Getting My Kitchen In Shape for 2018

It’s time for the kitchen to be whipped into shape and fully finished! Below, I’ve jotted down some overall design and organization plans in 2018  to make my kitchen perform at its best.

Throughout most of January, I’ve been setting goals for the year and thinking about what else I’d like to accomplish (personally, professionally, friends & family, etc.). In case you missed those general thoughts, they are right here.

But when it comes to the house — or more specifically, when it comes to certain rooms in this house — I realized I have a little more going on in my life these days. And once that happened, there was a little more going on with how I wanted to use certain spaces in my home. I know this isn’t exactly a eureka moment and comes as no surprise, but it was also almost… a comfort? A pleasant realization that it was no longer about making things pretty, but really just using everything in the house?

So, I’ve been writing those thoughts down, room by room, starting with the kitchen. What could I add, or remove, or touch up, to make the most out of the room I use most? (If you’d like to see the full kitchen transformation up until now, check that out in my house tour here.)

Note: this post is sponsored by Sears Parts Direct and also contains affiliate links. For more info, see my disclosure page. Words are 100% my own.

Goals for Re-Organizing and Finishing the Kitchen

Purge, purge, purge

I’ve been meaning to do it for a while, and I suppose I have gone through this phase before, but I need to do another clean-out of items I don’t use. I love the idea of a minimalist kitchen with clean counters and no saving of items for a rainy day. There is at least one upper cabinet that is FULL of crap I simply don’t need! With the heaviness of entertaining over Christmas and New Year’s Eve, the list of “what I actually use” versus “what I will probably never use, even if I use every plate” is pretty clear in my mind. So, it’s perfect timing to get rid of it before I talk myself out.

Organize the fridge for better cooking

Do you keep your refrigerator organized with a clean, efficient system? I have been cooking more and more over the last few months (I have a delicious winter soup recipe I can’t wait to share!), and I noticed how lacking I am in this department. So, it’s time to implement a few changes, such as these tips for the right way to store food in the refrigerator. Sears Parts Direct gave me a whole list of kitchen tips about a month ago, so I’ve been reading through them and picked up a thing or two. For example, I never really thought about how the lowest spot in the fridge is the coldest and the door is the warmest, so you should plan for food storage based on that (and that’s why the crisper drawers and such are where they are, etc.)… nerdy and neat!

Get all of my appliances to match

I will have a reveal for you guys in the coming weeks of my brand new appliances. The best part about them is that they finally all MATCH! I’ve always been a little embarrassed to take a picture of my whole kitchen as a whole because some of it was stainless steel and some of it was black (I am ok with either, but having both was a little eye-twitchy to live in the space). I bought what I could afford about 7 years ago as one of my first house purchases, and the opportunity came up to finally switch things out. Full reveal coming soon!

Get the copper pots out in the open

I have a bunch of beautiful copper pots and pans that are taking up WAY too much room in one of my lower cabinets. And once I saw this photo of Ellen Pompeo’s L.A. home, I knew my answer was a beautiful, functional pot rack that would turn them into art. I have the perfect space for them above the kitchen bar area. I’m also going to be getting a handful of new torches to learn how to weld this year (braze? solder? the vocab is new so I’ll have that info for you as I publish those projects). Maybe a beautiful wood and black metal combo, inspired by something like this?

Create a bar area

I haven’t quite figured out if I want a bar spot in the kitchen or the dining room just yet, but I know I’d like a space for putting cocktail glasses out in the open when friends stop by.

Touch up paint and figure out if I want to treat the countertops the same

I get asked about the cabinet paint and the countertops a LOT. Has the paint held up? Do you still like your butcher block?

The answer to both is yes. There are a few touch-ups needed on the lower gray cabinets where the paint has been nicked. The place that’s most affected is right above the silverware drawer, where it’s pretty obvious that I’m a little clumsy with putting forks and knives away (or just obviously my least favorite kitchen activity). I’ve still been pretty impressed that the rest of the paint has held up so well, and you can’t see a single scratch on the white uppers. In fact, I think that if I had tinted the primer for the lower cabinets to the same color as the paint,  wouldn’t even know they’re nicked (because the white primer peeks through but I still don’t see the old wood cabinet color underneath). I didn’t think of it at the time of posting this, but I’ll take a new picture in the morning of it so you can see what I mean and update.

As for the butcher block, I continue to treat it with a mineral oil and wax mixture like I always have. It gives the wood a richness and beautiful color without yellowing, and the occasional treatment doesn’t really bother me (I just let it soak in overnight after the wood gets a good cleaning). However, I’ve been thinking more and more about covering it in a more permanent type of finish — not for my own needs, but because I don’t think I would trust a new homeowner to take such good care of it once I sell. I never actually use the counter as a cooking surface, so a food-safe treatment isn’t necessarily my biggest priority. It’s also not something I’m planning on doing soon, but it is on my mind and I’m in research mode. Perhaps coating it with something think like a poly would be better for a new homeowner to care for. The downside is that a poly wouldn’t really let the wood expand and contract as easily as the oil treatment does, so unless the bottom side is also sealed the same way, it could be a risk for cracking. Still thinking it over and open to your suggestions, too (if you’re knowledgeable about sealing countertops or long wood surfaces).

Do some composting

More cooking at home has led to two big changes: more recycling, and more opportunities for composting. And dishes… but I’m choosing denial for the sake of the point I’m trying to make. K has been talking about us building our own garden next to the pub shed once we finish that this spring, so that means mulching and learning to grow a little of our own food. And with the cute little composting cans that have been on the market, it seems easier than ever. Can someone tell me if they have had success with the little ones from World Market? They’re cute but I don’t want the stink, so having a tight seal is important!

Alrighty, I assumed this would be a shorter post because I was solely focusing on kitchen changes, but as usual I got carried away and it’s nearly 1500 words later. Are you planning on changing up your kitchen this year? I’d love to hear your ideas.

What I’m Loving for Kitchens Lately:

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