One of our homestead goals for 2013 is to have a more efficient kitchen. The kitchen was semi completed in 2011 after we did a mini makeover. The photo above was taken in July 2011. Here’s what it looked like when we moved in:
Here’s what’s been done so far:
- The upper cabinets were taken down giving the kitchen a more streamlined open look (plus they were awkward, small inside and inefficient)
- We kept bottom cabinets but covered the cabinet doors with a thin piece of plywood
- Painted lower cabinets a gorgeous red (I’m still not tired of the color)
- Put new hardware on drawers and cabinets
- Added a new faucet
- Painted the walls
- Washed windows (you’d be surprised at how beautiful a kitchen becomes when the windows are clean)
- Added a curtain
- Kept the counter tops
- Added a metal table to the end of the peninsula since we were very limited on counter space
- Added stainless steel utility shelves for storing pots and pans. This freed up space in the lower cabinets to store mixing bowls and other items we use everyday
- Replaced the energy sucking black fridge with an Energy Star fridge
- Moved fridge in front of long awkward window
- Added a coffee bar
- Hung some artwork
- Installed an open shelf small spice rack on the side of the ovens
- Installed an open shelf pantry on the exterior side of the peninsula
- Added hooks to the coffee shelf and window sill for measuring cups and spoons to hang
- Installed new lighting
- Installed a cook top to replace the cook top that cracked
- Installed stainless and glass hood vent
From 2011-2012 we’ve been tweaking the kitchen and making little minor changes to help make it that much easier to use. Over this last week while I was recovering from my cold, I had time to design a little more of the kitchen.
If you would have told me I would be rearranging the kitchen last year I would have said there’s no way to change it around! There’s always a way to make the drawers and cabinets more organized, but I didn’t think it was possible to rearrange what I felt was perfect “as is.”
Well, it turns out that perfect can be improved upon.
In order to turn our kitchen into a working cottage kitchen to meet Cottage Food Law standards, the need arises to rearrange things a bit.
Cottage Food Laws in New Mexico do allow for certain foods to be processed in our home and sold direct to customers. Many people who love to bake may be interested in starting up their own mini-bakery, but understand that there still are guidelines, rules and laws to follow.
In a cottage kitchen, food can be prepared and baked. A commercial kitchen has a whole other set of guidelines requiring that the commercial kitchen be completely separate from the personal kitchen. We have already designed our commercial kitchen, but we won’t begin to work on a commercial kitchen for a few years from now. We can, however, take advantage of the Cottage Food Laws here, make the minor changes needed to follow the rules, laws and guidelines for best practice.
So how do I improve on what I thought was perfect “as is?” I started with the refrigerator. The refrigerator sat in front of the long awkward window, blocking light and taking up valuable wall space. On Monday, Anthony and Noah helped me by allowing me to drive them crazy. How? I’d say, “can you move the fridge over here?” and they’d say “ooo, that’s gonna look awkward” and I’d say, “well, lets just see and sit with it for a few minutes.” Yes, it was moved around the kitchen in different spots, until finally it was moved right back where the fridge would originally be designed to rest…next to the double ovens.
I knew I wanted to free up the wall on the left near the window to make way for a large set of shelves for storing cottage food supplies.
One of the food laws is that all food for business be stored separate from the personal family food.
The only way to do this was to free up the wall and add shelves for the business.
Moving the fridge also opened up the window to allow light to stream in. During the winter it’s awesome, but during the summer? STRONG light and heat stream through from late day through sunset.
We had one of those paper shades up on the window so that people driving by couldn’t see the fridge in front of the window. The top portion of the window was left uncovered, which did allow some light to come in.
Now that the fridge is moved, I brought another set of stainless steel shelves into the kitchen for plan/goal number two…
A window kitchen garden filled with culinary herbs.
I am SOOOOOO excited about having a mini herb garden right in the kitchen. I haven’t started any seeds YET, and in the mean time I just filled the shelves with books and other stuff so it wouldn’t look so bare.
I’m a little impatient about growing the herbs from seed, so I may actually go buy some magnificent starts that are already full and lush and BAM! A gorgeous indoor Culinary Herb Garden is born.
Having an herb garden in the window will mean that some light will be blocked by the plants, cutting down on late day heat and sun. It’s a win-win situation.
8″Dx5′Hx4′W but I may go to 10 inches deep to provide the space required between food containers and wall. I also need to find a new spot for our cork board and towel bars.
Once we’ve installed the shelves, we’ll be collecting all the glass mason jars or flip top jars to house bulk herbs, spices, essential oils, salt, coconut flour and other primal cottage kitchen needs.
Yes, this will be a primal cottage kitchen for making primal/paleo breads, crackers, snacks and desserts.
After the shelves are complete and our culinary herb garden is added, I’ll be redesigning our drawers and cabinets. I can’t wait to do that too!
I found this great idea on pinterest and knew it would be perfect for all our drawers! This is a very affordable and custom way to turn messy drawers into ordered perfection: