To many women, the kitchen is an intimidating but indispensable friend. It’s where you go every morning to grab an apple and drink a glass of water. It’s where you can make dinner for your family. It’s also where the attempt to whip up a simple dish for yourself can go terribly wrong, where you wind up re-heating the Chinese takeout from the night before.
But from the classic 1960s kitchen in "The Donna Reed Show" to the beautiful, brightly lit kitchens in Nancy Meyers’s movies, it’s hard to imagine where we would be without our kitchens.
To Julie Gordon, every kitchen is different. The process of designing a kitchen is a conversation, an endless cycle of questions and answers.
“You are setting up your kitchen to be how you want your lifestyle to be,” says Gordon, whose business, Inspiring Kitchen, works with homeowners and newlyweds to design, create, and equip the kitchen they need and want. The business kicked off last year, but to Gordon, the role seems a natural part of her 14-year career in the cookware industry.
In fact, people have always approached Gordon for her help and advice. Because cookware can be intimidating, and even starting the conversation can be difficult, Gordon is eager to volunteer information. It takes education and time to understand the kitchen and the cookware, she says.
The people Gordon helped out ended up convincing her to start a business. They needed her advice. Today, Gordon is officially a consultant offering assistance to clients who seek her knowledge of the kitchen.
“I honestly don’t believe you need 20 different knives,” she says about the average homeowner. “If you’re getting 20 knives for $139, that’s not a deal.”
You might really need only five, even three, according to Gordon. The point isn’t to buy everything available in the store. You have to pick the right ones for you, based on your lifestyle: Do you cook a lot? What do you cook and how?
Gordon recommends that clients first look at what's already in their kitchens. Do they know what they have and how they use it? The next step is for clients to ask themselves what they want their kitchen to be.
“It should be a place you want to be,” Gordon says. “The kitchen is the heart of the home, everybody knows that. You hear it all the time. It’s literally where everyone ends up. Where and how it’s shaped, how you stock things, can really affect your lifestyle.”
A kitchen is both a continuation of your family’s tradition and a chance for you to make your own tradition, says Gordon, who grew up in a family of good cooks. Her grandmother and mother were phenomenal cooks. She has their recipes–their traditions–but she is also shaping her own tradition in her kitchen.
At Inspiring Kitchen, Gordon helps newlyweds take the baffling first step of that same process.
“A wedding registry done right, with the right pieces, will last you forever,” she says. She helps couples build their kitchens based on their budget and resources. Gordon envisions what the new kitchen will have in store for them.
“I think it’s a beautiful thing, because it’s setting up a foundation for what you hope to do with your significant other,” Gordon says. “You can come home from work and sit down and have a glass of wine and a nice dinner. Just catch up on the day. It’s time together. It’s quality time.”