Edited to Add: I’m joining Kimba’s Garden Party with this post (Taylor’s Graduation Party) so visit Kimba to see lots of fun garden ideas. Also, I’m planning to host a ‘Painted Patio Furniture’ Party next Monday so be working on your projects. If you won’t have enough time to finish, just link up and show us your plans!

First item of business:   I started a Google Reader this weekend.  I know, I know,  that’s ‘s0 last year’, but I needed a quicker way to look at blogs and I wanted to re-evaluate my list.  In the process, I found a few new blogs (mostly design blogs) that I love like this one  and this one and this one, but I’m also eager for you to share a few of your favorite blogs with me, especially ones that I might not know about. Share links or names of sites in the comments that I MUST put in my new google reader. 
Second item of business:  Upon the urging of one of my blog readers (whom I can’t presently recall)  I uploaded my kitchen pics to HGTV’s Rate My Space.   I’m a naive soul to such activities and thought it’d be fun to have others (besides you, who are so supportive) critique my work.   Imagine my chagrin when I read,

“I love the cottage look but this just looks plain messy and busy to me.”

” I love the cabinet color and the floor, but there’s way too much clutter on the countertop. Why would you put lamps on the countertop? You are cluttering up your work space and lines by doing so.”

You can see the fodder here and I must add that most people were very kind and encouraging.   But I wanted to defend myself and say, “Hey, I’m not a professional here and I was really cooking dinner when my daughter snapped that photo of me in the new kitchen.   So, sorry that I cook with pots and pans and other ‘ real’ things on the counter.”   But I didn’t.  Because I guess I asked for it and with every criticism we receive, there’s usually a certain amount of truth in it. That may be why I’m sheepishly decluttering my countertops this morning and why I will very hesistantly upload any more photos to Rate My Space.   I’ll just take your word for it next time. 
Why is it that we let a little negativity creep into our heads and camp out there?   I love my kitchen and it works for our family.   And ‘clutter’ seems to me a small price to pay for the tremendous amount of food and love that flows from its’ countertops everyday!
Meeting Adjourned.   Have a blessed week! 

50 comments on “Blog business and please don’t ‘rate my space’”

  1. Sis…People looking from the outside in through a snapshot, just don't get it. Don't let someone that has a comment about your clutter get you down. It's not clutter to you, it's your space and it is fabulous. I am sure Steve and your sweet kiddos could care less what's on the counter as long as you keep cooking amazing meals and keeping them happy. You are great and your kitchen is great. Love ya bunches!!!

  2. A little clutter goes with "cottage" and I happen to love this action photo of your kitchen. It seems designed for a family that really lives, cooks, and eats there! Sometimes design photos are a little too pristine and don't have the lived in look! It's important, as you know, to be who you are!

  3. "Rate My Space" has always struck me as a lightning rod for negativity. Who needs it? I'll admit I love looking at people's photos on RMS, but will never, ever open up my haven to comments from the peanut gallery on that particular site.

  4. Don't you dare give in to criticism. You have been a inspiration to me for the last 3 months. I love your enthusiasm, your boldness, your creativity, and your heart that shows in every inch of that kitchen! I read your blog every day and it is a gift every day. I like that you are going against the tide don't give into the opinions of the masses you are set apart:) thanks!

  5. I love your kitchen! It has signs of life, unlike many magazine photos. It is your style, your home. . .I think the picture is great!

  6. I don't know Miss Edie… I missed the clutter 'cuz I got sidetracked by those amazing calf muscles of yours – haha – I am so jealous!

  7. I'm terrified of RMS. It's gotten to where only designer rooms need to be on there. I love your "lived in" kitchen & think it is a loving reflection of the kind of home environment you promote.
    5 stars from me.

  8. The criticism just helps put things into perspective. Please don't let it bother you. Think about it, see if there's anything that makes you look at things differently, and if not, so what? You're happy with your kitchen, right? Don't sweat the small stuff.

  9. Girl I love your kitchen and would so hire you to do mine:) You are right about negativity hanging out in your head and making you feel like you need to be like everybody else or follow someone elses steps. I love your blog and your designs because you are your own person and unique!! Have a great week and I would totally rate your space as AWESOME!!
    ~Molly P

  10. I totally love your kitchen along with all the other rooms you have shown us! Clutter is a way of life for most people with big familes and I personaly think it adds more charm and warmth to a room!

