Some of you may remember that the number one item on my wish list is a bigger kitchen. Well, that really can’t be crossed off until I move and that’s not going to happen until this summer…but until then, I’ve found and acquired a few things that have made a world of diffference.
I’m short. Very short. Especially without shoes. So the cabinet above the fridge was wasted space for me. I can’t put anything I use regularly up there or I have to live with a stepping stool in front of the fridge permanently. And what good is a fridge if it’s blocked by a stool? So for the past few months, bf has used it as his bar- stashing glassware and alcohol up there that only he uses and can reach.
Just before Christmas, however, one of my family friends gave me this little…chest? cabinet? armoire? I don’t know what you’d call it, but I’m thrilled to have it! Hand-me down furniture is awesome. I literally jumped/hopped/wiggled with excitement.
Right now it stores some drink-related odds and ends in the drawer, and then, as you can see, glassware on top and bottles on the bottom.
Can't you tell he's thinking "what mom? the doors are open- I'm supposed to explore"
It’s absolutely the perfect size for our bar-related stuff, and Winston loves it too.
He's right about to attack the camera in this picture....but I had to show you the mouse!
In fact, he favorite part is the bottom. He loves, to no end, to stash his little mouse underneath it and then watch us use a spatula to get it out (my arm doesn’t fit). Quite the spectacle, I must say.
But I have big plans for this baby (the cabinet). I want to find (which has been no easy process since the measurements are tricky) or make a shelf that goes across only the right side of the bar. Then I can have glassware on top and below the shelf and bottles to the left. Eventually, I’d also like to find a little wall-mounted wine rack that could go above the, let’s stick with cabinet, so only liquor is inside. Oh and for the record, I know I’m crazy about my Winston, but I’m actually crazy about all animals, not just cats. I’ve been known to share my Thanksgiving dinner with a stray cat I then rescued, talk to squirrels, and bury birds who have died by flying into windows. I know this doesn’t make me sound normal, but to me a crazy animal person sounds better than a crazy cat lady, right?
You may be wondering what sort of style my apartment is from this piece of furniture. I’m not usually one to favor flowers painted on the front of wooden pieces. However, due to a recent blog finding that I’m absolutely obsessed with (younghouselove.com), I’m on a bit of a do-it-yourself kick. For years I’ve planned to sand down and stain my light pine dinning set. I’d love to do the same to this piece as well. So once the weather gets a bit warmer and staining outside won’t result in my fingers being permanently stained blue, keep an eye out for a before and after picture!
Anyway, back to the kitchen aspect of this post- after all this blog does concern food or food related items. With the glassware and bottles gone, I can now store items up in the cabinet that I only use once in a blue moon (my knife sharpener, blender, some extra jars that I’ve saved from pasta sauce, an immersion blender, etc.). As a result, what we like to call the “gadget cabinet” is now so much pretty, accesible and results in much less blender falling on my toes- induced swearing.
Second project: Our pan, pot, lid, skillet cabinet. It is a mess. Partly because we have too many pans (bf- if you are reading, I will deny this statement and there is no such thing as too many pans). Perhaps I should clarify. I think each pan has it’s purpose and all are used regularly. However, they really shouldn’t all be stashed in one tiny cabinet with a 1/3 shelf that doesn’t really serve much purpose. So we found a shelf from the Container Store that fits great.
Ok, I admit, still slightly chaotic, but sooooo much better than it was.
As you can see we’ve put our lids and a few small sauce pans on the top shelf, all sorts of skillets on the new shelf, and then the large pots, a huge new skillet (Christmas present, yay!) and my pancake pan on the bottom. Does it look great or what?
Third, and final, project: The pantry. I know everything that is in there, except for some of the extras in the very back of the top shelf. But as I already mentioned, my height limitations make it very difficult to ever see the back of the shelf. Blame my mom. She gave me the height, or lack there of. But anyway, for anyone else that plans to venture into the center section of the pantry, I would fully expect them to close the doors quickly in fear that an assortment of grains, pastas and cans would be able to cascade onto the floor. Part of the problem is that there are about 1,001 bags of different kinds of rice, couscous, barley, quinoa (did you know there are such things as black and red quinoa?), and risotto. I like having options, so I have a lot of grains in stock.
For some of the smaller bags, I was able to use some recycled pasta jars. With the help of some sticky labels, these crazy bags quickly began to shape up.
Aren't they wonderful! Is it weird I'm so excited about jars?
But for some of the larger bags, a small jar wasn’t cutting it. What to do? I didn’t like the idea of buying a bunch of new storage containers, cause let’s be honest, I’m on a budget and new storage containers can really be a slippery slope. Well, yesterday I dropped some stuff of at Goodwill and decided to take a peak inside, just for kicks. I found these two awesome antique-looking mason jars for $1.96 a pop. That’s right, one dollar and ninety six cents. I couldn’t beat that if I tried. If they had had more than two, they would have been mine too. A quick soak and wash once I got home, and they are now the proud holders of risotto and quinoa!
Yay for organization! Do you guys have any good kitchen storage ideas? Please share!