Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Is it or isn't it?



Since I've been back blogging again, I've noticed that the words "vintage", "farmhouse" and "country" get thrown around a lot.

To be honest, most people have no idea what they're talking about.

Sorry, but it's true.

When I come across this, I ask myself 

"Where?" 
or 
"Are they crazy?"
 or 
"Did they actually research what a kitchen looked like from (insert the era they're going for here) ?"
 or 
"Do they have any idea what a true farmhouse or country kitchen looks like?" 
or my usual response.....

"Are they drunk?"


Now, when they say "vintage feel" or "farmhouse feel" or "country feel" sometimes I can see it, but most of the time I can't.

For instance, today while I was looking around at a few blogs, a popular blogger (name withheld) mentioned that they wanted a 1940s kitchen and thought that they had accomplished that.

Ummm... no, not quite.

The kitchen was completely white. Sound buzzer!

They had an apron front sink. Sound buzzer!

They had subway tiles. Sound buzzer!

They had marble countertops. Sound buzzer!


For reference here is what typical 1940s upscale kitchens looked like:











Now, not to say they didn't have white kitchens then, because they did, but they weren't ALL white.

Example:


But, do you see subway tile?

Nope

That wasn't popular in the 1940s, it was popular in the early 1900s.


Do you see marble countertops in any of these pictures?

Nope.

They used tile or laminate.


Do you see an apron sink?

Nope.

It was either a sunken sink or a drainboard sink.


What she really has is a trendy white kitchen that barely whispers of an early 1900s manor house, where the servants worked, but only because of the subway tile and because it's white.

Here's an example in the background:



Before you think I'm being mean, let me just say that I think her kitchen and most kitchens like hers are beautiful.

That being said though, it's not a 1940s kitchen and far from it, which is fine, but I have a problem with people saying these things and then everyone jumping on the bandwagon saying "I have a vintage kitchen of a certain era!"

In actuality you most likely don't. What you probably have is a modern kitchen with perhaps some vintage "toys" and decor in it.

To be fair here:

Is my kitchen truly 1930s vintage?

Well, let's take a look at my main inspiration pictures:





And then at my kitchen:





The answer:

No.

Although, it has the original cabinets, breakfast nook and light fixtures, floor and tiles like what would have been there, a 1930s sink and I chose the colors from a 1930s kitchen picture, it also happens to have a modern stove and a 1950s fridge.

I would say that it's a vintage kitchen that has grown with the times or just simply a vintage kitchen, but I wouldn't label it in a certain era, because even though it has the bones it's not a true 1930s kitchen.

My point is, that before you say you have a certain type of kitchen, do some research. You'll probably be surprised to know that no matter what you think your favorite style or era is, in actuality it most likely looks nothing like the real thing.


So that's what's been on my mind.

I'm not even going to get into the whole farmhouse and country debacle.

I kinda think you get the point ;)

xo
rue





45 comments:

  1. My grandparents began building their home around 1930 (and I say began because it took them about 15 years before it was complete - work was completed as they could pay for it). Anyway, their sink looked just like your sink and I would love to have one.

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  3. I love this post. I laugh at what some bloggers call French country...not even close! To some vintage is anything that was in last year...okay, I have ranted long enough...

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  4. My kitchen is....outdated. No sound buzzer on that one! lol

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  5. I hear what you're saying, but damn, your kitchen comes so freakin close to the real deal it's freaky! So...DON'T SOUND BUZZER! ;)

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  6. Rue, you are a hoot! Are they drunk?? Mercy!! Anyway, I agree with you. I love how homes are called 'cottages' or 'cabins'. If figure if I need to use an intercom to tell you breakfast is ready, it probably is a tad bigger than a cottage or cabin :) Just my opinion. Have a nice evening.

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  7. YOU GOT IT ......THEY DONT!! HA LOL. i am so glad you posted this because its so true. Ive been thinking the same things. I LOVE YOUR KITCHEN .....its welcoming and homey and old fashioned.and warm. Those modern kitchens are beautiful......but not really my style. Obviously not yours either. You are so right tho.....they do toss those words around an awful lot when describing their kitchens or whatever other rooms.....and they are just uneducated about it or something.....they did not research it. It is annoying.....alot of it is youth....but alot of it is plain showing off....keeping up with the Jones's......and presenting things to make more money......To PAY FOR MORE PROJECTS. I couldn't keep up with that. I prefer "real"blogs.......yours is a real nice place to come visit!

