Friday, March 02, 2012

I Prefer the Before Pictures

Yesterday, I was at the library, looking for a book (right, I never leave the library with just one book) to read over the weekend. I wanted something with pretty pictures that would inspire me, give me ideas, or just take me back in time. I found one by the editors of This Old House, and flipping quickly through the pages I saw pictures of the insides of old homes, specifically kitchens. They were old-fashioned looking kitchens just like the one I dream of. So I grabbed the book, along with several others of course, and headed for home. When I finally had a chance to sit down with a cup of tea, I opened up the book and discovered that those pictures that drew me in were the "before pictures." Sigh. They tore those kitchens out and remodeled them into more modern-looking, state-of-the-art kitchens, complete with shiny granite countertops.

Sometimes I wonder if I'm the only person who wants a kitchen that hasn't been changed since the 1950s. For years, I've had this picture that I tore out of a magazine as an example of the kind of kitchen I want. 


Many of the items in this kitchen are new, but they are true to the spirit of an old kitchen. This is what I long for: sunny, cheerful and bright. I've always wanted a kitchen with a back door with a window in it, so I could hang a homey-looking curtain on it.

Yes, in so many ways, I prefer the before picture. Like many of you, I feel like I belong in a different time, and often find myself feeling out of place in this high-tech world of ours. I have been feeling very nostalgic lately, and have found through some research that nostalgia can be good for us. I'm often nostalgic for my own childhood, but I discovered that there is actually a name for my nostalgia for a time I never lived in: historical nostalgia. I hope to dig into this a little more. Maybe I'll figure out why I'm drawn to vintage tablecloths, aprons, and jadeite. And why I want to find an old farmhouse with an antique stove, sink, and clawfoot bathtub still in place, no remodeling necessary.

Do you ever yearn for an earlier time? Do you also prefer the before picture? I'm convinced that I can enjoy the blessings of my life and the times we live in, while finding a simpler way to live, embracing the spirit of the past.

58 comments:

patchworkandlace said...

I love all the old things too i often feel i should have been born in a different era ,i love the 1940s-1950,the clothes ,cars etc xx

Anna said...

Hello and Good Evening, I just want to say I Love this Kitchen so. I have had yellow,blue and now terricotta/cream painted kitchen. Never had a red kitchen. I love all the vintage applicances flooring, chairs everything is just wonderful. Thank you for sharing.(((Hugs))) Anna

E said...

I would be a happy girl if I woke up to this kitchen every morning :)

Gina said...

I do all the things that women did in the 50s... now I dont do them in a dress but I love to clean and bake and cook and hang out clothes on the line. I too feel like I am born out of time.

Carla said...

Oh my goodness! That is MY dream kitchen.

Kim K. said...

Such a dreamy kitchen. I keep telling my husband that when it's time to replace our appliances I want vintage reproductions. Thank you for the eye candy.

Mecky said...

That is a great kitchen and one that I would be happy to have, too.
I do not like the kitchens that they are showing over and over on HGTV and such. No granite counter tops for me. No stainless still.

My house use to have all those wonderful things in it until someone decided to update it in the 60's and 90's. Now I am set to try to bring all that back.

Lois' Laughlines said...

Are you kidding me,, the RED stove...what is cuter than that??? I would love my kitchen to look like that. Thanks for posting. blessings to you.

Mary said...

I hsve fallen in love with that kitchen...WoW...

My Vintage Mending said...

Oh you speak my language too! I would love nothing more than the slap of a screen door for the kids when they leave while I wring my hands on a freshly pressed apron. The busy schedule would be all about Sunday dinner and church services. Yes my dear I love modernity but only because it brings me memories of the past...smiles...Renee

Carol Ann said...

I have a antique baker's cabinet with top that my husband bought at a sale this past summer and he restored it. I often wonder who's it was orginally and what did they make on it, etc. I'm very curious about the past and what it must have been like. Enjoyed seeing your picture!

Perfectly Printed said...

Ditto to all who have left comments before me! I would love to have a backdoor too! And the red!!

chris

camp and cottage living said...

Yes, I yearn for the days of old. I think it is because I grew up during the 50's and 60's, and this was the style then. We had a table very similar to the one in your photo.
Please remember to take us along on your journey into bringing the past into your present!

donna said...

I agree. I just love the look of this kitchen. Can not imagine that anyone would want to remodel this kitchen. Sometimes I think we should be able to go back in time to the 50's
Hugs
donna

Melanie said...

I love that kitchen!!! It is awesome!!
DH and I were talking aobut something similar tonight. We live in an old farmhouse, I have the kitchen door with a window and the claw foot tub, but no antique stove or sink. The floors are hardwood and there is NO carpet! I have thought about the feet that walked across these floors, soothing crying babies, waiting for someone, or simply doing daily chores and wondered what their lives were like. This house has seen so many changes, the wars and depression, electricity, telephones, and paved roads, it would be amazing to know what things were like for the residents of this house. I have wondered what it must have looked like on the first day that it was occupied. What did the furnishings look like?
Thanks for sharing this post Betsy, I have enjoyed reading it, and yes, I like the Before's too!