  11. I love your kitchen! Don't let negativity take up space in your mind. 🙂 They wouldn't want to see my kitchen then. lol I do use my kitchen and cook quite a bit!

  12. oh my friend – i have heard horror stories from RMS, so consider yourself blessed to only have bad those comments. I don't even bring my little 'puter screen close to that site. 🙂 Yes, google reader is a blessing…LOVE IT, and only started mine a little bit ago, so no worries. You and I can be late to the table for lots of things…

  13. Oh yes – the wonderful RMS trolls, most of whom do not ever post any of their own spaces, but do not hesitate to hack away at those of us who do. Take it with a grain of salt. I love, love, love your kitchen. I love my clutter, but I do not expect anyone else to. Honestly, I cannot imagine my kitchen any other way and I will bet when you declutter it will feel like part of you has been stripped away.

    So please don't change a thing. Do you wanna please Edie and Edie's family, or the RMS trolls? 🙂
    Don't give them a single inch.

    Have a great week, Barb

  14. Oh my gosh Edie… WhatEVAH! I absolutely love your kitchen. It is obvious that you use it and love it and (gasp) COOK in it. By sharing it with me, you taught me that it's ok to live with and use your things – they're still beautiful.

    My mother has a house that is a showroom of design. I hate it there. Everything has a place, although not necessarily a purpose and she can't be happy with anything that isn't part of her design. For example, the kids are typically confined to one room when we visit… My dad's office and the backyard.

    When I go to my mother-in-law's house though, REAL PEOPLE live there. There are signs of life everywhere you look. She absolutely changed the way that I felt about what a home should be. I am happy to live with things that I love, whether or not they match a theme. I am happy (and blessed) to have evidence of my kids, my husband, my dogs in every single room.

    I feel the same way when I look at your kitchen. It is beautiful, bright, fun and obviously loved by a family. I feel genuinely sorry for people who don't realize how beautiful life is.


    PS – I love your article on why you homeschool. We have decided to keep our kids home with us next year and devote an entire year to education for the whole family. My husband was laid off from his job of 14 years and prospects are so slim that he has no option other than going back to school. When I realized he was going for FREE I had to join him. I realize that this task is going to be really hard and questioned my sanity about taking on homeschooling four kids on top of it. When I read what you said about compulsory learning and the hours each night that they spend on homework (what exactly ARE they doing in school???), I knew that this was the right decision for my family. We plan on spending 4 hours in the morning learning at home and then all trek down to the college campus together, which is a treasure trove of museums, libraries, parks, etc. I think it's going to be a magnificent year. Thanks for the pep talk.

  15. the reason i keep returning to your blog is because you're real. and if that involves some pots and pans and a cutie pie lamp on the counter, so be it. please don't stop living your life to "stage" it for a picture. those crazy people just need to get over it!

    keep on keepin' on, my friend!

  16. I would love to see what THEIR kitchen looks like! It seems the ones with the most negative things to say are the ones with the less going on style wise.

  17. awwwwwee, edie! i love your space! always have, and it gets better each time you do something new. so keep doing it. (have you noticed that i have NEVER put a photo of my space on my website??! talk about clutter..lol!) c'mon over… you'll feel better instantly!!

  18. I'm sorry some people are rude. I think it makes them feel better about themselves. I'd give my left arm for your kitchen. Love it! Many blessings1

  19. I think you kitchen is wonderful, bright and fun. Rate my space is a fun place to look, but I've found that there are some awfully rude people over there and it just isn't worth it. (I'm sure there are many kind people also, but the negativity over there seems to greatly overwhelm any kindness).

    Enjoy reading your blog. Don't let RMS get you down—keep on with what you are doing for your family. That is what is important. "Clutter" means a family lives there and from what I've seen of your blog, your family benefits greatly from the love that comes from your kitchen.

  20. A quick question, which Valspar Primer did you use?? I am wondering if it will cover my ornagey wood 1960's laquered cabinets?? I went on Lowes web and see there are several Valspar Primers…

  21. Well, I love it! and the pic is darling. I found the overall majority of comments to be very positive. Don't let 2 negative comments change your darling kitchen. And just because they like stark countertops that make a kitchen look like it is never used doesn't make it right for a warm, family-friendly kitchen! xoxo

  22. I don't think it looks cluttered at all! I LOVE everything about your kitchen- it's just beautiful! I actually hunted down a cute lamp on CL for my countertop because I loved the way yours looked! Don't change a thing you fabulous lady!

