Tag Archives: kitchen

Kitchen Shelving Reveal!

I am so excited to finally show you some pictures of our newly reconfigured refrigerator wall!  Over the last month or so, we took down all the existing cabinets on that wall to make room for a new refrigerator.  All two cabinets and some shelves, so it wasn’t a huge deal.  But we had just moved the cabinets up and caulked them a few months before, so it was sort of a big deal. ha.

Anyway, here is our current and hopefully longer-lasting rendition!


IMG_6667 IMG_6669

Moving from the original single upper cabinet over the base cabinet to this setup has increased our storage space exponentially.  It allows me to display the platters and plates that don’t fit in a normal cabinet.  I find I use them a lot more when they aren’t packed away in the back of the pantry closet.

IMG_6670 IMG_6671 IMG_6678 IMG_6681 IMG_6686 IMG_6689A few things to note if you are considering something like this for yourself:

1. You might want to consider buying a pipe threader and cutting your own pipes, depending on your own arrangement.  All of the little pieces add up and can get expensive

2. All of the threads aren’t the same, so it was hard to get things as tight as we wanted.

3. Look around for pieces without labels taped to them! After completing the entire project, we found that one store had pipe pieces in bags, so you wouldn’t have to try to take the stickers off of each piece.  As you might have noticed, we are still working on getting those stickers off!

4. Our project cost around $300.  We used 1/2 inch pipe and fittings and 2 x 12 douglas fir for the shelves.  The microwave shelf was custom joined to be 16 inches deep. We used Minwax oil based wood finish in Classic Gray 271.

If you have any questions, leave them in the comments and I will do my best to answer them!  Check back later this week for some tips on living with open shelving.


Details: Amazing Tile Refresh

Could your tile floors use some attention? Maybe the grout is too light, too dark, or an outdated color.  If your tile is still in good shape, you have a few options that can make a big difference in the look of your tile floors.

One of my clients had tile installed in their kitchen and dining area about 15 years ago, and chose a terra cotta grout.  Over the years, their tastes have changed and they were wanting a lighter color without so much contrast between the tile and the grout.

One option is to remove the existing grout entirely and replace it with new grout.  If your grout is in good condition though, a much easier option is to clean and paint it.  Since their grout was not cracking or chipping, my clients decided to try out the relatively new grout paint and sealer.

To prep the grout for painting, it was first scrubbed with a mixture of lemon juice, vinegar and baking soda.  They used 7 cups water, 1/3 cup lemon juice, 1/4 cup vinegar, and 1/2 cup of baking soda. Apply it liberally to the tile and grout and let it  sit for 15 minutes, then scrub with a brush.  If you just want to clean your floors, you can stop at this step, because it is amazing!

The directions on the grout paint say to use an acid cleaner before applying the paint, so you might decide you want to do that.  My clients decided the acid from the vinegar and lemon juice was good enough for them, and less toxic.

To apply the paint we used flat craft brushes.  We found the size 6 brushes to work the best for us, but it would depend on the width of your grout.  We just poured a bit of paint onto a plastic lid and applied it to the grout lines with the brush and let it dry.


The whole process was a bit time consuming, but not as much as chipping the grout from between the tile would have been.  And the results were amazing.  We chose a medium gray color, and it brightened up the look of the entire kitchen and dining area.  Instead of pulling out the orange colors from the tile, like the terra cotta colored grout did, the gray grout picks up on the subtle gray colors in the tile.


Now that my client’s floors are now more neutral, they are working on reupholstering their dining room chairs in a cheery bright red.  One small change in the flooring has allowed them to make some much-desired updates in the rest of the kitchen and dining area.



If you have some tile with grout that could use a fresh look, give some grout paint a try!  It is an inexpensive update that brings a significant change to your flooring.

The Uncluttered Life: Kitchen Continued

I cannot even begin to tell you how awesome it feels to have our kitchen cleaned and organized!  I finished the cupboards and tackled the countertops early this week, and it was a full day job (with two little messers and lots of play breaks).  I feel so much less stressed that I am even more committed to keeping the clutter out.

