Function Over Form

I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to make more decisions in our home that are about what works best for us and our lives than about what I think is “right” or where something looks best.

And so I’ve made some changes in our kitchen.  They’ll seem like small potatoes to the average Joe, but I think they’ll make a difference in our daily lives.  You see, Cute Husband and I have taken up cooking as a hobby whereas in the past we saw it as simply a necessity in our lives.  As a result, I’m realizing how often I’m unnecessarily criss-crossing the kitchen, or tearing through drawers searching for something while I’m in the middle of a recipe.

My big project today was tackling our spice rack and spice cabinet.  Our cabinet was overflowing and we had a rack out on the counter.  I’ve had this spice rack for ten years and while I love it, it came labeled and filled and at least half of the 21 tubes were for things I never used and still don’t.  So I was regularly going through and replenishing what we used, but had a cabinet filled with all the other spices my recipes required.  Why, oh why, have I been a slave to what some random person at Dean and Deluca decided were The Spices for so long?  So I made a list, grabbed my full sheets of sticker paper and went to the computer.  After washing and drying, and utilizing my handy dandy funnel, I went from this ~

and this ~

to this ~

and this ~

No more having to pull down 8 jars to find the one I want!  Woo Hoo!  And my test tubes are all clean and shiny and filled with things we actually use!

And we made some other changes too.  Our home is almost 100 years old, and while the kitchen has been renovated, it still has the original floor plan, small size and broken up areas.  This is really the one stretch of countertops we have upon which to do any food prep.  So I was always having to cross over with spices and knives to work.  Totally illogical, right?  We’ve also found now that we’re cooking so much more, that we need a lot more of our cooking utensils out and easily accessible, so I purchased two large crocks so we can grab them without fumbling through messy drawers {fyi ~ they were a HUGE bargain at Marshalls – Williams Sonoma sells these for $36-$50 each and I got them for $14.99 each ~ score!}.  Finally, I relocated our big mixer.  We now make a lot cookies and bread and pie doughs from scratch, and really need all the space at the baking counter to roll things out.

Here’s before {you can see the full kitchen tour here}:

And now here’s the after:

I’m getting over having things like cutting boards out and easily accessible and LOVE having my knives right by the space where I cut {which is so much safer than crossing the room with a huge knife with kids and a puppy often running through!}.  And because we keep our utensils in a drawer in our butler’s pantry, it makes so much more sense to have the glass of spoons right out at the stove for tasting as we cook.

I moved the fruit over to our other sink where the kids can still reach it with no problem.  So now all my kids ~ two and four legged ~ have their treats in the same place!

Alright, so what have you done lately in your homes to make life more sensible and work better for you?  Leave me a comment and tell me about.  Maybe I’ll steal your great idea! 🙂

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12 Responses to Function Over Form

  1. audrey ayers says:

    I set up a set of 4 shelves in my laundry room. I have 4 kids. Each child has a huge laundry basket on their shelf. I wash, dry, fold and sort all clothes into the correct basket….and that’s it. If they put them away, great. If not, fine. I’m happy to have the laundry off my couch or dining room table. 🙂

  2. Myrna says:

    LOVE your ideas! I’m stealing some of them.

    I actually spent the day today in my little girls room. I switched them from a queen sized bed to bunk beds — kinda breaks my heart (because I love to see them all snuggled up together), but I think they need a little more space from each other. I also purged a TON of toys and clothes they won’t wear. And organized. Everything.

    Their room is gorgeous. I might take it over. The rest of the house took a huge hit, since three of the kids were home today. Oh well. It’s not all supposed to be clean at once, right?

  3. Anna says:

    Love it!!!! We have the same dean and deluca spice rack. What kind of program did you use to print on the stickers? Do they sell those dot stickers like they do the addreess label kind??? I might have to head to the office supply store now! Great idea!

  4. feltsocute says:

    I simply typed them up in Word {I used Arial Narrow in 9 pt}, leaving plenty of space, printed them on an Avery full sheet label {from Staples or Office Depot} and then used a circle punch {3/4″ is the size already on the D & D tubes, so that’s what I used}.

  5. Paige says:

    I love that you are living in your home! I have been making an effort to do the same. Your kitchen is beautiful and functions. What more could you ask for?

  6. Terri says:

    I think that is a brilliant solution 🙂

  7. Jenn says:

    I’m in love with your kitchen! Our homes are about the same age, but my kitchen hasn’t been upgraded to so nearly a nice level. I’m so jealous of your dish drawers! We’ll be due for new washer and stove soon, so maybe I can put in a plea for one of those!

  8. Jenn says:

    I LOVE your kitchen! I love the green, white and black. Very cool.
    Nice job reorganizing. When we first got married, that was one thing my MIL taught me – how to make stations in the kitchen. I have really appreciated that advice.

  9. feltsocute says:

    I have to confess that the dish drawers aren’t the end all, be all, I thought they’d be 😦 . They make me feel like I’m doing dishes twice as often, and bigger things don’t fit as well. If they ever die, I’ll replace them with a standard one, I think.

  10. Amanda says:

    wow ou have a beautiful kitchen! love the green!

  11. Terri says:

    Wow! You are so smart! I have the exact same problem with my spices and I never thought of that. That’s on my to-do list now. Thanks!

  12. Scotti O. says:

    OMGosh I love your kitchen!

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