Kitchen Inspiration

September 15th, 2011 · 85 Comments · Kitchenlightenment

I stumbled upon an inspiring photo in Elle Decor a few years ago when we were in the process of renovating our kitchen. It was just the corner of a room, but unlike a lot of the spaces featured in shelter magazines, it looked like someone lived there. There was childrens’ artwork on the refrigerator (tastefully arranged), some raffia wallpaper covering a small desk area, and a round table surrounded by red Eames chairs. The Eames part of those red chairs was not in the budget, but I stuck that photo to my bulletin board and it got the ball rolling on the designing. Nevermind that I didn’t pay an ounce of attention to the dishwasher door blocking the cabinets (forcing us to put away our glasses in two steps) or the fact that it will be the year 2029 before my children will be able to reach to the ice tray in the freezer or be able to open the 200-pound pull-out pantry door by themselves. I got my red chairs and I love my kitchen to this day.

But I love the kitchens featured in Design*Sponge’s at Home — the book based on the blog that everyone except maybe two people in the world are obsessed with — even more. Grace Bonney, the founder and author, takes the concept of inspiration to a whole new level here with page after page of gorgeous personal spaces along with personal stories that explain how the lucky owners managed to execute their visions. The kitchens, of course, were my favorite. For instance, if I had stumbled upon the photo above a few years ago, there is a 100% chance that I’d be sitting in a yellow kitchen with a painted checkerboard floor right now.

Artisan was nice enough to send along a sneak peak of some of the kitchens featured in Design*Sponge At Home and to celebrate its publication, DALS is giving away a free copy of the book to one lucky commenter below*. Winner will be chosen at random next week, but special consideration goes to anyone who shares a cool family kitchen design idea. Even special-er consideration goes to any commenter who follows DALS on facebook.

I love the red on red here. It’s the 2011 answer to Julia Child’s museum-worthy pegboard.

I have white cabinets, subway tiles, marble countertops, and yet…my kitchen does not remotely resemble this one. It must be the floor — would you look at how cool those tiles are? Well, the floor and the wine. Mine is always much more accessible.

Can you see the chalkboard panel attached to the side of the refrigerator? How fun would that be for a kid?

My favorite detail in this one: The little reading nook. Phoebe would lose her mind.

*Thanks for playing everyone. Lori wins the book.

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85 responses so far ↓

  • 1 jodi // Sep 15, 2011 at 7:43 am

    I’m totally cool-kitchen-design-idea retarded, so I can’t share an idea or a photo. But I could desperately use the book so I can have some cool-kitchen-design-ideas to fix my not-so-cool-kitchen-design.

  • 2 Stephanie S. // Sep 15, 2011 at 8:06 am

    I love a beautiful kitchen but for me it needs to have function too. What can I say? Organization makes me drool! Here are two great ideas I’ve had in my Pinterest for awhile. The first link is a solution to those animal food bowls tucked in the corner and the second is an awesome, but simple and affordable, pantry makeover that makes me wonder why I didn’t think of it myself. http://pinterest.com/pin/13693243/ http://pinterest.com/pin/13826887/ Thanks for the great giveaway!

  • 3 Natalie // Sep 15, 2011 at 8:10 am

    Our kitchen is really tiny and I too have to unload the dishwasher in two steps! And there can only be one person in there if you want to open the fridge, LOL. BUT I have a great window above our sink that is great for little pots of herbs. :) I would love to win this for some inspiration!

  • 4 Kelly // Sep 15, 2011 at 8:12 am

    After several frustrating rounds of looking at uninspiring “clean and modern” kitchens, I found this, on Design*sponge no less. http://www.designsponge.com/2011/07/sneak-peek-jess-dustin-of-vermont-farm-table.html

    We are now going with a cabinet/shelf combo, and building (where neccessary) from plywood and reclaimed boards. I was so inspired by how they managed to create this homey, incremental look on a limited budget and with limited skills and time. And by giving us the courage to break away from built-in, prefab cabinets, we came up with a great reuse of an old apothecary cabinet…so excited to get started. (As soon as we finish about a thousand other projects in our late-seventies, carpenter-built, undesigned house.)

