Our kitchen is not large, and therefore does not offer many options for food storage. One way I've worked around this dilemma is to repurpose furniture pieces as food storage areas.
Just this morning we finished "moving in" to one of these repurposed furniture pieces and I quite simply can't believe we didn't do this sooner.
We have needed a designated space for snack items, lunch prep things, plastic utensils, and party items (think birthday candles, candy sprinkles, etc.) for a long time. This hutch sits directly in the midst of our dining/kitchen/living rooms which makes it an ideal storage place for these items. The only thing is, when we tried to use it without adequate shelving, it ended up looking like this:
I'm sorry you had to see that.
Once I decided a couple months ago to build shelving in this space, it quickly became a dumping ground. I justified it by telling myself it was just a matter of time before we solved the problem.
The red teapot and rice cooker ended up in there after I put open shelving in our kitchen, but they never really belonged and simply took up room. They now have a designated space in a hall pantry. We also moved the games down to the family room.
Here's the front of this beautiful hutch. It's been ours for almost 13 years, and it's one of the few pieces Fireman has asked me to please not paint. I originally fell in love with this piece on the JCPenney website, and we waited and waited for a good sale to take the plunge. It was still frightfully expensive to our young married selves. I can still remember the delight and celebration of purchasing a quality piece of furniture back then. It was like we had finally arrived.
The first thing I did was to prime the black interior with SW PrepRite primer, and then I painted two coats of Farrow & Ball's Light Blue. I used a small sponge roller to paint and it went pretty fast. I listened to "The Best of..." Midday Connection reruns while I painted because...well..... I love them, too.
Then, Fireman came home.
And before breakfast was over, I had sketched out my shelving idea on a yellow Post-It pad. Here is our conversation in brief:
Fireman: You want CURVES??
Me: I want it to look pretty. And the curved edges on the shelves will mimic the curves on the front of the doors. It will look like art.
Fireman (defeated): Why must you make everything so hard.....?
And then I went to the store, and I came back, and he had lovingly crafted this:
I couldn't believe how pretty it was. And that it had curves. That he had taken my HARD and made it a reality because he loves me that much. I'm still getting emotional about it while I'm typing. I told him he's an artist because he truly is. He just doesn't want to admit it.
Before supper I primed his beautifully curved shelves, after supper I painted them, and by morning they were ready for move-in.
I split our placemats and table cloths into fall/winter on the left, and spring/summer on the right. I may have to explain this a few times to my staff for proper future placement.
I already had the 2 woven baskets, and I bought the small wooden bins at Michael's for $6 each (all baskets at Micheal's are 50% off right now). I had some adhesive-backed blackboard paper leftover from another project, so I traced around my yellow Post-It notepad to make three squares on the paper, then cut them out to stick on the front of the wooden bins.
I told Fireman I may never close the hutch doors again :)
I will end this post by encouraging you. When I set out to complete these Sixteen Days, I didn't expect the process to be so rewarding. There were so many small areas in our home I had neglected or kept meaning to address, but never seemed to make them a priority. Making a list of all these areas, putting myself on a schedule, and then telling you all about it has not only been motivating, but the unexpected delight is that I get to enjoy the fruits of my labor every.single.day in my very own home.
It feels good to be "watching over the ways of my household" as described in Proverbs 31:27.
For me, it was simply a matter of making a list, having a plan, and getting busy. Let me encourage you by prompting you to take that first step! Make your own list, put yourself on a schedule, and see where it leads. I'll be cheering you on the whole way.