I’m very fortunate to consistently find myself on the receiving end of flattering press. Frankly it’s really nice to hear someone say “nice work,” about a room makeover or DIY project, instead of “you suck, your house sucks, your dog probably sucks too”. Plus, these features and shout outs have helped my little blog grow, opened doors for me (including two new projects I can’t wait to spill the beans about) and even, at times, motivated me to keep sharing when I’ve fallen into a blogging slump. On the flip side, as the blog grows I find myself on the receiving end of more negative comments too. Good Housekeeping and Country Living recently picked up the story of my budget-friendly kitchen makeover and featured it online. Boy, oh boy, was there ever an uproar in the comments, from folks who preferred the before – they wanted the cathedral upper cabinets, the honey oak, the green laminate counters and tile – everything, as-is, don’t touch a thing! I horrified them by jettisoning it all.
In the past, I have tried to be diplomatic when I talk about what the kitchen looked like before, in case someone reading has a similar kitchen which they love. It brings me no joy to make someone feel bad about their home. But I’m going to be brutally honest for a moment. To me the kitchen screamed 1990s and the upper cabinets were painfully awkward – not the cornucopia of storage some people think they were. I also dislike cathedral doors with a fiery passion, and the wonky different sizes made them worse. I knew there would be people who would hate the turquoise reveal (too much turquoise! open shelving! you’re hoarding the world’s Pyrex and driving prices up – the last one is an actual angry comment from an Apartment Therapy reader), but I was unprepared for folks passionately loving the before. I’m never hurt or deterred by negative comments because I’m totally smitten with my house, but for a second I felt really…different. Was I the only person who saw the before as a dark, awkward, tired space? After I shared the makeover, I was certain some folks would have other suggestions, because this makeover could have taken many different directions: black lowers and white uppers, soft mint lowers with more open shelving to the right of the window, new cupboard doors and Martha Stewart greige…but none have materialized (other than the suggestion to add more orange). Other than that, I’ve mostly witnessed a polarized group of votes: yay! (which, happily, there’s many more votes for) or total nay, “bring back the oak!,” which really surprised me. I thought for sure there would be other suggestions for a less nutty colour, so it was really eye-opening to realize so many people prefer the wood un-painted, as-is. Very interesting indeed. As interesting as I have found the feedback, it would have been swell if some people had been a little less mean-spirited about voicing their oak preference!
A story that recently ran online in Elle Decor and then House Beautiful listed my kitchen as one of 10 brilliant decorating ideas from bloggers. Better still, I was lumped in with Design Love Fest, Decor8, Vintage Revivals, Little Green Notebook, and The Hunted Interior, among others. That’s a pretty important “yay” in my books and it put a smile on face (it was a welcome reprieve from negative comments), so I wanted to share my happy news with you. (A huge thanks to Shavonda for drawing my attention to the article!). And a huge thanks to you for always leaving such kind, thoughtful, and constructive comments. I read each and every one and even when you’ve made suggestions or disliked something, you’ve always been so deeply courteous and have clearly remembered that there’s a person click-clacking away behind here – something I think too many people forget. So thanks. You’re all really awesome and I’m happy you stop by! You motivate and inspire me more than anything.