  • 5 heidi // Sep 15, 2011 at 8:26 am

    I’m with jodi, totally lacking cool ideas. I NEED the book to help me.

  • 6 Kortney // Sep 15, 2011 at 8:42 am

    I would love to have some inspiration in this department. Since I have been with my husband we have moved 14 times. Honestly, this is the longest I have every lived in one city (6 1/2 yrs). Because we had to move so often my houses have always stayed neutral and “empty” design-wise. We (and by we I mean “I”), have been talking about making this house seem more like a home, not just a place to stay until the next stop. I love this house, and my kitchen has a lot of potential. It is open and a great place to entertain, now if I could just make it look entertainment worthy!

  • 7 robin // Sep 15, 2011 at 8:59 am

    We live in a philly row house with a rather small galley kitchen. When we remodeled in 2008, many people suggested we open it up but one wall was a loadbearing wall and I didn’t want to lose the separateness of our dining room not to mention a location to place our refrigerator in the actual vicinity of our other appliances. I did come up with a plan that, to this day, is pretty, pretty genius. We knocked down the little wall and doorway to open up the space which essentially made a short hallway part of the kitchen. Also, we took out the shelfs that were in the closet leading to the basement to make room for 2 pull-out pantries along a blank wall between said dining room and kitchen. A whole lotta goodness fits in there. I recall your post about cooking with limited tools in Paris. I feel the same way about square footage. My galley kitchen is perfect for us.

  • 8 Kristin // Sep 15, 2011 at 9:03 am

    Mine is not-so-much a design idea but a “get me through cooking dinner with kids” idea. I have a lower kitchen cabinet with one of those large flat shelves that slides out for large pots and pans. I took a box lid, covered it in silver contact paper, drew some burners and knobs on it. Used command hooks for hanging up kid sized kitchen mitts inside the doors and loaded it up with utensils, empty spice bottles, and a couple of Ikea kiddie kitchen accessories. And I now have a play kitchen that keeps the kids out of my hair (mostly) and clean up is a snap because I just slide it back in and shut the doors. The trickiest part was figuring out where I would put my big pots and pans.

  • 9 Sara in Montréal // Sep 15, 2011 at 9:03 am

    How will you know that I’m on your facebook fan page too? I don’t use the same name…

    But still, I would love to have this book. We just moved into a new appartment where, while not being the owners, we have a fair control of the decoration and design/renovation processes. Our kitchen is small and I need ideas. Badly!

    Plus I’m a long time fan of design*sponge.

  • 10 Dave // Sep 15, 2011 at 9:16 am

    My dad’s a former high school science teacher. When he retired last year, he brought home all his personal lab equipment that he’d collected over the years. My mother begged me to take some of the stuff out of her house, though my own wife balked at the idea of cluttering our home… until she saw the freestanding beakers with caps on them! We use them all over our kitchen. For pasta, rice, cereal.. you name it. The kids even painted the tops of the caps to add some color. And when I look at them, it reminds me of my dad.. nice.

  • 11 Leah // Sep 15, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Oh, Design*Sponge, so inspiring. I save it for Friday nights with the glass of wine at the computer after the kids have gone to bed — and then dream about all the beautiful things I see. Alas, the biggest thing I’ve done to our kitchen in 8 years is paint the pegboard a gorgeous Tiffany-box blue … but just yesterday, fed up with my pre-fab cabinets (yet not having the cash right now for even an Ikea redo), I picked up a paint sample of a lovely gray to paint them. A winter project!

  • 12 Randi // Sep 15, 2011 at 9:16 am

    Oh, we’re having our house painted now and deciding on a color. I’ve been looking at design*sponge for inspiration, and would so love to have their book!

  • 13 jesser // Sep 15, 2011 at 9:18 am

    Our kitchen now is blessedly quite functional, but one day we want to build a home and of course I’ve given the kitchen the most thought. One thing I definitely want is a fireplace and a very long wooden table with benches for big groups. I definitely want (good! accessible!) cookbook storage and a family hub center (cubbies and racks for all!) adjacent. Just hoping we can build before my kids are in college …

  • 14 Anna // Sep 15, 2011 at 9:21 am

    i painted our freezer with chalkboard paint so that i could keep an inventory on the front which is great for organizing and meal planning. plus, it looks awesome. also, instead of building a kitchen island in our 1895 farm kitchen – i bought a stainless steel prep table from a kitchen supply store. cheaper and it works beautifully.

  • 15 Heather // Sep 15, 2011 at 9:22 am

    I’m hoping to redo our kitchen in the next year. I’d love kid friendly ideas, but right now I’m coveting a grown-up friendly wood counter like this one: http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/marketplace/modern-kitchens-by-the-brooklyn-home-company-designer-profile-146846?image_id=2556808

  • 16 Amy in VA // Sep 15, 2011 at 9:31 am

    My 1946 kitchen was redone by a previous owner – all in white, white everything, cabinets, counters and floor. With two kids, two cats, a dog and a husband who apparently can’t see the mess on the counters, I’d love some inspiration. Paint on the lower cabinets is going to happen. Soon.

  • 17 Stephanie // Sep 15, 2011 at 9:48 am

    The kitchen is the heart of the home. I am getting married early next year, and when we are able to buy our first home together, I will most definitely focus everything on the kitchen. This is by far the raddest kitchen ever. I love the chandelier and the fact that they put a faucet over the stove!
    http://www.thekitchn.com/thekitchn/kitchen-spotlight/the-bruns-breathtaking-bucolic-colonial-kitchen-kitchen-spotlight-120273

  • 18 Tara G // Sep 15, 2011 at 10:00 am

    I think I am one of the two people who isn’t obsessed with this blog… but I will be now! I love DALS for the very reason that I am constantly finding new websites and blogs to love! I would love the book for inspiration since I usually rip things out of magazines and, um, “organize” them in a binder. We gutted and remodeled our 10 x 10 kitchen and did all the work ourselves and it was always my very favorite room, even though it was the smallest!

  • 19 Susan // Sep 15, 2011 at 10:05 am

    Oh I’ve been wanting to order this book – thanks for the offer. As for kitchens we are just recovering from totally gutting two rooms to build a large new white kitchen. While we all put on some weight from three months of take out it is all forgotten now that it is finally done. My favorite part is a built in corner banquet where the kids read, do art or homework and where we all gather for dinner. Cozy and the heart of the home.

  • 20 Maria // Sep 15, 2011 at 10:10 am

    First, Stephanie, thanks for those cool links. I may have to try something like that pet dish arrangement if I can talk my handy hubby into the workshop.

    I’m terrible with design and decorating. My walls stay white because I can’t make up my mind even about a can of paint. However, I have two handy organization tips. First, I have read that a great solution for re-doing your kitchen on the cheap is to clear out all cupboards and re-think the way you use them and what goes where. I’ve tried this a couple of different times and been amazed at the space and convenience I’ve found.

    Second idea is an old one from my mom. When my kids were small, I had a drawer in my kitchen devoted just to small toys they could play with while I was cooking, on the phone, etc. When I was really on top of things, I’d occasionally switch out the toys or introduce something new. It went some way toward keeping me sane during those years. We just returned to our house after a year abroad and in re-stocking my kitchen I opted not to re-fill the toy drawer now that my youngest are starting kindergarten. Makes me a little sentimental, actually, and I haven’t filled the drawer with anything else yet!

  • 21 Melissa@Julia's Bookbag // Sep 15, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Even though chalkboards are kinda been there, I have a teeny one and it is the most fun thing for kids — I think now it’s like a staple instead of a trend!
    I think this kitchen is the prettiest one I’ve seen in awhile: http://pinterest.com/pin/65012871/ I love kitchen with a wallpaper accent wall somewhere nearby –Oh I totally liked you on Facebook a while ago! I can’t wait to see that DS book, one way or another!

  • 22 Nancy // Sep 15, 2011 at 10:21 am

    I have a tiny Manhattan kitchen. My favorite feature is a dish rack mounted on the wall above the sink. It is a brilliant use of limited space.