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  8. while on the subject, here's a few more.......chic, white washed furniture, chippy feel to it. I do love vintage though, or at least what I think is vintage haha. I really liked this post, Ru. Being true to your feelings is a girl after my own heart.

    ~Sheri

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  9. This made me laugh...you are so right. We mostly have modern kitchens with vintage accents. I love your beautiful kitchen and it was really fun seeing the vintage kitchen photos!

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  10. Rue...you make me smile, laugh and applaud...you are SO spot on! Yes, I think many of us are fooling ourselves when we "label" out style. It's very difficult these days because we mix things up and I think that's a good thing (probably because I do it!!). Still, my beef is the same as yours...using a descriptions like "farmhouse inspired", especially if you don't live on a farm. Ha. By the way...I love your kitchen for what it is...and it's very nostalgic.

    Let me let you in on something...shhhh...there is "someone"publishing a book on French decor. She wrote on her blog that once she started the first draft she realized she didn't have as much French decor as she needed to fulfill her book...so she purchased more. Few, if any of her furnishing are true French pieces...reproductions? And she lives in Texas, Nuff said. Publishers are jumping on blogs with huge followings because the books sell like crazy, just with those followers. Sick.

    Makes you think.

    Jane x

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  11. Interesting topic. I love your kitchen. You were fortunate to find a home mostly intact that someone cared about for many years. Many older homes can be badly neglected inside and outside, because they changed hands so many times. For instance, this home had original windows, and quite a few missing windows. I was lucky enough to save three windows, the rest had to be replaced, because they were not to code, and didn't allow egress. My original door was cemented to the house, with a raggedy hole cut out that said "mail here" in sharpie. In the 1940s at least in this particular area, they would put the door up first; it was a photo op moment. I think some people are just trying to capture a nostalgic feel: though, I think some homes might become quite more glamorous than the outside dictates. When we fixed up this place, and it truly was a fixer; I tried to keep in mind that this would of been a practical house, not too fancy. Yet, I lean toward fairytale, and because I'm a bit of a romantic, I know it is a bit nicer than it would of been. xoox

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  12. I see your point and love your kitchen. We have some - genuinely - vintage pieces of furniture and are moving towards a 1950's and 1960's style of furniture, especially in our living room, however, to get rid of everything that we have and replace in one fell swoop is not possible for us, so as and when we get "new" things they are favouring that 50's and 60's style. We say that we are going towards a "retro" look. I guess that is a 2010's retro look rather than a true copy from another era. xx

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  13. Heehee:) For some reason we/they ? just seem to have to label everything from diets to decor. How about 'western'? I think, "west of where?" When people ask what style my home &/or decor are, I usually say eclectic - figure that covers about anything.
    Great post.

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  14. I can see what you are saying about labels for things-I know I ma guilty of that too. Love your vintage kitchen!

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  15. Now I feel bad for describing my home as French Country...It is not in France or the countryside...what was I thinking ;-)

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  16. Oh this post makes me smile. I think many of us wish we had (insert style) kitchen but in reality we have one with some decor in it. Mine is awful 80's blah but hey it works. I rent so I'm not changing anything but what decor I can bring in and even then it's completely eclectic! Yep that's me Eclectic! (can I say that and get away with it??)
    hugs,
    Linda

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  17. You have a beautiful home that I have enjoyed looking at and hearing about. I also think you are a talented writer and have a way with words. I understand your point...and obviously there is a little jump on the bandwagon mentality going on. But I doubt anyone intends to sound foolish or ill informed.

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    1. I answered you on your blog, but just to clarify here... I don't think anyone is being intentionally deceiving. I just wish people would research things a little more :)

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  18. I kept thinking about this and thinking about this. Finally, all those thoughts swirling in my head stopped at me asking myself........why does it bother ME so much? Why do I care what labels people put on THEIR stuff? And, believe me I did. I would roll my eyes, tsk tsk, and shake my head at all those sweet clueless people out there blogging or pinning things they love. I was definitely feeling superior in that I knew the difference between a cottage or a bungalow......English Country or Country French, etc. After mulling all this over, and seeing how judgmental I've become without even realizing it.....suddenly I don't feel very superior OR very smart

    The upside; I've learned something today and that's always a good thing!.

    Keep enjoying your beautiful home and thanks for making me think!

