Dreaming of downsizing..our (dream) Bungalow {the kitchen}

Saturday, February 4, 2012
We live "inside the loop" in our metropolitan area. We are fortunate enough to live very close to all the museums, theaters, hospitals, shops and restaurants. That means the lots are small and the houses used to be small too. Over the years, that has changed though. In our neighborhood, there are original bungalows or ranch style homes that were built in the 50's (not my favorite architectural time) and then there are the newer homes that are more "super-sized" and built to the edges of the lots.  We live in one of the latter homes. But Dave and I often dream about trading in our bigger home for one of the smaller ones. In fact, about a year ago a television producer saw my comment about downsizing (by choice) on another blog and contacted me about a possible reality/interior design show.  We had some talks and Dave and I even did a taped Skype interview for the production company.

It did not work out-- which was probably for the best.  I was hesitant to expose our family that way (although they were going to focus on some neat things too like adoption).  But also we cannot find a house in our neighborhood because despite the failing real estate market everywhere else, our hood is booming.  People scoop up those little houses in days (sometimes hours).  A lot of the time, they are torn down and new houses are built.

Anyway, we still look.  We think that we have too much stuff and probably more space than we need.  We would like a bigger yard with a pool and less house.  We yearn for fewer rooms but rooms the whole family would use on a daily basis.  Please know that I am so grateful for our lovely home.  I do feel very fortunate. I am not complaining. I think Dave and I get restless once we have been in a house for a few years.  We have owned 5 homes in 16 years of marriage.  Four of them have all been within a 2-3 mile radius!!!  We like to design, build, decorate.  

So, I often daydream about finding a smaller home in our neighborhood and completely updating/ remodeling it (and that would have been the premise of the show with a lot of DIY stuff).  I want a home with less stuff.  I want a more casual, lived in feeling.  I want to really use each and every space.  I want cozy chic. So, I have been collecting inspiration images of what I would like should we ever find our cozy nook. Here are some kitchens that I think would fit our dream bungalow. Some of course would be scaled down.

Would love to do one big kitchen/dining room rather than a kitchen with island, breakfast area AND formal dining room.  Something like this would be perfect...


{source unknown-have had in my files for a long time...let me know if you know the source}


I LOVE the black steel windows/french doors in the one below....LOVE them!!!


This kitchen is so charming and seems like it is from a small yet chic house.
Although it might be a it too small for our family.  Still I like the vibe.

Screen shot 2011-06-29 at 2.47.26 PM

Screen shot 2011-06-29 at 2.50.37 PM



This kitchen below is probably in a bigger home but I love the sunny space and warm touches.


Another view of that same space...

Source: aperfectgray.com 

This one below reminds me a lot of my Virgina kitchen…


Sophisticated and compact….


LOVE the herringbone wood floors and the fireplace--- so  impractical in TX though)…


This one is gorgeous but large for our {imaginary} bungalow. Plus, I would want it a bit warmer.  There are beautiful elements here though…


I LOVE this kitchen and the house is actually very close to our home. It is an older Georgian style home a few blocks from our old house. It is not a very big house for the particular neighborhood but not really small either (maybe 3,000 square feet).  I think that is a perfect size home.  Ideally, I would have less stuf on my counters but I adore everything else about this space....




In sum, I realize I like the juxtaposition of light and dark (white with black or dark wood touches).  I like worn wood with industrial finishes mixed in.  I adore marble.  And I love white tile.  I currently have all these things in my own home too.  I could post 100 more inspiration photos here but will leave it at these for now.  I will however, share more of my {imaginary} dream bungalow in future weeks.

One thing Dave and I would never do again is a white farmhouse sink.  We have owned two.  We had one in VA for 4 years and one in our current house for 6 years. Both were the expensive and reputable Shaw brand.  Both have chipped and cracked and stained even though they are not supposed to.  I LOVE the look of a white farmhouse sink but I hate seeing the chips and wear every day.  It NEVER looks clean.  I would so a stainless steel farmhouse sink next time.

P.S. I realize these kitchens are not all small.  In our next house, there will be no formal dining room.  We hope to knock out walls and have one large kitchen area with a big farmhouse type table that would be for everyday eating and bigger get-togethers.


  1. Please do share more ideas for your dream bungalow....I love your style. I love the contrast between dark and light too.

