Personality Quiz

The wall of pots in our kitchen, hanging haphazardly on a pegboard wall. Circa now.

What’s your kitchen style? Farmhouse? Modern? Mediterranean? French country? Traditional? Transitional(?) ? Contemporary? Eclectic?

It’s like a giant, stupid Buzzfeed quiz. Which Disney princess are you? What Hogwarts house will you be sorted into? What does your aura orb say about your love life? How are your values reflected by your cereal choices?

It’s not like it’s science. The elements of the different design styles overlap. A lot. Like what’s the difference between contemporary and modern? Maybe styles can be grouped along a spectrum running from fussy to Jetson sleek. I’m not sure, though. I mean, I get that it’s a shortcut to a consistent look–except, however, if you choose eclectic, which evokes “whatever you want.”

Selecting a kitchen style reminds me of that “seasons” thing they used to do to figure out someone’s most flattering color palette. Women went to parties to get draped with scarves of different tones and colors by an expert who likely learned the trade by going to a party the previous week. After the sorting, you’d be named a Winter–whereupon you were instructed to throw away all your gold jewelry and, speaking of jewels, focus on jewel-toned clothes. If the veins in your wrists looked more green than blue, you’d be crowned an Autumn and were instructed to wear coppery browns and olive-y greens. [You can see the ancient ceremony performed here.]

These kitchen styles don’t really speak to me. I don’t want fussy, but minimalist would soon look like some professional organizer’s “before” picture. There isn’t a style called “hide the dirt and accept that there’s gonna be a mess and, also, I cook here.” Too many words, I guess.

I don’t want the rich look of marble with a fancy crystal teardrop chandelier and the nooks and crannies of faux furniture turned legs and corbels flanking the hearth. I don’t want a Tony Stark kitchen with shiny surfaces that are unforgiving to fingerprints and with cabinets without pulls, hinges or surface details, camouflaged as a blank wall.

Then I found industrial kitchens. Industrial sounded good. Like a factory floor with working machines and surfaces that you’d clean with a sandblaster. But what if it’s really another term for steampunk with all the complexity of sci-fi meets Victorian charm? Too much. And how do I distinguish industrial from professional? And, does it actually matter?

For me, for my kitchen style, maybe I should just say, Winter is coming.

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