The Kitchen (A Preview)

There is much to say about the kitchen, and so much I would love to do.  But it’s honestly the last thing on my list because to make it nice, we need resources, and it’s currently functional, so that’s not where our resources are going.

I did, however, get caught up in the fantasy of HGTV falling in love with our project and lending a hand.

HGTV: they have a page on their site that lists their present calls for submissions.  The most common thread is that you must live in L.A., San Francisco, or a metro in New England.  That’s where their studios are, and even though they have a few traveling shows, it makes perfect (financial) sense that they don’t commute.  I thought we might have a slim chance though, being somewhat near S.F., (even though a 5 hour drive will take you across states in other parts of the country).

One of their calls for submissions was called, The Worst Room in Your Hometown. So a couple months ago, I wrote:

I am writing you to tell you about our ugly room.  But first, a little background:

We bought this late Victorian house in October 2011, and moved in mid-November.  It was dirty, neglected, and in pretty bad shape all around. We cleaned graffiti, fixed holes in the walls, remedied a flea infestation, and disposed of truck loads and a dumpster full of trash.  It’s looking pretty good lately. 

[Redacted: some personal information that my 5 readers already know]  We have three boys – ages 12, 8, and 3, and we are expecting a baby in September.  We have a puppy and four cats, and various other small pets.  [More stuff redacted]  Our kids play local Little League baseball, ride their bikes around town, and really enjoy this small rural town.

The worst room in our house — and on the block, and in our town?  The kitchen/dining room.  It was remodeled in the late 70s, and though it was probably awesome in its time, it clashes with the style and history of the house.  What do I hate about it?  It has cheap cabinets that are falling apart, vinyl faux-stone floors, and black “marble” laminate counters.  There isn’t nearly enough cabinet space, and seemingly wasted space under a counter bar that we never use.  There is a big black fridge that blocks one of the small aluminum windows, and there is no dishwasher or good pantry storage.  There is a beautiful 1940s Wedgewood stove, but the side of the stove is up against a wall, and has no working hood.  And finally, the lighting fixtures in the kitchen and dining room are junky.  I hate it!

Kitchens are my favorite places in any house.  We all love to cook (the kids too!), and I only wish our kitchen was not so garish and clunky so we could love spending time in there.  I am confident that there is a better way to use the space in our kitchen, and with some tasteful and classy appliances, counters, flooring and decoration, it could be a complementary room in our house, rather than an eyesore.

A short video touring the kitchen can be found at:
[Oh my god, I can’t believe I’m linking to this. For Pete’s sake, it has MY VOICE IN IT.]
Another short video of some of the kids and pets, showing the fun chaos of our lives is at:

You can read about some of the work we’ve done on the house in our blog at  I’ve attached a couple snapshots, but you can find more pictures on the blog.

Thank you for reading about our kitchen, and our lives.  We hope to hear from you soon!

Needless to say, no response.

You know what bugs me? Not even an autoresponse. Nothing.

Leave a comment


  1. I think you should submit it again!

  2. Just love that video montage of the family!!

  3. That’s the thing! HGTV has such a casual submission process — if something is listed on the page, you send to some odd gmail address. If it’s not listed on the page, then they’re not taking submissions. There aren’t any current calls for submissions that really fit with the project, but I’m keeping an eye on it.

    It seems that they have so many different legs to the company — different production companies, different crews, different shows that may or may not be directly affiliated. I don’t really know how it all works for them, but there certainly isn’t a standard for submitting our pipe dreams, er, uh… projects.

    • Well, it is certainly a worthy project! Considering your needs, I am amazed that you manage so well in that kitchen. Hang in there…it will happen in time!

      • What do you think of this? A big pantry cupboard by the back door, removing the small window (that the fridge blocks), moving the fridge over (getting a smaller one, and then putting a big freezer on the back porch), adding a dishwasher beside the kitchen sink, and putting a nice big garden window above the sink that opens up to an herb box that hangs right there so we don’t have to traipse out in the rain to get our fresh herbs?

        Keep the stove where it is (because I’m out of ideas) and put a microwave/hood combo above the stove.

        Somebody else has to figure out the cabinetry (ahem, Mat) and then replace the bar/countertop area with really deep cupboards there (we don’t need the overhanging bar — just storage), and a butcherblock countertop, and tile everywhere else. Oh! and nice lighting too.

        Nothing fancy. Just a good, practical kitchen.

        • I like the idea of moving the fridge and making a pantry, and definitely the indoor herb window! But I wonder if you do actually need that bar area for counter space. The other counter space you have is so deep and short. I love butcherblock counters! Always wanted one myself and I did have one for a few years. Very useful and easy to maintain.

  4. I just meant that instead of having overhanging counter space (on the dining room side) which was set up with barstools by the previous owners, we instead have deep cupboards under the counter. Or… we have cupboard space or shelves on the other side. There’s just some wasted space there (OK, OK, not wasted. We use it to keep our 5-gallon dog and cat food containers. So so pretty.)

    • Ah…I didn’t notice that! Of course you don’t need that. 🙂 Isn’t it fun to dream of this stuff… I’ve been dreaming for 6 years of fixing up the bedroom in this house and now I am finally doing it. Washed and spackled the walls, got rid of unnecessary and ugly furniture, and now just have to paint, get a throw rug or two and some new lamps…oh yeah, and curtains and a new bedspread!

      • This was stuck in the spam folder — glad I caught it. That’s great about the bedroom! I’m a big believer in a clutter-free bedroom.

  5. Bonnie

     /  May 4, 2012

    That’s so lame of them not to reply. You put so much effort into writing to them and making your case. Argh! Even our internal web site has better customer service.


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