My dream kitchen

So we’re in the midst of planning our kitchen/bathroom remodel. 

 

When we moved in I was convinced our kitchen was TOTALLY FINE and we wouldn’t need to update it for years, despite the fact that it is from the 1950’s, the appliances are from the 1980’s, and the floor was installed at an incomprehensible angle.  

 

But then I really, REALLY got sick of not having a bathroom downstairs.  We planned to add one when we moved in and never got around to it.  And the only place we could put one was in our little breakfast nook, off the kitchen. 

 

And I wanted to keep some semblance of a casual eating place.  

 

And we might need to bust a few holes in the kitchen walls for the bathroom plumbing. 

 

And the paint on our cabinets is coming off in sheets. 

 

So a kitchen/bathroom remodel it is.  I can’t say I’m not excited about it.  M doesn’t want to talk about it (except to veto any of my ideas), so I turn to the Internet for help and guidance. 

 

One thing that M and I have certainly agreed on is that we want the kitchen and bathroom to feel like they have “always been here” in our 1929 center hall colonial.  I have some friends in town who have similarly old homes, and they’ve added an extension to the back of the house to make this huge, gorgeous, open, modern kitchen (seriously, I know of 3 families that have done this).  And the kitchens are all amazing, but they don’t fit the character of the house at all.  We want our kitchen to feel like part of the home. 

 

So trying to make a modern kitchen feel like it’s from the 1920s has led us to these conclusions: 

– natural materials (stone, wood, metal)

– white shaker cabinets

– butcher block countertops

– open shelving above

 

I’ve been looking all over the Internet for inspiration, and tonight I found my kitchen.  And the best part is that they, too, wanted their kitchen to look like it was part of their 1920’s house.  In fact, when someone asked when they were going to update their kitchen, they took it as a compliment.  And that’s what I want, too.  Old(looking), but nice.  And, obviously, appliances that aren’t from the 1980’s. 

 

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My dream kitchen. So simple.

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“Forest School”

A few of my friends in Brooklyn signed their kids up for The Brooklyn Forest School a year ago, right after I moved to the ‘burbs, and they raved about it.  Raved!  It does sound great: everyone meets in Prospect Park to play in the mud and build forts out of sticks.  Kids get to just be kids in a city where very few kids have personal green space and a chance to just run around and be bonkers.  It’s great.  What a wonderful opportunity, especially because I keep reading articles and books about how kids just need to be outside–not climbing on playground equipment, not playing organized sports, and certainly not sitting on pavement.  Just being outside, in nature, as has been the way with kids for the past tens of thousands of years.  That was a big reason why we moved to the suburbs, where we have an awesome and kind of dangerous yard (more on that later) that can keep a toddler busy for hours:

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So, yeah, the idea of a forest school is great. 

 

Except. 

 

Except. 

 

It’s $30 for every 90-minute session.  For a “school” that doesn’t pay for any building space, or for any materials, except for the tiny white ceramic cups that the toddlers drink tea out of for snack time (toddlers!  White ceramic tea cups?!?).  And the whole idea of a Waldorf school (which is what the forest school is based on) is that teachers are hands-off and let the kids explore on their own.  (As a former teacher, I will say that this is actually an insanely awesome business model–charge a bunch, have zero actual bills to pay, and you have zero lesson planning to do when you get home)

 

It’s just bewildering to me that they can charge this much for something a parent can, and should, do themselves.  For free.  Like, isn’t that the whole point of being in nature?  To just be in nature?  Are we really at the point where we have to have someone teach it to us?  For $30 a session?  Apparently we are, because there was not only a NYTimes article about it, but there are some 200 kids signed up for this class now?

 

I’m taking Clementine for a walk in the reservation tomorrow.  No question.  Good lord.  I can’t deal with this world.  Or, at the very least, I can no longer deal with weird Brooklyn people who try every which way to live like they’re in the country while they’re actually living in the most crowded city in the United States.