Last year I started clearing out items in our home that we really didn't use and one of the areas that I try and keep clutter free is our kitchen and dining room area. How many of you know someone that keeps all those plastic grocery sacks or even those plastic containers that used to hold food? Maybe that is you and your mind set is that you will eventually use those items one day. When will that day come? Yes, you many eventually use one or two of the items that you have stored but what about the space it consumes in your cabinets? I am not one of those who keeps all those extras around because all the various kinds of clutter makes it harder to keep a clean home and to keep our home organized.
Our island is the hub of the kitchen. All of our dishes that are used on a daily basis are stored in this area. There are several ways that our family of six functions in our home so that the kitchen stays clean throughout the day and the counters remain clutter free.
1. Each child has their own cup. This saves on a lot of dishes because they use their cup throughout the day and at the end of the night it gets washed and dried to be used the next day.
2. We do the dishes after every meal. With a larger family it would be easy to get very overwhelmed if we did the dishes only once a day. We do not own a dishwasher and so all dishes are hand washed. Not owning a dishwasher was a personal choice because we actually had one in our home and I opted to have it taken out. I found that I could wash the dishes, dry and put them away faster than I could load and unload the dishwasher and it saves on electricity.
3. Many hands make light work. Each child helps in some way after meals with clean up. It may be as simple as putting food away, helping wash dishes or clearing off the table. I love our kitchen island and how that even our youngest daughter who is 7 can help put things away. Having the island open with all the dishes visible is also a great way to ensure that items stay organized and looking pretty.
Our kitchen island was a find off of a local Facebook for sale site. I wish I had the original photo because this was stained a terrible orange color and didn't have the shelves on the inside or the trim around the edges. I added the trim, shelves and painted it white. I often wonder how I lived without such a functioning piece in our home.
As a mother I cook a lot. It seems like I finish one meal and they are ready for a snack or hungry again in such a short amount of time. That all comes with being a mother, right? One of my favorite areas in our home is the open shelving for all those items that I use a lot. I love having everything visible and can easily identify if I am about out of certain staple in our home. This is an easy way to keep all of my basic baking needs easily available.
As we continue to remodel our home this is one of the areas that will be seeing a change this spring. These cabinets are original to the home and they are so cheap. We currently store all of our groceries in those cabinets. The plan is to rip all of this out and completely enclose the area with sliding barn doors. Once that is done there will be shelving so that all of our grocery items are easily stored. Function meeting beautiful design is something that I am really looking forward to as we prepare to transform this space. This is just a good temporary solution until that happens.
One of the most frequent questions I get about the storage jars is about the contents going stale. These jars do not seal but we use the contents quickly enough that I don't have to worry about that. The labels are from a craft store and then I hand wrote the contents.
The other side of kitchen island has two rustic style barstools. I often wish I had a bit bigger island as many times all 4 children want to sit here. I think one of the greatest things about this space is the times that I get to be in the kitchen and one of the children is sitting here either helping me or chatting about whatever may be on their mind. I love numbers and you will regularly see them throughout various areas of our home. I painted the numbers 79 and 81 on these barstools and they represent the years that my husband and I were born.
Our dining room is very simple. I lean towards a minimalist style but I also believe in surrounding myself with items that I love. I collect Ironstone pitchers and crocks which can be seen on top of the vintage cabinet. The wood crates hold a little more of Ironstone collection. I really love quality items and therefore I have switched over to a lot of 100% linen in our home. I never knew that linen had so many wonderful qualities such as being naturally anti bacterial so I often have linen towels out on hooks or laying on the shelves. Not only are they pretty but they serve a purpose as well.
Cutting boards are another useful item in our kitchen area and they are so pretty hanging on hooks. We use them to not only cut vegetables on but also use them on the table to sit hot pans on. Hanging them keeps them within easy reach and they serve as a decorative accent when not being used. The white and gray striped linen towel is made and sold in my Etsy shop.
Our home is a continued work in progress and as we continue to work with a cash only remodel the work can feel so slow. However keeping a clutter free functioning area is important to me as is creating beauty with what you currently have. You don't need a lot to create a warm and inviting space. So much of this space is from antique stores and while I pass up so many items I love because of their high prices I continue to seek out those deals that are to good to pass up. Our kitchen table and chairs is the only items that we purchased brand new other than several of the linen towels and I make most of the ones that we have now.
This space has really transformed since we purchased our home. To see more before photos of this space click here.