A Kitchen Lived In: Perception vs Reality

A kitchen lived in

Browsing food photos on Instagram, so many users often appear to have the perfect lives and dream kitchens.

But behind the filters and clever editing, what does the full picture look like?

Wren Kitchens teamed up with five influential parent bloggers to find out what life ‘A kitchen lived in’ really looks like behind the Instagram filter. Here are the results…

Bridie by the sea

Mum and lifestyle blogger, Bridie By The Sea, took on the challenge of baking with her toddler, Emma, for the first time.

So what’s the secret ingredient to getting those Insta perfect shots? “Hard work”, she explains.

“Every meal is completely unpredictable – some can go amazingly well, while others… not so much. It took two of us to distract Emma and coax her out of having a complete meltdown.

“Despite the absolute chaos we had caused in the kitchen, it was a success. It’s all about balance – enjoying the moment together regardless of mess and chaos.”

Californian mum

Like most bloggers, Californian Mum in London, Elfa, feels the pressure to make life look perfect and glossy.

“I mainly ignore those pressures, it’s tough enough being a mother these days. I don’t want to add to anyone’s feelings of inadequacy,” she says.

“While I will sometimes share the better photos and not share the utter mess of my life, I like my blog and social media to be a fairly accurate portrayal of my family life.”

With just son Dubz in the kitchen (his sister was being stroppy and didn’t want to take part), there was a lot of enthusiasm preparing pancakes and a lot of a mess – portraying the true reality of cooking with kids.

They grow so quick

Emma, blogger of They Grow So Quick took to the kitchen to create some healthy breakfast recipes from Wren Kitchens’ free downloadable ebook with her two boys aged five and three.

“Anyone who has ever cooked with kids knows that the reality often involves mess, spillages, nibbling at the ingredients and even tantrums – it is definitely not Instagram perfect!” she admits.

“Yes, they made some mess with the ingredients, but it was easily wiped up and they ended up with a healthy breakfast which they devoured. We will definitely be making these again.”

The ‘perfect’ photo for social media is usually always the cropped version. But the reality is more likely to be a lot of mess, an apron thrown on the floor and discarded crayons.

Budding smiles

Budding smiles blogger Hannah, and her two-year-old son, Toby, made cauliflower pizzas from Wren Kitchen’s e-book.

She confessed: “Before I had children, I had images of me and my little angels sat at the table mixing ingredients, laughing over the flour making clouds, each of them having a spoon of cake mixture to lick clean and lots of fun sprinkling toppings on fairy cakes. I repeat… before I had children.

“Picture perfect scenes of beautiful culinary creations are undoubtedly beautiful and in many ways inspiring, but as a less-than-Pinterest-perfect mama, they sometimes leave me feeling deflated and lacking in the creative department.

“While ‘perfect’ pictures inspire; they don’t always tell the full story.”

Working family food

Juggling working as a doctor and being a Dad sounds busy enough, but cooking healthy meals for his family is worthy of time for blogger of Working Family Food, Jack.

Together with his son, he took on the challenge of creating some healthy meals in less than 30 minutes.

He told us: “I enjoy composing my dishes to look good and I spend time taking photos from all sorts of angles to get just the shot I think shows off the dish’s attributes.

“What you won’t see in my photos is the stack of mixing bowls, sticky utensils and scatterings of flour, splashes of milk or drips of sauce that have gone into making the dish.

“Would including the chaos and debris of reality make the food less appealing? Would there be less ‘likes’?

“Going forward, I will still put up photos I think ‘sell the food’, however don’t be surprised if a few shots of a toy-strewn living room or a child covered in his own dinner also make it up – this is the reality. Please don’t judge too harshly!”

While idealistic food photos are inspirational, our bloggers revealed the reality of what a lived-in family kitchen really looks like, behind the careful cropping.

Yes, kitchens can create the perfect backdrop for those Insta-worthy food photos, but the main function of this family space should be for having fun and preparing meals that the whole family can enjoy.


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A kitchen lived in

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