Shrader ResidenceTraditional Kitchen, San Francisco
Photo by Nicholas V. Ruiz
What Houzz contributors are saying:
9. And don’t forget the most important thing you can give your Mom: time spent together. “Any day I can spend time with my kids is special,” Ann Stewart writes. “No money can buy the memories we make.” Share: Let’s keep the list going. Mothers and kids, please tell us about your best Mother’s Day and your ideas or wishes for this year.MoreSurprise Mom With an Elegant DIY BouquetHouzz Call: Show Us Your Mom’s Influence on Your Home
1. Being overly critical. Constantly correcting kids or telling them they didn’t do something right likely sucks all the joy right out of cooking for them. When I first taught our daughter, Celia, how to make an omelet, I corrected her technique too much and almost scared her off. But then she snuck into the kitchen when I wasn’t around to make one for herself, and it came out thinner and more even than any omelet I could have made. That’s when I knew I had to hold my tongue. Do this instead: Let kids experiment and do things their own way. They may come up with a creative approach you’ve never thought of or turn out to have a better technique. As long as they’re not creating any immediate danger for themselves or others, who cares if your children are beating eggs with a spoon or if their sauce doesn’t even come close to reaching the edge of the pizza crust? Enthusiasm and engagement can come first; proper technique can come later, preferably when they express interest in it.
11. Meridian Pendant Lamp by SundanceGlass pendants over a butcher block island keep this white kitchen light and airy, tying in with the glass-front cabinets behind.
If you and your beloved are both Not Naturally Organized and you have progeny, I don’t need to tell you the challenges in tackling the daily onslaught of toys, papers, meals, errands and laundry that accompanies life with kids today. The most Naturally Organized people I know can get overwhelmed by this. And yet there’s a special chaos involved when two Not Naturally people try running a household.What You Can DoThe good news is your situation isn’t hopeless. By focusing on a few important areas, you can turn your house around.One of the very best things you can do is eliminate extra stuff. Figure out what really matters to you and get rid of everything else. At the same time, be careful about what you add. If you’re not going to eat it or off it, sit or sleep on it, wear it, read it or hang it on the wall, then don’t buy it. Getting rid of things takes some time. While you are decluttering or thinking about and resisting it, you can establish some basic systems in a few key areas that will dissipate much of the daily stress, if not make it flat out disappear.
Put this girl to work!Children are never too young. Sara started her girls helping out in the kitchen as soon as they could stand on a chair, stirring, dumping premeasured cups and, yes, cracking that egg the very first time.Kids need to be excited about what they're cooking. Allow them to choose recipes, meals etc. Ownership happens when kids delight in food and are proud of their creations. Sara's motto: "We can never make too many cookies."Kids who cook will help you. When you invite kids into the kitchen, it can slow down the process initially, but you need to take the long view. Sara's older girls are able to tackle simpler recipes and routinely prepare dinner for the entire family, a bonus for Sara, who works part time and just started back at school.Talk about nutrition. Sara does this all the time. "We discuss what's good for you as well as what appears to be good and actually isn't. We talk about color — a good plate has color." Presentation matters. Sara says, "They see Mom taking pictures of a pretty table, and they know it's a big deal. A quick meal can be just tossed on the island, but sometimes the meal is a lovely spread with candles and pretty plates. The girls initiate the pretty setting now and then too."
Do not fear using people in your interior shots. Exploit cute kids, cute pets, and cute chefs. The people in this picture are not the focus of the shot, but they certainly enliven it and let us see it as the perfect family kitchen.
Unstained white oak plank: White oak floors in their natural state make a space feel so calm and serene. There’s a casual and unfussy feel to this room that I respond to, and of course, the light floors make this space look lighter.