Category Archives: Projects

Spice Rack

Since we are going to be out of here in less than 60 days (as referenced to in this post) I’d like to go over some the things we have done to our place that we are especially pleased with. So, without further ado…

THE SPICE RACK

We love to cook, but sometimes it can be a challenge in our tiny galley kitchen, especially when it comes to storage and cabinet space. Our cabinets unfortunately look like all of our closets, with everything strategically placed in a jigsaw-sort-of-fashion that requires you to pull out 5 things in order to retrieve the item you went in for – and this really just wasn’t working for our spices. Who wants to pull out cumin, oregano, curry powder, coriander, tarragon, and cinnamon just to get to the garlic powder? Not us!

So, we thought on the topic and I scoured the internet and Pinterest to find a better solution. We considered drawer inserts (which weren’t good due to the lack of drawers in our kitchen), counter-top spice-spinner things (which couldn’t hold enough jars), stackable shelves for inside the cabinets (we already have a lack of cabinet space), but none of the options really seemed to measure up to the idea I had in my head.

We use a lot of spices regularly, and I wanted somewhere where we could easily see and access all of them. Somewhere where we could keep a good inventory of what we had so that I would stop buying a new jar of nutmeg every fall when I wanted to bake a pie… And if the spices were easily visible like this all the time, they needed to look presentable. I then started looking at shelving and jars, and I looked, and looked, and looked some more.

Until I found the perfect ledges – brushed silver, great depth, and a nice lip on the edge so that none of the jars would fall off! Although the ledges weren’t cheap, I just couldn’t resist! You can find them here at crateandbarrel.com. However, there are much more affordable wooden ledge options at Target or IKEA, and it really wouldn’t be too hard to construct the ledge yourself. I just really, really wanted the brushed silver ones- they complimented the appliances and cabinets so well!

The jars were a bit easier to decide on. We decided not to buy a bunch of glass jars, and then buy lids, and then attempt to find shaker tops, fill them with spices, and then try to label them. We simply went with Target’s line of spices, they come in a nice glass jar with a great lid, shaker top, super cute and simple labels, and they even come filled! crazy, right!?

On a side note: We didn’t replace all the spices we had on hand at once with the Target brand ones, we did it slowly as we ran out.

Overall, we are thrilled with the way this project turned out. It is so convenient while we are cooking, it’s freed up some extra cabinet space, and it is so much more organized – I haven’t re-bought a spice we already had since! And the bonus is that it has sort of become a  colorful addition for our kitchen, a totally functioning piece of Art! Everyone seems to notice it when they walk in and asks us about the different spices we use. – We love it : D

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Shelf Styling: Mixing His & Hers

Jeff  likes nice things, I like nice things, but sometimes we don’t like each other’s nice things, and sometimes our nice things don’t like each other. Are you following me here?

For instance, Jeff loves this –

(okay, a small disclaimer – these may not all be that nice of things!) 

And he loves this little guy –

And I do not.

Now on the other hand, I do like things like this –

And like this –

But Jeff is not a fan of anything floral.

And we want our home to to reflect who we are and what we like, thus comes the hard part. The age old dilemma of mixing the masculine and the feminine.  What I have found is that it is very helpful to bring in pieces that we both like, such as nature inspired items, like this piece of drift wood we had originally bought for Jeff’s fish tank.

It’s a bit masculine with it’s sharp edges, but I really like it and would take it any day over that mini football helmet, sheesh! I have also found that a way to help give a more masculine vibe is sparsity. Keep it simple, the less crap you have shoved in those shelves, the more of an impact the items you do have displayed will have. For instance our bar shelf below –

Shelf Example #1

Top Shelf: Masculine driftwood balanced by a feminine display of wine glasses ( I suppose the wine glasses could be either masculine or feminine but I see them and the martini glasses as more feminine).

Middle Shelf: Martini glasses balanced by earthy pieces, like the rock, lol.

Bottom Shelf: Jeff’s picture frame with my flowers and and the flasks to balance out the extremely girly, pink flowers.

Shelf Example #2

Top Shelf: Books with the dreaded gargoyle!

2nd Shelf: Our neutral, nature inspired, Aloe plant.

3rd Shelf: Books with my floral painted clock.

4th Shelf: White vase, this piece is actually a neutral one, Jeff and I picked this out together.

5th Shelf: Books with the dreaded gargoyle’s twin, ahhh!

Bottom Shelf: The ever masculine, sub woofer.

I’m not an expert, but all in all I think it’s about the compromise and finding a way for our pieces to get along with each other, even if it means bringing in a mediator (like our piece of drift wood and aloe plant) to make sure everyone gets along!

Quick Tip for Floppy Boots

I’ll start off by saying, I LOVE BOOTS! Above I have a new pair of boots that I recently purchased at Nordstrom Rack for just $40, woo whoo! And I’m actually quite bummed we are still  having such warm weather here in the Chicago suburbs because I can not wait to start wearing these puppies! Today what I want to address though is storing my collection of boots. As you can see above these boots are looking pretty floppy and sad, they are a pain to store when they aren’t standing up straight, and I’ve heard that it actually isn’t good for your boots to not keep them in their intended upright position.

So my easy and FREE solution is…. Paper Towel Rolls!


Ta Da! Standing up nice a straight… here’s a peak at the whole collection together –

I know this tip isn’t Rocket Science, but even just the littlest thing to help keep my closet in order makes me happy.

And Compass was impressed!