Kitchens: Combining Function with Beauty

Kitchens are one of the best places to blend function with beauty. After all, the kitchen usually gets more use than any other room in the home. It’s not only a place to prepare food, but a place of gathering, entertaining, and memory-making. In good design, form always follows function. So I view the kitchen as a great opportunity to beautify the every-day, mundane tasks of life!
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There are tasks that can only be performed in a kitchen, and there are items that can only be stored there. Use this as an opportunity to create something pretty!

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How much better does boring old sugar and flour look in these glass┬ájars┬áthan it does in the original packaging? Not only are these jars pretty, they’re also very functional. I can easily fit any size measuring cup in them, and they keep my ingredients fresh.

 

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I think everyone has a cookie jar, but consider using one that works with the decor of your kitchen. My kitchen is white and pretty simplistic, so this cookie jar fits in perfectly.

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Trays and canisters are a great way to corral items that get used everyday. I try to avoid buying utensils that are different colors if I’m choosing to display them on my counters. Sticking to one or two colors is much easier on the eye and keeps things from looking junky. One of the number one rules of organizing is to keep similar items together, and by doing so I can easily grab what I need quickly while I’m cooking.

And now onto the parts of the kitchen that can get a little scary… cupboards and drawers! Having a good organizational system in place for your cupboards and drawers is key to making them as functional as possible. Making them pretty motivates you to keep them organized. I like to start by lining all my drawers with contact paper. This makes them nicer to look at, and if a spill happens I can easily switch out the liner without damaging my drawers.

Spice drawer

I like to keep my spices in a drawer, because it’s much easier for me to find what I need this way. I purchased these spice jars from Crate & Barrel and found some labels that fit the lids perfectly. I keep them alphabetized so that I can quickly grab what I need. I do buy some of my spices in bulk and I keep the extras in the back of this drawer. I also store spices I don’t use often in a basket back there.

Drawer

Large drawers like this one can get messy and cluttered fast, so I like to use baskets to store similar items together. I have one for mixer attachments, one for can openers, and two for spatulas and serving items.

Baking Cupboard

This is a cupboard near my cook-top. Again, I use labeled canisters here to make everything look more uniform and to make it easy to find.

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The expandable shelf riser on my second shelf was a great investment as far as keeping this cupboard organized goes. I’m only 5’2″, so I can barely reach items past the first shelf of my upper cabinets. The riser prevents things from getting lost up there, and I can easily see what I have. Before this we had several bottles of soy sauce because I could never see any in there and I kept buying more!

Under sink

It’s hard to make that space under the sink pretty. Here I used a shelf riser to maximize space and I used a plastic drawer to corral my grocery bags.

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Having separate compartments for cookie sheets and muffin tins makes life so much easier! We had our builder add these dividers and it was definitely money well spent. And it looks nice!

Cereal

I typically don’t like the packaging that food comes in. All the competing patterns and colors make my pantry look chaotic. I store my cereal in these containers from The Container Store. The cereal stays fresh and the containers can fit a whole Costco sized bag!

You don’t have to sacrifice beauty to have a functional kitchen, and vice versa! I hope these tips will help you look for ways to combine the two.

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