Wednesday, December 18, 2013

23 Reader Space: An Organized Kitchen with Class!

The kitchen.  The hub of the home.  The place where families gather.  Where food is prepared with love.  Where homework is done.  Where laughs are had.  Where entertaining happens.  Where memories are made.

It is also the place where dishes are done, clutter piles up on the counter, fingerprints are smeared on all appliances and baking messes sprawl from edge to edge.

We rely on kitchen spaces heavily throughout the year, so having a little bit of order can be a real sanity saver in this high traffic space.

Lauren writes over at a Lo and Behold Life, and I am gaga for her home and style.  Everything she does is so, so pretty!  Yes simple, clean and fresh!  And her kitchen.... sigh.  My heart is beating faster just typing about it.  You have to see what I mean, here she is now to share more!

What is the main function of the space?

"Welcome to our kitchen - otherwise known as the heart of the house!  And it true Italian Family style, we heart food.  So needless to say, the main function of the space has everything to do with food - washing, storing, prepping, cooking and baking and most importantly, eating.  News flash - I love to cook!  However, there are also second and third functions to this space.  The kitchen is our "mudroom" as well as our "laundry" room.  A lot of functions for such a small space!"

Any superstar tips for keeping it organized?

"For keeping this space organized it is important to not only for it to be aesthetically pleasing to the eye, but also super functional and easy to maintain.  So I created 'kitchen zones'.  The 'cleaning zone' to the left of the sink is where food is placed that needs to be rinsed, trimmed or cleaned.  The garbage disposal switch and the garbage can are within arms length, making it easy to keep things tidy as I work.  The 'prep zone' is where the magic happens.

All of my kitchen tools, prep bowls, pots, pans, oils and baking essentials are stored in these drawers and cabinets.

This area is also flanked between the refrigerator and the stove.  Once something is mixed or chopped I can easily drop it into the saute pan or toss it in the oven without running around the kitchen like a maniac and making a mess on the floor."

Which items did you find were essential when organizing the space and why?

"Well, I learn from the best!  I've been a loyal follower of IHeart Organizing for years and am always inspired by Jen's creative and budget friendly organizing tips.  Enter the IKEA HEMNES shoe rack.  I discovered this little gem and knew it would be perfect to retrofit a mudroom at the kitchen back door.   All of our shoes are easily stored away as soon as we walk in the house.

I also can't live without my recipe binder.  All of my favorite recipes are categorized and stored in sheet protectors.  When I decide what's for dinner, the recipe gets pinned up on the fridge so I can quickly reference it from the 'prep zone', and the sheet protectors save the recipe from any yucky food smudges."

What did you do to go the extra mile and "Make it Pretty"?

"OK... so who needs a turquoise pantry with chevron fabric covered shelves?  Probably no one.  But doesn't it look cute?  And I loved it so much that I painted the laundry area turquoise!  I spend time in there, why not make it pretty?

And to spruce up the mundane glass kitchen cabinets, I mounted a coordinating modern fabric that ties in the grey tones throughout the kitchen.  It really makes all my white everyday dishes pop!"

What items did you DIY to stay on a budget?

"Our kitchen isn't big enough for a proper dining table, so to maximize the space, we chose to install new countertops with a breakfast bar.

I didn't have any bar stools at the proper height, so instead of buying new ones, we repurposed some existing stools from Target that were collecting dust in the garage." 

How has this space impacted your life for the better?

"I am a mom of three year old twin boys, so getting a homemade dinner on the table every night is no easy feat.  When the kitchen is organized, I'm in 'the zone'.  Everything is in its place and readily accessible so I can quickly and efficiently move around and prepare a meal for my family without leaving a trail of crumbs.  I'm very passionate about cooking but I'm more passionate about my family and would rather be spending time with them than standing over a hot stove!"

After reading this, I am ready to tear apart our kitchen right before Christmas.  Someone hold me back!  So inspiring right?

