Today we continue our Minimalist Home Tour series! If you want more information on the series or would like to read about why our family is moving towards minimalism, check out this post. Below are affiliate links for your convenience.
Next to our bedrooms and the girls’ toys, the kitchen was the area I purged the most. I absolutely love to cook, and over the past 5 years, I accumulated a ton of extras and duplicates that we didn’t need. I realized that because I was keeping so many additional items in our cupboards, it would actually allow me to procrastinate doing the dishes since we always had clean things to use.
I also discovered that the cleaner I kept the counters, the less likely they were to accumulate junk and items from around the house. I only keep soap on the island by the sink and our paper towel holder is now in the cupboard below. This lets me quickly wipe off the surface whenever I need to and leaves the kitchen feeling open and bright.
The only things that are on the rest of our counters are the coffee maker, my mixer, jars with things we frequently use and some utensils. We also keep our Echo next to the coffee maker which is honestly one of our favorite things on the first floor! It plays music, sets timers for our food, orders things we need on Amazon, calls Uber, finds recipes, controls our AC, etc. I bought it for Ryan last Christmas and it’s an awesome, inexpensive addition to your house that makes things a lot more convenient.
The only other appliance I have is an Instant Pot, which was a game changer when we decided to go plant-based with our diet. If you’ve never researched an IP, it combines various kitchen gadgets into one – but it’s best function is that it’s a pressure cooker. You can cook dried beans in 20 minutes or a potato in 5. We use it constantly to quickly make food, especially beans since we eat a ton of them for protein!
My beloved bar cart that used to be in the Tot School room got moved to the kitchen. The bottom two shelves are for produce and I found a few rustic decor items for the top.
Decor Steals, Target and eBay are where I got the bulk of the decor on the first floor. I weeded through random decor we picked up over the past years and made sure to only keep things that I absolutely love. I then began to fill in the gaps with inexpensive things I found after we moved in.
One of the best things I found was this awesome dish drying rack. I absolutely hate in-sink racks. They always collect water build up and they just look so junky. I researched for awhile and came across this rolling rack. I roll it out when I need to do dishes and when I’m done it goes under the sink! It also comes apart completely, so once every month or two I take it apart and clean the bars and rubber. This is a great way to keep your kitchen looking clean and tidy.
Ryan and I have always had this nice, rustic set of dinnerware, but we only used it twice before moving. We also had a cheap white set from IKEA, but it was scuffed and scratched and needed to be replaced. I found myself wondering why everyone typically has one nice and one “everyday” set of tableware. I decided that there was no point in having these pretty dishes if they never get used, so now we use them every day and I donated our old beat up ones. If these ever get so much use that they need to be replaced, I can always purchase a new set then. Focusing on only keeping things you truly love and adore has completely changed my day. Our meals always feel a little “nicer” and I love that I feel pampered or special throughout the day since we’ve focused on surrounding ourselves with beautiful things.
I got rid of all our random coffee mugs and only kept my Rae Dunn ones. We have 3 pots and 2 pans instead of 20 random ones. I focused on finding two quality non stick pans that could serve all of our needs so that we didn’t have to have 5-6. I also disposed of our old plastic storage containers and bought a nice glass set. Lastly, I found a vintage tea set for tea time with the girls on Etsy.
I consolidated all of the girls’ items, and if I could give you any advice, never buy anything but ezpz and Replay Recycled. For almost 4 years I tried various brands, but in the end, these two brands are the best. We have 2-3 random IKEA items from our tot school days, but I got rid of everything else. These two brands go in the dishwasher daily and they still look brand new. One other tip, I’ve truly found the best bib ever. When I discovered the danger of vinyl bibs, I searched for something that worked just as well. Two years later and we have the same single bib and it also looks brand new. Invest in quality items and you only have to buy a few things which will never need replacing!
We have one set of silverware and 3 sizes of mason jars for drinking glasses. The best way to tackle your kitchen is to take everything out and put it on the counters. Touch every item as you set it back in it’s place and truly ask yourself if you ever use it. Also determine if you have duplicates and get rid of extras. Some other quality items or things I cannot live without are our knife set, good spatulas, and our chopper. Our coffee maker was also an investment after I researched ones that had a removable reservoir. It didn’t matter how often I cleaned or descaled our previous makers, eventually they all got “funky”. I’m happy to say that our current coffee maker is one of the best things we’ve purchased in the past two years.
Our dining area is right off of the kitchen and we replaced the chandelier with a different light. I moved the white cabinet from our old guest room, since we no longer have that space. Our table is actually from IKEA and we’ve had it since we got married. I replaced the old chairs with metal ones when we moved into our previous house to break up all of the wood when we got hardwood floors. That little pink travel booster (we got ours before it had straps) has also been a lifesaver and allowed us to get rid of our highchair a lot sooner.
I found a huge bag of antique silverware on Etsy for $6 and we took random decor from previous rooms to create this space on what was previously a bare, ugly wall. That door leads to a small closet where our water heater and extra food is stored.
I found inexpensive antiques and pieces on eBay to create a farmhouse feel on the shelves of this cabinet. We have extra table linens and cookbooks in the bottom drawer.
Our previous house had a built in desk, so we ended up finding this one that matched our fabulous front door once we moved in.
Our realtor gave us a watercolor of our home on the day we closed, so we re-framed it to match this little cart I found at Marshalls. When we aren’t using the keyboard and mouse for the Mac, I put them in the middle drawer of the desk.
I truly hope that this series will be helpful and encouraging to families out there. We didn’t make all of these changes overnight and I know a lot of “simplifying” can seem overwhelming. This is exactly why I wanted to share our house, room by room, with tips and tricks we found along the way. I’ve also included links below to items in the two rooms, as I know people often message me questioning where I purchased something. If I couldn’t link to an item, I shared where it was purchased. Come back next to see how I tackled our miniature homeschool room!
*All other decor is from Hobby Lobby, eBay or antique shops
For more posts in this series, check out: