Friday, October 10, 2014

A Christopher Alexander Kitchen

I’ve missed two days in a row of the #write31days challenge, and I couldn’t let a third one go by.

Look at this perfect representation of Alexander’s patterns, the archetypal characteristics of great spaces that actually contribute to the liveliness of a space (rather than being trendy or “picture perfect”). “Liveliness” might not be the right word---“spaces create a more personal, human quality of life in the spaces we inhabit,” is how Lisa McGarry defines them.

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Do you recognize it? If you are participating in the Write31Days Challenge, then you probably know this kitchen belongs to The Nester, Myquillyn Smith. She’s the author of The Nesting Place, and originator/host of the writing challenge.

She’s also the designer of this glorious kitchen, which isn’t even quite finished in the above photo (originally seen in this post). That’s what I love most about Myquillyn; she shows her process even more than the result. When she was featured in a magazine, her blog showed the behind-the-scenes reality. Her blog is “awesome sauce” as my oldest would say, and I love her book too (though I’m only about halfway through it).




To truly appreciate the work that has taken place, feast your eyes on the kitchen as it was last year when they bought the house:


Originally seen on this post at

And five months later:



They tore down two walls to open up the space and avoid the isolated kitchen that we discussed in Pattern 139. It looks like they will have a formal dining space off to the side, but look at that island---that this is the big table that Alexander describes that serves as the central heartbeat of a home. The natural light and sunny counter, and more patterns coming next week.


Myquillyn even named her inspiration board for the room: Modern Farmhouse Kitchen.

And there isn’t a ceramic chicken in sight.


31 Days button

This post is part of Myquillyn Smith’s Write 31 Days challenge. You can find all my posts on A Pattern Language linked here, and other blogs participating in the challenge (and writing on different topics) here.


  1. What an amazing kitchen! So full of the sun's warmth, light!! LOVE your post!

  2. This kitchen is dreamy, I love the white cabinets and the natural light!


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