Friday, January 13, 2012

Little Manhattan: Claiming Air Rights in your Kitchen

"Cuius set solum, emus set usque ad calm et ad infers." For whoever owns the soil, it is theirs up to Heaven and down to Hell."

Someday I'll have my giant kitchen with a Viking gas range, copper hood, and a chef's rack hanging from the ceiling, holding my All-Clad, Calphalon, and copper-ware.  But for now I have my little orange kitchen, linoleum checkered floor, and terra-cotta colored counter-tops.  And, to be honest, amid all of my dreams of grandeur, this little kitchen is the place I feel most comfortable.  I love to wake up in the morning, make coffee with my love, and sit within the cheery walls of this little kitchen.  

With that said, my kitchen is very small.  I think of it as my little Manhattan, where the only place to go is up.  Since it is so small I have allowed my more attractive pans and dishes to become part of my kitchen's decor by hanging them on the wall rather than hiding them away in a cupboard.  After making these changes in my kitchen I suddenly had 2 cupboards and 2 drawers free, where I could organize my goods as well as hide my less attractive wares.

Following are a few ways to maximize the real estate in your kitchen (note, you will need a drill.  If you don't have one and can't borrow one, you can rent them from Home Depot.  However, I believe a drill is essential to the independence of any woman.  The moment I bought a drill I decided I could do anything.  I bought mine for $30 at home depot).

my magnetic spice rack.
As it turns out all of my
spices were old.  Here are the
4 I have left.
I. Make a magnetic spice rack.
By making a magnetic spice rack you can free up an entire spice drawer for something else in your kitchen.  If you have had your spices for more than 1 year you need to throw them out, anyway, as they are now flavorless.  While making your magnetic spice rack if you see you need to replenish your spices, take a trip down to your international grocery, where you can find spices at a quarter of the price.

1. Buy magnetic spice jars at World Market, Bed Bath and Beyond, or Wal-Mart ($2 each)  Label them with appropriate spices.
2. Purchase a small sheet of aluminum from Home Depot ($4).  Ask the kind sir with the orange apron in the hardware department to drill a hole in each corner.  If you feel confident in your drilling abilities, then this is something you can easily do yourself.
3. Hold your piece of aluminum up to the wall, using a level to make it straight.  Mark inside your drilled holes so you know where to put your anchors.
4. Place drywall anchor in the wall. 
5. Drill your spice rack into the wall.
8. Hang your spices.

II. Hang your pans on the wall
I originally hung my pans on the wall because I wanted my kitchen to look like Amelie's (yes, yes, that was also during my black hair bob phase). Then I realized that I really liked having an extra cupboard, where I could put my less attractive kitchen-ware.  In my dream world I would have a pan rack, hanging from the ceiling.  However, since those cost $200-$600 I decided to hang stationery hooks on the wall instead.  I bought mine at World Market for $2 each.  You can also get them at Hobbie Lobbie or you can get cast iron hooks at the flea market for $1-$4 each (the cast iron hook guy is always outside and has his shop in a tent near the Bradford St. entrance).  Since my kitchen has a South American feel I bought these cute little Mexican Tile hooks.  

1. Place anchors in the wall where you want your pans.  Remember, these pans are now going to be fixtures in your kitchen, so put them in a place that is aesthetically pleasing.

2. Drill your hooks into the wall.  Make sure they're secure before placing your pans on them by tugging on them.  

3 Clean the bottom of your pans, as they will now be facing your kitchen.  I recommend Bon Ami or Bar Keepers friend.

III. Buy a magnetic strip for your knives

IV. Put up an extra shelf.  
In my kitchen I have 1 free wall.  On this wall I put up 3 shelves, where my pretty dishes sit.  I have also purchased glass jars in which to place my tea, coffee, flour, surgar, etc (Apartment Therapy has a great blog on open kitchen organization).  The space inside my dish cupboard is now used for my less attractive dishes, mixing bowls, and pans.  If you still need extra room in your kitchen you can place little hooks on the underside of this shelf for your coffee cups.  For 1 shelf you'll need 2 L-Brackets, a straight piece of wood, anchors, and screws.  You can buy L-Brackets at Home Depot for a dollar, or you can wait until the flea market and buy cast iron Brackets from the cast iron man (about $4 each)

1. Mark the wall where your anchors will go
2. Screw in your anchors, then L-Brackets
3. Place the board on top of the L-Brackets and screw into place.

1 comment:

spice rack said...

Found this link while searching Google, thanks

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