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    1. Mrs. G... I don't think I'm superior or smarter than anyone, trust me! But, I do know my eras.

      I also wasn't angry. I'm more amused than anything else :)

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  19. The one that gets me is people who say they are selling vintage items when what they have is a vintage look.

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  20. Rue,

    I can understand that when people are passionate about something, as you are about your specific era(s), incorrect labels can be hard to digest, and misinformed descriptions, can further leave a bad taste in your mouth. I wonder, how can this be rectified so that no one is insulted or hurt?

    Poppy

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    1. Poppy,

      I honestly wasn't trying to be insulting or hurtful to anyone. What I was trying to do was get my point across with humor. Obviously, not everyone is going to get it. Especially those that don't know me very well.

      I suppose I should do another post explaining myself... sigh.

      xo

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    2. NO!! I didn't mean it like that at all! But, being (sometimes overly compassionate), I wonder, if THAT person were to read your post today, how they might be feeling. I understood exactly where you were coming from, even though I don't know you very well. Your tone was very clear; I didn't find it offensive. BUT, I always seem to put myself in the other people's shoes, (have always rooted for the underdog), and hope that they can hear it, too.

      xo!

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  21. I've been reading a lot of blogs the past few years. Paired down to ones that touch my heart, a connection. In fact some of them comment on your blog. I had a feeling this post might be touchy for some. As a reader and not a blogger, I've seen some grow and still read them. But I have a few that are small, not a lot of comments, so I leave one, only because I want to.They all vary. Some with decor, cooking, gardening and there is just reading. What I really get out of the blogs is meeting women across our great country. In fact just today a blogger wants to send another a gift ( something precious of hers broke ) because she was kind to her. I like your blog, found you through Brenda from Cozy Little House. Have a beautiful windy day Rue, Kathleen in Az

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    1. Thank you, Kathleen. I'm glad you found me. I always enjoy seeing your comments on here :)

      xo

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  22. Good post and you're right, Rue. I've had thoughts along these same lines for the past several years. I grew up in a real farmhouse on a real farm. I saw a blog the other day where the blogger referred to her brand new city home as a "farmhouse". Really? Hmmm. Not like any farm house I've ever been in. Some day I may do a post on my mother's real 1950's era farmhouse kitchen: all the woodwork and cabinets were painted pink, she had a white Youngstown steel cabinet double drainboard sink, the dining set was chrome with a grey/white formica top and grey vinyl chairs. There was a Norge refrigerator and a Westinghouse range with a deep fryer, a linoleum floor, a white Sunbeam mixer, GE chrome toaster and a white plastic radio tuned into Paul Harvey while we waited for the school bus. Those were the days. :)

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  23. So true that describing a style as "all in one" is difficult, if not impossible as we all have modern conveniences in our homes, and especially our kitchens. I guess when people say "vintage" or "farmhouse" or "Country" they mean it has aspects of that or a general feel about it--or at least they wish it so!

    I smile as in my neighborhood the houses were built in the 1990's and everyone has light oak cabinets and trims throughout their homes. All the younger women are "updating" the cabinets and finishes by painting white or staining dark. I might be the only one to keep it all original, and then when I want to sell someday I'll hopefully attract a buyer that will think all the original woodwork is "cool!" ;)

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  24. Rue, please don't take my previous comments personally! I was only speaking for myself and the thoughts that came to my mind. :) It also got me to thinking, the things that we equate as "classic" to an era, were actually the trendy finishes, color combinations and items that were popular and ubiquitous to that time. Just like pickled oak cabinets, tile countertops and pastel colors were one era that I remember vividly (even though I never liked that look), or the omnipresent heavy Tuscan look, granite countertops, dark cabinets and stainless steel appliances were (and some still are) popular. To me classic is something that spans over all the decades and never goes out of style...even though it may not be popular and trendy at the time. I just thought it was interesting the how the terms classic and trendy become synonymous when you look back in time, even though their meanings are completely different.
    Classic to me means painted cabinets, bead board,, hardwood floors, marble countertops, etc. Those are items that I'm happy to say are back in style.

    I told you your post made me think about a lot of things! Ok...I am done. I think. lol ;)

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    1. No worries, Mrs. G! I completely understand what you're saying :)

      xo,
      rue

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  25. Several of your beloved blogs perhaps are guilty of this. Just look at what's going on in California (where I live), London, Sydney, and Capetown just to name a few. French country, farmhouse style, 1930's/40's are interpreted differently now than what they used to be. It is no longer authentic.

