Friday, January 27, 2012

I realized I haven't ever posted about the kitchen.  Ours is ridiculously small with minimal counter space.  What I do like is the 5 burner stove top--it may not seem like all that big of a deal but you'd be surprised how much an extra burner comes in handy when you like to cook like a mad woman.

Decor wise, there isn't much that I did since it's such a small space.  My main focus was utilizing every bit of space for storage solutions, including the walls, cabinet doors, and ceiling.  There's a glimpse of the knife rack which is less bulky than a big knife block, and a chalk message board and mail organizer with hooks is mounted on a cabinet door.

Here, a vintage crate found at a flea market serves as a dish towel/napkin holder.

When my Dad came to visit he did many handy things, including putting up these glass racks which are really fantastic.  Frees up much needed space in the cabinet as I have a proclivity to purchase and break glasses quite regularly.  A wire hanging fruit basket provides more storage for produce.

Since there are literally only 2 surfaces in the kitchen, I got a dish rack that fits in one side of the double sinks. Another space saver is the butcher block cutting board that fits over the sink to provide an extra surface when cooking.

With minimal storage space, you really have to look to the walls.  I grabbed a couple of these metal bars and hooks from Ikea.  I originally had planned to use them for mugs, but found they were more useful for my copper pots above, (completely amazing looking and great for cooking!) and the ridiculous amount of cooking utensils.  Spice racks from Ikea corral all the spices, and hanging over the stove are easily accessible when cooking.  Those colored hooks got ditched for some nicer metal ones.

Small floating shelves hold homemade herb infused olive oil and dish soap.

SLOM Jar with lid, clear glass Diameter: 4 " Height: 4 " Volume: 17 oz  Diameter: 11 cm Height: 10.5 cm Volume: 0.5 l
The drawers in the kitchen are pretty shallow, so all the silverware is kept in mason jars and coffee cans in a wire storage basket.  I actually find this really useful to just have the silverware out and handy rather than worrying about jamming it into very shallow drawers.

In the pantry, everything is stored in either glass canisters from Ikea (pictured right), mason jars, or coffee cans.  I find these canisters SO useful, and they keep everything nice and fresh.  Cereal, espresso, pasta, rice, and so on, they're great and come in a variety of sizes.

Another great idea in organization is to use tension rods to create dividers for baking goods and cutting boards:

What are some of the ways you work around a small kitchen?

DIY: Mason Jar Soap Pump

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I can't really stake too much claim on this one as my very handy boyfriend did the drilling, but it was my initiative and supplies that got this soap dispenser made.  I had a vintage blue mason jar, and kept seeing them turned into dispensers all over the place.  I happened to have an old soap pump laying around from a dispenser that I don't use anymore, so I decided to take advantage.  I'm sure you can find soap pumps on the cheap at The Home Depot. 

The beautiful thing about mason jars is that even if they are vintage, new canning lids will fit on them securely.  The next step was to drill a hole that would fit the top most part of the pump snugly.  I have 2 different drills, one that is smaller and lime green which I'm really comfortable using (mostly in part to the fact that it is lime green), and another big girl drill that you have to plug in and makes a lot of noise and spins VERY fast.  This is where my boyfriend came in handy, as he is accustomed to using grown-up drills while I base my usage on color.  Once you make the hole just affix the pump to the jar and you're all set!

Recent Finds

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Did a little thrifting on yesterdays glorious (yet chilly) day off work.  Here's what I got:

Oil painting, a nice addition to my gallery wall which definitely needs more original artwork.

Glass vessel which is going to become a terrarium!

I've been wanting to do this for a good while now...I have a couple of succulents planted in various vessels, but I really love the look of something like this:

I also love the idea of this planter from bash, please--so unique!  Real Simple has a great tutorial.

A random emerald colored candlestick.

Really retro carafe that's so bad it's good.

Then I also scooped up this cake stand, and since I'm no baker it's perfect for my perfumes.

In other news, Arnold Schwarzenegger happened to be sitting next to us at lunch yesterday at nuts is THAT!

New and Noteworthy @West Elm

Friday, January 6, 2012

With January comes lots of sales and of course, new arrivals to take their place.  I just flipped through the newest West Elm catalog and loved pretty much everything I saw.  They did something new this time around, and included little spotlight features of their pieces in real blogger's homes.  I always love how they feature Etsy finds, and their spreads in the catalog are not all 100% West Elm products (in general awesome, sometimes frustrating when I want something!) but mix in vintage or other pieces as well.  In this issue they added in little blurbs about how to use certain pieces or what to pair them with.  I really like how it doesn't just show their merchandise, but incorporates design advice and more recently, how some great bloggers use their furniture.  This time around the spotlight was on their Parsons desk in blogger Victoria Smith of SFgirlbybay's home, (one of my daily reads, she has AMAZING style!) here.

Doesn't that make you want to plop down on that luscious sheepskin and get down to business?  I'm only slightly DYING for a Parsons desk myself...only I'd like to have the mini Parsons (because who doesn't love anything mini?) to double as a desk and nightstand.  Talk about a space saver!

Picture this bad boy:

Just as my nightstand.  Sigh...I can see it now.  I wish I could ACTUALLY see it in my room!

Okay, before I lose it.  Here are some of the highlights from their new arrivals that I'm coveting right now:

Patch NYC wall art.  That's another thing West Elm is great at--teaming up with amazing collaborators.

James McNally NYC neighborhood plates.  I was born and bred in NYC after all!

Geometric patterned vases.  I love the natural feel these have.

Patterned dhurrie rug.  I am a huge fan of rugs with subtle patterns in them, especially dhurries!

If I baked anything besides blueberry muffins I would totally put it in this.

GOLD flatware!  What's not to love about these?? 

Shane Powers vases.  A fun look in a variety of sizes makes a great little grouping.

Pretty silk printed stork pillow cover.

Hand-blocked earthy pillow cover.

You totally can't go wrong with a pouf.  This "Andalusia" pattern also comes in a rug that is to die for.

Beautiful rustic wood kitchen counter...not like I have the space for it but I can dream.

Mid-century designed night stand.  Such clean lines and classic design.

Does anyone else have such an unhealthy obsession with almost all things West Elm? 

Happy New Year!

Friday, January 6, 2012

(6 days late, that is.)  The holidays are over...and I'm back in sunny LA.  Tuesday in Pennsylvania the high was 25 degrees (not including the wind chill) and my first day back on Wednesday it was 81 degrees.  What a change!  There's so much brewing in my mind that I want to write about, but I'll start off with a few of my New Years Resolutions, in no particular order:

1)  Floss every day

2)  Pump iron like a beast

3)  Keep in touch with friends and family more

4)  Submit more to Tongal (I 100% vouch for this site, it's an amazing opportunity to submit creative ideas/videos for commercials/video content and win money!  Here is a pretty funny video and example of work created through Tongal.)

5)  Eat like a healthy bunny rabbit

6)  Go to Lake Tahoe (and take more trips in general)

7)  Work on my old man posture

8)  Save some dough

9)  Make a new friend

10)  Shop less (or maybe shop for others more?  anyone need help decorating?!)

11)  Blog like a mad woman!

Along those lines, is everyone enjoying the blog?  Is there anything you'd like to see done differently, or new content, or topics in particular that you'd like to see more of?  Constructive feedback is always welcome! 

What are some of your resolutions?  I tend to view resolutions as an opportunity to reflect on the past and the things that I wish I had done and acknowledge any flaws or regrets to invigorate myself for the coming year.  Happy New Year!
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