I live in a converted barn. When we first started working on it, I learned about supporting walls. These are walls you can’t knock down unless you put a beam in, and walls you can’t move. And walls that need a lot of structural support.
We had a few. They were the bane of my existence. There were walls where I didn’t want them to be. Coming up with a floor plan was daunting.
Finally, I had a Eurkea! Moment. I found the floor plan that worked for everything I wanted except one thing.
The main entrance to my house, the front door, opened into my kitchen.
This is just awkward.
Moreover, I wanted an oven cabinet with a separate stovetop to maximize kitchen storage. The oven cabinet sits right next to the kitchen door. On the other side of the door, is a scant two feet before a supporting wall I couldn’t move.
So, the main entrance of my house opens to kitchen cabinets and an oven cabinet. I did put in a glass door to open things up.
I’ve forgotten how weird this is to most people.
I did put in three 9-foot atrium doors. Two in my living room/dining room which faces the rear of the property and one in the family room which opens onto the side of the house where I have a fenced-in garden.
The house is by no means without doors, but I don’t have an entryway.
I immediately justified the idea to my ex-husband, who couldn’t have cared less but said that I wanted the kind of home where the kitchen was the main entrance to my life.
Kitchens are warm and friendly. At the time, I clocked a lot of hours in the kitchen. I liked to cook and it was somewhat of a passion. One of the few things I did right as a wife and mother was to put dinner on the table every night. We ate as a family until my son’s senior year of high school when he was busy and I had returned to school full-time in addition to a full-time and a part-time job. The nightly dinner ended and so did my marriage. Coincidence? Perhaps.
So everyone who comes to my house – friend, strange or foe – has to enter through my kitchen. What should be the foyer is at the bottom of the stairs. I’ve put a rattan sofa and a bay window where a door should be. The window overlooks my back garden.
It’s quirky. I’ve grown to love it other than having to walk through half the house to get to the coat closet by the stairs.
The outside of the door faces the driveway and a huge gravel parking lot. In all these years, I have not had the time nor the wherewithal to properly landscape the front entrance. It’s obvious there’s a kitchen door there. But folks do kind of look for the main entrance when they come over the first time.
I’ve long since forgotten to tell them not to.
My kitchen door opens into my life.
That says a lot about who I used to be.
And maybe who I still am.
The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach? Balderdash. The way into Connie’s sanctuary is through the kitchen.
Just off to the left inside the kitchen door is the 8-foot opening to my family room. It is here that the dogs and I spend all of our time – my family now. I do everything in this room and nearly nothing in the kitchen other than a pot of coffee daily.
I toy with the idea of tearing down the fence, landscaping the front, and making this atrium door just behind me the entryway to my house.
It would be no less awkward, but more representative of who I am now.
A lot of my identity is wrapped up in this barn. I’ve thought long and hard about why. I think it was because I had 29 addresses before I was 29 with this being the last one – the one I designed to become the home I never had.
It’s a mess. Badly built, in poor repair, awkwardly laid out. Much like me.
But it is me. Kitchen entrance and all.
Welcome to my home. Don’t mind the mess in the kitchen.