Can Kitchen Depression be a Mental Health Condition?

Sherry Kuehl is suffering kitchen depression after a recent visit to a local kitchen show room.



   Is suffering from kitchen depression a certifiable mental health condition? Because I think I have it.

   I’m in the throes of a jealous rage. It’s so intense I’m breaking some major commandants. I’m coveting – big time and I’m this close to stealing. OK, maybe not stealing, stealing, but I would “borrow” some stuff. My current state of unrest was brought on by this magazine. I was dispatched to do a story on kitchen trends and now I’m just an emotional hot-mess. Let me break down my mental state for you.

   I now want a new kitchen so badly it haunts me. I’m not kidding when I tell you I’m dreaming
about marble countertops.

   My relationship with my kitchen has gone from tolerating it’s 90s design “charm” to now hating it
with a passion I honestly didn’t know I had. I’m so envious of anyone with a new or updated kitchen that for their own personal protection it’s best
that I’m not in the same room with them.

   I’m plotting ways to get a new kitchen and the lengths I’ve been thinking of going to are scaring
me more than a little.

   I know that my kitchen – with its cherry wood cabinets, so worn-out they look like they’ve been in a bar fight; flagstone backsplash (yes, flagstone. I can only surmise that the previous owner thought, “Hey let’s use the extra garden pavers from the backyard in the kitchen because waste not - want not.”) and Darth Vader black countertops – is dark and exceedingly dreadful. But, I had rationalized that my kitchen, while not close to gorgeous, was still getting the job done.

   I still had a low-key kitchen depression, but I managed it until last month when I had to walk inside a kitchen design showroom to do an interview and a green-eyed monster was unleashed inside of me. I saw a cast iron farmhouse sink that, at that moment in time, became more important to me than my children; faucets that looked like sculptures and an orb chandelier so breathtaking I had to lean up against my new bestie (the cast iron sink) because I felt light-headed. It was bad. I was taking deep breaths and trying not to embarrass myself. I didn’t totally pull it together, but I managed to make it through the interview until we walked into the appliance section.   

   Oh. My. God. It was a Miele built-in coffee maker that did me in and I don’t even drink coffee. This thing of beauty did everything with a push of a button from crushing the beans to making the foam for a latte and it was installed to look like a part of your cabinets. I was gobsmacked.

   That experience paled when I was blessed a vista of kitchen cabinets, countertops and vent hoods up close and personal. If I had been the only person in that showroom, I swear I would have made out with a slab marble countertop. I have wanted marble countertops for decades. I know they’re temperamental and sensitive (wait, am I describing marble or my teenage daughter?) and pretty much, the diva of countertops, but oh how I have lusted after marble. This countertop was exquisite with just the right amount of gray veining. It completed me.

   I didn’t want to walk away and wouldn’t have until I saw a room with vent hoods. Who knew a vent hood was an artistic statement? These vent hoods could/should be in the Nelson Atkins Museum. One vent hood looked like armor worn by one of the Knights of the Realm, another one was flat out modern art and then there was one that said, “Hello, Sherry, I’d like to be part of your dream kitchen.” It was white with a lot of molding on it and all I could think about was how amazing it would look with marble countertops and a farmhouse sink.

   I walked out of the showroom exhausted and angry at my kitchen. How dare it dishonor me with its ugliness. Then I began plotting about how I could get a new kitchen. As I was interviewing a designer on the phone, I inquired about how much your average kitchen remodel costs. Gulp! I wasn’t prepared for that cha-ching.

   It came out to be almost the exact amount of two years of college for my daughter. Whoa. I had a hard decision to make. Send my daughter to school or redo my kitchen? I did what you would have done – totally go with the kitchen remodel.

   Oh, relax, it’s college all the way. I guess for now I’ll make do with flagstone (gag) but the dream lives on, gripping my very soul. So, hold tight marble counter tops, vent hood and space-age cabinet coffee maker--I will come for you. Not now, but someday and I promise it will be a love affair like no other.