I used love my small, cluttered kitchen. Joyfully I would produce delicious, many-coursed meals from my Barbie-sized stove, stuff a week's worth of organic produce into "my cute refrigerator", balance yet another latte bowl on the top of my towering collection.
I believed my kitchen had a certain boho charm that I was happy to identify with. Besides, I really enjoyed all the individual components of my clutter. Each object was beautiful, or relevant, or interesting in its own unique way.
But then a year's worth of browsing small and cool AT kitchens started to nudge at my bliss. I found myself getting a little…antsy with the clutter and I'd long for the cool, pared down restraint of Jessica's Blue and Sliver Flair, the perfect simplicity of Lydia's open space.
Damn, I thought. I want some of that I want the "well curated" kitchen shelves, the cool surfaces, the bold and refreshing efficiency. Give me the soothing clarity of one white bowl on a simple wooden table!
But when I really thought about it, I realized that my kitchen was an unedited, honest expression of my life and what I value the most. What I created was a slightly cluttered, funky kitchen with stacks of tea cups and thrift store dishtowels. It's warm and inviting and can take on the most ambitious of dinner party plans. Children are free to pull up a chair, friends can elbow their way in and take over the washing-up. It may border on too much, but I'm fine with that.
And scattered throughout the stacks of mismatched dishes are a few simple white matte plates that look so nice with raw linen napkins and a vase full of poppies...and that, too, is an honest joy.