Last week I wrote about some basic kitchen organization tips. Today I want to show you how I implemented them into my own kitchen. For reference, the above photo is the view of the kitchen from the doorway to the dining room. To the right of the kitchen is the dining nook which we converted into an office (you'll see this in later pictures). Our kitchen window faces out to the backyard.
On the opposite side of the kitchen is the family room/play room where the kids play.
I love the layout of my kitchen! One problem, however, is that it is functionally a hallway from the family room to the rest of the house. Therefore I am always having to be super careful about carrying hot things to and from the stove. Also, the ovens are right on the corner from the dining room which means the kids can't see if they're open before they come tearing around the corner. The pantry is to my left--unfortunately I neglected to get a picture. Click on the pictures to enlarge them.
I love that there are cupboard doors on the back of the lower cupboards. This makes it a lot easier to get things in and out of the back corner spaces. In my old kitchen, I just didn't keep anything in these types of spaces because it was almost impossible to get out.
To be a successful home cook, you don't have to have a state-of-the-art kitchen. These are the original, 30-year-old ovens. The clock and timer don't work, they aren't calibrated properly, and they aren't insulated like they should be, but they still let me make some very delicious meals. The cook top was replaced by a previous owner. Yay for gas! Unfortunately, the igniters don't work so I use matches to light the burners.
I know if I put anything in the cupboards above the fridge, it will never get used. So I just left them empty.
When choosing where to put things, I debated for a while between this bank of cabinets and the ones opposite that contain the dishes. I settled on putting the cups here because it is close to the fridge where you would get the milk to fill the glasses. Also, having the dishes on the other side in my serving zone made sense.
Ideally, the microwave would be above the stove. But my kitchen was built before microwave/hoods were being made so there isn't room. It would require a bit of carpentry and tile work. I keep the sharp kitchen tools in the drawer right next to the sink because that is almost always where I am standing when I am working in the kitchen. That way the kids can't get into it and hurt themselves.
We compost as much as we can--throughout the day, it goes into the old Halloween bucket on the counter then gets taken out at night. I got rid of my dish drying rack years ago and haven't regretted it a bit. I just use towels to lay my dishes on. They are easier to keep clean and take up much less space. Since I took this picture, we have done away with paper towels to save money and reduce waste so the holder is no longer taking up space on the counter.
As I mentioned in last week's post, I like to keep things where I use them. For that reason, I have a set of hot pads in the drawer under the toaster oven in addition to the ones next to the regular oven. My counter-top appliances are not all in their proper zones. Remember, work with what you have. Because of the openness of my kitchen, I have limited outlets so my appliances have to go where I can plug them in.
Here you can see the dining nook that we turned into an office. We just don't need a dining room and dining nook. And don't worry, we're not involved in any illegal activity--those lamps are for our pet tortoise, Theophilus.
This photo of Keanna and Theophilus was taken about two years ago. They have both grown a lot since then.
Another one of those great doors on the back of the cupboard. Though I usually have to wade through the toys to get to it.