Updated: May 29

A new word I've learned and most likely will never use

This whole idea of starting a design blog was born from a primal frustration of me not being filthy rich (yet, let's not rush to rule it out), but living in a world that is considered for the rich. The design world.

How do you feel when you read interior design blogs? Inspired or discouraged?

I feel like I'm being offered multiple ways to accessorize my Porsche, when all I have is a Toyota, which up until now I considered a real upgrade I was very happy with.

So I've decided to write a blog for all of you, me included, "Toyota owners": Hard working, down to earth, real people.

I read this article titled "Why You Might Need a Second Kitchen" where I've learned the meaning of the word scullery, which the expert claims you absolutely need, because that's where the dirty work is being done. For example: when throwing a party (suspicious activity already) you can hide all your mess in that said scullery, while your main kitchen remains meticulously clean and organized! Dirty work, also known in my vocabulary as daily life, should be hidden in a scullery, an historic term from an historic world. That's where the servants were hiding while washing the dishes.

Insightful and convincing as this article is, unfortunately I don't have the space, nor the budget, for a second kitchen. But, considering 1/2 of the world's population - more than 3 billion people - live on less than 2.50$ a day, hence don't have a second kitchen, let alone a home, I should feel lucky, and concentrate on remodeling my first and only kitchen like all commoners.

For that, Emily Henderson shares useful tips for designing and organizing a kitchen, based on her I-wish-I-had-known-the-exact-cost-and-square-footage mountain house kitchen. I tried to apply her recommendations into my kitchen, but my space is slightly smaller than hers to begin with, not to mention the budget differences. If it sounds like I'm envious, that's because I am. Slightly.

I do want to add that I've been following Emily Henderson's work for years, admiring her work and taste, and learning a lot from her sharing every step and aspect of her design process. However, sometimes it comes out a little privileged, like in the Mountain House Kitchen example, to rave about smart ways of organizing and using every sq inch, in what I assume is a >500 sq ft kitchen. Was that even a challenge to begin with?

Set aside economic differences and jealousy, like I said, there's a lot to learn from design blogs, even if your house is as tiny as your budget. But another thing that fuels my antagonism is the excess use of exaggerated, yet hollow, adjectives that floods the design world: amazing, fab (fabulous is too long), gorgeous and perfect. Not only don't they contribute to the description of anything, but they are also contemptuous of the language. What is left to describe something genuinely amazing, like finding a vaccine to a pandemic, or allegedly perfect like God, after exploiting the most exquisite adjectives on the mundane?

I hereby vow to avoid the use of such words. INTERESTING included, because its sub-context is really "I've got nothing (good) to say about it". We used that A LOT in grad-school during presentations, just saying.

Last thing on my ranting list, are social media driven concepts, such as "coffee table books". I've endured flipping back books to achieve the neutral look, as well as curating a color-categorized library, but this is just wrong. Can it get faker than this? Are we now shamelessly declaring the books we own are merely ornamental?

That's it for now, my fellow commoners. I'm going to take my Toyota and head up to IKEA to do some research on kitchens, and maybe buy a coffee table. And a book.

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Architecture & Interior Design

© 2020 by Elinor Gefen-Rotstein

Greater Boston Area

Real Design For Real People