The heart of the home

October 25, 2016

I'd like to think that, as a mom, I'm the heart of our home. But we all know that the true heart of any home is really the kitchen

It's where everyone gathers, where all the good stuff happens.

It's where most of the conversations take place. Where good food is prepared. Where everyone meets at the end of the day, ready to rest and relax. A place where you can drop your defenses, let down your guard. Whether you enjoy a simple soup and sandwich or all the fixings of a traditional Thanksgiving dinner, you feel comforted and nourished.

It's a place to feel safe and happy and at peace.

I've been thinking about this lately as our kitchen has been torn up for renovation.

My husband and I feel a little like intruders in our own home, skulking around the edges, making coffee in the laundry room, and eating our takeout in front of the TV. The big main hub of the home, the kitchen, is closed to us, and we are feeling a little lonely for its warmth and comfort.

I'm pretty excited about this cabinet. We moved the refrigerator down to the right and now have a double cabinet here, which will be for all my china teacups and teapots (well, all that fit!). It will have glass doors and shelves and lights inside.
I've gained weight. I have indigestion. Everything's out of whack. Our routines are disrupted, and I've been losing things. I had a special place in the kitchen for my phone and eyeglasses. Now, I can't seem to keep track of them.

No matter how much extra room you have in your house, there's something about the kitchen that draws you to it.

When we first started homeschooling, we set up our schoolroom in our basement. I had a big table, bookshelves, and all our supplies, organized and ready to go. But nine times out of ten, we'd all end up working at the kitchen table.

I'm going to be moving all my craft and sewing supplies and writing stuff into my daughter's room now she's married and moved out. Right now, the sewing machine is in one closet, the scrapbooking stuff is in another closet, the knitting stuff is on a shelf in the family room, etc. I can't wait to get this room all organized and ready, with everything at hand, and a nice big work table in the center. 

My daughter picked out this pink paint called Angel Wing when she was 13 years old. I decided to keep it. It's very soft; a warm and pretty color.
But I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm going to be gathering supplies and heading down to the kitchen table, at least occasionally. Especially in the middle of the winter when a pot of soup will be on the stove and the tea kettle on to boil. Oh, and especially if I've made a fire in the next room.

What a blessing a kitchen is! I'm so thankful for the one here in the works. And you better believe I'll be doing a lot of cooking and baking this Christmas!


So, you may have noticed this mural in the background above. It is currently the focus of a running debate at our home. Keep it or lose it?

When we first looked at this house, I thought to myself, that mural is the first thing that's gonna go. But it kind of grew on me, and it is the only thing that hasn't been painted here in 18 years. We have ended up pulling the colors out of this mural for all the rooms downstairs -- sage green in the kitchen,  soft yellow in the library, blue in the living room.

It stretches from the doorway to the laundry room all the way around the wall to the foyer.

And ends with this.

I think I'm finally ready to paint over it. But everybody, my husband, my kids, my book club . . . even the carpenter putting in the cabinets . . .  wants me to keep it. 

So I'm waffling. 

What do you think?


  1. Your kitchen will be gorgeous! I would love to have extra glass front cabinets for pretty tea pots, etc. Having moved many times, I can tell you that the very first thing I organize is the kitchen. As you say, it is impossible to function w/o a kitchen! You will really have fun during the holidays in this new kitchen. I like the mural very much. Very special to have something unique.

  2. Deborah, your kitchen is going to be so beautiful! Oh I bet you just can't wait...and how nice will it be to have that project room? I'm kind of on the fence about your mural though. It is quite a unique work of art! I'll bet it has been a conversation starter and your family will surely miss it if you painted over it. That is a tough call!

  3. Oh no, I am not going to offer an opinion on something that is so personal to your family. I would say that only those who actually live in your house should have a vote and that sounds like a 50/50 thing. Sticky wicket!

    Your kitchen is so beautiful and your description of kitchen is wonderful, too.

  4. You can't undo it if you remove that mural.

    Your kitchen is going to be marvellous.

  5. I love the mural so different and unique but only you can decide. How wonderful to have your kitchen redone and a craft room created. I love working in mine and at times love the solitude it brings. Take care.

  6. I love the mural and it really is a lovely, homey focal point. The colors and all are very nice. It is so quaint and primitive. But it is not my home, just my little two cents worth. Here's another 'but', you can't get it back if you paint over it. Your family and others love it. It is unique.

    I bet you can hardly wait to be living in your kitchen again, and to have your craft room set up. Both great projects.

    Happy Fall ~ FlowerLady

  7. Oh my, Deborah, your kitchen is going to be fabulous, and I loved, loved, loved your description on the heart of the home!! I know you can't wait to get in there and cook and bake. You will be so appreciative! As to the mural, are you going to miss it if it's gone? For once it's gone, there's no getting it back. It seems your family will miss it, but if it's important to you to be rid of it, as the saying goes...."if mama ain't" happy, then nobody's happy"! Best of luck in your decision, dear friend. xo

  8. Oh dear, that question is on the verge of speaking politics, and there is no winner. I refrain from answering, but the kitchen is coming along amazingly.

