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Backstory:
Here’s a before-shot of our kitchen.

Simply terrifying and that’s not even half the room.

But let’s go WAAAAAAAY back.

My intrigue into the world of unfitted kitchens began 29 years ago.

Sidenote: Holy crap. That makes me feel old. I’m not even 29 yet, am I??? For more on these lamentations, tune into the next Homemaker Chic Podcast, for sure.

Back to the back story:

29 years ago on our honeymoon, we saw the movie A Walk in the Clouds. One of the cheesiest, best romantic movies, ever. Raised on Disney’s Zorro (don’t get me started. I have Zorro issues)

Stay focused Ang –

Raised on Zorro, I was in love with the early architecture of Spanish California and so of course, I found the Californian, vineyard home of the girl in A Walk in the Clouds to be perfection. I love everything about that style, but for this missive, I’ll keep it focused on kitchens…

In the movie, there is an established shot of Victoria Aragon and her mother in the kitchen together. That shot alone got me.

It GOT ME.

Instead of a fussy, perfect ivy-wallpapered kitchen of the 1990s, here was a workspace. Big tables, birds from the day’s hunt, fire, tile, shadows… oh gosh, it was dreamy and when I consider it, I know it’s that scene that made me realize I didn’t want a regular ole’ kitchen. I’m not saying you’d use the words “unfitted kitchen” to describe the Aragon’s kitchen, but dang…

I’ve had a handful of charming kitchens myself. Making them as fabulous as I could under whatever my circumstances were was extremely important to me, but until this home, I never had the pleasure of ripping one apart and starting fresh.

Shall we glance back for a moment to past Parisienne Farmgirl kitchen pics? 🙂

Above: My yellow kitchen and first kitchen featuring my handprint tile and I could not resist a flashback to the magazine cover with my sweet Amélie, now 16.

Rental before above.

Rental afters above.

Our current kitchen a few years ago.

In today’s video, I’m sharing more of the horrid old blue wallpaper, the cedar cabinets, the 40-year-old electric stove, and, of course, the sperm lights. (Remember those?) as we continue our journey towards a French Farmhouse-inspired unfitted kitchen. I will be on this subject for weeks, so if kitchens are your jam, I’m your girl.

Unfitted kitchens, with their liberating absence of built-in cabinets, are increasingly becoming a symbol of style, flexibility and individuality in modern homes.

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Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing a variety of perks to having an unfitted kitchen, and of course, for more design help, I’m available for private help OR be sure you’re a member of my private society. I’ll treat you to the first week free and then it’s more affordable than a cup of coffee from the ivy-wallpapered 90s at just $1.78 a week:) Try it here:

Let’s start with three perks today-

Unfitted kitchens emphasize flexibility:

In our kitchen, everything will now be able to move around. Islands and workspaces are on castors as is our coffee station. There are multiple hutches for dishes and a butcher block for chopping and serving off if needed. The only things that will stay in place are the range and the copper sink. The kitchen is my creative canvas, allowing for the easy rearrangement of furniture and I can adapt it to our needs at the time (IE: moving an island closer to the table to serve a holiday meal from.)

Unfitted kitchens have serious vintage charm:

There is something homespun about NOT having built-in cabinets. I can bring in nostalgic pieces from my heritage (like my Grams Hoosier cabinet) I can hang pots and pans for easy reach…When you combine standalone pieces it brings in a coziness that’s very different from a conventional kitchen. And I’m not dissing conventional kitchens, but the quirkiness of an unfitted space brings a very different feeling.

(For fun: Here’s the Hoosier cabinet in my bootroom and for more fun, a before shot of the space – gag. If you look straight back to those louver doors, that’s the pantry I reference in today’s video and it’s where LUGA sits now.)

Unfitted kitchens feel customized:

When you’re remodeling a kitchen budget constraints can kick in FAST! Cabinets, countertops, and poof, it can feel like your budget is GONE! They say a kitchen remodel can/should cost 5-15% of the value of your home. Well, seeing that the average American home cost $388,000 last year even at 5% that’s a 20K price tag, and with a price tag like that it can be easy to have to set aside those features you wanted that would make your kitchen feel more customized. But with an unfitted kitchen, your kitchen can be your oyster! The possibilities are just about endless and much more affordable. The unfitted kitchen is a place of true taste expression in your home. No unfitted kitchen will look like another. Even in the most cookie-cutter subdivisions.

In today’s video, you’ll notice my glance is always shooting off to the side- looking for a sign that the truck is arriving with my floor tile. So I’m a case in point – had I opted for a new, conventional kitchen, I would have NEVER been able to budget for my French terra cotta or even Luga. Alas, the truck didn’t show while filming but stay tuned! It’s coming TODAY, so this unfitted kitchen chronicle will continue with more demo days, more tile, and more reasons why I think unfitted kitchens are not just a design choice but truly represent a lifestyle that values creativity and a departure from the ordinary.

I’m here for it.

Glad you are too.