The Joy of Thoughtful Kitchen Design

Good Housekeeping magazine published its first issue in May 1885, with the tag line “A family journal conducted in the interests of the higher life of the household”.


The essential message, in its early issues, was that the kitchen served as a purely functional space, separate from the rest of the home. It was to be organized in such a way that would assist the woman of the house to more efficiently perform her duties in the home as dictated by society at the time.

Image result for open concept kitchen

Needless to say, society has evolved quite a bit since then. Women are no longer the sole curators of the kitchen, and kitchens are now an integral part of the overall feel and function of the home, especially with the emergence of the open-concept design aesthetic. An aesthetic that would also come to include what I call “The Pretty Factor.”

Related image

The modern kitchen design, in my observation, began to tip the scales in the opposite direction of its origins a couple of decades ago, focusing more on adding bling and shine. The design market pushed for the consumption of higher-end finishes and appliances. As if to transform the kitchen, and subsequently the bathroom, into a sort of garish status symbol. To imply that a living space that brings one joy to gaze upon, was only for those who could afford the lavish price tag.

Image result for simple farmhouse kitchen

Recently, with the modern farmhouse design becoming more popular, I see this new aesthetic moving more toward center, between the previous two mentioned. Of course, the market will always support the more high-end materials in design, but what I’ve always loved about this particular design style, before it was ever trendy, is that it can be achieved so beautifully, with a clean and curated look, without the high-end price tag.  Allowing anyone… who appreciates this type of design style… no matter where on the economic scale one might be…to walk into any room in their home and experience that joy.

Because that, my friends, is what life is all about. Not money, not social standing, its about what makes us feel safe and comfortable, content and happy. Its about what makes us feel….joy.

And we ALL deserve that.

What makes me feel joy in design, you ask? Achieving the perfect balance of form and function, especially in our kitchen, and doing it on as modest a budget as I can possibly muster.  Darren and I both like to cook and bake but our kitchen, being part of an older home, was not built to include a lot of storage or counter space. So, taking a cue from kitchens way back in the day, we had to get our creative juices flowing to come up with design ideas that supported our storage needs.

But, naturally, in addition to optimum function, I also needed ‘The Pretty Factor’. I wanted to walk into our kitchen every morning, in need of tea, and smile with glee at the sight of it. What a fantastic way to start the day!

I chose to incorporate form with function within the context of our humble kitchen by utilizing organization and merchandising techniques that I’ve learned along my journey.

For example:

I don’t think we’ve even invested $100 in this kitchen yet. Score! There are many more ideas to implement going forward which I promise to share in a later post. Like painting some of the cabinetry and doing something with all that faux brick, which I actually like, but it’s not yet pretty. Creating organization out of chaos and making that organization pleasing to the eye is one of my favorite things to do. I think I’m on the right track with our humble kitchen.

Stay tuned in by hitting the follow button for more joy in thoughtful design, here at The Olenick House!


Published by Relijen

I’m a born and bred Southern California girl, who became an unexpected Manitoba girl when I went and fell in love with a Winnipegger. I invite you to join me on this journey of adjustment and adventure as I learn to adapt my passion for cooking, baking, gardening and interior design, to this very different culture and climate.

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