s original subway tile mostly intact. A few tiles needed to be replaced, and the RE agent told me with great assurance that "no one is making those anymore."
I much prefer the CP apostate kitchen to the "scullery" kitchen as far as warmth and charm, but maybe that's because I have white kitchen fatigue (WKF). And the appellation "scullery" to describe those high-end kitchens annoys me to no end. And if I never hear the phrase "creamy white" again it'll be too soon. /rant
I have been following this KF for several years now, and have seen many very nice finished kitchens posted. Probably more and nicer ones that in the general population, since so many here are so passionate about form and function, and do a lot of research before committing to expensive decisions. But through it all, it as only been the OTK devotees who have consistently expounded about their "timeless", "classic", "tasteful" whites. So, by inference, all alternate concepts are trendy, trashy, and tasteless???
I previously touched on the regionality of design trends, and I think the subject deserves more discussion. Where I live on the cold northern prairies, our outdoor environment is dominated for much of the year by tans, greys, and dirty whites. The last thing I want is to bring the same palette indoors in my home. Especially this time of year, as we are setting into 5+ months of winter, a creamy white kitchen is neither calm, serene, or warm. It is downright depressing.
So, for the record, I have to say that my almost 3 yr old timeless classic blue/brown kitchen still thrills me. My heart sings every time I braise, sear, or even reheat within its cozy, welcoming confines.
Okay I feel like I should weigh in here based on my experience of working at the Edsel Ford House. This house has a full 'working' kitchen, which was to say that the home owners never cooked. They have full white cabinetry, silver countertops in the cooking area, and cork counters in the butlers pantry. It has a very similar feel to the OTK. Keep in mind this kitchen is original and fully in tact. Many times tours would be going through and everyone would 'ooh and ahh' at the cabinetry, marble and ceramic subway tiles, and counters. Here is a picture of the kitchen plus a link to a photostream with more photos. Look familiar? At least a bit? Mrs. Ford also has a flower room similar to styles people use for kitchens today.
Here is a link that might be useful: More Ford House photos
cooksnsews - good point. I live on the west (PNW - Canadian side) coast in the forest. We are headed into 5 months of grey wet rain. I have a creamy white kitchen, with shiny wood floors and shiny granite. Nothing matte or honed.. The thought of wood cabinets, although beautiful and we have natural maple in the bathrooms, depresses me and we need shiny surfaces to get as much light as possible.
JGopp, thanks for the photo! That kitchen definitely reflects the post Dr. Lister anti-septic look that was popular in those days for kitchens, bathrooms and hospitals. One imagines that the servants had run of this kitchen, so it would have been clean and utilitarian rather than "heart sing".
Mom run kitchens of the same era on the West Coast featured tile floors, and colorful tile walls and counters. Still easy to clean with bleach or kerosene, but much cheerier. ;)
I think with this, as with other issues of apparel and home design, people do make reference to their surroundings. In the far North, where there's little light and people get depressed, a lot of clear, vibrant colors, mostly reds, blues and greens, are seen a lot, as well as medium to light wood tones, and lots of shiny, reflective surfaces, as Blfenton mentions. That is, a very human environment is created indoors to counter the bleakness outside.
In slightly less far north, but still snowy places, a lot of the Winter clothes are dark neutrals. Lots of blacks and browns.
In the desert, where Summer is the bigger concern than Winter, there are also a lot of whites and dusty neutrals. They're cool, and also go with the natural scenery.
In the tropics, people use a lot of shots of bright colors, similar to the foliage one might see there. You might think that all those warm bright colors would also make people feel hot, but that doesn't seem to be the case.
In beach areas, people tend toward "fresh" colors. Pale clears and other colors you might find in shells.
There's no reason why you couldn't have a blood red dining room at the beach, but people don't usually do that. We think of that as more of a Northern and city look.
Interesting thinking of this applying to kitchens...
Well, the Edsel Ford house has a '20s kitchen because it's a '20s house.
There are a lot of design elements that are related to the OTK but are not themselves the OTK.
White cabinets alone are not OTK. Those come in every flavor of kitchen imaginable, from OTK to mod to '50s turquoise or pink retro.
Vintage is not the OTK, though it's an inspiration for it. The OTK departs from vintage-ness in many ways. For example, it rarely uses original or repro vintage mechanicals like sinks or stoves. Eschewing the actual vintage sinks that would have hung from the wall in an old American kitchen, OTK prefers the faux vintage farmhouse sinks that never existed here until Shaw's recently imported the look from England. The OTK is always white, though after the mid-20s old kitchens were a lot more colorful. Perhaps most importantly, the OTK is a lot more upscale and polished than any real '20s-style kitchen would've been, and even more polished than modern reproduction kitchens that we've seen here.
I like many of these elements separately. None of them alone make up a OTK. The point of the OTK is that it's a kit. Always the same set of elements, no substitutions.
