Kitchen Features {that you may or may not love}

If you were able to design your DREAM kitchen, what special features would it include? An island? Pots and pans hanging from the ceiling? Everyone has their preferences, and when we remodeled our kitchen, there were a few characteristics I knew I HAD to have. You may have some of these and not love them as much as I do… so I’m going to show you how I use them in hopes that you may love your kitchen a little more…

1. The Glass Cabinet

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Don’t be afraid of the glass cabinet door! Now I admit, I would not want all of my cabinets to have glass. But having just one can be such a perfect centerpiece to your kitchen. The trick to keeping it beautiful and clean? Fill the top half with items you don’t use often, but have an interesting look to them, whether it’s their color, shape, or something else. Then the bottom half, stick to clean, simple dishes. Mine have all sorts of Fiestaware in them – plain colors, but staggered in different heights. I use these plates every day, but it’s pretty hard to make a pile of plates look messy!

2. The Corner Lazy Susan

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So many people use these for their canned goods or other pantry items. Don’t do it! Those little items can get completely buried in there. Without even turning it, I have all of my saute pans and saucepans on the bottom, ready to use every day right next to my oven. On the top, I have my batter bowl (which I seriously use for EVERYTHING), a can of cooking spray, and a few baking pans. Then in the back, I have some of the pots I use less often – steamer pot, double boiler, etc – and my stack of mixing bowls, etc.

3. The Non-Pantry

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When we were figuring out our new kitchen layout, there was just no room for a full-blown pantry. But let’s be honest…if you have a big pantry, you tend to fill it with random items you rarely use! We just have two shelves dedicated to pantry items, and it helps me be more intentional about the groceries I buy each week. I know it’s not super pretty, but hey, like I said in #1, I don’t keep all my cabinets totally organized!

4. That Tiny Cabinet Above Your Microwave

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This one is always obnoxious, but the best I’ve found is to put items like extra cookbooks up here, since I don’t use them too often. I also put my cutting boards up here vertically so I can easily see them all and grab which one I need.

I hope this helps you love some of your great kitchen features! What other features do you love / hate?

Mudroom {Before & After}

It’s been a while since I’ve given a house update, but don’t worry – we’ve been working! And let’s be honest – it’s the hubby who does the brunt of the work around here. Our latest project (which was supposed to be a “weekend project” but was more like a “month project”) is just about complete. We have this little mudroom that the previous owners added off the kitchen. It’s our main way in and out of the house, and also houses our laundry. I’ll let the pictures do the talking, then I’ll share more details of everything we did…

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The mudroom when we purchased the house (L) …and now (R).

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The mudroom after a little bit of reorganization (L) …and now (R).

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My hand hubby even replaced the screen door and security door, staining them by hand. Nice, huh?

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While I don’t have a great before photo of the old sink, here’s the pretty new utility sink and cabinet the hubster installed.

So in total, here are all the updates we did:

  • Leveled the floor (because it wasn’t before)
  • Tiled the floor to match the kitchen
  • Tore out the old sink, mirror, and shelving unit
  • Patched some major holes in the walls
  • Painted the walls and trim
  • Stained and installed screen door and interior door (and also painted our side porch grey)
  • Installed a new shelf, sink, and cabinet
  • Installed blinds on the window

Phew! Not a weekend project. But I love it now, and plan to add a few more finishing touches as far as decor, like a table under the window and some other little touches. What do you think? Fun, right?

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Kitchen & Dining {Before & After}

I have waited a long time to share photos of our newly remodeled kitchen and dining room! Like with all of our projects so far, I have to give MAJOR kudos to my husband. He gutted our kitchen to the studs pretty much by himself. It’s taken six months, but I finally feel confident saying our kitchen is finished!

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The before kitchen had your classic orange and yellow wallpaper, and dark brown cabinets. There was no dishwasher, so we added one in where the refrigerator used to be. We built a new space for the refrigerator, and built our cabinets all the way to the ceiling. We also added canned lights to the ceiling to brighten things up!

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There was a wall between the kitchen and dining room that we removed, which has really opened up the flow between the two spaces.

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In the dining room, we ripped out carpet, painted the walls, and I took the old yellow cabinet you can see in the above “before” photo and turned it into a china cabinet.

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So tell me what you think of our bright little kitchen!

Here are a few more goodies from the process…Happy homeowning!

Crafting Monday: Desk Space Makeover!

So, when my mom was in town a couple weeks ago, we decided it was time to clean up, reorganize, and cute-ify my desk space, making it an ideal place to do both school work and crafts.  Everything we did was easy and cheap, and it made a world of difference!  Let’s take a look…

Here is the before picture:

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And here is the after…

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Purchases:
Three floating shelves from Target
Three coordinating fabrics
New ribbon
Scrapbook paper
Four embroidery hoops

With all this, plus what I already had, I:
-recovered the seat of my chair
-made simple curtains for my little shelves next to the desk
-covered my silver magnet/pin board with fabric
-put paper in embroidery hoops for the wall
-“ribboned” some jars (and will soon be covering the lids with fabric)
-laid cute piles of fabric and ribbon on my new shelves
-and you may notice, I switched the two side cabinets. Not a big difference but it worked out better for what I wanted (moving the printer farther from the entrance and making more space for the lamp and other items on the left)

Here’s a shot of the shelving section..sorry the lighting was bad!  It was at night but I just had to get some shots to share!

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