I had an Open Kitchen yesterday. What’s an ‘Open Kitchen’? I’m so glad you asked, let me tell you. It’s where the owner of a recently revamped kitchen allows others to come over to view his handiwork. I know, it was quite a privilege for others to be a part of such an event.
Actually, it all started back when I was talking about the refab as an upcoming project and coworkers voiced their interest in seeing it when it was done. Then I finished it and they REALLY voiced their interest in seeing it. I mean, why wouldn’t you when it’s been the talk of the town since its completion. (Sometimes I exaggerate, but go along with it anyway, okay?) So, I picked a day that was convenient for me, I am a busy person, don’t you know – got lots of people to see and places to go – and a time that worked and started to spread the word. I mostly invited coworkers – mostly – as they’re the ones that I see most of and from whom I’ve heard all of the compliments and pleading to see it first hand. Some of these aforementioned coworkers came to my housewarming party nearly 13 years ago – after I had just moved it and hadn’t had time, money or energy to redo anything in my newly purchased house. (I shudder at the thought of how it looked back then, back before I focused any of my creativity on my house and made it into the showcase that it is today.)
At any rate, I made a couple of stipulations beforehand – there wouldn’t be anything to eat or drink – as I didn’t want anything to spill on my new floor and mar its near pristine condition. (I’m sure at this point you think that I’m very … particular (no, I wasn’t going to say, “peculiar”) – far from it. I didn’t want to have the added pressure of baking/cooking along with the cleanup before (and after). I was just opening up my house for people to see the kitchen. If you stopped by a friend’s house to see some new addition, you wouldn’t expect fanfare in the form of a meal. Same thing here. Only, with this, I was going for the efficiency of having as many friends over at the same time to get it over with instead of having to keep it really clean for weeks while people came by one or two at a time. I thought I was being quite practical actually. If I was going to be way over the top particular, I would have insisted people enter through my sunroom in the back and take their shoes off or put on booties.) I also didn’t want it to be a “party” as people would be expected, or think they were expected, to bring gifts.
I didn’t really expect lengthy visits, just people popping in, looking around and leaving. Sure, they could stay as long as they wanted and compliment me on as much as they could, but it wasn’t supposed to be a long, drawn out affair. I did only give it a two hour window of time.
In the end, I’m not sure what the draw was – coming over to see the finished kitchen because everyone knows the costs involved and wanted to see something that’s affordable and still appealing or seeing how I live. Over a dozen current and former coworkers came during the allotted time. Of those, only a few saw it years before I had totally changed it according to my vision. Most of my guests had never been in my home before and were hard pressed to take everything in at once, I know, it’s quite something. I think over the years I’ve changed just as much (if not more) than my house. I was so stressed and nervous at my open house back then, having people see where and how I lived. All these years later, I’m way more comfortable with having people over, maybe because it’s a common occurrence these days. That, and what my house looks like now is a reflection of myself and I’m okay with that.
As it turned out, the “Open Kitchen” became more like an Open Main Floor as you have to walk through the living room to get to the kitchen, and my study and a 1/2 bath are off of the kitchen, as is my sunroom and view of my backyard. Former coworkers reunited with current coworkers in conversations that spread from one room to another. At one point I felt like saying, “One question at a time” as various inquiries abounded about one thing or another in one of my rooms. And yes, more than one actually ran their hand over my quartz countertop, there were “oohs” and “ahhs” over the with its bits of glass in it that makes it sparkle and numerous compliments on the other components in my kitchen as well as other rooms. And after it was over I stayed up late reading in order to wind down from all of the excitement..