  • 23 Sara // Sep 15, 2011 at 10:29 am

    The “bar” area, which sits on one end of our small kitchen, is the place where my kids sit & snack & draw & play while I cook & clean up the kitchen. I love that they can be close enough to talk to but technically out of the kitchen. Our bar area is about 6 inches higher than the counter so it also shields the rest of the room from the kitchen counter mess when we don’t have time to clean up!

    Thanks for the great blog!

  • 24 Michele // Sep 15, 2011 at 10:37 am

    I did not come up with this idea (saw it in a magazine) and it was not particularly cheap but it gave our kitchen a very finished look. We had a refrigerator oriented so the (black) side was “very present” so I had a carpenter create a very shallow set of cupboards -which were just deep enough for say a box of Annie’s mac and cheese- to cover and enclose it. This was all that wood fit but you would be amazed how efficient that depth actually is. (Near East rice box, Sugar in the Raw box, Arm and Hammer Baking soda box…not to mention, canned goods…). P.S. I love your posts. My girls are five and seven and like to cook but hate to eat / love to be read to but not interested in reading. :(

  • 25 Michelle // Sep 15, 2011 at 10:37 am

    Someday I will have a house with an off the kitchen reading nook! Love the photos, need some suggestions!

    BTW, we are having your corn and bacon pasta for dinner tonight–yum!

  • 26 Loring // Sep 15, 2011 at 10:41 am

    Yay, DS! I would love to win this book!

  • 27 Martha // Sep 15, 2011 at 10:57 am

    I am so inspired by the Design Sponge blog. I would love to win a copy of the book. Thanks!

  • 28 Molly // Sep 15, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Growing up, my weekends were spent watching my mother whip together some magnificent meal in my family’s big, breezy southern California kichen–the kind of home where fresh herbs are only a step away, 365 days a year, blood oranges are commonplace in every dessert, and where so many avocados hang low on a tree, you don’t mind giving a few away to the squirrels. What was passed on to me was my mother’s love for cooking fresh, vibrant meals, but unfortunately, NOT the kitchen. I currently like in the (mostly) wintery ski town of Jackson, WY, in a tiny cabin with an even tinier kitchen and a burly mountain man of a boyfriend. For 2 months of the year, I am able to tend to a garden, throw the windows open and keep herbs in the windowsill, but for much of the year, we insulate the windows with a platic wrap like material and lower the blinds. We have tried designing in ways to lighen up the space for the dreary winter months and mostly this has come down to organizational techniques to keep the space feeling clean and open. We built (read: boyfriend built) a butcher block table that quadruples as a cutting board, counter space, paper towel rack and a cookbook shelf. More importantly, this new addendum to our kitchen allowed me to get some splashes of color into the otherwise brown log space. I dream of clean, white walls that would allow me to pick any design direction and run with it. Honestly though…i’ll even take drywall in any color…really. But what I really need is some inspiration to help me get through this coming winter or at the very least, allow me to sit on my couch, curled up in a blanket, open the design sponge book and travel, if even just for a blinking moment to a kitchen like yours! Oh and I am a liker of DALS on Facebook…thank you for your wonderful tales, recipies and the opportunity for for this giveaway!

  • 29 Kim // Sep 15, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Boy, do I wish I had something to share!
    What is interesting is that the tile countertops I was just thrilled to get a decade ago, now drive me absolutely crazy.
    I would love to have some fun ideas for starting a very slow kitchen update.

  • 30 Dana // Sep 15, 2011 at 11:16 am

    My husband recently built sliding shelving units that he installed in our lower cabinets. They help us take a lot better advantage of the space in these deep cabinets and make retrieving pots, pans, and dishes way in the back a lot easier.

  • 31 sara cee // Sep 15, 2011 at 11:19 am

    everytime I look at design ideas like that, I want to just start all over and re-do EVERYTHING.

    right now, my designing energy is going toward keeping the toddler/dog/cats out from under my feet in the kitchen. its mayhem

    (and yes, Im a FB fan too)

  • 32 oilandgarlic // Sep 15, 2011 at 11:21 am

    I love the pegboard but alas that is definitely not kid-friendly, nor dog-friendly. We do have a kitchen with yellow walls but now I wished we had checkered floors and red chairs (like yours from DWR)!