  9. What you have done so far is amazing! I bet your going to enjoy this years baking for the holidays. And the mural is really nice but as we all know everything changes! Your craft room will be wonderful for you! The cabinet for your teapots will be so nice! I am very happy for you! Hugs, Roxy

  10. I know how disruptive renovation can be, but oo-la-la, how exciting when you can celebrate the great reveal!! And you'll even have funny memories to share when you re-live the funny moments of disruption (we still talk and laugh about the Christmas dinner when only microwaveable dishes could be brought in to share because our only cooking choice was the microwave that was stored in the den during remodeling , and no one would stand for a Christmas dinner at a restaurant! I even decorated a tiny Christmas tree that stood in our bay window during the holidays and we sat and ate our dinner on our laps!) The mural is so unique and lovely. It is a very difficult decision because it has such a final result! How about covering part of it with some butcher paper and seeing what a blank wall would look like? Just a thought...
    Good luck with everything. Keep looking toward the final result. It all looks wonderful!!!! Rosie @ The Magic Hutch

  11. I like the mural very much! I love the colors and the tranquil theme. If you can, I'd hire a mural artist to give it a bit of a sprucing up. Perhaps change the trees a bit by thickening the trunks, do some work on the spruce trees, add some leaves to the top branches...maybe even brighten up the sky, possibly adding some soft clouds. I'm sure an painter would have some wonderful ideas!

  12. What a gorgeous kitchen you are going to have, Deborah! I love white cabinets and the glass cabinet will be perfect for displaying your tea ware. As for the mural; that is going to have to be your decision, my friend. Perhaps your family knows best. It is their home too and the mural is quite unique. I was actually going to paint a mural in our back door entrance a while back but it never got done. It won't get done now because we're planning to sell in the new year. You are going to feel like a queen in your new kitchen!


  13. Hi Deborah, Your kitchen will be gorgeous. Everything looks to be coming along great.
    I know it's a challenge to tiptoe around the house between workman and miss your kitchen, but it will be so worth it in the end. Light and bright and ready for your heart to be back in there cooking and enjoying family and friends.
    As for the mural, it is beautiful and I'm know was a lot of work when painted. You will miss it when gone, however, ask yourself how you want your home to flow now with the new kitchen look. While the mural is beautiful, it may not compliment the new look. I guess, I speak from a place that's not afraid to paint over a painting.
    Sometime, less is more and you have to live with it!!
    I had to smile reading your comment about you typing and your hubby asking what you are doing?? I have the same here and really I think he knows you all too. That's the joy of blogging!! Blessings and keep the faith. The work will be done before your know it!! xoxo

  14. Oooh, I'm excited to see your new display cabinet for your teapots and teacups!

  15. Oh my if you DO end up painting over it don't kill that little fox ; better leave him there; he's just too cute! :)

  16. Consider a temporary covering for the mural of plain fabric put up with liquid clothing starch. If you don't like it, it comes down without ruining the mural (unless it's painted with a water base paint.) I doubt that it is. If you take the fabric down, you can wash it and use it to make a tablecloth, curtain, or something else.

  17. It is going to be beautiful, Deborah! I will look forward to seeing more, both in the kitchen and your special room. But I well remember the 5 months of microwave and electric skillet cooking I did while a new kitchen was being constructed in our old house and it was hard to eat healthily during that time.

    I read the comments on the mural with interest, would not know what I'd do if I were you but can't wait to hear what you decide!

  18. I would keep the mural it has a lot of charm and is a not just a looks like a whimsical secret window to a special enchanted place- keep it- it hold it weight of importance 18 years is a long time-it is timeless.

  19. You made a gorgeous kitchen.. it's so charming.. and refreshing...

    Please visit:

  20. Good Evening Deborah, Hold on just a little longer and your kitchen will be finished with the design you really want. I look at these things as a 'moment in time' the upset will pass and when your new kitchen is installed the memory of how you felt will fade.
    Now to the mural. I have to say, when I saw the second photo and saw, what I thought was a print, I was going to ask you for the name, because it really caught my eye. Now that I know it is a mural, you know what I am going to say don't you. I say keep it, but having said that, I have not been looking at the mural for 18 years. You have to go with what feels right for you.
    Take heart, you will soon be back in your kitchen, cooking up a storm.
    Enjoy the rest of your weekend.
    Best Wishes

  21. Hi Deborah! kitchen remodels are difficult (and weight gain inducing, I agree) but so worth the beautiful end product. The mural is really unique, and it looks like there are small little touched throughout. If you really want a change that is one thing, but one thing to think about...once it's painted over it's gone! Decision making is hard!

  22. Dearest Deborah,
    Well, I've missed this post but am glad I spotted it.
    So happy that by now you're almost working again in your lovely kitchen.
    It looks light and very practical. Wonder if you stil did hang onto the mural... We will soon find out.
    Sending you hugs,


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