Plllog is exactly right - the kitchen, as part of the entire set, was created to reinforce Diane Keaton's character. I was watched the first 20 mins or so of the movie with the director's commentary on. It was really interesting and points out things you don't really realize - like the whole house is white and that is basically the only color she wears and she is always collecting white rocks on the beach (again and again), while Jack's character and house is the opposite - all dark. And he puts one dark rock in her jar of white rocks to represent himself.
Enduring, did you have any idea what you would start when you asked this question? You didn't get very many photo examples, but you got a whole lot more!
OT, I was in the Tile Shop this morning and they had new displays up. They had one bathroom in your lansdale tile, and I thought of you. It was stunning. I'm also so enamored with their Biltmore tile for a bathroom.
I laughed out loud - and not in the emoticon-sense.
We received a glossy brochure from a local realtor today and the first house in the line-up featured the ubiquitous white kitchen.
This is an amusing thread. :)
Thanks for the laughs.
This is the only kitchen on this thread I really like:
Not for the colors/styles, but for the way the kitchen is so completely integrated into the house at large, not a separate room stashed away somewhere. It's commonplace now for the kitchen to blend into the dining room, but here it's part of the living room.
It's what I'm planning for my next kitchen reno, albeit on a much smaller scale.
No subway tiles here.
And no subway to Tinos. Ferry only.
Lee676, I also love that kitchen and the way the high hats are in the high soffit and how the living room is part of the kitchen and the inset doors. I love the look of inset doors.
Leia_in_lalaland, What a peaceful monochromatic kitchen with that touch of color that makes it yours. Thanks for sharing.
Also the wood paneling on the ceiling! Especially since it matches the shape of the window and the fireplace.
Lee676, I agree that the wood paneling on the ceiling really is unique especially the shape along with that beautiful shaped window and fireplace. I love this kitchen. I really love looking at and admiring kitchens so much.
while I don't actually genuflect to the OTK I do like them a lot just not the ones that look like a white wedding cake with the OTT fake carvings, the ornate hood as homage to the stove goddess.
Love the liturgical spin, hee hee.
Please leave the Catholic Church out of your comments.
I know you are trying to be funny, but to me this is offensive.
No one has made any comments about the Catholic Church whatsoever. Please leave religion out of these forum discussions.
Tullamore, if I have done anything to offend you or anyone else I apologize (after all, I photoshopped Pope Benedict's mitre on to Christopher Peacock's head). The intent is not to belittle the Church. The intent is to poke fun at the deification of the kitchen.
I thought OTK meant O...
Sorry, wrong forum.
I now have to see this movie again after all these great pictures and information about why the kitchen was so neutral and white with just pops of color. I love all the kitchens posted and I am glad there is a mixture of wood floor and tile floors.
Came across this thread in my search for the meaning of "OTK"... great thread - learned a couple of new words too!
The kitchen in my last house was decidedly OTK - we've moved and I am working on the new kitchen which will likely not be OTK. I fell in love with a cerused oak door from Pennville that I am thinking of going with for my base cabinets - am in the process of figuring out the rest of the scheme so I don't end up leaving the house naked from the waist down.
Couldn't agree anymore with LWO's take on Mick DeGiulio - I love his new Multiere sink for Kallista
Here is a link that might be useful: Cerused Oak door - love the elimination of the rail below the top drawer
mamadadaoauge-I love the doors in your link.
mamadadapaige, I also love the concealed hinge inset doors with no center rail between the drawer and the door in your link. I also like the white oak on them. If you do buy them, please post pictures!
I have ALWAYS wanted white cupboards, wood floors, & light yellow walls (with my blue & white transferware). 14 years in our current house and next year I might (might) just finally get it. My inspiration will be Brickmanhouse (OTK, SGTG, etc). I am thinking about marble-look subway tiles with a gray counter. I'm a Canuck & no one that I know has a white kitchen, so it may be a regional thing. Everyone around here seems to go for dark (cherry, etc.) but I want light & bright. The other thing that everyone around here has - and that I don't want - is stainless steel with glasstop stoves. I want white appliances (& most likely coil burners with drip pans - talk about a rebel). But when the time comes, I'll be in here asking for your help & opinions.
Here is a link that might be useful: Brickmanhouse (Ikea cabinets)
[disrupter mode on]
Just stumbled on Diane Keaton's own kitchen, on the Architectural Digest website. Quite a contrast to the "Something's Got to Give" kitchen, although much of the adventure is in "pops of color" and is not built into the actual white cabineted room. Note the lighting--six matching fixtures near ceiling, lying on either side of the room divider, plus some small mates over range and sink.
[returning you now to the regular programming on the White Kitchen Network]
Here is a link that might be useful: Diane Keaton kitchen is part of Celebrity Kitchen slideshow
If I am recalling correctly from an old AD, didn't Diane Keaton also have a somewhat disturbing framed vintage photo of buffalo being chased off (presumably by hungry indigenous people) / falling off a cliff hanging in her bedroom? Quite the contrast IRL to the character portrayed in the movie (at least from the description here, I've never seen it...)!
And then there's that.
BTW the quotation is bowdlerized. It goes, "Home is where, when you have to go there, they have to let you in."
