Sunday, April 12, 2009

New House Pictures, Part 1: Kitchen

These are my chickens.  They sit in the corner of my kitchen and watch me cook.  

For some reason I cannot explain, they are one of the few cluttery things in my kitchen that I allow.  I don't like a lot of decoration in my kitchen because it's a workspace for me, and the more pretty stuff there is in there, the more I have to clean.  Except for the chickens.  Which make the food turn out better.  They must, because I insist on having them in my kitchen.  I love my chickens.  Whenever I see one I don't have, I buy it.  I've bought them at souvenire stands, local shops, and off EBay.  I haven't seen a new one in a while.  

So here are some pictures of the new house that I've gone on and on and on about.  Now, the previous owner had this whole, dried-flowers-and-bundles-of-trigs-English-cottage-garden thing happening. I'm not SAYING THAT ANYTHING IS WRONG WITH THAT; I'm just not into the whole, "Martha Stewart threw up here" look. 

At first I hated this kitchen island. Now, I use it every. Single. Day.  The bouquet of flowers usually sits on the wood stove, but I move it when Baboo makes a fire.

But back to the cottage garden thing, and why I hated it.  Well, for one thing, I avoid things that collect dust and cobwebs and crumble when you breathe on them.  There's that.   

But the other thing that the whole "cottage garden" look is just weird in this particular house which is, I mean.  C'mon.  In the DESERT.  
And, plus, it's a ranch house. It was built in the 80s, but it's more of a mid-century type tract home. 

AND, it's about a mile off old route 66.  How can you not want to have fun with that, and fill your house with all kinds of funky midcentury junk?

Baboo and I are kind of eclectic, but in honor of the home's style and location I've decided to fill in the details with a few midcentury things here in there.  

I like kitch, even though I can't spell it.  I always have.  In the eighties and nineties I had things like pink flamingos in my yard, and my appliances were all ACTUAL things from the 60s and 50s that people had thrown out.  This, of course, made my mother recoil with horror because she despised everything that reminded her of the 60s and 50s as being "old" and "ugly".  My friends, who had dusty-rose carpeting and french-blue Tupperware, and those crappy chrome table-and-chair sets, were pretty horrified, too, by all my old garage sale "vintage" junk.  

I left most of it behind when I left South Dakota.  Except for one old chandelier, which I will be restoring one of these days soon.  
That's the beauty of decorating with junk.  You change your look, and you're not out much.  

In this kitchen, very soon, I'll be mounting some old postcards of Albuquerque.  They're mostly of old hotels along route 66 that are either not there any more, because they became nuisances and were seized by the city and razed, or they are still there but are still nuisances. Some have postmarks from the 40s on them, and messages to people who I'm sure are probably no longer with us.

Yes, that is a nook.  For some reason, Baboo was wild about this.  He said, "It will be just like eating in a restaurant!"  But then, I always do the cooking, so isn't EVERY day like eating in a restaurant for him?  I got this little condoment holder of him as joke (closeup in picture, below).  In it, we keep his beloved Chilula.  The table cloth is oilcloth, tan with cherries. DP suggested this.  I HEART my oilcloth table cloth.  The stained-glass window, which you can barely see, was made by my mother when I was fifteen, and I will not have a kitchen, anywhere, in which isn't hanging.  It hung in her kitchen until she died, and then I took it and it hangs in all my kitchens.

So, the light over the table.  I had to have this light.  I bought it from MoonShine Shades. 

The former light fixture was a weird, frosted bowl hanging from ornate, iron scrollwork underneath a halogen light.  It lured small flying bugs, then collected them when they died.  Then one day, I think it was DP who sent me a link to Meteor Lights, and I swooned.  I wound up choosing MoonShine over Meteor Lights because I liked their hanging assembly more.  

The table overlooks the back yard where a lot of birds congregate: scaled and mountain quail, scrub jays, an occasional marauding hawk, white-winged doves, towhees, finches, hummingbirds, and then there are the occasional bunnies.  So, along with salt&pepper, there is usually at least a couple pairs of binoculars on the table, which you can see in a basket on the right.

Lastly, here are the magnets.  

We collect one from every place we go - races, visits, whatever.  We love to travel, especially places off the major freeways that you'd otherwise miss.  We only collect it if we've actually been there, and the joy is in picking out the magnet.  There's quite a few of them from national parks thoughout the south west.  It's the one thing that we can collect as souvenires that doesn't take up too much space or collect too much dust.  

That's it, I guess.  I'll post some more pictures soon as I finish arranging and accessorizing the rest of the house.  


  1. That look s such a happy house :)

  2. Nice kitchen! I like the nook too. Very cosy. And I really like the mid-century style. So I'm looking forward to more pics. Cool light over the table. The chickens are funny.

  3. Anonymous6:07 PM

    I love it - especially the nook!! Cool chickens, too, and the flowers look so nice and refreshing. Glad you're enjoying the home :)

  4. That "dusty rose carpeting" thing was in my honor, wasn't it!? I'm touched. Can't. Wait. to tear that crap out. Maybe next week, fingers crossed.

  5. PS: I think I have that same color blue and white cabinets in my utility room right now. But it's not coming to the new place with me, I'm going to tans and browns and maybe some wine-purple.

  6. Very nice. I love that kitchen. I live in an unremodeled 1950s house with a small kitchen that gives me barely enough space to cook, if I'm efficient and creative.

    Dan and I followed what's left of Route 66 into Albuquerque one year. We drove to Arcadia, near Oklahoma City, then headed west. There are a lot of great places to stop and get photos of those old diners and motels you talk about.

  7. I love your kitchen, very inviting.

  8. Soooo jealous of the nook and LOVE the chickens.

    We are magnet hounds too. We have collected them for all of the 18 years we have been together.

  9. Another magnet hound here! Great instant recall tool for travel memories. Nice kitchen!

  10. *swoon* OMG, the light fixture is to die for.

    And I am wrong to find it amusing that the vegetarian has a brood of chickens supervising her culinary exertions?


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