  23. I love that photo of you in the kitchen!!! I love looking at real life photos- not staged ones. I find those staged photos are pretty but also very boring! I love your kitchen and you've certainly inspired me to try painting our kitchen…I'm still getting the nerve up to actually do it!

  24. Don't be offended – that's life! Some are gonna like and some are not. You still got a 3.8 Excellent!!

    Most important thing is you are happy and love it!!!


  25. I love your kitchen and am adding accessories and lamps to mine to emulate your look. Ignore those bozos. They want their homes to look like museums…that's not what a real home is. Real homes get messy and don't have "undisturbed lines." Keep it real, girl!

  26. I love love love your kitchen. A good friend of mine.. is borrowing your look for her new kitchen.. so blah! Have you seen the kitchens on RMS? (Sorry my kitchen is small when its the size of my entire house or one with a built in ladder like library.. and come on.. you know they don't use it! Anywho.. I love your kitchen.. and love your lamps. Which is why I am searching for one just for my kitchen!! Well maybe two.. maybe three… you can never have enough lamps! I think RMS is.. over rated and people LOVE to be mean on it, but I admit I love to go there and look… your kitchen.. home, children and yourself are wonderful!

  27. WOW! I better never put any of my photos on there. We do too many things that wouldn't work for everyone. It's our house and we love it. Your house is always beautiful! I love how you cook…like your beef stew! It has the look of a happy, loving home, and that's perfect!!! 🙂


  28. You have to post on RMS knowing that the "meanies" are going to rear their ugly heads and attack! They always do! But, it's just like in life…you're always going to encounter people who seek out the bad and let everyone know exactly what they think that is! For what it's worth, I LOVE your kitchen! In fact, I'll head over to RMS and visit you right now…

    Don't let "them" get you down! XO

    ~Karla @ It's The Little Things…

  29. WHAT? They are totally wrong! And you know what else? Lamps, my friend, belong on your kitchen countertops – that makes it so you! And aside from the gorgeouness of it all I love that you made it your space, one that inpires you to love on your family (and friends) in the way that you do. I am pretty sure that the most amazing beef stew ever is now even more amazing. 🙂 xoxo

  30. Where in the world did you sweet angelic encouraging people come from? I feel so blessed to be surrounded by people (in real life and in blog life) who are kind and funny and genuine! Isn't it ironic that the very thing I hoped to encourage you to do (live authentically and embrace the uniqueness of your own life), you have instead helped me to do!

    And though it might seem odd, when I finished my kitchen, I felt like I finally had created a room that truly seemed to be 'me'……in design form; cheerful but flawed, vintage to the point of old-fashioned but with a modern twist, and certainly full to the brim (call it cluttered if you like) with all the things that inspire me. If I had to name her (my kitchen, that is) I'd probably call her Audrey. Here's what Audrey and I did yesterday: 1) washed 2 loads of dishes including pint jars for cherry jam we're making later this week 2)made roasted pork tenderloid with potatoes and carrots, maple glazed brussel sprouts and cornbread for dinner 3) baked chocolate chip cookies and gave a plateful away to a new neighbor 4)mopped the floor and cleaned the countertops with a mixture of vinegar, dish soap and lemon zest 5) cut up a yummy fruit salad of fresh pineapple, blueberries and cantaloupe 6) deep cleaned one of the ovens 7) listened to the joyous sounds of kids playing, kids fighting, teens laughing, dogs barking, and thinking how very blessed I am to enjoy the sounds and signs of life….in my very own retro kitchen……at least for this season of life.

    That Audrey's a workhorse!

  31. your home is beautiful….don't take your lamp off of your countertop….and I won't either…I love my lamp in my kitchen! 🙂

    bummer how we can have 99 people tell us how amazing anything in our life is and if 1 person says anything negative…it tends to stick to us. Let's just call it for exactly what it is…"our battle isn't against flesh and blood but against the powers of this dark world." The enemy comes to devour us….and he uses the smallest of things like someone's negative comments on "Rate my Space" to do it.