I want to go hang out in Angela Lansbury's kitchen.
So that's what OTK means (slaps forehead)! I think it's funny that this style of kitchen is so popular everywhere but where I live. I went shopping for a backsplash and everyone basically said,"Do you want tumbled marble or travertine?" When I said white subway tile they said,"Like bathroom tile?" Most people thought I was nuts when I told them about my creamy cabinets since everything is dark wood here and my combo of beadboard and subway tile backsplash. It's completely unheard of here!
Thank goodness for this thread! I'm about to start renovating our kitchen and I've begun by working my way through this forum, reading selected threads. I kept seeing the acronym OTK, which does not show up on the list of forum acronyms and absolutely could not figure out what it stood for.
I googled and let me tell you, One True Kitchen is NOT what shows up when you google OTK.
And I admit to loving the kitchen in Something's Got to Give, although we will not be copying it slavishly. I love color, too.
I think this thread should be lionized in the Page One thread as an example of how funny, smart and educational this weird, random, narrow list is. That's meant to be a massive compliment to the whole flock.
I always presumed, before even having any One True Kitchen depicted, that the term must be tongue-in-cheek. That is, meant ironically. Almost by definition it sounds like it's saying right in the label itself, that there is not, and never could be any such thing. So there's something circular and almost do-loop ironic about the term being used to refer to a kitchen that anyone actually *does* think of as the One and Only.
I'm no English-major, but I thought there was some existential discussion that was all but settled regarding whether text could ever be context-independent. That is, I thought everyone always was supposed to understand text in the context of their own time and place. That has to hold for something as literal as the physical space in one's kitchen, no?
So I think there's some discussion among movie theorists about what constitutes a timeless movie. More colloquially, what movies and why, age well. I think it's often pointed out that things like hair styles can actually fatally tether a movie to a certain era. Movies that are viewed 50 years later and still make sense all have these non-era-specific hairstyles. Conversely, some of the most era-specific films have really obviously hair-labelled styles. [and this goes for "period" films as well, BTW].
I've often thought about that film-truism when pondering what constitutes a "timeless kitchen. I've wondered what the hair-analog to a timeless kitchen is. I won't even hazard a guess to that; I'm sure most of the rest of you would come up with better examples than I. Well ... OK, maybe I will: I toss onto the table the hypothesis that "accessories" are the analog to hairstyle as a label to time/place. And I would further postulate that the backsplash in a kitchen is essentially an accessory.
So ... this is sort of a design-around-this challenge for the brain. Don't ream me if this thought is stupid, I haven't really even aired it for very long. I mean it mostly as a toss-out challenge to be elaborated on: what elements, specifically, in a kitchen, do wind up being the pieces that date the kitchen? (this is the converse of the question: what constitutes the OTK -- and it sort of presumes that there is no such thing).
Maybe OTK deserves it's own forum so we don't have to weed through posts so much.
Your points about period movies and hairstyles are brilliant. Look at Laurence Olivier in "Henry IV." I'm sure at the time he seemed all authentically medieval. Today he looks like Katy Perry.
When people try to do classic today they subconsciously update. They just want to make sure the hairstyle has a nice "shape." Or it looks "flattering." Translation: They just imprinted it with a tell that will mark its time period forever. It is very difficult, if not impossible, not to do this, because it's subconscious. It's about what looks good to you now, which is shaped by current trends and fashions even if you don't know it.
Some of the tells:
thickness of countertop
and to some extent, its edgetrimmed out in wood = '80s; enough ogees for Liberace's swimming pool = late '90s/early 2000's
The haute Amerituscan high gloss gave way to the honed glow of old money. Round and round we go.
type of door hinge
using those huge bulky European hinges -- originally intended for modular unframed cabinetry -- on American wooden framed cabs is an odd affectation only seen in the past decade or so, but I'm sure many will decry me for not calling them "timeless".
a crystal chandelier in a kitchen? really?
countertop material yes, they've been using marble in Italy for centuries. No, they've only been using it in the USA since August 16, 2002.
cabinet finish itself, independent of material or color lacquer in the 70's and 80's was shiny, full stop. Lacquer now tends to be satin. Paint is now sprayed by robot and baked on in the factories, which gives it an industrial seamless smoothness that is already prompting a brushstroke backlash and the move to hand-applied milk paints.
Got 'em? Not? Finished in the same wood /material as the cabinets, or painted black to vanish? Does the solid flooring curl up the kick to meet the cabinets?
I have a screamy 10-week-old, a 19-month-old that we refer to as the "Tiny Tornado" and a five-year-old who's discovered that the secret to her universe is talking.all.the.time. I just spent my precious daily 20 minutes of free time reading this thread. I am not found regretting.
"I just spent my precious daily 20 minutes of free time reading this thread. I am not found regretting."
Alabamamommy, I have only one soon-to-be-three-year-old (and a full-time job) and I spent at least 30 minutes of my (nevertheless) precious time reading this thread (b/c I also clicked on some, though not all, links) and I am not found regretting either - not yet, at least. LOL