The kitchen is the heart of home. From snacks to home cooked meals, it is the one place where everyone ends up during the day. I quickly learned that a well-organized kitchen and pantry made cooking more enjoyable and clean-up was made easy.
In our home, the kitchen and dining room are one large space since it is an open concept. The kitchen is on one side and our dining room is on the other. This leaves a large space in the kitchen area for a kitchen island. In our home, I enjoy creating a one of a kind, unique space that is cozy yet functional for our family. In our kitchen space, I love to have a lot of storage but also have spaces where I can display the everyday utensils in a pretty way. While we have not done a complete kitchen makeover, and have plans to do so in the future, we have made one big change. That one big change was to put in a kitchen pantry.
Several years ago, I had shelves lined with boxes and bags of dry goods. I cook a lot of homemade meals and was constantly finding myself without a product that I would need to prepare a meal. I decided to do an organized pantry. To do this, I removed the cabinetry in this space, then had a wall built to accommodate a sliding barn door for the farmhouse look.
To organize the pantry, I began with pulling everything off the shelves. I purged the out of date dry goods, and then began putting everything into jars. I instantly loved the way the pantry looked and how easy it was to find exactly what I needed. The pantry ended up being a space where organized beauty and function meet, and that is what I love so much about several areas in the kitchen, including where I store my cooking utensils and cast iron.
I love cooking with cast iron skillets and have quite a few in various sizes that I need to store. One of my family’s favorite cast iron skillet meals is fried sweet potatoes. For dessert we all love the delicious flavor of chocolate peanut butter brownies.
For many years I stored our cast iron skillets in the drawer under the stove. This was never convenient because it seemed like the skillets were always in a disarray. Then, I discovered cast iron skillet hooks, and started hanging my skillets. Hanging the skillets allows me to instantly get the one I need quickly, and I also enjoy opening the pantry to see them all hanging neatly on the wall.
Baskets are also another great, useful item in the kitchen area. I find that baskets are not only pretty in the kitchen but also functional. I use baskets to store a lot of fresh vegetables and even dried herbs. Having hooks in the pantry allows me to have baskets that can hang on the wall without taking up shelf space. Larger baskets can be stored on the floor under the shelves. Another use for baskets in the kitchen would be to store lids or items like reusable zipper storage bags and or other varieties of storage bags.
Another area that always was a mess in our kitchen was our utensil drawers. I had a lot of mismatched cooking utensils crowded in a drawer and never seemed to be able to find what I needed without digging through the drawer. Over a period of time, I began collecting woodware utensils from small shops and started storing them on the counter in vintage crocks. The cooking utensils were always within easy reach while cooking. Not only was this functional but it was pretty.
I love to collect and gather small crocks from vintage shops to store silverware, measuring spoons and woodenware. It is just another simple way to create a beautiful space on a budget and to have a space that functions well.
Clean up is very simple in the kitchen. Everything has a place and is within easy reach. I also tend to keep a minimal kitchen so there is not a lot of excess things stored that are not used daily. I keep the small kitchen appliances, like the toaster and blender, put away in cabinets. Many of the glass storage bowls are stored in the cabinets or the large kitchen island. I store kitchen linens in the top drawer of the kitchen island and other items, like cookbooks, are also stored in the island.
With a lot of storage options in our prefabricated home and the open concept our kitchen has become a favorite area in our home. The large space makes it easy to cook meals while also spending time together as family.