  • The kitchen is not mansion sized, but Lauren did an amazing job maximizing the space she had to work with.
  • I love her counters.  I could caress them, pet them, smooch on them... I will try and keep this PG.
  • The baking cabinet makes my organizing lovin' soul feel warm and fuzzy with a cherry on top.
  • My most favorite takeaway from this feature was her tips on creating "zones" around the kitchen.  I love that each area has a specific function and is set up for success!
  • She earns extra points for the sweet shout-out love she gave me in her responses.  
  • I love her tip about pinning up her recipes on the fridge in sheet protectors.  Smart gal!
  • OK, I don't know what she is talking about.  I think everyone needs a turquoise pantry! 
  • I now want to line every last cabinet in my home.  I mean seriously, those glass faced cabinets with the white dishes smiling in front of the beautiful fabric?  My eyes are happy dancing!
  • Oh, hello beautiful fabric covered kitchen stools!  I think I love you.
  • Her final statement about the kitchen is what it is all about.  Creating a space that allows you to maximize your use of time while you are using it, so that you can maximize your use of time with your favorite people before and after.

A huge thank you to Lauren for allowing me to share her absolutely lovely kitchen today.  You can read post after post of her kitchen progression to awesomeness, on her blog here.



ATTENTION!!  Want to be featured in a Reader Space edition?  Have an awesome organizing story to share?  I am looking for projects that have made a positive impact to your life.  Please submit your story and photos here and I would heart to feature them right here, on the blog!!  Photos should be high resolution and unedited.  Please include a description of the project, including any costs, inspiration, and how it has changed your life and routine for the better!  Oh, and no worries my friends, we will NEVER judge "before" pictures because that just wouldn't be nice!  Only love goes on at this blog!


  1. The entire kitchen looks so fun yet is super functional too ~ I love the pops of color and contrast Lauren! As soon as I saw "3 year old twin boys", my hat was off to you. You are immediately super mom in my book! ;-)

  2. There are 3 things from this kitchen that I am going to go home and do tonight--great post! Definitely going to head over to her blog and "borrow" more organizing ideas!!

  3. Such a beautiful kitchen! I love it's functionality and pops of pattern and color!

  4. What a great space! I love the baking cabinet. Its such a great idea. The butcher chopping blocks along the counters are genius, and I love that she made her space super functional by creating zones. Such a wonderfully functional kitchen. Just goes to show you can have it all in even the smallest of spaces. I love the red door too! Thanks so much for sharing Jen.

  5. How simple and genius to hang the mixer attachments to the cabinet door. I need to do this!


    1. I totally agree!! As soon as I saw that picture, I was in love. That is definitely something I will be doing in my kitchen. What a brilliant idea!!


  6. Love the baking cabinet! My favorite!

  7. Thanks for the love and great feature, Jen!! Like I said, I learn from the best. ;)

  8. I love this kitchen. Turquoise... color bravery, I need it. I have glass cupboards too and am thinking I should try covering the backs with something.... Thank you for this feature.

  9. Wow, this is amazing! Absolutely gorgeous colors!

  10. Gorgeous kitchen! I love the fabric behind her dishes! And the zone idea is genius. Must try. Thanks for the inspiration, ladies!

    ~Abby =)

  11. Oh, subway I adore thee. Especially minus the scent of urine, and without the glow of yellow subway lighting.

  12. Wow! I love this kitchen. You have inspired me to get my spice and baking supplies under control. It would be so nice to be able to see everything I need. You display your supplies so beautifully.


  13. Adorable kitchen! Great idea to hang the mixer attachments inside the cabinet! And yes, we could all use a fancy schmancy color in our pantry! :) I thought about that the other day when cleaning out/organizing ours…


  14. Well I know what I'm doing this weekend! Every morning I growl at one of my cabinets when I open it and look at the disaster inside. I've just been inspired to fix that! And thanks for introducing a new fun blog to follow!

  15. Love those checkered floors and that red door makes me swoon!

  16. Would love to know if those are marble countertops and how they are holding up for you through all the baking and kiddie messes.

  17. Love the mudroom and the kitchen ideas. Where did you get the magnetic spice tins? I have been dying to do this to our kitchen. My husband laughed at me when I alphabetized our spices. I'll show him how easy it is to find what you are looking for!

  18. very nice! i'm green with envy!


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