This weekend’s link roundup includes hairstyle advice, alternatives to peonies, a boozy summer recipe, decorating tips for small spaces, and more… READ MORE!
Archives for May 2015
With our move to DC rapidly approaching, I can’t stop thinking about how to organize and decorate our new place. Although trying to determine how to fit the content of a two-story house inside a townhouse is stressful, the upside is that I’ll have a lot of home-related content to share with you as I figure it all out! Which brings me to today’s topic: kitchen essentials.
The kids and I aren’t moving until Levi’s preschool ends in June, but Jordan and I would like the house to be as close to finished beforehand. So I went down yesterday to start setting up the kitchen. It’s not that I don’t trust Jordan to figure out where to put everything (well, not entirely); he’s just really busy with his new job.
Our kitchen is significantly smaller than our Omaha kitchen, but it doesn’t feel cramped because of its floor-to-ceiling windows and the over-the-sink cut-out looking into the dining room. The upper cabinets extend to the ceiling, which is nice, but there are fewer lower cabinets in which to store pots and pans, small appliances, and bakeware.
Oh, and there’s no pantry.
After spending several hours in the kitchen yesterday, I came up with an updated list of kitchen essentials we’ll need to help make the space work for us. For example, our new fridge doesn’t have a water dispenser!
Obviously, that’s not the worst thing in the world, but since we haven’t used a water filter pitcher in almost six years, we need to get a new one. Any Brita would suffice, but I love the modern look of this Soma water pitcher (1).
Because of the lack of storage, some food items may have to live on the counter. I’m a sucker for typographic kitchen canisters (2) like this set from West Elm.
We also don’t have a ton of extra drawer space for all of our cooking utensils, so some will have to go in a crock next to the stove. This vintage-looking utensil holder (9) would be a fun contrast to the kitchen’s super contemporary look.
Instead of replacing the Keurig machine that died just before we left Omaha, Jordan and I would like to try making French press (5) coffee instead. That means we’ll also need a coffee grinder (4) because freshly ground beans taste the best. And although it’s not necessary, we’ve been enjoying my parents’ milk frother (6) and now
can’t don’t want to drink coffee without warm frothed milk.
We were hoping to add a hot water dispenser to the kitchen sink to help speed up the manual coffee-making process , but it doesn’t look like that’s possible. Instead we’ll need either an electric kettle (3) or a whistling tea kettle (8) that we can leave out on the counter.
With a growing list of kitchen tools that’ll need to be accessible, we’d benefit from some extra storage. The kitchen could fit a bistro table, but a kitchen cart (11) with shelves or a classic baker’s rack would be a better use of that space.
Believe it or not, Jordan is the primary cook in our family. (Ok, if you know me in real life, you can probably believe it.) I’ve just never been interested in cooking. However, his new commute means he won’t be home early enough to make dinner.
I’m kind of freaking out about having to cook every night, but I’ve heard that using a slow cooker (10) is basically life-changing so now I must have one.
Finally, our collection of dish towels is just old and sad. Half are from Jordan’s bachelor days (!) and the rest are just well-worn from years of use. I’d love to start fresh with a set of modern screen printed linen tea towels (7).
Besides ladles and peelers and colanders, what are some of your essential kitchen tools? What couldn’t you live without in your kitchen?
PS – Some ideas for the townhouse’s backyard patio.
Have I mentioned that we’ll be downsizing when we move to DC? In Omaha, we had a two-story house on almost a half-acre of land. Our new place is a townhouse with a shared backyard resembling a college campus quad.
Before the grass begins, however, is a small private patio. It’s not quite big enough for outdoor dinner parties, but it’s just the right size for sitting in lounge chairs while watching the boys play in the yard. Or for drinking a glass of rosé while reading the book I didn’t get to finish on our vacation.
Despite having such a large backyard in Omaha, we didn’t own any patio furniture. There was a cobblestone patio where we kept our grill, but it wasn’t level enough for a table and chairs. Since we knew we weren’t in our forever home, we didn’t want to invest the money in fixing it.
If we wanted to sit outside to watch the dog run around or Levi play with his water table, we’d bring up our folding lawn chairs from the basement. You know, the kind you bring to outdoor concerts with general admission or to plays in the park. When we had backyard parties, we’d create sitting areas on the grass with large blankets or ask our friends to BYOLC (“bring your own lawn chairs”).
Ideally, I’d like to decorate our new patio with at least two lounge chairs, a small table, and possibly an outdoor rug. Because we’ll be starting from scratch (apart from those utilitarian lawn chairs), I’ve been spending a lot of time browsing Pinterest for patio inspiration and Wayfair for patio furniture. Here are some ideas I’m currently tossing around for our townhouse patio:
Patio Inspiration for Small Spaces
Which of these three patio ideas do you like best? I think I’m leaning towards #2, but I wonder if those Acapulco chairs are actually comfortable. Does anybody know?
Thanks to Wayfair for sponsoring today’s post! I received compensation to share my patio inspiration with you. You can see even more of my furniture and decor picks on my Patio Dreams idea board at Wayfair.com. As always, all ideas are my own.
Have you ever tried a cronut? We were living in Omaha when Chef Dominique Ansel’s croissant-doughnut hybrid went viral two years ago and quickly became a worldwide sensation. A bakery near our house even started producing their own version of the trendy pastry, but I wanted my first cronut experience to be at Dominique Ansel Bakery in New York City where it was invented… READ MORE!
This weekend’s link roundup includes Jenna Lyons’s first job, one woman’s secret baby, a new denim trend, all-natural skincare products, and more… READ MORE!