In November 2001, when Julia Child left her Massachusetts home of forty-two years to return to her native California, she gave her kitchen to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, Behring Center. She told the Smithsonian curators, “For us, the kitchen is the soul of the house.”
Those words have resonated with me ever since. So how does a 340 square foot cottage have a kitchen with soul?
The allocated space for our poor kitchen had been flying around like a wild Ping-Pong ball on our floor plans. (Remember my earlier note to self…never ask the opinions of others…follow your first instincts???)
It bounced between the original plan, on a nine-foot wall in the front section of the house to the revised plan, butting up against the exposed brick of the chimney in a much smaller space just off the rear deck. Perfect for summer barbeques we thought. We had five feet to work with…a mere sixty inches to shoehorn in a sink, counter top, refrigerator and cook/oven.
My first instinct was to head for Ikea. With the emerging trend of tiny houses I thought for sure IKEA would have perfect options in both appliances and storage ideas for us. Wrong.
We looked a kitchen designed for boats but that wasn’t right either- not enough built in benches or cleverly hidden cabinets to store things in. I kept researching small-scale appliances only to discover they were exorbitantly expensive. What to do, what to do.
Will, my hero, discovered Acme Kitchens in Hudson, NY.
Acme has been in business for 80 plus years and specializes in custom-built kitchenettes. This place is pretty cool and I will post more about Acme in another blog. Acme produced a kitchen to our specifications, sixty inches long, fully loaded with all appliances, even a gas cooktop. They shipped it to us in a box. Seriously.
We unwrapped the kitchen and installed it in the back of the white cottage.
It fit pretty snugly into the space and was perfect access for all the outdoor dining we anticipated doing on our deck. The electricity and gas lines were hooked up. Will and I made a mad dash to Ikea for some cool minimalist storage ideas.
Kitchen installed- tick that box.
Ha- not so fast.
No sooner was the kitchen in place then we decided it was in the wrong place. We kept looking at clean open space in the front of the cottage. It was calling us. Will unhooked the electricity, shut down the gas lines and moved it to the front.
It looked pretty forlorn, all by itself, there in the living space. Downright soul less in fact.
A much improved location…but giving it soul quickly became our next mission.