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    1. I realize that some are, which is why I was trying to explain the styles.

      Thank you for your comment :)

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  26. I think a lot of decorating blogs come off sounding kinda smug or superior. A kitchen is meant to be used If it can be pretty, great. I wouldn't waste ten seconds worrying about how they feel about your post, which was informative and honest. And I absolutely love your kitchen and think it's pretty darn close to still being authentic for the era it was built.

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  27. I totally get it and I think you are right. The rooms are all undoubtedly beautiful, but the labels are not always correct. I often find myself thinking the same things you mentioned as I am reading a post. I learned a lot from your little history lesson today! I love the pictures.

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  28. I'm with ya, honey! I'm ALL for telling it like it is. And I adore your kitchen, no matter what it's called.
    Brenda

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  29. Loved this post. And one of the things that irritate me the most is calling something "Frenchy" -- as in adding a "Frenchy accent"! I think that's what I like most about your blog -- your home is real -- not trying to be something it isn't -- it's comfortable and homey and you!

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  30. Well, I have a 60's kitchen since my home was built then. I can seriously call it vintage, right. My house is on the market and we keep hearing updates needed. Doesn't anyone want vintage, hah. I say my style is cottage......because anything goes. I hope that' the right term. Hey, I even have a blue sink....vintage for sure.
    You are just stating it how it is.
    ( My wallpaper came out of a French Country wallpaper book)

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  31. Playing catchup.....love all of the pictures as reference! :)

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  32. Playing catchup.....love all of the pictures as reference! :)

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  33. I just love you!!! ;-)))) I love your vintage kitchen with 1930s overtones! How about that?? ;-) Hugs!!

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  34. Wow, Rue! And to think that I almost missed this during my recent sporadic blogging. Actually it was kind of a mental block but I'm so glad I kept going backward when I came to your old fashioned world again. Interesting and educational and a tad controversial, my dear. (And now I start worrying that you might have thought I haven't been visiting because I could have been upset by all this. No, no, no, never.)

    I think I've told you before that I have a big collection of Women's magazines from 1900 to 1950s. And the kitchens pictured in them are the most fascinating of all the articles. The ones you showed above grab my heart. Maybe it is partly because I'm so nostalgic for that era but it's also because kitchens were so important to a woman then because she spent so much time there! It was important for her to be cheerful there.

    I think you are the only blogger I've seen who actually hunted for original elements for your kitchen, not just original accessories. A world of difference in the look you achieved! Not many have the vision to pull off what you have. You are the opposite of those couples I sometimes see on House Hunters when they say they want an older house full of character. But then they walk in a charming bungalow or cottage and say the kitchen will have to be gutted. I want to throw something at them.

    And of course I haven't even touched on the whole issue of open concept kitchens vs the ones of my mother's generation where you could actually close the door and concentrate while you cooked. But it seems that more women are realizing the drawbacks of open concept kitchens. Well that's for another day and I'll never get caught up with blog visits if I keep writing comments this long. Please forgive me?

    Have to add one more thing: I like style blogs but I want to have a story told with the pictures of their latest room makeovers, not just a "here, look at my pictures." But then I may not be in the demographic that counts?

    You're a peach, Rue!

    Dewena

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  35. Totally get it. Get you. Get your humor. Perfectly said. I read through most of the comments and most get your intentions, some didn't but that's okay. If they take a moment to read a couple of your posts, they'll see you have a great spirit. My pet peeve isn't so much as mislabeling - but decorating with just what I call "off the shelf shopping." Meaning, I have been in homes that are FILLED to the brim with every known trend and reproduction decor item found at Home Goods, Wayfair, or TJMaxx. One or two items here and there are fine, no problem. But when someone calls their home "French" and have only tin or resin reproduction knit-knacs all over and the must-have huge round reproduction clock that is bound to be somewhere, I am happy they are happy with their homes - as it should be. They are pretty homes...But that isn't what I call a French country home, or even vintage - it is just off the shelf and looks like everyone else who shopped that same aisle. But I don't live there, so what do I care? I don't, just bugs me that so much $$ is spent on things made in China when the real deal can be found with a little hunting and less in the landfill with China reproductions when the next trend hits the shelves. Just my two cents. :-)
    Big hug
    Elizabeth

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