Have you ever entered someone's kitchen for the first time,
and discovered it strangely familiar, like you'd seen it before? Yet, you know that's impossible. At first
you think it's deja vu, but then you realize what it is: you just came from Crate & Barrel--and so did everything
in the room. Don't let your house be like that. In a world as big as ours, there's no reason to have a kitchen
that looks pretty much like everybody else's. Even if your house is identical to the neighbors', your decor shouldn't
be. There are more choices than most people realize. This was my kitchen in an 1890's house, in three different
schemes over a ten-year period. The first was a Victorian look, with a French enamel clock, a late Nineteenth Century
painting and my grandmother's desk. That stuff all moved to another room when I bought a vintage range with a nickel-plated
top and a neon clock. Aluminum panels on the walls, aluminum blinds at the windows and a tabletop jukebox recreated
the look of my favorite childhood restaurant, the Chuck Wagon Diner in Champaign, Illinois. After buying the
Hamilton Beach milkshake mixer--an icon of Machine Age design--I gained 15 pounds in two months. Then a burglar
broke in and stole my neon clock. Time to redecorate! This time, 1950's paint-by-numbers artwork and enamel pans
in the colors of Jordan Almonds made a happy room, perfect for carry-out pizza and ice-cold Pepsi-Cola. After
all, there was no sense soiling that beautiful shiny range with actual cooking...
Remember this room when it's time for you to redecorate. The
only limitation is your imagination.