Betsy said...

I have SO enjoyed reading all of your thoughts--it's so reassuring to find so many kindred spirits! Thanks so much for sharing your love of things past.

Betsy

Barb said...

I also love that wonderful vintage look! None of my friends or family "get it" so it is so reassuring to come online and see others who have a like-mind. Thanks for sharing the sweet kitchen that I'd love to have!

Elaine @ Sunny Simple Life said...

I LOVE that kitchen. You would love my kitchen I think. 1958 with the original cupboards, tile, oven (Western Holly), hood, sink. I love it and am trying to preserve it as best I can. Come over for some coffee sometime.

Anonymous said...

LOL.. a woman after my own heart :-)
We moved 12 yrs ago from a little victorian to the county a modern house. the ONLY reason I moved was b/c I wanted country living.
BUT aw how I would have loved to have moved my house instead !LOL

Sandy aka Doris the Great said...

What a gorgeous kitchen!

EllenaElizabeth said...

That is one special looking kitchen. I have never seen a red stove before. Love the table and chairs. Thanks for sharing.

Holly said...

I'm definately a "before" kinda woman. Seeing pictures like this one brings me back to Granma's kitchen. I can smell the cookies baking, I open the back door and see the flower garden planted just a few feet away, and the laundry flapping on the clothes line. Living in Arizona, it's so difficult to fit the 1950's decor into the 2012 architecture of the homes now with all the stucco and the marble counter tops and all these dad blamed earth tones. We are planning on moving at the end of the year and my goal is to find a great older brick home and bring it back to it's hay day. Wish me luck!

Debi said...

Oh MY GOODNESS! How about we meet there and have a glass of tea. I can feel the cool breeze flowing through the windows and smelling the fresh country air. LOVE THIS!

Angela said...

Do you ever yearn for an earlier time? YES YES! Do you also prefer the before picture?TOTALLY YES! I'm convinced that I can enjoy the blessings of my life and the times we live in, while finding a simpler way to live, embracing the spirit of the past.AMEN AMEN AMEN..oh ya girl. That kitchen rocks.

Crafted by Carly said...

I've been re-watching my favourite version of Pride and Prejudice, and dreaming of times when things were so polite and lovely and pretty (if you were rich, at lest)..... :-)
Carly
x

Shirley Hatfield said...

Ah, Betsy! That kitchen! There is a war in my head and heart between Craftsman Arts and Crafts era and the shiny vintage kitchen in you picture. Right now, the Craftsman kitchen won...but my laundyroom (which once was the kitchen) is my little vintage kitcheny space. I have been drawn back to my grandmothers since I was a child sitting under Grandma Zetta's quilting frame listening to the church ladies chat. I believe we must have been "sisters" before we were born. =D

Kris said...

It's a feast for the eyes!!

Sandy said...

It is so nice to see all of these replies! Yes , Yes and Yes!!! I wish I could go back to a simpler time, I love some of the modern things, but in my perfect world, I can time travel back and get all of the items I want and no one notices I am different! I know....silly, but gosh wouldn't it be fun to go into a Woolworth s from the 40's or early 50's, buy a new dinette set and all of the other things we just can't get enough of, of that era.....we are so much alike and I am glad I found you!!!!! :) Sandy @ 521 Lake Street

Shannon@Cozy Home Scenes said...

I find it fascinating that so many of us who are modern women love the old styles. I like anything that looks like it is from some other time in the past. My best friend wouldn't think of having something that is not brand new. Go figure!
The red and white kitchen is beautiful.------- Shannon

vivian said...

HI Betsy, I love old houses but somewhat remodeled. my house is OLD.. and needs a lot of work! lol!
I'm glad you visited today. I will surely be back again soon. love your blog.
xo
vivian

The Cottage Market {Andrea} ♥ said...

what a GLORIOUS kitchen!!!! it is fabulous and wonderful and goes perfectly with your blog i may add!!! thank you for sharing with us all and sharing this beauty! i would LOVE to have a cup of coffee with you sitting right there! LOVE IT ALL!!!!
hugs...

Cozy Little House said...

I WANT that kitchen too!
Brenda

Red Rose Alley said...

I can totally relate to this, because I also have an interest in times before us, and guess which ones that I'm drawn to? - the 50's and the 20's. In fact, my favorite places to eat are at charming 50's diners. I just love them. The splashes of red in this kitchen are wonderful. I have the same thing in mine.
~Sheri at Red Rose Alley

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

What a beautiful kitchen! It would be so much fun to design a kitchen and house from the ground up and have the money to do it any way you want! ♥

gloria g. said...

