The Kitchen Designer

Thanks for stopping by! I'm Susan Serra, certified kitchen designer, and my mission is to take kitchen design style, function and analysis to a higher level. Here's why the kitchen has the most honored place in the home - all five senses reside in the kitchen.  Best...Susan  Contact: susan@susanserraassociates.com

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« Moving From a Big to a Small Kitchen | Main | Cozy Scandinavian Kitchens »

New Year New Kitchen

Happy New Year! May 2009 bring us all a new year that is a healthy one, happy, and just enough stress to make life interesting.

Part of the reason that I have been MIA is because three days ago, I (and my husband and son who still lives with us) moved from our home of nearly 20 years to a town just 2 towns away, and just yesterday, we closed on this home (we moved in 2 days prior to closing.) We closed on the house we had owned the day before that. I had not said a word on the blog due to mild superstious reasons! I didn't want to jinx anything. I hear of so many real estate deals not going through, and up until the day of closing, really, anything could have happened. During this time, we had multiple building permit issues, things we had done over the course of 20 years, and that took a LOT of time to sort through, get inspected, etc. etc.

Moving is absolutely brutal, unforgiving, physically strenuous and overall stinks. I'm referring to the act of moving. When you move from a home with 20 years of accumulation, it just never ends! And when you move from a large home with all that stuff AND move into a home of close to half the size, you just hope there will be paths around the boxes. Every room was FILLED with boxes, it was pretty scary.

In short, we have too much stuff. Anyone want some stuff??

When you factor in a person who's run a business in the home for all that time, with tons of samples and tons of files, who has mild packrat tendancies and who LOVES to collect art and artifacts, it's mind boggling!

But, that said, this was a move to downsize to a smaller home. I had been inspired, in recent years, by my family in Denmark, most of whom live in small spaces, so, with kids mostly gone, this was a good time to shed the burden of the "big house" and make a change.

I'm 2 days into this house and we are SO happy! The kitchen is efficient (more on that soon). We don't have to walk endlessly within the house to get something, find someone, etc. You don't have to shout across long distances. This house happens to have fantastic light to the point where I don't think we'll have to put on lights until dark. That's a good thing too.

Moving is stressful, bigtime. It WAS brutal. But, I know we made the right choice to move toward a simpler lifestyle.

I have wall cabinets in my kitchen. I know now that I hate them! I didn't have wall cabinets in my old kitchen. More on that soon. I also didn't have a true "great room" kitchen like the ones I've been designing for years. I'll give you my impressions on that too.

In the meantime, another Happy New Year!

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Reader Comments (13)

Hi Susan,

Happy New Year! So glad that your move is all done and you're happy in your new home of 2 days! Moving is totally awful! And you are so right about the accumulated stuff of working at home in our business. It just grows and grows! Looking forward to hearing more about your new house - and kitchen - of course!

Happy New Year to you Linda! I'll tell you, I'm really trying to wrap my head around the "stuff" concept. What do I really want/need? Why? My husband and I are both trying to shed even more stuff as we unpack. I did donate or throw out a lot, and I look forward to doing even more so in the weeks ahead.

January 2, 2009 | Registered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD

Susan, I recently found your blog and am enjoying it. I live in Italy and have designed and put in two new kitchens in a 400 year old farm over the past five years. The first one I did was in our apt. in Northern Germany before moving here. I am so with you on 1. moving and 2. wall cabinets. I am still putting the finishing touches on the second kitchen (which is an old barn and is for our B&B and cooking classes) and will be coming back and looking in on your ideas. I had to get rid of over 50% of my "stuff" before coming here, and to be honest, I can't even remember much of the stuff anymore! I certainly don't miss any of it. I learned to be completely heartless in getting rid of things. Good for you for doing it --- in the end it is totally freeing and lets you breathe freely in your new space so much easier.

Just wanted to say hi and I am looking forward to reading your posts in 2009.

January 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Strinati Baur

Diana, thank you for your comment. I think it's also relative. Having had the room for lots of stuff, I fed my collecting habit. What will happen now? It remains to be seen and should be quite interesting to find out how my next philosophy evolves out of this new experience.

Your kitchens sound great, especially the barn. If you would be interested in sharing images, please let me know.

January 2, 2009 | Registered CommenterSusan Serra, CKD


Happy New Year! I was wondering what happened to your blog entires I always read religiously! Congratulations on your new "European" lifestyle. Can't wait to see pictures of your new place!

January 2, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAggie

Happy New Year Susan. The new year is always a good reason to shed some stuff. It's great to start fresh.
Did you bring a rose bush or two from your lovely garden at your last house?

Happy New Year and welcome back!

Moving is always stressful; nice to be done, isn't it? I have a system where I toss/recycle/re-gift/donate 3 items every day from home -- can be anything from junk mail to an old patio table. Anything that I don't use (excepting beautiful things to look at and photographs, etc.) doesn't stay in my home. Has something to do with moving 4 times in 10 years. :P

January 4, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKelly at Kitchen Sync

Hi Susan,
Just wanted to let you know that I have enjoyed reading your Blog and have added it to my blog list. Have a great new year!

January 5, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterElizabeth

Welcome back to blogging! Our kitchen is small as well. We have plans but, no budget at the moment. I look forward to reading about what you do.

January 6, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRob

Happy New Year! I'm so glad you're back, and I hope you have time to post more about your work, and the design process. I'd also be interested in hearing about how the economy is affecting your work, and your clients' thoughts about their kitchens.

I really missed reading your posts.

And moving is a nightmare, isn't it? But it is good to get rid of stuff. We purged a lot when we moved, but we moved from a small NYC apartment, to a large Victorian house, thinking we had so much space we'd never have clutter again. Well, we were wrong.

January 7, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterJeannie

Happy New Year, Susan! Have found your blog exceedling helpful and was releived to learn that not everyone promots wall cabinets (whew!).

Congratulations on the new house. There's a saying that the things you own end up owning you... so, maybe you're really welcoming the lighter, brighter you. Time to let go, time to give away/share/freecycle/recycle, etc. Best wishes to you and your family.

January 11, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterRapuccini

Hi Susan, so glad to hear it was just a move that kept you away. considering one myself. 1600SF is actually a lot of space.... you'll get used to it quickly. Congrats on your new home!!! Looks great and airy with beautiful views out the windows.

January 18, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterAbbeyK

Happy belated New Year, Susan. Wow - that is quite the major move. Short in distance, but a nice little downsize. I'm glad you survived and I can't wait to see what you do with your new space :)

January 20, 2009 | Unregistered CommenterKristen

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