1. MAKE EVERYTHING BOTH FUNCTIONAL & BEAUTIFUL- I am happiest in beautiful spaces, but with limited space, functionality is the name of the game. In my kitchen every component of the space must be both functional & beautiful. Our kitchen features open shelving & I decanter bulk items & ingredients to limit the clutter that often comes on packaged goods. This makes our shelving spaces feel more organized & less busy. We think functionally about every corner of space in our kitchen so fruit is housed in a bowl on our dining table & linen napkins are folded in a wire crate on an open shelf creating both a beautiful & functional detail to the space.
2. GO VERTICAL- When we remodeled our kitchen we decided that open shelving would not only make our kitchen feel more spacious & our ceiling feel taller but it also helped us make better use of the vertical space (our cabinets had a lot of “dead” space between them & the ceiling). Our pot rack came with us from our 600 sq. ft. apartment & is the perfect way to use a space that would have otherwise been empty plus it makes our pots & pans even more accessible than if they were stacked on top of each other in a cabinet (our rack is by Cuisinart). We take advantage of all vertical space—from hanging plants & mugs to a basket of staple produce like onions, garlic & potatoes nestled on top of the refrigerator.
3. LIGHT & BRIGHT- After working through every room of our house & painting them all on our own my husband finally understands that light spaces feel more open. For me that means white walls. I like to decorate with color & I find that white walls allow me to do so freely. Recently we added a white linen tablecloth (from Magic Linen) to help open up our dining space even more, the light in the afternoon pours into the room & bounces off the table making the room feel much larger than it actually is. This is especially perfect for times when our spaces are filled with dinner guests or party attended.
4. LIMIT EXCESS- We have to be very thoughtful about every item in our kitchen in order to manage organization & clutter. While I would LOVE to have a waffle maker, it’s just not feasible for how much space it would take to store & how infrequently I would use it. If an item is not something we would use almost daily, at the very least, weekly, then it’s not something we can afford the space for at the moment. Knowing that helps me make very thoughtful decisions about what we bring into our home & what we have kept in our home.
5. KEEP SURFACES CLEAR- With the exception of our KitchenAid stand mixer everything on our countertops is used daily (yes even our VitaMix). We have limited counter space so things like knives, that used to be stored in a knife block on the counter, now live on a magnetic strip behind the stove making them just as accessible but without taking up counter space to prepare meals on.
And speaking of surfaces, our dining room table used to be a HUGE culprit to clutter. There are a few ways we attacked this:
+ Get real with your stuff & your clutter. If you have items that don’t have a home then they either need a home in your house or to find a new home outside of your house. The more stuff you have that you don’t need, the more stuff will accumulate where it doesn’t belong.
+We started eating meals at the dining room table. In doing so I never wanted to sit down for a meal with stuff on the table, so now by nature we keep it clear or clear it off before we enjoy a meal.
If you keep up with me on Instagram then you likely know that I spend a lot of time in our kitchen. Our kitchen is quite small by modern kitchen standards (our home is from 1926!) but with the use of these hacks I have never felt limited in my kitchen & I feel happy & at peace while I’m in there. If you are in any type of space, I hope these hacks serve you well & help you on whatever lifestyle destination you are working towards.