Whew! It's been a while since I last posted. My family has been in the final throes of the ultimate nesting action: gutting and redoing the kitchen. Things have been busy busy busy! After almost seven weeks of grilling and microwaving our food while the kitchen was being redone, we finally have a real, working stove and oven (and the people rejoiced)!! No more Kashi frozen dinners for me, thanks. Can’t wait to do some cooking again and share my ideas here!
The process of redoing the kitchen raised some very interesting questions for me regarding the development of taste and style. When my mom downsized and bought this house a year ago, she knew right away that the kitchen had to go. Crappy cabinets, a crooked glass top stove, cutesy floral wallpaper and a horrible setup make the kitchen cramped and no fun to use. For a family of culinary adventurers, it was stifling.
Deciding to gut the old kitchen was easy. Designing a new one was not. My mother agonized over every detail for months, trying to figure out what she wanted it to look like. I found this interesting, since she and my father had designed the kitchen in the old house with relative ease. They knew exactly what they wanted. This time around, my mom was on her own and she was finding the process much more difficult.
This got me thinking. Maybe the source of the problem was not lack of creativity (in my mother? never). Maybe it was style growing pains. This is the only house my mother has ever owned by herself. She and my dad started living together when they were 21 and spent the next twenty-something years together. Their style had grown and developed together. My mom had never had a space all her own, to decorate as she wished without having to compromise and incorporate my dad's vision as well. When my father died six years ago, my mom stayed in the same house and didn't have to worry about redecorating. However, this new house put her into unfamiliar territory.
How does a person who operated as a couple for thirty years suddenly cope with being alone? The move to this new house was good. It was a literal "moving on". She loves having complete authority over her own space. She still asks me and my brother for style advice, but ultimately the decision is hers. Now in her fifties, my mother is discovering her personal style for the first time. Though she is staying mostly true to the style she and my dad developed together, I can already see slight differences in the way she has designed and decorated the kitchen. It's a little more modern, a little more streamlined. And 100% my mom.