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Dreaming of a More Functional Kitchen and Entry

I am a planner by nature.


A problem solver.

A visionary.

A dreamer.


At least that's how I like to think of myself.

At any given moment, I have a half dozen ideas in mind for how to make our small space even more functional. As I explained in my last post, this is an ongoing project in our little house. We've lived here long enough (nearing nine years now) that we've got a good pretty idea of what works and what doesn't.

Lately I've been thinking about improving our kitchen and our entryway. I've noticed that it's time for a purge of the kitchen cabinets again. I do this every few years, and it's been a while. There are a number of items in my kitchen that we really don't need, such as that second strainer and the air popper that we haven't used in at least five years. (Seriously...I'm a hoarder by nature. I've come a long way, baby.) We have this cheese grater that I have to move out of the way every time I want to pull something out of that cupboard. And it's the last cheese grater I reach for, so why it has taken so long to let go is beyond me.

If I can make more space in my cabinets to get a few things off the counter, then I'll be able to increase my limited counterspace. Just the other day I saw some options for installing a dish drying rack over the sink, and I think that would be a great way to clear up even more room on the counter.

We've also been talking about extending the peninsula in our kitchen to improve the eat-in bar. Right now, it's bi-level with the lone seating area being about six inches lower than the rest of the counter, and since both levels together are only about twenty-four inches deep, it really breaks the surface up and makes it harder to use for any purpose. I picture us using that spot to make cookies or do school together, but the way it is right now is not really conducive to that at all. The design has always bothered me.

Perhaps the biggest change that I'm hoping to make sometime in the next year is to relocate our refrigerator. When it was just Chris and me, the lack of coat and shoe storage in our house wasn't really a big deal, but since adding two little girls, it has become much more of a problem.

The girls' shoe bin is in our dining room

The doorway has also become much more crowded with four of us trying to get in and out at the same time.

Looking down on our crowded entry from our loft stairs

The best solution we have come up with is one that I'm pretty excited about. If we relocate our refrigerator so it's not right by the door, we could turn that space into coat and shoe storage, and that would also open up the doorway and hallway a lot.

The problem, of course, is that we would have to downsize our refrigerator to make it fit in the available location in our dining area. Right now we have a 16 cubic foot model, and the replacement model would need to be less than 11 cubic feet to fit in the new space.

Gulp.

That's a pretty significant difference. We might have to get used to the idea of a smaller refrigerator, but we would gain a lot of room by moving forward with this plan.

We just spent all of our spare cash on Chris's dental work and fixing up the loft, so we don't have money in the budget for the more expensive improvements right now. We have time to think it through. Overall, though, I'm pretty excited to upgrade the kitchen and entryway when we can gather the funds and materials. For now I'm focusing on purging and cleaning the space to get rid of some of the clutter. I'm sure that alone with improve things a lot, and it won't break the bank!

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