    For me, keeping everything out of the way (knives, etc..) is the most important consideration w/ kids.

  • 33 Lorena // Sep 15, 2011 at 11:26 am

    Light! Light is definitely what makes a kitchen. The more natural light, the better, of course, but add some bulbs too! I love how every countertops is illuminated in the fourth photo, but normally you wouldn’t want to have them all on at once, just the one under which you are working. We used several of those little light fixtures meant for the inside of wardrobes. They are super easy to install and the switch is integrated.

    Thank you for the giveaway! (I’m a Facebook fan too).

  • 34 michelle in Montana // Sep 15, 2011 at 11:27 am

    Ah kitchen LOVE!
    I am working hard on getting my belived to remove the dishwasher from our kitchen and make that space into MORE storage for importand kitcheny things! I have this great old cookbook, cannot recallthe name right now, but inside it has a sketch of my dream kitchen and it hosts a rocking chair and lots of baskets….a wood cookstove….ah, yes! We are in Montana afterall! My other kitchen dream it to have the flour bins like the old hoosiers have…..perhaps where my dishwasher (that serves as ugly storage) is now….more dreams of kicking that beast out of my kitchen….I know, I am one of the few, or perhaps the ONLY person who actually likes handwashing dishes.

  • 35 Helene Mahnken // Sep 15, 2011 at 11:53 am

    I just found DALS a short time ago and am really enjoying it. Thanks :)

    Sooo, I just “liked” you lovely people on facebook, and here are some of my kitchen inspirations from pinterest… Can you see a theme?

    http://pinterest.com/pin/50692825/
    http://pinterest.com/pin/45348239/
    http://pinterest.com/pin/40864393/
    http://pinterest.com/pin/32346087/
    http://pinterest.com/pin/32333620/
    http://pinterest.com/pin/187367940/
    http://pinterest.com/pin/159478472/
    http://pinterest.com/pin/91669811/

    I (obviously) love light, bright kitchens with pops of color. :) Sorry about all the links! I love kitchens.

  • 36 Erin @ vie balance // Sep 15, 2011 at 12:12 pm

    Beautiful kitchens! I feel like a need at least ten houses to accommodate all the designs I love. Maybe this book can help me blend some designs together tastefully in order to get the best of all worlds!

  • 37 Gillian Hurst // Sep 15, 2011 at 12:28 pm

    My kitchen design is a love story to the women in my family. My three grandmothers are represented. One grandmother I never met left behind a beautiful red and white kitchen table from the ’50;s. My grandma who has passed left me a box of china and other goodies- including some tea towels from her home in England which I’ve put above the sink. My Mimi (grandma 3) gave me kitchen curtains. My mother gave me all things practical, like pots and pans. My mother in-law decked us out with bakelite flat ware and juice glasses from her collections. And the grandmothers-in-law are strewn about the dishware too. So… we got some vintage eclectic goin’ on in there!

  • 38 Chris // Sep 15, 2011 at 12:32 pm

    I could happily spend an entire day looking a photos of other peoples kitchens. What a gorgeous book!

  • 39 Jane // Sep 15, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    I would love to check out this book! Nothing too special is happening design-wise in our rental apartment kitchen, but my dream kitchen would have a walk-in pantry, a separate canning area, a walk-out to a brick pizza oven/churrasco set up in a backyard, and an in-kitchen office a la Diane Keaton in The Family Stone. I’m not asking for too much, right? :)

  • 40 melyssa // Sep 15, 2011 at 12:40 pm

    I’m with Kortney up above. I’ve moved too much and haven’t called a place “home” in far too long. In two weeks we will be moving into a cute rental, with a tiny kitchen. I’d love to know how to spruce up rentals for those of us who don’t own, and who certainly can’t afford or aren’t allowed to “re-do” a room! I already like and follow you via FB, and if it makes me even more pathetic and more likely to win, I confess I have never even heard of Design Sponge.

  • 41 diana // Sep 15, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Thanks to this post, I’m a mass of inchoate kitchen-lust now.