    We take those negative things that people say about us or our kids or our home and we get some of our value from their approval/lack of approval and it consumes us. This happens to me regularly…although I will say that God is surely teaching me to see that when I get any of my value from anything other than Him, I am left feeling consumed and devoured. I'm praying for you today that you will take those negative comments straight to the one who loves you the most and that His peace will rest on you.

  32. Ugh, it doesn't look cluttered to me. It looks like a real kitchen used by real people instead of the "magazine perfect, not a toaster or pan in sight look". It's all about what you enjoy and what makes your home feel cozy and comfortable.

  33. That's precisely why I have never loaded any photos on RMS. I love my house and it works for my family… but I don't think it necessarily photographs well and I'm sure someone would hurt my feelings with their comments. I LOVE your house… it looks full of love and it looks LIVED IN (which most spaces on RMS do not)! Don't take the comments to heart!

  34. I have looked at that photo a zillion times and felt nothing but kitchen envy. There is nothing on that counter that I felt shouldn't have been there. Why would one hide their coffee maker? Don't they want to make coffee every morning? And doesn't the lamp light and the plant add texture and interest?

    I think your kitchen looks spectacular. I recognize that YOUR style may not be everyone's style but please know that there are many of us here who are in awe of it.

  35. Oh I wouldn't let what other people say bother you. I love your kitchen. And lets face it we do not live in magazines.

  36. Edie, there's always some criticism over at RMS. I put 2 rooms up there & they've done OK, but some negatives anyway. Your kitchen is perfect & beautiful for YOU and your family, so just keep that in mind. Don't let anyone rob you of that.

    I get negative comments sometimes on my blog & you are so right, it rolls around inside our heads so much. But at the end of the day, we live in our homes & that's the only opinion that really counts. I have always said..I am NOT a minimalist & I like a certain amount of clutter. Some don't & that's OK too.

  37. Edie~don't you listen to them…I'm just not a fan of rate my space. It's a gorgeous space and so "you" Just stick with your blogging buddies 🙂 Loved your mothering thoughts below as well~

  38. Clutter = lived in and real. Clutter = home.

    That's why I've always adored Veranda but never tried to copy their interior design schemes for my own homes. It is unrealistic to not have any "nick knacks" at all.

    Your home, however, is both beautiful and homey. I'd copy it any day of the year if I could afford such a massive redo of my own space.

    Don't listen to the naysayers and believe that your following your heart with the design was the right thing to do! I for one, have loved it since the moment you did it!

  39. Hi! I am new to blogging so I am just cruising around to find blogs I want to follow and being amazed that I could "waste" a whole day doing it. 🙂 Anyway, I love your blog! It's beautiful. And frankly, I thought the photo of you in your kitchen was a magazine/stock photo that you were using to accompany your post.! In other words, very stylized, very, very beautiful! Blessings!

  40. Oh girl………

    The first time I found your blog was through a link to look at your fabo. kitchen.

    And first off I thought the person reaching to get a pan in the picture was your daughter….I was not familar with your blog to "know" who your family member were.

    And second of all …..YOUR KITCHEN ROCKS. I have seriously thought about it most everyday since I found your blog because I have UGLY brown cabinets that I am trying to muster up the courage to paint them myself.YOU ARE MY HERO!!

    Okay, I now have that off my chest…I feel better, I hope you do too!! : )

  41. oh my goodness – I have not read any of the comments on RMS or the comments here, but had to tell you how much i LOVE your kitchen! From the first time I saw it, I have kept the image in my head. It is beautiful!!! The "clutter" is part of life and part of a real household. We keep things near us that we use and need. Life is not a magazine cover or a tv show! Anyway, I love your style and your blog – and especially that kitchen 🙂

  42. Edie,
    I haven't read through your other comments yet, but I wanted to say do NOT take AnYTHING off your counters!!!!! Your kitchen looks fantastic as it IS. Most people on RMS are "contemporary" lovers anyway. They can't appreciate a gorgeous cottage room like we can! 🙂

  43. Rate My Space is brutal. I am sorry your sweet kitchen got trampled over there. I think some folks just have nothing better to do with their time. I put up my living room, dining room and kitchen over there last year and then I seriously had to go hide for a day or so. The commenters were really brutal. Eventually, I took it down and I've never been back. Blog land is so much nicer. I'm working on re-doing my kitchen and yours is such a big inspiration for me. I keep coming back to look at your pictures. 🙂

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