Wednesday, October 3, 2012

the scarlet kitchen


My mention of red kitchen cabinets has emails flying; faxes, tweets, telegrams, and letters with stamps on them too. Design gurus quoted and astrologers consulted. My sanity questioned. So let me give you context.


The little black dress of Catskill real estate is a farmhouse with 20 acres. We looked at many of them in our search for a country weekend house. So charming, just what a reader of this blog or visitor to my store, might picture me in. 

Then we saw this.

and this.



Heavily wooded, roaring waterfall, bluestone slabs, ferns and moss galore--
 it felt primeval, we fell in love.

We hated the boxy cedar 1980's house with the world's ugliest kitchen.
But houses can be changed, and we've been chipping away at it for a decade.


Last year we replaced the odds and ends of furniture in the great room. (Yes, I have to call it that. 80's, remember?)


The dining area opens onto the great room. The kitchen is behind the wall with the picture on it, and that wall is coming down. My theory is that barn-red cabinets would harmonize with the rustic old dining table, red chairs and rug, and provide a nod to the area's dairy farms.  Red cabinets mixed with cream, and dark soapstone counters. But who knows? Maybe natural cherry. Or concrete and stainless steel. Anything except the current shiny laminate the color of Silly Putty. I don't plan to post much about this process, would rather explore other regions, but I promise I'll show you when it's finished.





29 comments:

  1. Sorry if we have been putting pressure on you. Of course, everything depends on the size of the kitchen and what else is in it.

    Eighties or not, I find that great room looking very comfortable, and what a view. My last house had woods in the side and back, but oddly no advantage was taken of this.
    --Road to Parnassus

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  2. No pressure--I'm just kidding around.

    The view is of the waterfall and it is glorious--I never get tired of it. The room used to be pretty awful but we're happy with it now--plenty of comfortable seating and reading lights, and there's a nice big fireplace.

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  3. Don't let us influence you, Jen. You know best. Really.

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  4. Hello Jen:
    Experimenting with new thoughts and ideas is such great fun and one should never, in our view, be in too much of a hurry to make a final decision in these instances. Certainly, as it will all be open, you really do need something which will complement your dining table and chairs as well as the rest of the room. We shall be most interested to see what you finally choose.

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  5. sounds like a lot of work. and a lot of fun. keep us posted :)

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  6. To change the room is fantastic work and yours looks great with huge windows, big sofa, nice cushions and reading lights.
    I look forward to hear about your kitchen when your plan will be finished.

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  7. What beautiful surroundings your house is in. Would you consider painting the ceiling white...?

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    1. Next time I'm there I will take a look with that in mind. The room is very cold with big windows and high ceilings. I've been wanting to do something with that wood, which is also above the fireplace.

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  8. Wait...you bought a home with its own waterfall? I am insanely jealous! I wouldn't even notice the kitchen because I would always be staring out the window at the waterfall!

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    1. That's what we've been doing for 10 years. :) However, my husband and 2 of my sons are crazy cooks and the kitchen (functionally) is for them. I haven't told them that it might be red.

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  9. Paint it red --- -------------.

    Fill in the blanks re: the Rolling Stones.

    That's your waterfall?

    Wonderwall for sure.

    xo J.

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  10. The burning question of the month eh? Personally, I thought/think red cabinets would be great. My friend painted her cabinets gray with black trim and I thought it would be terrible but when I saw them, they look great. Now, on to greater things my friend.

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    1. Expect a post on Russian novels soon.

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  11. I have nothing against red. I love red!
    It's a fun process anyway. I am sure you'll find the right colour Jen : )

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  12. ...also...with such exteriors this is a dream house no doubt ;)

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  13. I hear you! We bought a house more for the views from the upper end of the property, and because Linda envisioned French doors in the living room. Only after we closed & came into the house again did we wander through in shock at what we'd done. We're still 'fixing up', but every now again go up the hill and watchthe sun set over the mountains, and it's okay.Your kitchen will be great!

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  14. That waterfall is ridiculous. I mean that in a good way like the kids say today.

    I had no objection to the red at all. If you're feeling a little unsure, maybe you could have some open or glass-fronted cabinets that are painted red on the inside. That gives you some flexibility to change to another color if you get tired of it.

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    1. All upper cabinets will be glass fronted or ope shelves. I'm thinking red lower and white/cream upper or vice versa.

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  15. What Steve said about the waterfall. Your house seems very suited to looking out at all that beauty... kind of like Falling Water. I'm really curious about the thought behind the putty colored kitchen!

    I love RED!!!

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    1. It wasn't just the kitchen--the entire house was painted that color. Walls, molding, ceiling fans, bathroom tiles. Everything.

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  16. I love it all Jen but the views are to die for arent they? It looks like a perfect retreat to me!

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  17. Jen,
    I love red and if that's what you want, go for it! What ever you choose, it will be beautiful. Your house looks fabulous and your waterfalls and creek, amazing! You are one lucky girl to have such a beautiful place to spend time at!
    Rebecca

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  18. Is this your house Jen? It looks absolutey beautiful. To have a house on a location like yours.... I think it is everyone's dream!

    Happy weekend,

    Madelief x

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    Replies
    1. Yes, that's our house in the Catskills.

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  19. And what in the world is wrong with red? When you mentioned it I thought of barnyard red which is perfect in a country setting, and a whole bunch of other places too. You can envision it best since you are actually there, and besides it's your house. And a really pretty one too. The hard part is picking the "right" red. OY!

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  20. PS. "Great" room looks...great!

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  21. Really dreamy house with great natural settings! Living room with a fireplace is something I adore. A friend of mine has a woodburnig one because she has an acquaintance to provide the wood to be used.
    It takes time, energy, good taste, and money to build up the house the way you like. I'm also looking forward to seeing how it is complete.

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