October 19, 2015

Life After Purging: Kitchen


Over the summer I spent some time purging the whole house and one of my favorite spaces that I went through was the kitchen.  The kitchen works hard for me.  All those meals every week add up and digging around cabinets and excess stuff makes the task of cooking that much harder. 


My main aesthetic goal was to have our open shelving be more styled than storage.  While it serves as our everyday dishes storage space, I wanted it to feel more spacious and intentional.  As I mentioned in my dining room post, I ended up downsizing on my cheaper entertaining pieces to make room for storing our wedding dishes.  We do not use the coffee cups or large bowls from our set that often, so I made space in our buffet to store them instead of the open cabinets.


Since the kitchen surfaces are mainly used for cooking, I wanted a clutter free space with just enough pretty so it was not completely vacant.


As I was purging and redecorating, I wanted to fill the space with a common color theme.  While there is plenty of white and stainless steel, I tied in blues to make it feel more like me.


For our Keurig, we run it on a high voltage extension chord to a plug behind the toaster oven.  Here you can see I used nails to hide the extension chord so that I was able to place the Keurig wherever I wanted without a chord showing.


I also incorporated some silver pieces, along with the blue, for a pretty and sophisticated look.


The green inside the cabinets was a color that I chose years ago and has proved to be a kind neutral over time.


Things were not quite balanced until I added this watercolor on the right of the cabinet.  The combination of pink, blue, green, and yellow seemed to bring all the colors together cohesively.  I am always amazed how one item can make such a big difference in pulling everything together!


Another big change I made was that I got rid of my drying rack.  So instead of leaving dishes out to dry on the counter, I now take the extra few minutes to hand dry and put away.  I cannot even begin to explain what a difference this simple change has made!  Having cleared off counters all day is a true gift!  Having the empty counter space makes a significant difference in how the kitchen feels!  And I am not perfect, so it does get cluttered every few days but by mentally choosing to do away with the drying rack has set me up to learn new habits.


Between my red Kitchenaid and colorful Anthropologie mugs, there is just enough color in the space to balance all the white.  I now use the mugs off of my mug tree instead of our wedding set which allowed me to store them until we need them for larger gatherings.


This small storage space was also decluttered where dishes were not crammed between cookbooks.  Everything has a little more breathing room and it makes grabbing dishes a whole lot easier.


Another counter space hog was my compost bowl.  I wasn't ready to give up composting but I wanted to free up the counters.  So I found a new compost bin from World Market and hung it instead.  It is so easy to grab when I need it but has a place off the counters when not in use.


If I could describe our kitchen now I would say it is all about maximizing space in a pretty way.  Everything has a place but on display for easy use as well as to look at.


I downsized on aprons.  It is hard.  But I needed to only keep the ones I loved AND wore.  Because four is still way more than enough for someone who maybe puts one on every few weeks!  I'm trying to be better at wearing them more!


Around the corner of our kitchen, by the bar, is a small hutch we use for storage and to hold our microwave.  It got the same treatment of spaciousness with style.


I tied in the pinks and blues again with a few dishes and another art print.


Inside the cabinets I use Ikea containers and canning jars to store our food.  I try to put most boxed items in a container as it looks better but also helps the contents last longer in a secure container.


Not all the cabinets are that perfect, but you get the general idea.  Sometimes we have an overabundance of marshmallows.  What are you going to do? 


The spice drawer is labeled.  And I got rid of my chalkboard paper so one bowl remains unmatching! 


For the rest of our kitchen drawers, I purged hoping to make them less complicated to sift through.  They are still pretty full but are a lot better than what they were.



The rest of the cabinets hold the rest of our kitchenware.  I didn't take pictures but things are much more neatly stacked and with room in between.  Some days it still feels like we have a lot which amazes me considering how much I know I got rid of.  So when things start to feel full again, even just a few months later, I am encouraged to go through a drawer or two again to reevaluate. 

But I can definitely say that this purge has made a more lasting impact on me long term.  I know what it feels like to have a house with less and I will do my best to continue moving that direction as things come and go throughout the house.

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