    Im with you on making life easier, tidier, and simple. Its a great way to "pare down"! I would not be surprised if you get your dream bungalow and move this year :)

  2. I love the 'sunny space' kitchen you posted. It is modern yet warm and inviting too.

  3. I agree. Less is more. However, our main floor is itty bitty (1,097 square feet) and I definitely dream of a little bigger! We are snug as a bug in a rug!

    Love, love, love your white kitchens and I dream about white woodwork, in general! The light and dark are perfect!

  4. Holy smokes -- these kitchens are gorgeous!!! We live in an older home (1924 built) and a great neighborhood, but the rooms are very small and there always seems to be some repair needed. Thinking about moving when Maddy gets out of grade school in 4 more years and then get a new(er) house with less upkeep - I hope! Am going to do your 40 bags in 40 days project again this year -- it's time to declutter!

    Have a good weekend! Loads of snow in Nebraska!

  5. Someday when my children are grown I want to trade my dark cabinet for white, but it just isn't practical right now because I would spend all my time cleaning .

  6. Hi Kim....I think no matter the style..its really a matter of how well its laid out, many of the kitchens you showed are nicely sized but so well laid out you wouldnt' need more. Many beautiful things can be found in small packages, but with a young family...you might miss the space! Love your inspirations!

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  8. Kim,

    We lived in the Houston Heights neighborhood for several years, but alas had to sell our 2/2 because of a second baby. I am so itching to get back to a bungalow! I love small houses and the creativity that comes along with owning one!


  9. LOVE them! I loved a kitchen you pinned today with a chalkboard wall. I am wanting to paint my cabinets and use a tin backsplash eventually. I love the chalkboad in a kitchen-makes it homey.

  10. I remember you saying you wish you had a smaller place. I love all the pics. :)

  11. We're on house six in 22 years so I get the "moving bug."

    Lovely kitchens. I love those black window casings too!

  12. I love this post Kim! I admire your style...SO classy!

  13. I share your dream! I grew up in a TINY house on an acre. We lived outside! (Even in the snow... my mother would build a fire on our patio) Our home now is 5,000 square feet, and our lot is bitty. I want just the opposite. My friends think I am crazy. I love love love little bungalows. Love them. I am anxious to see what you end up deciding!

  14. From my experience, I'd say don't rush into downsizing. It's amazing how much you appreciate the extra room once you are full-on into the teenage years. We had to downsize when our son became a teenager, and it was tough.

  15. Love all of the kitchens! I think we have the same folder as three of the pictures are in mine:) I love white kitchens with marble countertops! We move a lot as well and always buy older (100+)year homes. I'm always just about to re-do the kitchen when it is time to move again. Next time I hope to get my dream kitchen when we move in:). It's fun to plan! Thank goodness for pinterest! Hope all is well!

  16. I love to dream about houses. I have so many ideas collected. We are closing on a pretty large home this month after moving our family to the south recently. I have to say after just a month in a small temporary townhouse I am going insane and I can't wait for more space. But I agree about the yard, a must in my book and I would take a bigger yard over the bigger house any day.

  17. Beautiful images! Several of these already sit in my inspiration files, but there were a couple of new ones that blew me away. Thanks for sharing.

  18. I agree with Maggie that once your kids are teenagers they will want to have friends over or will need to be studying, and that might be harder in a smaller house when they need to find a quiet corner.

    You probably won't appreciate the space now, but in 12 years or so when your older son is grown and starting a family the extra space is nice for family gatherings - of course, you could always move again if you need the space later on. It will probably be too large when they are in college.

    Great kitchen images! Subway tiles and white marble are definitely in right now, and I think they're very timeless.

  19. I just love a white kitchen. I have white with blue accessories and I never tire of it. I am taken back that you think these kitchens are "down-sized." Most bungalows have much smaller spaces.

  20. I love all of these kitchens! Some great inspiration for future projects. Thank you. xx

  21. do you have the link to the last kitchen? It is so simple yet warm and inviting! I would love to see more of this house.

  22. Do you have a link to the last kitchen? I love it is so simple yet warm and inviting!

  23. http://www.hwtm.com/

    Check out this website. I borrow ideas from here all the time and my baby is 16! Hope you enjoy it.


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