  • 42 Erica // Sep 15, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    I heart Design Sponge and would love a copy of this book. I just added chalkboard contact paper to the inside of my pantry cupboard and my 16 month old adores having her own art studio in the kitchen.

  • 43 Amanda // Sep 15, 2011 at 12:50 pm

    I’m dreaming of the day I’ll have my own kitchen to decorate. Until then, I love to gaze upon pictures of other people’s kitchens.

  • 44 Jessie // Sep 15, 2011 at 12:51 pm

    I love looking at photos of kitchens! When I get my monthly House Beautiful I immediately flip to the back to see their “kitchen-of-the-month.” My favorite kitchen is my mom’s, who was able to realize her kitchen dream. It is based on an old book my grandmother rescued (she was a librarian in Upstate New York) of botanical prints. My mom framed the prints of the beautiful apples and pears and built the kitchen around that theme. I love visiting and sitting at the round table, surrounded by big windows and beautiful drawings of fresh fruit.

  • 45 heather // Sep 15, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    we had one of those narrow ironing board closets in our war-time era kitchen. since we don’t use an iron much (ahem), we removed the ironing board, installed simple shelving for spices and other pantry supplies, and painted the door in colored chalkboard paint so that we could write down recipe ideas, groceries, and to-do’s.

    as always, thanks for the inspiration

  • 46 amy // Sep 15, 2011 at 1:06 pm

    Our best move was installing a high-quality Tarkett linoleum floor in our kitchen–it’s light blue with tiny multicolored dots. It hides dirt and crumbs so well that I can get away with sweeping very infrequently! More time for fun!

  • 47 Katie V // Sep 15, 2011 at 1:17 pm

    My kitchen needs rehab it’s dark small but tall and lacks storage. I would love to peruse this book!

  • 48 jen // Sep 15, 2011 at 2:13 pm

    we just moved in a year ago and attacked the house – walls mainly, the paint here is soooo dark!! painted the kitchen buttercream yellow and it feels so much bigger now than being sage green walls, green wood cabinets and sage green trim, oh and green counter tops! – and now we are taking a step back and going to do room by room to “finish” it up. we are starting with the mainfloor and since it’s open concept (yuck!) we can do it all at once. of course my eye goes directly to the kitchen. since our budget is small, make that tiny, we are forced to keep the cabinets but are going to do a back splash (since i cook and bake everyday) and also we are going to change out the counter top on the island to a butcher block (to break up the green) and add an element for “island dining”. http://gronicktales.blogspot.com/2011/02/hunting-for-perfect-eyeshadow-and.html . there is a bathroom there which my husband has been eyeing to rip out part of it and make it only a powder room (it houses the laundry right now as well) so we can expand our space that way as well. since my husband is no mike holmes or even tim “the toolman” taylor i am a little hesitant at this project but i am excited about the island transformation as i will be able to get my red stools! so then i can make my red damask curtains for the dining room. then it might feel like a completed space. would love to have a moment to sit back, ice tea in hand and flip through the pages of that book to fill myself with inspiration to the brim. thanks for the chance!!
    ps…i like you on facebook too!

  • 49 j.j. // Sep 15, 2011 at 4:12 pm

    Crossing my fingers that I win the reading nook! Er, I mean, book!

  • 50 pamela // Sep 15, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    i am in a junky rental now dreaming of when the lease is over and we can move to a home with character. so i don’t have anything to show you. but looking at some of these images reminded me of a historic home i lived in years ago. the kitchen was covered in subway tile, but even better: it had a restaurant-nook-type booth to sit in, and there was a drawer in the table portion to hold silverware. we *loved* it. :)

  • 51 Tracy // Sep 15, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    How fun to have a new, beautiful design book to read! I’d love it. I’ve done 2 things lately in our (small, rental) kitchen: (1) hang up 2 pieces of art by our toddler in colorful Ikea frames (I call it our gallery wall), and (2) swap out a small print on the shelf over our stove, b/c I realized that I never really loved it, with a small stack of inexpensive bowls from Anthropologie (like these http://www.anthropologie.com/anthro/catalog/productdetail.jsp?navAction=jump&id=78405&parentid=SEARCH_RESULTS&color=kel). They make me so happy.

