Tagged with " kitchen"
Oct 26, 2010 -

Repurposing Storage

This weekend, I hope to start the final assault on the front of the rig. I want to have the kitchen, entrance, library, and loft completely done except for perhaps minor decorative touches by the end of 2010. Ambitious, much?

The focus this week has been on fine-tuning  my vision of the perfect kitchen. I started to go off on some pretty crazy tangents, coming up with storage ideas for every nook and cranny without even thinking about why I would need more storage or even if I needed it.

Finally, I decided that my biggest issue is with drawer space. Miranda has only three tiny and awkward kitchen drawers:

Over time, my use of them has changed and settled into:

  • Top drawer for cutlery and everyday tools;
  • Middle drawer for dish towels;
  • Bottom drawer for occasionally used tools.

I have had it up to here with digging through that top drawer every time I want a knife, the pizza cutter, a teaspoon, etc. The drawer is too deep and narrow for separators, so everything just gets thrown in.

so sick of this jumble!

Tonight, while working on the final layout for the study, I had an epiphany. Remember my supply cubbies? I have used them for ten years to house all my office supplies. I haven’t been able to find a home for them in Miranda. Moreover, the new desk has drawers with more than enough room for all my supplies. Why not move it to the kitchen?

pizza cutter, tongs, can opener, all easily accessible
miscellaneous stuff in one layer, easy to go through

The top three cubbies aren’t quite the right size to hold the cutlery. I put forks and spoons in at a diagonal on that row, but butter knives had to go diagonally into a larger cubby on the second tier.

My favourite part of the setup is my new coffee centre:

the canister holds coffee, a measure, and powdered milk

I don’t even feel the footprint of the cubbies at all. The counter is very deep there, but not useful for anything other than holding stuff. I’ll be removing the blind and the valance, which will give me an extra inch of space.

Once the cubbies are on skid-proof material, I’ll just need to turn them around for travel.

The top kitchen drawer is now going to hold spices since I don’t like the magnetic spice holder. The middle drawer will now house dish cloths and the bottom drawer, dish towels. This will declutter the space under the sink that was holding dish cloths and give me more room to manoeuvre in there. Getting dizzy yet?

The final thing I need to work on in the kitchen is the pantry (which is actually three overhead cabinets and a cupboard). That has been the biggest work in progress since I moved into the rig, but I’m getting close. One of the things I need to do is reconsider my storage containers so that they stack better. I tend to shop every few days and rarely  have a lot of food stored on board, but I want my staples to be more accessible to reduce the number of surprises I get when I go through the pantry once a month or so!

I have to say that my kitchen has turned out to be the biggest surprise about living in Miranda because it is so functional. I’ve always had big kitchens with lots of cabinets, so I’m a bit shocked that this tiny one works so well for me. I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I know what tools I need and have pared myself down to just those essentials.

Now, I just need to organize those desk drawers in the study…

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Homemaking, Organizing, Personal    No Comments
Oct 2, 2010 -

Priming the Dressing Room

I’m always slow to start on projects because they tend to be so overwhelming. Such was the case with the dressing room; there were just so many small, nitpicky details to deal with. But once they were done and the room was ready for priming, why wait?! The climate here is so dry that the primer will be ready for a coat of paint in the morning and then I should have the dressing room back online Monday. I really didn’t want such a crucial room unavailable for any great length of time.

Before I started on the priming, I decided I might as well get the kitchen lintel defabricated, too, and polish up the side of the overfridge cabinet that’s visible from the dressing room. I wouldn’t be painting it since it’s part of the oak cabinetry, but why not just get it done?


Since I stupidly built the cabinet around the lintel, I didn’t think I’d be able to get it out, but, fortunately, the screws were all located at the edge of the cabinet, so I was able to get it out with a minimum of fuss. I then used two pieces of the trim I found to finish the cabinet side since two pieces width-wise fit the space exactly, they were of the perfect thickness, and I had one piece that fit vertically. So, it was just a matter of making one cut. It was one of those jobs that turned out to be super easy once I got to work on it.

from the front

from the side

The paint job in the toilet room wasn’t great because I’d never used Kilz primer before. It’s tricky stuff since it goes on thick but then sort of separates and drips. I wound up with waves of primer in the toilet room. The job there is fine for what the room is, but since the dressing room is so visible I wanted a smoother job. So, I spent a couple of hours tonight laying on primer with a brush, rolling it out, then brushing it again. It’s so hot and dry that the primer almost dried as I put it on, making it even fussier to work with. Again, I’m not thrilled with the result, but it’s better than the job I did in the toilet room.

It wasn’t until after I started priming that I realised I should have double-checked the colour first. But then I remembered that a little can of paint like that costs ten bucks so, worse case scenario, I’ll go pick up something I like better.

So, not a bad evening’s work… and I even made that chocolate cake! 😀

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Cooking, Decorating, Homemaking, Personal, Renovating    2 Comments
Apr 5, 2010 -

Intangible Results

You know all that little stuff that doesn’t get done because you ‘have more important things to do’? Well, today was time for me to start on that little stuff. I feel like I got absolutely nothing done today and, yet, I scratched quite a few things off my giant to-do list.

The biggest victory was the stupid catch for the over-fridge cabinet. I can’t even begin to calculate how much time I have spent on this thing. No matter how carefully I measured, I could never get the door and cabinet pieces to line up. Add to that having to work with my arms above my body and it has been a hard job that slowly morphed into a nightmare. This catch problem was starting to keep me up at night. It was such a small thing and yet it had completely defeated me. Tonight, I had an epiphany. I inserted the door piece into the cabinet piece and smeared it with glue. I then shut the door and pressed tightly. The result was a perfect impression of exactly where I should screw in the piece. I don’t know why it takes me so long to come up with ideas like that. 🙁

Another thing I did was finish two sides of the dishwasher cabinet. The third side, that of the library still requires some fine-tuning and thinking about.

While digging through the dregs of the scrap pile I found a small piece of solid wood that would look much nicer for the top of the kitchen-side cabinet. I used the plywood piece as a pattern, cut out the top, sanded it, and installed it from under the counter using straight brackets. I also found a piece of oak-type trim that perfectly matched my counters that I used to hide my imperfect cutting along the back of the piece. Looks MUCH better than did the plywood!

I had to do some fine-tuning of the door on the kitchen side, but now it’s done. I’m not 100% happy with it, of course, but it looks a million times better than I would have expected it would.

I also added trim to the side of the cabinet we see from the entry door. It beefs it up a bit, I think.

Finally, I spent an hour today hauling some furniture I found on Craigslist. That will be a the subject of tomorrow’s post. 😀

Floor trim notwithstanding, the kitchen, *gulp*, is done for this phase of the renos!

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Homemaking, Personal, Renovating    1 Comment