Yes, yes, yes.......I love this kitchen. I am a red kinda girl, and I too cut out pictures and save them and maybe just maybe one day I could have a kitchen like that........thanks for sharing. I am new to your blog, but it is adorable.

gloria g. Hemingway, SC

Cheryl said...

Oh my goodness... that kitchen is a sweet-sweet kitchen! and I prefer the shabby chic look :-P

Little Susie Home Maker said...

Betsy! That is the most charming kitchen. What is there not to love? My I can smell the pie cooling in the window. I can hear the chatter at the table. I can see the kids drying the dishes with embroidered flour sack towel! Yesterday was a very charming time that I think many of us yearn for, time with family and friends.
Thanks for sharing with your blog friends!
Blessings,
Susie

Little Susie Home Maker said...

I almost forgot, I love the addition of your Little Red Hen Books, so cute! I think the one I had as a child was the one on the top!

Sweet Bee Cottage said...

Such a charming kitchen! I'm drawn to it too.

Ric Rac and Polka Dots said...

Oh Betsy,
I SO LOVE that picture of the kitchen. I would make mine exactly like that. I also dream of an old farmhouse that LOOKS like an old farmhouse, out in the country. We have pretty much custom built this house up to fit us perfectly, and I love it, but the only thing I wish is that it was farther out in the country and that it looked older, like a farmhouse. You are definitely my kind of girl!
Hugs,
Julie

Mary said...

That is a beautiful kitchen. I'm pretty grumpy when I wake up, but I think I might actually walk into that kitchen whistling!

When my husbands grand-dad passed away we cleared the home out. His granny moved closer to us. They had lived in their home since the 50's. The kitchen,den,hall & living room walls & cabinets were all knotty pine & the floors hardwood. Honestly it was beautiful. We had it on the market for months and no sale. The realtors told us we needed to paint the knotty pine white ( walls & cabinets). I think our chins hit the floor! The painters told us no persons wants knotty pine it was too dark. Mind you I love color- but big windows didn't make it seem dark or small. We honestly disliked the painting afterwards. It took still some time to sale.

We still ask "What were they thinking?

Connie said...

Oh yeah, I love the kitchen in this photo. At one time I had a very large collection of forties and fifties kitchen ware, including a similar dinette as this one, and it was all displayed in a basement room. We moved later on and chose to sell the collection so I no longer have it. I found your blog while browsing on another one and when I read you are from Indiana I was intrigued as I'm a Hoosier who now lives in Illinois, but I'll always be a Hoosier. :)

GardenofDaisies said...

I'm with you! Most of what's in my house looks old, or is old. And I like it that way. Contemporary just isn't me.

Deanna said...

Hi Betsy,
my name is Deanna and I wondered over here to your little piece of paradise via Shabby Creations. You have an adorable blog home.
I was so tickled to see that you love The Little Red Hen books. A friend who used to have a vintage store in my home town, was darling enough to give me three of those books for free. I also have a few primer school books from the 40's and one that I remember from school that was from the early 60's.

I am with you on the vintage kitchen. Even the flooring is just the right touch of red. My grandma used to have an aqua enamel table and aqua kitchen doo dads. I remember her canister set the most. They had sparkles on them...probably silver glitter. What I wouldn't give to have that table and that canister set. I've seen the canister set on Ebay several times but was outbid every time!

I stayed up last night going back into your archives and I just enjoyed myself so much! I'll be back for another visit real soon!

Deanna :D

Buttonchief7 said...

Such a charming kitchen with lots of my fav, red. After admiring your border, I wonder if you've seen the Spode Baking Days line. Recently replaced 36 yr old Yorktowns dishes with the Spode in red with white polka dots. So clean and cheerful looking.

Amanda said...

I was thinking just the same thing yesterday. Flicking through a magazine I saw a lovely kitchen, which was sadly ripped out, and replaced with another which frankly looked terrible! Seemed such a shame and a horrendous waste of money.

This kitchen is wonderful, such a homey and family kitchen, love it!

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

I don't think you could ever have a sad moment in that kitchen. That has to be the happiest looking kitchen I have seen in a long time.

grammycarolynn (flickr) said...

Oh, my goodness, Betsy Anne! This is such a happy kitchen...It just puts a smile on my face! It's bursting with my very favorite color...RED!!
Blessings and thanks for your cheery post!
Carolynn...grammycarolynn (Flickr)

Jackie V. said...

Just found your blog and I LOVE the red and white kitchen. Can't you smell the cookies??? Also, "Understood Betsy" was my favorite book when I was young, many years ago. I shall continue to read your blog now. Continued sucess with your blogging.

Vero nickyschannel said...

i love this kitchen so much :)

janice15 said...

I have blue and white in my kitchen, but If I could I would have this kitchen in a heart beat...I'm your newest follower, Come by and join me and visit too...Happy Wednesday with love Janice So beautiful!!!

Renee Brutto said...

Such a charming kitchen! I'm drawn to it too.

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