Recently I found myself finally being able to decorate an organized kitchen. I had made the changes I wanted and was ready to make it all look pretty.

Decorating is important to me. But so is organization

I don’t like things out of place. I ascribe to the motto that everything has a place. 

And if it doesn’t, I will create one.

As I live in an apartment and don’t have a huge kitchen, I have to organize so that things I need are readily available to me. 

But it’s just as important to me that it is also visually appealing.

I like to have everything corralled into a container of some variety. It looks less cluttered. And I can also easily pick it up should I spill something, for instance.

As you see above, my sugar and tea bags are in clear glass canisters in a dough bowl. 

Along with those two things are small ceramic measuring bowls and olive oil.

I have four cutting boards arranged along the wall. Along with a small red container that holds a dish towel and a red owl spoon rest.

I’m using photos to move down my surface space showing you where I do what. The above photo is where I use my electric skillet, to the left of my sink. 

I always cut up food on my cutting boards in this same space. And I prepare food here as well.

To the back of this counter space is my galvanized tray with utensils, etc. 

To the right of that is a narrow vintage wooden box where I’ve stored dish soap, hand soap and surface cleaner.

The sponge I use to clean dishes is placed inside a cow planter. I have utensils in cans and jars. I like all my utensils in one spot.

Then there’s the space where my washer sits.  

I keep the electric skillet on top of the washer, as the electric outlet is there. Although when I actually use the electric skillet, I move it to the counter.

On the wall is a shelf where I store my laundry soap, etc. Then on the other wall is vertical storage. 

I call this “decorative storage.”

Then there is the doorway going into my dining space, and then what you see in the photo below. 

I have more vertical storage with the metal wall container and the hanging rake. Then you see my red cupboard (pantry), with the rest of my cutting boards and a small lamp. 

I hate overhead light and very rarely use it. Can you believe I’ve lived here close to three and a half years and never had to change the overhead light bulb? Same way in the other rooms.

I’ve added two vintage graters for decorative purposes. Though if I need to grate cheese, they’re mighty handy!

Then there is Breville Smart Oven where I cook most of my food. 

The oven mitts I use to take hot food out of the Breville Smart oven are right there hanging on the wall.

Down below the kitchen cart is where I store cookware, small electrical appliances, paper towels and dog food.

The plastic container is where I store dry dog food. On the middle shelf (you can’t see it) I line up canned dog food. 

The doggy bowls (you can’t see them) are on the floor below the paintings, etc.

The red tray you saw in my bedroom post yesterday is stored in the small space between the cart and the wall. When I eat in my bedroom, I use the red tray.

I haven’t bothered showing the doorways, but at the end of the cart is the doorway into my short hallway. 

Then on the wall above, I have more vertical storage. The wooden cow has hooks for measuring spoons.

As you can see, I try to decorate around necessities so that they also are pleasing to the eye. Or at least to my eye!

I store vintage jars on the windowsill. They are handy if I need to store something in them, and I like the way they look lined up there in the window. 

An added benefit is that the sun looks so pretty shining through the jars. I also ripen tomatoes from my patio garden there. 

To my eye I think I have made good use of the space that I have and thus I don’t need more space. Plus I don’t want more space. 

I’m really quite happy having all my things out in plain sight, because they not only serve a purpose, but I like the way they look. In fact now I actually prefer things out in plain sight.

My kitchen makes me smile. It isn’t fancy or expensive. And it doesn’t have the latest appliances. But it’s more than good enough for me. 

If your space makes you smile, then you have achieved not only the goal of storing necessities, but you’ve also managed to decorate an organized kitchen at the same time.

To me, that is a win-win.

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  1. Good afternoon! I love your small kitchen. I have small kitchen too and still love it anyway. I knew that you have no dryer and I am curious how do you dry your bed-sheets? I have no dryer and even no stove too. I hung my clothes on shower rail (?) and hang towels on dry rack outside when the weather permits. I am curious about yours. Lovely kitchen!

  2. Your kitchen is so charming, Brenda, and I absolutely love that face utensil holder. Can I ask where you got it from? I am admiring all the red in your kitchen. I used to have that as well until I changed to the blues. Thanks for sharing your storage ideas. I have a small kitchen too, so I appreciated your post.


    ps…I smiled when you said that Daisy Cottage was the first blog you visited. : ) It was the best.

    1. I sure wish she'd stayed with that blog and was continuing to post there. I loved her blog! I know she has a photography blog, but just isn't the same.

  3. Brenda~

    I love the way you put things together! I also like to have, like items put in one spot for easy organization. Your colors are just so pretty, and I love the wooden spoons on the cupboards, so pretty! Thank you for showing us your kitchen, it sure did give me some great ideas!


  4. You've made such great use of your small space… love it and it has given me a few ideas too. I have to use all of my wall space too and I haven't used it as effectively as you have! I do hang up alot of things and like little shelves. I too like a little lamp in the kitchen.. it looks so cozy.. I had one that I found at a thrift store, but it only lasted there a couple of weeks when I decided I needed it instead in my craft room! so I need to find another small one. Love the warm look at night. I have an almost empty wall so I need to get to work putting up some more shelves, hook, etc. I like the idea of a cart too, with a tub to hold pet food (right now our bag just sits out in plain sight – ugly)…..and like the paper towells in the basket. Another great idea as I keep mine in the garage and have to trek out there every time I need a new roll. Thanks for some organizing inspiration.. and your kitchen is so sweet looking and so homey. Marilyn

  5. Well, having everything out in the open for me would be a disaster! I do manage a little decor in my small kitchen, but there's no way I could have pots and pans and dishes out in the open. I don't know why, but I just know that the more things on my counters the more things end up on my counters that belong elsewhere! I do have quite a bit of cupboard space for the small size of my kitchen. But not a lot of counter space if you can imagine that. My cupboards go all the way to the ceiling and virtually every wall in the room has cupboards on it. Sometimes I find it frustrating that I don't have more wall space to hang interesting or artful things on.

    You do a beautiful job of organizing and decorating your kitchen, Brenda. And you don't use any of your cupboards? Amazing! One thing I think every time I see photos of your apartment, though, is that I'd like a map of your spaces because I just can't quite see how they sit in relationship to each other. Like the hall you mentioned today–where exactly is that?? So, could you please draw me a map and photograph it? I can hear your response: "Ahh, NO! Not a chance, I've got a lot of other stuff to do! But I appreciate your level of interest."

    Just so you know for sure, I do enjoy these organizing posts. I need all the encouragement I can get in this area of my life, believe me!

  6. Your kitchen looks beautiful.. I love organazation.. My kids tease me about it.. I look at organizing you tube and blogs to learn more secrets.. ha thank you for sharing.. SO helpful.. I Love the red rack and what you did with it..

  7. I agree ORGANIZATION is key especially when your home is small. I detest having to go on what I call SEARCH AND SEIZURE MISSIONS to locate anything that has NOT been put back where it belongs, before I can complete a task I've begun.
    Don't WASTE PRECIOUS time that could be better spent doing something you enjoy.
    Take the time to organize and make the effort to keep it that way.
    I really like the way you corral things in containers, it's a BIG help if like you say there's a spill. I will be looking for ways to CORRAL things in my kitchen. Thank you for enlightening me.
    SNUGGLES to the pupsters.

  8. I love the way you took us through each spot in your kitchen! It truly does help to see how others handle these everyday organizing problems. You really do maximize your space and it looks beautiful as well!

    I have a decorating question. I always see how other people decorate their bathrooms and I have coordinating curtains, rugs, towels, etc. but I never went much beyond that and the soap container and such. When I grew up the bathroom was very basic and utilitarian so I never thought much about decorating it. Do you have any hints for decorative storage, wall art, etc. for such a small space? Thanks Brenda!

    1. Maybe I should have a day when everyone asks questions. I grew up in the same environment you did. Nothing in our home was what you'd call decorated. Let me see…baskets, cake pedestals for soaps on the counter if there is room. Shelves if you have the wall space, which is what I'd love.

  9. I never noticed that scroll work on the front of your cabinet, below the sink before. I love it. I went right to the kitchen to see what space I have there. Guess what, mine looks like two small drawers. You know what I am looking for the next time I am at Menard's or the resale shop. You made my day, thanks….

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