  • 52 angela // Sep 15, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    I can’t claim credit for this, but the people who lived in our apartment before us pained all the insides of the cupboards a bright lime green (the kitchen is a pale yellow). It sounds weird, but the burst of colour always catches everyone off guard, in a good way. Maybe that book would help me think of things.

  • 53 Erin // Sep 15, 2011 at 5:26 pm

    I also picked out one tiny detail in a fab magazine spread of kitchen design and I was happy with our application of the idea. I’ve struggled with kids’ artwork all over the place because it can soon overwhelm, get old and messy and then there’s the psychological torture of wanting to throw it out but not wanting to be a bad mom! Enter a timely magazine photo that showed plexiglass picture frames above kitchen cupboards. My variation was to put four bolts through the corners of a piece of plexiglas that fit on the cupboard fronts above each of our mud room locker/cubbies. I can easily switch out old art for new and because we have a cubby for each family member, parents can feature things, too.

  • 54 bridgit // Sep 15, 2011 at 7:33 pm

    My husband was just talking about a pot rack in our house. He thinks they’re brilliant, I always think of them as tacky, but then you show me these photos and I have to change my mind. Thanks!

  • 55 Kristen M. // Sep 15, 2011 at 9:31 pm

    My “no-budget” kitchen ideas of late are…
    1. corral oil, vinegar, salt, pepper on random tray that was around the house to make the essentials easy to grab while cooking.
    2. use thumbtacks and floral wire to create a simple-looking art display for kids artwork.
    3. mop the floor. often. awful, but always makes things look so much better. :)

  • 56 willow // Sep 15, 2011 at 11:01 pm

    Funny, we did made three small changes to our kitchen this week that made a big difference.
    1. We had a mirror installed as a backsplash behind the oven. It does a nice job of giving the kitchen more light and providing an awesome spot for my kid to check his Bieber hair.
    2. We hung family drawn pictures below our open shelving. The homes featured in Design Sponge are always so lovely because they are so personal.
    3. We stuck Rule #10 of the R.O.D’s on our f ridge which has made some people laugh, some groan and some roll their eyes but everyone is helping to clean up!
    Thanks for the wonderful read and inspiring recipes.

  • 57 Dana F // Sep 16, 2011 at 1:40 am

    http://instagre.at/#/by/dana_fontaine/61928567_1917086

    Shortly after having moved into our new home with a lovely, open kitchen perfect for entertaining, my husband’s job had us moving out of country where we rented a smaller home. We couldn’t bear the thought of moving again and leaving the neighbours that quickly became family to us, so we made do with the smaller living quarters and quickly became ingenious with our storage.

    One of the many challenges for me was figuring out what to do with all the little gadgets and decorating items that I have collected over the years that had become difficult to store with only a bank of 3 drawers in the kitchen.

    I serendipitously discovered a library card catalog on craigslist 5 hours away from where we lived the year after we moved in. I made the trek in a big white van to bring that baby home with me. I knew it would transform not only the kitchen, but the way I worked in it. I was finally able to uncrate my cherry pitter, cookie cutters, cheese markers, kitchen torch and all the lovely little gadgets I have collected over the years. Best of all, it sits just outside my kitchen ready at a moments notice to reveal a hidden treasure and with 72 drawers, there is plenty of space left over to store bottles of wine for dinner through the week!

  • 58 Deb @ Home life simplified // Sep 16, 2011 at 6:49 am

    i only saw the other day that there was DS book – so want to get my hands on it!

    I am a FB fan.

    Ideas??? mine are less design and more function / organisation – i keep things where they will be used. The kettle sits on the counter and the cabinet above it houses all the mugs, coffee, teas etc. The lower cabinet next to the stove houses the oils, vinegars, cutting boards and baking trays and so on.

  • 59 Kit10Phish // Sep 16, 2011 at 9:16 am

    I thought I would give the contest a shot and share just a small organization tid bit. My kitchen is really tiny and space is very much lacking for even the essentials.

