favorite things – kitchen

A while back I posted on some of my favorite things (see that post here). That post was more specific to things I like for me. I thought it was fun to share those things and I love reading other blogs that also share their favorite things. SO I figured I try another favorite things post but with a twist… the kitchen edition. Not too exciting, I know, but hey… still fun!

The little things (and usually the most essential):

1. Ikea carries these nifty and colorful scrub brushes. They are only $1.49, I mean seriously, how could you go wrong here? I stock up on these bad boys (and Ikea is a 2 hour drive, one way, for me so it’s months before I can get back to get more). I use these brushes to clean dishes (duh), and I have one in every bathroom, under the sink, for cleaning. I use one for cleaning the eggs too. I just love these dang things. Plastis at Ikea (not a promo here, just my opinion and no I wasn’t paid for this but I wish I was!)

2. Mini colander in fun colors. See my colander in this kitchen post here, it’s an aqua color. I keep it on my sink and it store our fresh eggs. We use our eggs within a week so it’s not necessary to refrigerate them, hence the cute little colander I picked up here. I love the color, I love that it’s metal (easy to clean) and I love that it’s small and fits perfectly on my sink.

3. Glass storage jars. I purchased my jars at Wal-Mart and I have loved them ever since. They look beautiful and add charm to the kitchen. Someday I think it would be stellar to have a pantry full of these, similar to this awesome one here (like an old general store). See my post here about my super awesome glass container.

The Middle Sizers:

4. Pendant Lamps are SOOO great for kitchens! I love pendant lamps. Sure, I really wanted something along the lines of this or this but lets be realistic, I want a lot of things so I need to keep a budget. The Ottava pendant lamp at Ikea totally fits the bill with it’s big design on a low budget, perfect! Eventually I think I may paint these brass but I’m not entirely sure just yet. However, because of the great price I won’t be afraid to try something new with this pendant. I love it.

5. Do I need to say more? Isn’t the Kitchenaid a staple in every kitchen? Well if it isn’t this mixer it is probably one similar. I’ve had my mixer since 2000 and it’s still going strong as day one. My parents bought a white Kitchenaid for my grandmother when I was a kid, 30 years later that thing is still taking a beatin’ and my gram uses it every day.

The BIG ticket Item/Splurge:

6. When we moved into our house it was stripped bare of all the appliances, so a fridge, dishwasher and range were must haves on our list. The hubby does all the cooking and was super stoked that we had natural gas in this home. So we decided that we’d buy a professional gas range. We went cheap on other things to justify our big purchase for the range. I bought the range hood ,and painted it Aqua, at Habitat for Humanity for $5.00! Total steal. See a post on that here. We bought a stainless dishwasher at Costco for under $600 (with a rebate), awesome! And we borrowed a fridge for our first two years, which I painted in chalkboard paint…(update: we have drawer refrigerators in our kitchen now, but please do notice that those DID NOT make my favorites list).  And because I like to think of myself as somewhat thrifty, I scowered craigslist and found a professional appliances resale store in Phoenix (a 2 hour drive away). They sell appliances that were floor models from showrooms all over the city and they sell damaged and refurbished appliances too. We paid… wait for it… $1780 for our DCS 30″ professional range. It was a floor model so we scored! It was 2 years old and had never been used {swoon}. We received a 1 year warranty with it too. Such a steal! See here for our stove on sale via the web…. Lets just say we were more than happy to save nearly $3,000!

What’s in your kitchen?

Kitchen Armoire

I have a black armoire. It has two matching sets of bookshelves to compliment the armoire. I saved up my money for months, back in 2008, to purchase the lovely Ballard Design armoire/computer hutch that I so desperately needed wanted. It was a beautiful thing: fitting ever so perfectly into a large open space in our house that was full of ‘open, empty space’. I loved that computer-armoire set as much as anything else (okay, maybe not as much as my kids or husband, etc… but you get the point). It was perfect for doing my photography and design work. I especially loved being able to close the doors and the mess magically went away, POOF, all clean.

Fast forward to our big move in summer of 2010…

Smaller house, not a single spot for my big, beautiful armoire and flanking bookshelves. I thought about separating the book cases but I just couldn’t bring myself in allowing them to part ways… I HAD to find somewhere for my big beast beauty, I JUST HAD TO! Game on!

Here is a hint… look and see if you can guess where I decided to put that armoire AND those book shelves:

See the **HINT** ??

I know, that is where the refrigerator is suppose to go, but hey… who needs a fridge when they have a beautiful computer armoire (with matching book shelves) that they saved their $$ for for MONTHS? Frigde, smidge! I got this covered.

And here is how I explained it to my husband:

Needless to say, he wasn’t really on board. Guess I can’t blame him.

But lets fast forward to present day… wood floors are in, cabinets are painted (and a lot of them removed), Ikea butcher block counters, a stove, etc… see how it looks now: (I am patting myself on the back right now)…

Thoughts? Well you may guess what I think… I LOVE IT! Not only does it look great and almost like it was custom built for that space, it is a MAJOR MUTI-TASKER! Double Whammy on this project! I do have to fess up however, the handy hubby did have to cut off the crown moulding on the book cases, on each side, as there was not enough room … it was a sacrifice I had to make… & glad I did!!

Some more eye candy:

These pictures really don’t do it justice… I will take some in the daylight for the kitchen reveal, and it will really show how awesome the armoire looks in this space. And… I can show you where our refrigerator is!

