kitchen design tips

Inspired Kitchen Design: Now the hard work begins #meanderingdesignchallenge

Pinterest board of images with kitchen decor ideas like adding orange, plants, and countertop items

I'm changing up this hashtag because someone else started using the other hashtag! So if you want to follow along or have questions feel free to tag #meanderingdesignchallenge and follow along on instagram

This last week I've spent dreaming about what type of kitchen I would like, well within the constraints of my actual kitchen! Looking over my pinterest board I can see some themes. 

I'm drawn to natural materials, such as wood, plants and ceramics (good thing I'm taking a pottery class!). I love some of the styling moments I found, but I also don't like a lot of clutter on the countertops. 

Notepad with ideas for a kitchen decor remodel

I want to bring in some hanging plants, clear off the counters of clutter, have a few styled moments on the counter that are functional and pretty. I want a place for my kitchen utensils that I use frequently, for my oil can and my salt and pepper. I'd like to have at hand the things I use often. My inspiration is definitely things handmade and natural. The first step is to go through my kitchen and see what I have that will fit those needs. Then I'll make a list of the things I want.

I also made a list of things to do. There are quite a few things that need to be fixed in my kitchen, some things that need to work better and the list of pretty things I want. 

To do list: 

  • Clean out and declutter all of the cabinets (more on this later)
  • Hang window film in window
  • Hem curtain
  • Get plants (I'm making a few hanging plant holders in my pottery class). I'll need to figure out what plants will work in little light. 
  • Get new kitchen stoppers (mine are broken)
  • Get a garbage can and recycling bin combo that fit in the space. My garbage can is too big for the kitchen. I can't open the pantry door without moving it and I have to have a brown paper bag for all the recycling items. I'd like to find something smaller that fits the space and can hold both recycling and garbage. 
  • Maybe paint....
  • Get better under the cabinet lights for over the sink. 
  • Look at lighting options (this may be outside of my budget but I'd like to see if I could get more light in this room). 
  • Get a soap dispenser for the dish soap 
  • Style the counters with useful and pretty items
  • Add art to the kitchen

Phew that's a lot. The biggest item on this list is to clear out all of the cabinets. I remember as a kid that every year we would go to my grandparents summer place and take everything out of the cabinets, wash the cabinets inside and out and then wash everything before putting it back in its place. Now, you don't necessarily need to do this every year but I recommend doing it every few years because kitchens get messy and it helps you see what you have in your home. 

I recommend starting at one end of the kitchen and doing a cabinet a day. It takes 20-30 minutes per cabinet and saving it all up for one day can be exhausting. Take everything out of the cabinets, wash everything and when you go to put it all back reevaluate if you need it. Also, make sure the items are working where you have them. I currently have my tupperware tucked in among my dishes and it is not working for me so I want to find a better home for them. 

For the next couple of weeks I'm going to be focused on cleaning out my kitchen. I'm going to save my pantry for after this month because it is going to need a design challenge of its own. 


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My Kitchen Before for the #myhomechallenge

Image via Emily Henderson

Image via Emily Henderson

You guys I have dreams! Dreams of a kitchen that doesn't feel so dark, dreary and soulless. One that you walk into and are inspired to cook. Sadly, that is not the kitchen I have today. 

I'm about to share pictures of my sad kitchen on the internet. It feels a bit like standing in front of an open window in my underwear. 

Starting with looking in from the dining room into the kitchen. Do you see the color difference?! My dining room is a lovely light shade of grey and my kitchen has horrific dark lighting and is painted yellow. 

Check out last week's blog post to read more about the #myhomechallenge

Kitchen Decor with woven rugs and curtain
Stovetop in Kitchen with red tea kettle 
Granite Countertops and pots and pans in kitchen
Red Espresso machine for kitchen decor
Refrigerator in kitchen decor 


  • The layout is super functional
  • I have enough space for everything
  • I love my gas stove
  • I have nice cabinets, counters and appliances
  • It opens onto a nice size back porch
Kitchen design layout


  • There is no space really for guests to hang out with me in the kitchen
  • Certain things don't fit, like the rug or the garbage can. They are both too big
  • The lighting. Oh god the lighting!
  • The window opens onto the porch and the staircase to the second floor, which my neighbors use. That means they can see right in my apartment. 
  • It's kind of bland. The rest of my apartment has so much personality and this room is seriously lacking. 
  • I hate blinds. 
  • I also really hate granite countertops and that backsplash.

There are a lot of things I can't change about this kitchen because I rent. That means I am going to change what I can and inject some color and life into this bedraggled kitchen. I tried to take good pictures, but it is so dark in there that it is very difficult to do so! 

Stay tuned because next I'll share my Inspiration and Master Project List. 


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