Refresh Your Rooms – The Kitchen

Ah, the kitchen. The heart of the home. The busiest room in the house.

So how do you refresh a room that is so well-loved and used? The answer is simple.

Declutter first and then make what’s left prettier.

Allow me go off on a small tangent. I used to be a packrat. I was raised by people who were born or grew up during the Great Depression (read: my folks never threw anything away. Ever).

Now that I have a house of my own, my modus operandi is keep.it.simple.

If I don’t love it or use it regularly, it’s gone. And guess what? I can’t think of one thing that I’m sorry I gave away. In fact, it’s caused me to take a look at what else I can get rid of. It’s also helped me fight the urge to turn around and buy more stuff.

The obvious exception to my rule is seasonal stuff like flip flops and Christmas tree stands. But I’ve even pared that stuff down, too. It’s a sickness I tell ‘ya.

So, if you can’t remember what your kitchen countertops look like, that’s where you should start. There are plenty of books, TV shows and the like out there to tell you how to do it.

Guess what? They all say pretty much the same thing.

Put everything into one of three piles: keep, toss or sell/donate. I actually have a fourth pile for things that really belong in another room.

After you’re done with that, organize what’s left and then clean, clean, clean. A kitchen really needs to be both clean and functional.

Here is my kitchen. Before you ask me if it always looks like this, the answer is a resounding “NO”. That is precisely the reason why I wanted to get it on film!

Put some things away. 

I had too many things above my cabinets. I took away two different vases and suddenly the space seems much lighter. It’s the whole “eliminate and concentrate” thing I talked about in an earlier post. When you eliminate the unnecessary, you can really concentrate on what’s left.

Add a basket.

I read somewhere that you’re not supposed to store bread in the refrigerator because it actually makes it go stale faster. But I didn’t want it sitting out on the counter for two reasons: one is because I don’t have a ton of counter space and the other is because I didn’t think it would look nice.

The solution? I dedicated a basket to all things bread. Sandwich bread as well as hot dog and hamburger buns all found a new home in a basket on top of the fridge. Our boys eat sandwiches every day so the bread never has a chance to get stale.

Fill clear canisters with everyday staples.

I filled two large clear canisters and set them out on the counter near my baking supplies. One holds flour and the other holds sugar. I like these in particular because each will hold a 5 lb bag, which means no more half-used bags taking up space on the top shelf of my fridge. Plus I think they look nice. They were $6.97 each at Walmart.

I did the same thing near the stove. I filled a tall canister with spaghetti and another with rice. I got these at Hobby Lobby. They were originally only $4.99 each, but they happened to be 50 percent off this week. That almost never happens in my world!

Give yourself a little treat.

I bought some of Mrs. Meyer’s hand soap. It smells wonderful and doesn’t dry out my hands. My husband even noticed and said he liked it. I’ve tried the geranium and the basil. Both are great, but I think I like the basil the best.

Add something purely decorative.

The last thing I did in here was hang a white plate on the wall – for no reason other than I like it. I think it goes nicely with my vintage brown bundt pan that my mom gave me years ago. She was going through radiation treatment at the time and wasn’t planning on baking any cakes. Every time I look at it, I think of her in a good way.

Those are some quick and easy ways to freshen up your kitchen.

Next up? The family room.

PS Other posts in this series:

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Published in: on January 7, 2011 at 8:14 am  Leave a Comment  
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