a fresh, clean kitchen


last week i cleared off my kitchen countertops and started fresh.  i’m sure i was avoiding some other responsibility, i just can’t remember which one it was right now!

sometimes when my mind is running a million miles an hour, i need something visual to slow me down, like clear surfaces.  if my mind rests on the piles of piles then i just can’t seem to get a break.  i just need one area of my life to be clear sometimes, whether its my mind or my countertops ;)


my island arrangement has been modified slightly over the years, but in general has stayed the same.  and my other kitchen counters have remained virtually untouched for almost 8 years.  it was time for a fresh look.  and by fresh, i mean it literally.  my black thumb with houseplants has magically started to turn green this year, so i pulled some of my new leafy friends into the kitchen and i am loving the result!

this galvanized tub was a garage sale find that has been used as a magazine holder, soil holder, garden catch-all, drink cooler… you name it!  now it sits on my counter filled with a couple plants and a colander of fruit!  we always have fruit out on our counters and this time of year we have at least one, if not 2 bowls of cherry/grape/pear tomatoes – super good for little snacky hands.


no sooner did i fill this gum ball machine with pistachios then i heard a funny crack and pop.  oops – i tightened the top too tight and busted the glass.  thankfully it was a clean break and i happened to have some “kragle” on hand (crazy glue, for those of you who haven’t seen the lego movie).



i find that whenever i redecorate an area of my home i am more prone to keep it clean.  and when i also have less tchotchkes on my counters i’m more likely to keep them clear.


i have also been editing the way our kitchen functions.  i have always been big on putting items in the drawers and cabinets in a location that is logical: knives at the island, pots and pans next to the stove…  but now that i’m not the only cook in the kitchen (thank you lily may), i wanted to make sure things work well for her.  one of those small changes is that small stool you see above in the bottom right hand corner.  it folds up nicely into a lower cabinet, but it was kind of annoying to get out and put away all day long, so we found a corner out of the way that she could just leave it.


the kids use the toaster regularly, so it needed to stay out for easy access for them, but i love the freshness that the plant adds here!


in another effort to make things easier on everyone, i switched up our baking area and coffee station, which shared a space before.  our coffee maker tucks into the little door in the back corner under the cabinets, and our coffee cups are on the lowest shelf in the cabinet above.  then the baking supplies were on the next shelf up.  even with a stool, it was hard for my 8-year old baker to grab the supplies she needed, other than the sugar and flour that were on the counter previously.


i exchanged our previous canisters for a simple mason jar filled with coffee that i used in our rv this summer.  and rather than digging in a drawer every day for a coffee filter, i just put it out in the open.  i do wish this tray was a little shallower, but i still love the simplicity of the enamelware.


and now we have a new baking station!  we’re still working on making it more practical and functional, but for now we moved all of the baking pantry supplies to the first shelf in the cabinet above – so much easier to reach, and more space, too.  both of the drawers below are junk drawers, which is just ridiculous, so my plan is to clear one out and have the other necessary items in there, like measuring cups & spoons, spatulas, and a whisk.


our beast of a kitchenaid has lived under a counter for its whole life, but its so heavy to lift up and out, so for now it will live here.


a couple huge jars i had originally bought for our table top terrariums are now simple containers for our sugar and flour.  the prettiest anthro measuring cups are just the pop of color i need.

and this is one of my favorite houseplants ever:  string of pearls.  i have killed many in my lifetime, but this one is actually showing signs of new growth, so there’s hope yet!


our kitchen has looked like this now for about 2 weeks and it has actually inspired me to do the dishes!  now what will i do to motivate myself to keep the floors clean…?







  1. 1

    so pretty and clean! Especially love the globes on top of the cabinets!

  2. 2
    Sara Weber says:

    Such a lovely kitchen! Clean and classic and beautifully styled. I believe your galvanized tub was actually made to hold ammunition. They often come with lids with a handle. Great repurposing!

    • 3

      oh i think you’re right! i’ve only seen wood ones before, and here this has been in front of me this whole time!

  3. 4

    I love your site!! Can you remind us what your countertop is made of ? It looks fabulous!

  4. 6

    What did you do for your corner cabinets? Especially on the bottom.

    • 7

      do you mean what do we store in our cabinets in the corners? the corner by the coffee goodies is kind of a wasted bottom space. we just couldn’t do much with the awkward space. the tall skinny cabinet on the bottom next to the fridge has 3 deep sliding drawers inside that hold out cereal boxes, paper plates, and napkins/cups/straws. we have a mother corner cabinet that is really deep that has a shelf inside and it holds all of our small appliances: blender, food processor, waffle maker, fondue pot, crock pot…

  5. 8

    Lovely! Your house is one that I reference often in my own home. Our kitchen has a similar layout and color scheme as yours. I’m always trying to think of ways to make it more user friendly for us. Thanks (again) for your great (as always) inspiration!

  6. 9

    thank you again for posting your kitchen. We are awaiting our house to be done and I’m getting tons of ideas! (and I grew up in Santa Barbara…so when I get a little homesick I take a look at your site! :)) Could you give the name of the plant near the toaster? Thanks!

  7. 11

    Your kitchen has always been one of my favourite rooms, so to see how it is evolving to fit with your family’s needs is awesome. Love it!

  8. 12

    Your kitchen is beautiful! I wish mine was that clean right now ;).


  9. 13

    What a fresh looking kitchen!! I love it & thanks for lots of inspiration!! :)

  10. 14

    I love your change up..looks fresh. I have to ask..when you do this, what do you do with your original item’s displayed and used..like canisters, that cute glass rack?

    • 15

      good question! i don;t get rid of things unless i haven’t used them for a long time or i am just so done with them. but in case i am dying for color again, i have kept the canisters. some of them are still in use, just inside a cabinet, and the others 2 are stacked inside wine another and stored in another cabinet that i keep decorative things that are not in use.

    • 16

      oh, and the glass rack is still there, just moved to the counter next to the sink.

      • 17

        Ahn..thanks. kinda thought that is what you do. I have a hard time letting thing’s go (even when I don’t use often). Nice to maybe have a heavier look for fall/winter and an airy, light look for spring/summer. Seriously, love your idea’s, cannot get enough of your blog:) always fun to visit and browse:) have a wonderful labor day wkend! xxoo

  11. 18

    I love your kitchen! So beautiful! Where is your microwave? That is one item we use daily, but the sight of ours isn’t that pretty.

  12. 20
    Melanie Barker says:

    Everything about your kitchen makes me happy!!!! :)

  13. 21

    Can you please tell me what your paint color is for the kitchen/living room? Thanks!

  14. 23
    Sarah Arthur says:

    Could you please tell me the size of your gum ball machine? I was thinking of ordering a 9″ machine, but not sure if pistachios would be too large to get through the hole in a small machine. Your home is beautiful! Looks so comfy!!

  15. 24

    I have one at home and it easily fits pistachios and other bigger nuts so go for it, my kids love it!

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