I put everything that was using the kitchen as ‘limbo-land’ back in it’s proper place, and found places for things that used to reside on the countertop.  I decided the mixer wasn’t used enough to warrant a permanent place on the counter, even though I loved the cheery red color.  Having it in the corner just seemed to attract more items to want to congregate with it!  Into the lower cabinet it went, fitting in nicely with the red crock pot.  The only things on the counter are the Keurig and our kombucha brew. The kombucha is waiting for a hidden spot in the pantry, because really, it’s not the most beautiful thing to look at.

I am embarrassed to show you the ‘Before’ photos of my counters, but in the name of keeping it real and knowing that there are others out there just like me who are ‘creatives’ with a thousand things going at once, here they are:

I forgot to take photos before I put the mixer away…

And now the ‘Afters,’ our Fresh Start.

For those of you who love a true Before and After, here’s a comparison of when we moved in and how it looks now…


Lots of changes, and it feels like us.  Now that we can see the counters again, I have plans to resurface them.  But for right now, I am going to enjoy the simple feeling of clean and organized.


Kitchen Update

It has been awhile since I updated you all on the kitchen progress.  Over the past year, we have been working on making our kitchen/dining area function for our family.  Our kitchen, dining table, main entrance and basement access are all located within this 15’-6” x 10’-4” space, so we have been coming up with Small Space Solutions to work with what we’ve got.  If you are just joining me on the blog, see our Pot Rack, the Fruit Basket, and the Microwave and Hall Closet ideas.  We also took out an upper cabinet and installed some open shelves, along with a row of coat hooks and a sliding door.  Here is the microwave in it’s current home:

All of these solutions have really helped our kitchen accommodate our little family much better, which brings me to a few more tips on updating your kitchen relatively quickly and somewhat painlessly.

1. Clear out unused items.  Go through cupboards and drawers, and be ruthless.  Decide how many spatulas and rolling pins you really need, and get rid of the rest.  When your drawers aren’t cluttered up with excess stuff, you will be able to quickly find things you need, and it will be easier to put them back in the correct spot.

2. Arrange according to function.  If possible, locate items in cupboards according to the function of the space.  If a section of the countertop is frequently used for baking, locate all baking supplies in the cupboard above the counter.  That way it is readily available when needed.  It is also convenient to locate frequently used dishes and utensils close to the dishwasher and sink.  They can be unloaded directly into their spots with minimal movement around the kitchen.


3. Update cabinetry.This isn’t a super quick update, but it is relatively simple and has a big impact.  I recently painted my basic cabinetry and added hardware to the cupboards and drawers.  I chose white because all of our appliances are white, and because the kitchen is very small and I wanted to keep it looking clean and bright.  Adding handles and drawer pulls where none existed has made the biggest difference as far as function. *all remaining pulls have been added since the photo below was taken.*  I also used the same pulls for drawers as well as cupboards, and chose to center the pulls on the bottom edge of the upper cabinets.  I love how they look and they are very easy to open.

4. Look for unused or wasted space.  We recently added labeled baskets above our upper cabinets for extra storage.  It really helps with overflow from our pantry closet.  We also moved some white dishes from the pantry to above the cabinets.

5. Paint the walls a happy color.  Since you likely spend a good amount of time in the kitchen, choose a color that is reflective of you and your family.  To make our small kitchen/dining space seem larger, we have painted it a bright and light gray.  This also allows me to use pops of color in art and other kitchen accessories.

6.  Change out your accessories.  A new dish towel or two will go a long way in sprucing up your kitchen.  Decorative mixing bowls displayed on a shelf, a fun patterned rug, simple curtains, or new chair pads are all simple and quick ways to help make your time spent in the kitchen a lot more fun.

Go ahead, rethink your kitchen a bit.  See if you can make a few changes and add some zest to your space.