My favorite things about having this armoire computer hutch-turned-kitchen-cabinet…

#1. looks custom, adds style and drama to a dull space

#2. it was free (paid for years ago… see my story above)

#3. it always looks clean, just have to shut the doors

#4. all the extra space we got and being able to hide most of our kitchen appliances (mixer, toaster, microwave, etc)

#5. the little custom items we added: pencil sharpener that pulls out (what use to be the desk top for a key board), cork board, pull out shelf for the mixer.

What do you think?



cute countertop idea

countertopsorganizingI love fun stuff on the counter in the kitchen but I also love the look of a clean, fuss-free counter as well. For me, cute has to also be functional. Our counter space is limited so I need to be careful not to clutter it up.

I have had two, large glass canisters (with lids) for quite some time. Here they are in the kitchen right after we started to get settled in.

I love these glass containers. I purchased them here. I actually went to the store and purchased them, I didn’t have them shipped. Very reasonable price at under $10 each… and that’s how I originally talked myself into buying them (before I even knew what I was going to do with them… bad Heidi!).

I brought them home, and there they sat… oh bother, how was I going to justify my purchase?? I think I have this dilemma too often! I find plenty of stuff that I love and want to have in my home but I am just not sure how or where to use a lot of things I “like”.

One thing I love to do in the kitchen is bake. And I especially enjoy doing it with my boys. My husband does all the cooking (lucky me) and I stick to the baking.

I knew our kitchen would eventually be white and black. I knew I wanted these glass containers on the “limited” counter space in the kitchen and they had to be functional (and used).

Here is what I cam up with {love it}:

EEK!!! I am super excited about these. Aren’t they lovely? One has flour and one has sugar! PERFECT! Okay, I do have to admit that we do most of our cooking with wheat flour, but I wanted white substance in the clear containers so I went with white, whole wheat flour and regular ole’ white sugar.

To top it off and give it an official ‘baking kitchen’ look I purchased these scoops on line. Super deal at $5 each, I couldn’t pass them up.

I am totally smitten with my canisters. They are very functional and the large mouth tops make it very easy for kid access too.


color pop in kitchen

It’s no secret. My house is full of color. My last home was not… isn’t that strange? I guess it seems a little odd to me because going from tan walls and brown furnishings to really light blue walls and bright furnishings is like a complete 360! This home (which we’ve inhabited for 2 years this month), was begging to be lightened up. I couldn’t bear to be drab, and Sunset (that’s what we call our new home) was tired of her traditional, beige/earth tone look, she wanted some spice in her life! And that’s just what we’ve been giving her!

Sunset seemed to talk to me. Our new home wanted a change and just as we found her in our big change from San Diego to Flagstaff, I wanted the some change too… some color, some excitement, some fun surroundings…

That’s where we’ve gone, oh yes, to the next level. COLOR. Hooray! I. Love. Color. Give me more! Sunset is already full of color and I have so many more plans but best of all, I’ve never looked back and I couldn’t be happier with the design choices we’ve made.

It. Was. Meant. To. Be. And I know that moving here and into this house was all “meant to be”. It feels right, like the perfect pair of jeans.

Here is a peak at one of many colorful, fun pops of my favorite home color:

This is the range hood in our kitchen (obviously) and it’s a major focal point. I bought the hood for a mere $5 at Habitat for Humanity. It’s old and it’s loud but it’s got character and I totally love it! I brought it home, scrubbed it down (and I mean I really had to scrub) primed it and painted! TA-DO!! True love {swoon}.

And in case you haven’t seen… here is our lovely kitchen right after we moved in… {so brown}:

Really, it wasn’t terrible. BUT THOSE FLOORS!! Again! The same, lovely 80′s vinyl from the dog room. And so much BROWN. I felt like we were drowning in brown. Brown Cabinets. Brown counters. Brown paint. Brown Carpet.

As you can see (slightly) we have since painted the cabinets white, added some subway tile and if you look really hard, there are black counters. Big changes! Can’t wait to share all those with you too (soon, I promise).

And one more picture just because I can’t leave out how cool the range hood really is! Check out the retro sign on the front of the hood, {swoon}! I love it! Details, it’s all about the details!


Drawer organized

We have one, yes only one, large drawer in our kitchen. In order to make up for the “lack of” drawer space, I keep wooden spoons & rolling pins in a counter top container and other miscellaneous kitchen utencils in another counter top container (so many containers).

Some other things go in the big drawer… only selective, well used items will be staying in the drawer and the “not used” items go to giveaway or trash. TIME TO CLEAN OUT!

My first attempt was a good idea (patting myself on the back right now). I wanted an immediate fix so I decided to collect some box tops to organize my drawer. I found a sample perfume box that was PERFECT, and I used the top from one of my shoe boxes. I was excited how it turned out, it was a perfect, temporary solution to my messy drawer.

However, I wanted something more professional looking for this drawer.

On my next trip to Ikea (which is over 300 miles round trip) I scooped up a drawer organizing kit: Rationell

Little did I know, my one big drawer is a wee bit longer than the Ikea organizer. Bummer!

I did however like the way the Rationell rails looked, so I decided to try and “make it work”.

My solution for those gaps = cardboard! I know, so fancy and totally professional, just what I was going for!!

This has not my best  one of my best moves in the design department but I will say that my drawer is looking 100 times better than it ever has, gaps, cardboard and all. For now, I’m content. For later, I will need to find a better solution that doesn’t include cardboard.