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Now that our English-inspired cottage kitchen is “finished”, let the merry Christmas festivities and memory making begin! This will be our first family Christmas in this home! In anticipation of wonderful new family gatherings and memories that will be made here, I want to share a little story about our kitchen design that you may not know.
We designed this space with memorable details inspired by the kitchen in the English Tudor home where we last lived together as a family. The last Christmas we had together there was in 2008, just days before we moved away (in a terrible snow storm!) on January 1 to begin new lives.
This makes me teary! Seasons change. It is a long story I won’t share in great detail as I’ve chronicled a lot of it on the blog.
If you’ve followed for a long time, you might even remember our English Tudor home as we lived there when my blog began way back in 2007! While our family never all lived together in one house permanently again, after my husband and I along with our second-grade son moved to Washington state, our two daughters eventually moved to Seattle to be closer to their brother and began new lives there, too.
Two years ago our oldest Kylee and her husband Lance have since returned to the area in Oregon where we lived before, but the sacrifices our daughters and son-in-law made during that season to be near family as their brother grew up brings me to tears. As bittersweet as that season was in many ways, we were very blessed that our family remained close regardless of circumstances. And we’ve created other homes that have all been a special backdrop for family times and memories!
Fast forward through many more changes, challenges, adventures, book writing, blogging and blessings, including two more moves in the following decade to now….
We are empty nesters now, just getting settled here in our “cottage by the sea” where we moved two years ago.
At the time we invited my parents to move here with us, we weren’t exactly sure how it would work for us all in this smallish home on a small lot. But we just trusted this move and home was the right decision and that somehow we’d figure it out! And we did.
This past year we went through a big renovation to rework our floor plan including a small addition. Now this home is a comfortable place for all of us to enjoy island life and the comforts of home. I will share more of my parents’ Tiny Cottage soon!
This brings me back to the story about my inspiration for our new kitchen! I designed the kitchen in original English Tudor back in Portland around existing elements to create a warm and welcoming space a budget! Previously it had been a smelly rat-infested space with raccoons on the roof, but I found ways to salvage what I could. Needless to say, we improved it greatly! It became a charming English-inspired family kitchen and the heart of our home where so many gatherings took place and memories were made.
While we’ve renovated two other kitchens I also loved since then, neither of them were quite right for my favorite English-inspired style from our Tudor.
When we decided to create a new kitchen here, there were many appropriate style directions I could have gone in. Ultimately, I was inspired to bring in my love of English-inspired design along with the related memories of our family home in Portland to this one!
Leaving our hometown, our family, and our English Tudor all those years ago was hard, but now with our new Englished-inspired kitchen I feel like I have a piece of that special season and home back with me!
Even though we didn’t replicate every design element of our English Tudor kitchen exactly, we created a similar feeling while also incorporating the style and features that honor this coastal home.
Now every time I see the warmth of our creamy white cabinets, the bin pulls on the drawers, our soapstone counters, the tongue and groove paneling, a nickel faucet at the white sink, a charming stove alcove, the brackets under our glass cabinets, the open shelves, the center island, the bookcases, the space for the kitchen stool, the toile fabric, I feel like we’re home again.
Of course, everything is not the same as it was in that last Christmas in our English Tudor! There are no kids living here day to day with us now. But our family is happy and healthy and building their lives and we have our first grandbaby on the way!
Seasons change, homes change, but the love of family does not.
In just a week or so, our three kids and two son-in-laws will return home. Not to the same English kitchen where we last lived together long ago, but to this new inspired one we created for family. Here in our English-inspired kitchen in our cottage by the sea, we are filled with gratitude that new family gatherings will take place, more Christmas memories will be made and old ones cherished. Our heart is here. This is home now.
I will for sure return to share more of our Christmas home and the Tiny Cottage, too.