The Heart of My Home

“The heart of the home beats in the kitchen and a healthy one beats three times a day” ― Bangambiki Habyarimana, The Great Pearl of Wisdom


Good food and a warm kitchen make a house a home. In 2004, our tropical island kitchen lacked what most would call aesthetically pleasing conveniences, but since we were  renting our beach shack in our experiment with ‘pretirement’, we could only dream of the kitchen we would eventually call home.
DSCN1120With only a two-top stove burner and no storage space, we still managed to make our funky kitchen the heart of our home.
In 2010, we returned to our little beach shack as proud owners. The previous renters had painted the entire house Barbie Doll pink. We energetically grabbed our sledge hammers and smashed the old kitchen counters into tiny concrete pieces. Thus began the arduous journey of rebuilding the heart of our home.

New walls, fewer doors, big windows facing the lake views…it was finally coming together. We hired Marvin to make us a metal baker’s rack for storage. At the time, we thought metal was better than wood and open storage was better than closed storage. That was before the swarms of chayules (aquatic gnats ) invaded every crevice in our kitchen.

In 2013, House Hunter’s International came to film us for our episode “The Retirees and the Volcano.” I know what you are thinking. Yes, we had owned our house for three years and it was due for a new vibrant paint job before they filmed.

Let me just say that all reality shows are not reality. At least it motivated us to paint our house and WOW did it change the heart of our home.

We cook at home together almost every evening. Our kitchen is the central and most important room in our house. It is a great way for us to connect with our neighbors and friends. It is our gathering place for making cookies, nacatamales, art projects, and sorting my library books.

With our last big chayule swarm, I said, “Enough!” It was time to enclose all of our food, Pre-Columbian artifacts, and kitchen appliances. I designed kitchen cabinets and hired Herman to make them for me.
IMG_0092I didn’t realize that he built our cabinets in one l-o-n-g piece. It was a feat of wild maneuvers to place them in our kitchen.
IMG_0105I love this family of master craftsmen.
IMG_0125My kitchen is complete! It is safe from swarming chayules and now it is truly the heart of my home where our healthy hearts beat three times a day…at least!
IMG_0826What room is the heart of your home?

18 thoughts on “The Heart of My Home

  1. Wow! What a change from the hot pink kitchen. I love your new kitchen. The color in there is really great and the cabinets are very nice. I love the tile floor also. Everything looks inviting.

    I don’t know what room would be the heart of my house. My husband and i have our own spaces. Perhaps the great room, as they call it here, (living room) because that’s where we eat on TV trays so he can watch the political news and he usually spreads out on the couch and spends the evening there. I go upstairs to read or get on my computer after I clean up the kitchen. The kitchen does open up into the great room so it’s almost like one giant space separated by an eating bar.

    • Sunni, I love an open kitchen into the great room. Our kitchen is kind of an extension to our living room. Our house is small, but we really spend most of our time outdoors, so we don’t need a lot of indoor living space because it is always warm here.
      Thanks for sharing your favorite heart of your home.

  2. Nuestra cocina es el corazón de la casa. Allí paso muchas horas felices. Quiero mucho mi cocina, pero siempre tengo ganas de mejorarla. Por ejemplo, el fregadero y la llave del agua son feos. El chorro del agua caliente emite muy despacio.

    ¿Saben ustedes que el vidrio de la puerta del horno se rompío, hace más que un mes? Estuvo baja garantía, y Sears Servicio me dijo que va a reemplazarla, sin costo. Pero el viernes pasado, cuando les llamé, me dijo que el modelo actual no está disponible. Pues, ellos me dan ¡una estufa completamente nueva!

    (A ver lo que pasa realmente.)

    Don Cuevas

    • That your kitchen is the heart of your home is no surprise to me! 🙂 I remember that the hot water in your kitchen faucet dribbled slowly. At least you have hot water.
      Boy, are you lucky with the new stove. How far away is Sears? Send me a picture when and if it arrives. lol
      Great to hear from you.

  3. New cabinets! I loved/love your kitchen… It’s one of my most favourite kitchens to have ever spent time cooking in because it’s so vibrant and spacious 😀

    • Thanks, ME BE. It has been a work in progress for years, but it is finally coming together. Next, I want to change the windows to a solid sheet of glass, instead of the little panes that open and close. Everyone tried to tell me they are hard to clean and they were right. I am always digging out bugs.

    • Oh, yep it is really entertaining. I had to set the settings on private because of copyright issues with HHI. Go to my post, “View our House Hunters International Show” and click on the YouTube link. If you don’t have a VPN in Portugal, you may be able to watch it. But, if you have a USA IP address, you won’t be able to watch it.

  4. You said it…

    There is no doubt that, ‘Kitchen’ is truly the heart of our homes, where ‘our healthy hearts beat three times a day’ 🙂

    When, we were in Bangalore, we had a nice little kitchen, but it was so compact and convenient that my wife adore it even today.

    We are not so comfortable with the huge kitchen in my family home …

    We could see a very interesting transformation of your kitchen and it looks simply stunning 🙂

    Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful post and have a beautiful day ahead 🙂

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