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Ask Flipped: My Kitchen Is On Fire. Is That In Style?

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Welcome back to Ask Flipped, where we answer very real questions from readers who are having problems with home decor, design, or anything else. Do you have a question? Write it on a post-it note and throw it into a strong gust of wind. If it was meant to be, we will find the post-it and answer the question.

Dear Flipped,

I was recently cooking some burgers on the stovetop while having a grease fight with my cousin, and it appears that a small fire has broken out in the corner of my kitchen. I don't necessarily hate the fire—it's warm, and bright, and it looks pretty—however, I seem to recall that one of my mom's friend's had a fire in her kitchen way back in the 1970s. Are kitchen fires dated? If I decide to keep mine, how can I bring it more in line with the current trends?


Dear Smokey,

I suspect, from the way that you have worded your question, that you already know the answer and you just wanted to have an excuse to brag about your new kitchen fire. And that's okay! A new fire, whether it's in the kitchen, bathroom, guest bedroom, or wherever, is always super exciting. Whenever a fire breaks out in my house, I host a big soiree and invite all my friends and neighbors over, telling them it's just a normal get together, and then watching their eyes light up as they walk through the door and catch sight of the flaming coat rack (or whatever it is this time). I'd advise you to do something similar, but if I have you pegged right, you're already on it. (Wink, wink.)

To answer your question more directly, of course kitchen fires are passé. People used to have them all the time in the early 20th century, they peaked in the '50s, and by now, what with the advances in modern technology, you barely ever see them any more. But there's nothing wrong with a classic—that is, after all, why it's a classic. My advice would be to not try to design around the fire, but rather to let it speak for itself. You're not going for a whole 1950s aesthetic here, but one anachronistic item can really make the rest of your decor pop. A kitchen fire is cool. A kitchen fire and a rotary phone, however, is a bit much.

Also, a word of warning: if you have kids, do not under any circumstances let them play near the fire. They could end up putting it out!

Hope that helps,