Sad Kitchens

I am in a spiral, a funk, a panic. Today is June 3rd and we’re moving out July 1st. Only, we don’t know where we’re moving yet because we haven’t found an apartment. Craig’s editing his movie so it’s my job to spend my days on Westside Rentals and Craigslist searching for a place that’s not only comparable to ours, but better. That, at least, is the plan. Only, as I click past apartment after apartment I feel myself growing more and more depressed…and it’s a depression brought on specifically by sad kitchens.

It’s hard to define what makes a sad kitchen a sad kitchen. The appliances might be good. The counters might be workable. It’s just a mood, a feeling, a sense that cooking a meal in this kitchen will be a glum experience.

Light has something to do with it. The thing that I love the most about our current kitchen is the light. I mean, just look:


Our current kitchen is a cheery place. So, as I spend my days clicking through every listing I can find online, and feel myself sinking down lower and lower in my chair, I’m holding out hope that I find a new kitchen that’s a happy place, that’s not the architectural equivalent of “Terms of Endearment.” Wish me luck.

29 thoughts on “Sad Kitchens”

  1. awww i LOVE your current kitchen, especially the paint color!

    LA apartments have notoriously small and ugly kitchens. when we finally moved out to our condo, we prioritized remodeling the kitchen, the one room where we spend most of our time. :3

    happy hunting!

  2. I was really fortunate to have a kitchen in my Silverlake apartment that was original. Just before I moved in, the landlord wanted to rip out the old cabinets and re-tile. I pleaded “NO”. I think pre-fab cabinets are hideous. Just moved to a place in Toluca Lake, and thankfully the cabinets are all original! Now if I could just get an O’Keefe & Merritt…

  3. Just think, you can be one of those Apartment Therapy before and afters! Get the saddest kitchen you can find for the best “before.”

  4. I think that kitchen could have possibilities, Adam. Ditch the sad curtains, paint the sad walls, stick a big sturdy table or island in the center for friends to hang around while you cook and it just might turn into a happy kitchen. Best of luck with the apartment hunt!

    1. I’d also investigate whether trimming the shrubs outside the window is an option – they may be blocking a lot of the light! I like how the potential future kitchen has enough space for entertaining. And “daylight” light bulbs are awesome.

  5. I agree with CM and Pam. You can change any kitchen with paint,new hardware, and that island Pam is talking about. Plus that really sad example kitchen has a really nice window. Rip off the shades! I can’t wait to read about what kitchen you guys get and how you change it. I can see why you will miss your “old” kitchen, though. It is so charming and you have so many memories there.

  6. Ugh, I cringed when I saw the picture on bloglovin. Those cabinets are awful BUT, I agree, with a little sprucing up I think the kitchen would be great. It’s so big and with funky curtains and artwork on the walls its could be a wonderful place to cook.

  7. Kristel Poole

    Light is important, but you can work with everything else. Many landlords would be happy for you to refinish the cabinets or remove those soul-sucking vertical blinds!

  8. Can you move to a temporary place until you find a “perfect” apartment? There are so many crappy places out there but there are good out there too. It just might take time to find one.

  9. Both those kitchens are far nicer than most of us get to have. They may look sad now, but they’ll feel happy once you’ve moved in. I don’t like the look of the hinges in the B&W kitchen, but you can’t really ask for better if you’re renting.

  10. sweetfrancaise

    Oh man, a sad kitchen indeed! I feel the same way, looking through listings. Is it too much to ask to have original cabinets and a decent floor?

  11. Annie Hollywood

    I just started maybe kind of sort of not really looking at places to buy. I keep seeing places that were “recently remodeled” that look so shoddy and tacky I’d want to redo them (wasteful and costly). Better the apartment that time forgot!

  12. Open the blinds, wash window. Hang prints on the wall. Colorful mats or rugs on the floor. Color on the counters. Many options. Lots of room in there!

    Butcher block or large table for guests and work area.

  13. Suefrompleasanton

    The large table, island : YES. Paint, if allowed. Get a few cheap torchieres and use orange oil on those dreary cabinets. When we lived in military housing, we had better AND worse kitchens than this! The one with the refrigerator on the screened porch had NO cabinets. You are an inventive and artistic man. I have faith in you!

  14. You can switch out the cabinet faces for more modern ones and store the originals til you move again – it will totally remake an ugly kitchen. A bit of work but considering how many years you may live there – it’s nothing.

  15. If the cabinets are standard issue, it’s possible to just replace the doors for a relatively reasonable amount of expense and effort, and the resulting change can be dramatic.

  16. I know where you live! my friend used to live there. it is the exact kitchen!
    As a former professional baker, starting a baking business out of my own home, the kitchen has got to be the most comfortable room in the house- if you love cooking.
    Good luck on your search for your perfect cozy kitchen!

  17. You should ask if you’re allowed to paint the sad kitchens! The paint colour is the only thing that’s especially cheery, and that’s an easy fix! (The crappy kitchen pic would also benefit from painting the cupboards white, but that might be harder to convince a landlord of.)

  18. Be glad you’re not looking for a kitchen Germany. The ovens are the size of toasters and there is no counter space. I repeat, NO counter space. Oh, and did I mention the refrigerators are about half the size of an American one? We moved here last year and it has been quite an adjustment!

  19. Luckily, lighting is something that CAN be improved artificially, especially with all the different types of light bulbs we have access to in this delightful modern age. A gorgeous chandelier, strips of can lights….of course we all love natural light, but don’t let it get you down!

  20. Kate @ Savour Fare

    LA Landlords have a thing for vertical blinds. Banish them! It helps.

    Also, look east. Highland Park has been named the new Silver Lake. And Pasadena has just put in a bunch of apartment stock. People will tell you it’s the boonies but it’s totally not. Just prettier houses, bigger trees and better access to dim sum.

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