Kitchen Ideas

So many possibilities! Which is nice, since kitchens can be the heart of the home and we expect a lot from them. If you spend any time at all in a kitchen, you probably have found things you love as well as some irritations.

Here are a few things I have found helpful in setting up my own kitchen:

No open shelving. Really. Although open shelving is trending and can be quite beautiful, hiding stuff may be the best solution in the long run.

If you are looking for options or updates in your home, consider cabinets or boxes rather than open shelves.

  • Keeping open shelves neat and uncluttered takes regular effort that may be better spent elsewhere. How much time do you have to sort and stack? How much do you want to spend time doing that?
  • Visual space does have an impact on everyone in the room. You can’t pile a lot of stuff on an open shelf and not feel the visual crush when you walk in the room. If you are short on space, it may be better to cram and cover.
  • Personally, I just love the clean look of doors and the fact that supplies are ready and waiting when I need them, without bothering me until then. Knowing your preference helps as you make storage decisions.

Install drawers instead of lower cabinets. This has been a game-changer in my kitchen, and I have no interest in going back.

  • Drawers under the counter are so much easier to access. No more sitting on the floor to try and see where that thing went in the back corner of the cupboard.
  • You can see everything in the drawer from the top. It’s easy to check supplies and choose what you need.
  • Drawers allow you to access multiple stacks easily from the top (rather than pulling out the front stacks to get to the back stacks…and then putting them back to use the bowl…and then pulling them out to replace the clean bowl…and then putting them back).

Kidney cabinet inserts for the win. This might be my favorite cabinet now. Before the pole and platforms, it was mostly inaccessible. Because of that, I would grab from the front stack on the the top shelf and the bottom shelf, while ignoring everything else in the cabinet — all the way to the back.

If you need cabinet space and have a corner cupboard, you can look for an insert to install in your existing cabinet. The one pictured here is from IKEA.

Think about how you use your sink. I had a standard double sink in every home until this year. When we replaced ours, we went with a double, but it has a big, wide, deep side and a small, thin side. That was simply interesting — until I started using it! Now I enjoy how even the biggest pans fit in the big sink, but I still have the small one to rinse in. No more wrestling to wash extra large pans (and getting water all over the counter). They can soak out of sight and then wash comfortably inside the sink.

Why We Serve Meals

Better is a dinner of herbs where love is than a fattened ox and hatred with it. (Proverbs 15:17)

For most of us, meal planning takes up a significant portion of each day, week, or month. It is necessary and good. We need to eat. Those we love need to eat. Feeding the ones we love is a great way to love them. But sometimes that motivation gets lost in the shuffle.

Priorities slip easily. We can be distracted by the details of the menu and care for the presentation or the new recipe more than those eating it. We might be caught up in the rush of grocery shopping and last-minute prep for the meal. Now we’re feeling under the gun and focused on the finish line rather than the people present. We had a perfect monthly plan, but schedules changed one too many times, and now we are frustrated.

Better is a dry morsel with quiet than a house full of feasting with strife. (Proverbs 17:1)

When it comes down to it, family members and guests would rather have peanut butter sandwiches in a happy home than Thanksgiving dinner spread in the midst of arguments. Think about it.

The feast is the fellowship. Love includes the food served, but it also includes our attitudes and conversation and willingness to serve our loved ones over food. So as we plan the meals today, remember why and for whom. We will all enjoy those meals!