Making Your Kitchen Work for You — (& a FREE GIVEAWAY!!)

Good morning! It’s Monday and that means…a brand new week is beginning! Yesterday, (if you follow us on Facebook) I posted this photo –

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…and I shared how thankful I am for this little beginning to my day. Coffee service is full of everything needed for a delicious morning cup of hot coffee, napkins right there beside the coffee maker, a box of scripture promises to read one-for-the-new-day each morning. It’s all right there…no searching for sweetener packets, digging for teaspoons, walking to the other side of the kitchen to the pantry to pull our paper napkins. No, instead that little corner of our kitchen “works” for me, and not “me working in my kitchen” just to have a simple cup of coffee.

That is what this post is going to encourage us to do…(me included because I am REALLY seeing the importance of having a home (starting in the kitchen) that is more than just pretty and clean, but a kitchen that “works for us” and not the other way around.

So, let’s do this – let’s take inventory of that one HUGE HUB of our home – the gathering place – the kitchen. How do we take inventory? Well, I’m not talking about counting to see how much of things we have, but instead let’s take inventory of how the spaces (cabinets, drawers, countertops and pantries) are utilized.

Open every cabinet in your kitchen. Then stand back and look – what do you see? One thing that really helps is to open all the cabinets and then take a picture. Lay all the pictures out in front of you and look at everything in one dimension. You will see much clearer that way.

Is there TOO MUCH? That is always the first question to ask. Is the kitchen more of a storage room in your house, or it is a “kitchen?” Remove everything in the cabinets that does not need to be there – 1) make a new home for crafts, crayons, coloring books, etc. 2) place tools in a tote and take them to another location 3) beauty supplies can go to the bathroom 4) stationary, thank you cards, etc. need to go  — literally determine that the kitchen is going to hold “kitchen supplies” — BUT, after we have set up the new flow for all things kitcheney, IF there is leftover space in cabinets or drawers that you feel could be used to hold other items, then we can always come back and add that “function” to the space. For example, after we have set up the kitchen to work for you, if there is a cabinet space left and you’d like to have a mini-craft cabinet for the kiddos, then there you go. BUT first, the kitchen needs to be organized and created to WORK for the family as a functioning “kitchen.” Make sense?

Look at the cabinets near/next to the oven. Are those cabinets storing the items an oven utilizes? Pans, cookie sheets, oven mitts? Is there a drawer below the oven? If so, could it store baking needs like measuring cups, mixing bowls, etc.?

Cabinets near the dishwasher. Are they the spot where dishes and glasses can be easily unloaded and stored?

Really give the kitchen inventory on usage, and set up a flow to the kitchen that will work best for the family and can be easily maintained.

Then, consider some of these ideas IF it will help your kitchen work more efficiently. These next tips come with a price tag, but in the long run, can help keep things so much more organized and tidy.

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Tip #1 – If you have children, this is just perfect! Rip is adding this to our cabinets because, well, I’m not a child but sure do need it! haha! If anyone wants to join me in the kitchen, it’s just a cabinet-away to find these handy measurements! But if you want to find the decals for the door, you can go to DIY Crafts Magazine.

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Tip #2 – If you look closely, all this is is added trim to the inside of the drawer, with one lower piece of trim running down the middle. The lids of the spice jars are resting on that (looks like a 1/2 inch) piece of wood. Investing in spices jars may add a little to the “organizing budget” but with 20% at Bed, Bath & Beyond, or even shopping on Amazon, you can find these fairly inexpensively. But what I like is that the spices are RIGHT NEXT TO THE STOVE TOP. So often when we are cooking we need to dash a little of this, or sprinkle a little of that…and we walk and walk to the opposite side of the kitchen OR we walk to a pantry to gather our spices. But if we want a kitchen that works for us, this is how to do it! Keeping those things we need close by the places we typically need it the most. To read more about this drawer visit, Princess Pinky Girl.

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Tip #3 – I have my utensils in a galvanized divider tray right next to our stove top, but I know many homemakers rather not have their utensils out on the counters. So, here is a great option. Taking any space that may be next to the stove/oven and create a pull-out utensils holder. This is one of the tricks Interior Inspirations adds in kitchen remodels because it’s rather inexpensive and it simply rolls on a drawer track. To found out more about this, visit This Old House.

