It's not too often I buy anything for myself. I mean really, I don't need a lot. I can over look a lot of little things. But if I could buy a dream kitchen I'd sell a kidney, ovary and pancreas to do so. As we approach our next crossroad in deciding where to finish school the idea of moving has been bouncing around quietly in the background of our conversations. We could use some garage space, a place for kids to park (a need we didn't have six years ago when we moved here). I could use a kitchen I don't have to acrobat across to get dinner in and out of the oven while some child is finishing their dishes. We really want some big space to entertain.
What to do, what to do??? There are still a few semesters to knock out before we get to our crossroads, but come Hell or high water--a degree will be had, at some point. And that my friends, will create a new opportunity and more hard questions about which "path" to take. I like the ones less traveled, but the man likes a bit of safety built into his adventures. True that opposites attract....
It doesn't cost a thing to look at houses...right? And you just may learn what you can and can't live with. House hunting as a pastime, without the emotion attached to it like "Oh our house just sold and we have nowhere to go" can really be educational.
There's always the option to remodel. My parents are old pros at this, but even my Mom has suggested we look into moving before making major renovations. My husband has loads of experience remodeling, that's how he put himself through school when we were first married. So maybe we re-do the kitchen and then PRESTO it's fine and I can cook in peace without tripping over the dishwasher to open the oven. Big decisions were not a stumbling block for me, until I had kids. Suddenly it's not one future on the line, it's seven.
So either way--moving or not--I am creating a pared down version of my dream kitchen and hoping that in some house, somewhere it will exist and have my name on it. As I've been searching I've learned that I love the floors in my house. See I didn't really appreciate that until I looked at 5 or 6 different houses that had flooring options long since in style. I've learned that painting is not scary, or hard and if that lime green pantry doesn't work for me, it's not a deal breaker. I've learned that main floor laundry would be a real plus.
In my dream kitchen there would be a place for everything, and my kids would know what those places are and act accordingly. This pantry pretty much takes my breath away. It's from Better Homes and Gardens (aka my Bible) and it's called "Pretty and Practical Pantry Solutions." Seriously the title has alliteration! Dream Pantry Pics can be found here. Once the pantry is recreated so it's actually useful, and not just a space to hoard spices and half-eaten boxes of crackers, I would have to move onto creating an island. This is a great concept--storage space, versatile, serving area, and won't break the bank. Click here for awesome islands and my favorite Dream Island is on page 14.
In the meantime, I think that adding color to any room, or rearranging decor you already have, is easy and cheap. Spray painting furniture is a new hobby of mine, and I can't believe how a $4 can of paint can reinvent a sad piece of furniture. The dollar stores are a crazy place to find inexpensive, new things to brighten up your space. My favorite thing to do is put fresh flowers in the house--and we have a florist down the street that has beautiful arrangements, and they're inexpensive too.
Long story short...I am learning again that I have partial control over a few things. It's okay to dream; those dreams have inspired solutions to many problems. Things may not work out the way I want them to, but they will work out...eventually.