Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Free Day No. 1 - The Kitchen

Emily headed back to school today, and Laura went back yesterday, so that makes today my first "free day".

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my girls, and I LOVE the holidays, but since about 4th January (when Steve went back to work) I've been aching to tidy the house and calm things down a bit. Even I can only cope with so many books, craft projects, DVDs and toys strewn about the place.

But oh while the girls are home, and the weather was warm, and I was a bit sick, and my iPad is too distracting, it was too easy to procastinate!

And then I discovered Lissa's blog, and her kitchen:

It is so clear and uncluttered and light and spacious!

And for the last week I couldn't get it out of my head.

I decided that today was The Day.

So this morning after some grocery shopping I began to tackle my own kitchen.

Here are some before shots - but please remember that this is my kitchen at it worst - I haven't cleared up from making school lunches (and what a shock to the system that is!), and now I've bought in about 7 bags of groceries to add to the mix.

First thing I did was to get the groceries away, veggies into Tupperware in the fridge,

fruit in it's place on the bench, looking much better already.

Then I worked from right to left, removing absolutely everything from each section of the bench top, cleaning it and replacing only what I really use and love.

This is the back left corner of the kitchen before:

And after:

Much better!

I have always loved these little spice jars that my sister gave us when we got married, and use them regularly. But with their peach-colored design and raffia they are looking very dated! And I don't have room for them in the pantry.

Then I had a brainwave! I replaced the raffia with some natural looking string, and just turned the jars around to the plain backs! Voila! Neutral colored spice jars with cute labels! Now I can love them all over again!

I kept working my way around to the main bench of the kitchen, cleaning and decluttering. I threw out lots of old pens and nicknacks around the phone, and decided to work out another spot for my folders. I still have some stuff to go through, but this is the end result of my labours:

A clear bench, lit by the skylight above.
The living room behind me is fairly dark, the curtains are shut today to keep out the heat.

Fresh summer fruit

I found this old tea box in my Gran's garage when she was moving from her home. I stored tea in it for years in the pantry, but now it lives on display and holds lunch snacks for the girls.

It's close to hand for those busy mornings but looks better than bright packaging on the bench.

A few more jobs to do another day - clean my old electric jug collection,

Clean the windows and glass in the cupboards

Find something to go on the lower shelf here:

It's pretty much how I left it when I moved the Christmas ornaments out.

And now at last I can get out my lovely new pitcher I found at Bed, Bath & Table this morning.

But where to put it? My bench top is so lovely and clear. I don't want to add it in anywhere.
At times it can go on the dining table, filled with flowers or foliage, but it needs a home.



Still' farmhouse' but more 'chic'.

The phone and stationery area is sorted and simple.

And my hens have a new home too, on the windowsill.

After two hours of hard work it was time to stop and have some lunch.

And now I have room to prepare it!

Fresh baguette ...

with filo, and tomato and basil from the garden. Yum!

Loving my new-look kitchen.

But in case you think tomorrow will be a day of rest, let me tell you about the other side of the kitchen ... where I ... ahem ... piled a few things in order to get the more visible parts of the kitchen sorted ....

Linking to:


Dina @ Honey + Fitz said...

This is so lovely, terrific job! My favorite thing you did was update those spice jars. I love that you just turned them around and now they look straight out of a Pottery Barn catalog. Brilliant!

Cilla said...

it looks totally fab!! love the spice jar idea! - simple yet totally effective! Love your fruit basket rack too!

Amy Bowman said...

that looks so great! I am inspired. I sure need to declutter around here--just in time for spring cleaning!! Thanks for linking up to AP Tuesday:)

Hill upon Hill said...

How satisfying. It looks great. Love what you did with the pottery holders.

Doda said...

Hi, thaks for dropping by my blog.
It's so satisfying to get things tidied and prettied up isn't it. I like your kitchen!