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Tip #4 – I know! You saw this and said, “Oh Stop it!! That is what I NEED!” Haven’t you gotten so tired of pulling everything out of that pantry closet, organized it, put it all in cute little containers, totes, baskets, etc. and only a few days later found that it’s just an all jumbled mess again? This is the solution! Bring ALL that closet air space under your control by adding pull out drawers. Then you can group everything in your closet pantry by categories (baking, snacks, canned goods, soups, etc.) but when you need something, you don’t have to “enter into the closet” but you bring the closet to you.  Brit Morin is where you can find this idea and even more space saving suggestions, like the next one – Tip #5.

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Tip #5 – You know what?….I’m going to let this speak for itself 🙂 Totally makes sense!

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Tip #6 – We are living in the day where THIS is how a cookbook holder looks. Pull up a recipe off one of your favorite blog posts and then what? Where do you place your phone, your tablet? This is the place! Is it not the cutest?? This little Stak Ceramic Kitchen Dock is just what you need to hold some utensils, but to hold your recipe right in front of you while whipping it together!

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Tip #7 – But for all you handy-homemakers…this is just as simple yet as perfect as you can get! Love how the pegs can be moved based on the thickness of the cookbook. Great idea from Esty.com 

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Tip #8 – If you have some french country, traditional, cottage feel to your style of kitchen, then here ya’ go! (yes, I see the edge to a lazy susan in the photo…love it!!) But this little cook book holder is just one pretty little piece for your countertop and light weight enough to tote it to where you need to go. Check it out at joybobo.com

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Tip #9 – You may be wondering why I inserted this little tip in “making a kitchen work for you.” It’s because of this — when you think of a kitchen, so often there are many elements to that one room that makes it work for the entire family. And that can mean a variety of tastes, too. But if there was ONE room in the home that (I believe) feels so warm and inviting the most when it is rather “eclectic” it’s the kitchen.

When you bring into the kitchen texture, color, shapes, finishes and a variety of styles it can create one very warm environment. This one kitchen has antique bird prints (muted and aged coloring) in black wood frames, with contemporary fabrics on the sofa and french style bamboo chairs. The farmhouse table is stained dark walnut, while the chairs are natural. Blue and white asian dishes placed under a colonial somewhat industrial hanging fixture. To a some, this may seem like a hodge-podge of items grouped together, but to a designer/decorator…this is Eclectic and that tends to speak “story” the most. In other words — are the bird prints a family heirloom? Was the table hand built by a father or husband or friend? Have those chairs been in the family since the 70’s? Did the fixture come right out of grandmother’s kitchen?

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Here’s a little fun for you…look at this photo. In “Comments” tell me what all you see in this photo that is making it eclectic? Read the definition of eclectic again in the other photo and then look closely at this picture. Whoever can tell me the most reasons in how this one space is eclectic, I will give you a 45 minute FREE consultation via phone, email or in person!!

 

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lisa rippy

I’m Lisa Rippy, a happily married woman to my wonderful Rip. We have 5 children and we live right outside of Madison, MS. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a love for all things “homey” from decorating, simplifying, remodeling, organizing and simply turning a house into a "Home Sweet Home." My passion is helping families live the life they long for in the interior of their hearts and homes. It all requires thought, planning and work that Rip and I both love to do! But if there is anything at all I can do to help you and your home life, please reach out to me. Nothing would thrill me more than to inspire YOUR heart and home!

2 Comments

  1. Karen S. on October 3, 2016 at 5:30 pm

    Fun!! I see the painted trim around the window frames. The chairs that are a different style as the farmhouse table. The color of the table. The wood beam in the corner. The jars and big plant on the table. The sconce on the beam. The lamp and scale on the counter. All the comfy pillows. That’s all I found…… 🙂

    • Lisa Rippy on October 3, 2016 at 6:17 pm

      GREAT job girl!! You found quite a bit! Oh, and comments can be posted here or at our Facebook group page – Jennifer Legg posted her comments there – https://www.facebook.com/groups/lisannrippy/

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