Hi everyone! As I mentioned in my 2017 house goals, one of the areas I want to tackle this year is the kitchen. When we moved in (over 10 years ago), the kitchen was the first room we renovated. It had asbestos-clad walls, non-mouse-proof cupboards and nowhere near enough bench space or storage.
We gutted it down to the studs and started again from scratch. To save (loads of) money, we bought a second-hand kitchen in the local classifieds for $1000. (Rich people are crazy – getting rid of a perfectly good kitchen like that!) Best decision ever – we saved about $10k by buying second-hand and installing ourselves. The cupboards were structurally in great condition and the doors were solid American oak (which I remember seemed super fancy at the time). We separated the cupboards from each other and played around with the space until we had optimal configuration for our kitchen.
Dad helped us build the most beautiful jarrah benchtops (made from jarrah rafters that were recycled from a demolished house). Our “new” kitchen already had a long history, which makes it extra special.
We didn’t have quite enough for all the upper cupboards so we bought glass-doored Ikea cupboards that complimented the style of the other doors.
(This is the most recent photo I could find of our kitchen … taken about 4 years ago. Whatever, you get the idea. Our child isn’t in some kind of weird timeout – he’s making us coffees. Hmm, that sounds just as bad, doesn’t it.)
So that’s the long-winded back story to our current kitchen. I love our kitchen … but my love is only skin-deep. I don’t love what’s inside. Each and every cupboard and drawer needs attention.
Luckily, last year I happened to stumble upon Megan’s Conquer Your Kitchen 5 week email course. Megan breaks down your cluttered kitchen into five manageable areas and focuses on one area each week. You receive practical instructions, tips and tricks, printable planners/checklists and loads of inspirational links. And the best part of this 5 week course … it’s FREE. (I’m not being compensated in any way to say this – I just really enjoyed this FREE course! Plus you can opt out of the emails at any time.)
You’re supposed to transform your kitchen over 5 weeks but I know that’s not achievable for me (because … kids) so I’m not even going to try. I’m a firm believer in “it takes as long as it takes”. Which is probably why it takes me forever to finish a project.
Let’s get onto some kitchen inspiration, shall we?
Cristina solved the problem of her narrow yet deep pantry by adding pull-out shelves. Currently, our narrow, deep pantry is a hot mess. I have no idea what’s at the back. I’m clinging to the idea of pull-out shelves like budgie-smugglers on a fat man. This is going to be a game changer, especially for putting shopping away, since I currently just shove the new pantry items in at the front (completely destroying Emma’s firm food motto of “first in, first out”).
This pull-out Tupperware organiser retails for $270. For real?? Well, that’s not a realistic figure for our household. I’m fairly sure I can whip one up for a few bucks. It might not look as perfect as this one, but anything will be better than our current system of flinging everything in and then rummaging through the pile whenever we need a tub for leftovers.
This article on Unusual Kitchen Cabinet Designs shows how wooden crates were used to store vegetables. I’m still not sure if I want to do crates, baskets, wire mesh … either way I want to build some kind of tiny yet gorgeous root cellar inside a cupboard.
All my drawers need DIY drawer dividers. I’ll channel my inner Oprah – “YOU get a drawer divider! And YOU get a drawer divider!”
I love the look of well-styled open shelving in the kitchen, but I know it wouldn’t work for our family. Within seconds those shelves would be full of lego, school paperwork, can openers, pens and ten thousand other little pieces of crap I put out of reach from my 2 year old on a daily basis. However, I am considering adding a small shelf to contain our tea and coffee.
So that’s my kitchen plan. Our kids are 2, 4 and 6 years old at the moment which means that while I’m hoping to knock these kitchen projects out quickly, realistically it’s likely to take several months. Good thing you’re not in a hurry, right?