    To utilize even the highest cupboards that can’t be reached without a step stool, I just put the items in a clear rubbermaid storage bin. Then, I can grab the whole bin down while on my tippys. Stacking things right on the shelves made it impossible to get things in the back without a stool.

  • 60 Barbara // Sep 16, 2011 at 9:34 am

    My favorite kitchen decorating idea is my mom’s, made when our kitchen was new in 1972. She covered one entire wall of the kitchen, near where the table was, with 12X12″ cork tiles with an adhesive back. Nearly 40 years later, she still puts up all the artwork, family photos, greeting cards and little mementos of her family, now including the creative efforts of grandchildren as well as children, relatives, and friends.

  • 61 Amy S. // Sep 16, 2011 at 10:13 am

    My favorite kitchen idea that has worked well in our house is to leave one lower cabinet open (aka non-childproofed), fill it with nonbreakable things (aka tupperware) for my one-year old daughter to play in while I am working in the kitchen. Love your blog and love Design Sponge – great giveaway – THANKS!

  • 62 Caroline // Sep 16, 2011 at 10:18 am

    Our kitchen has high counters…very high counters. The previous owners were much taller than my husband and I, but we are loving the high countertops. When you’re making something, you don’t have to lean over, observers can prop against them like at a bar. It took a bit of getting used to, but we love them now. Wouldn’t go back! I love following your blog and am a Facebook fan. :-)

  • 63 Lindsey Petersen // Sep 16, 2011 at 10:23 am

    I need the book to save my little dungeon of an apt!

    I love nooks in kitchens http://alifesdesign.blogspot.com/2011/09/nook-look.html

    I liked you fbook as well!

  • 64 Sarah // Sep 16, 2011 at 10:38 am

    I am obsessed with kitchens, and I love your red chairs! This is probably going to sound silly after all the big beautiful kitchens people are posting, but I’m in love with this one: http://freckleschick.blogspot.com/2011/08/ikea-insanity-kitchen-shelves.html. My husband and I live in a small apartment with a very small kitchen that has very little storage, and that has always been my biggest complaint about the place. This kitchen inspires me with how much you can do with a small place. It can still be clean, organized, functional, and have personality. Love it!

  • 65 Jessica // Sep 16, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    I LOVE D*S and would be thrilled to get this book.

    Tip: A few years ago, we added a built-in desk with lots of shelves to a corner of the kitchen. That’s where the family computer sits, and on the shelves are art supplies, paperwork, etc. We use the computer now to listen to music, my daughters do their homework there, craft supplies are easy to get to. It’s incredibly useful to have a space for all that “family” stuff right in the kitchen.

    I’m already on fan on FB. Love your blog. :)

  • 66 betsy // Sep 16, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    well, we just rehabbed our kitchen and my top favs are: quartz countertops, self-closing lower cabinet drawers, no upper cabinets, open shelving (above sink), full length hanger on inside of pantry door for spices & teas & oils, and old baked enamel top table for desk instead of more cabinets. also stainless trolley with wheels(Ikea) for island. i also use a pretty tray on top of island for oft used oils and vinegars.
    best decision was to have architect do drawings with precise measurements.
    i also bought dals cookbook for my daughter.

  • 67 Kelli Lewis // Sep 16, 2011 at 2:18 pm

    While living in Fiji, I had a handful of frames made with white tapa cloth covering foam board (three different frame styles)… I hung them in a group along one wall of my kitchen, and would tack my boys’ artwork in the frames gallery-style. My stove was in an island facing the wall; I never got tired of seeing their cheerful creations framed so beautifully, and the wall always got lots of comments. My boys were very proud of their artwork, and I found it to be a great answer to the cluttered artwork-display wall or fridge door. So easy to change up with new creations! (love DS, love DLS – thanks!)

  • 68 Debbie // Sep 16, 2011 at 2:50 pm

    I have two kitchen ideas to share that are fairly simple. The first is to use furniture in your kitchen. We renovated our kitchen on a tight budget a few years back. We kept our existing cabinet boxes, made new door fronts for them, and infilled with a few ikea cabinets. We then painted all the cabinets a great green color. I love the color, but was worried that it would be too much in the space. We ended up buying an old cabinet for the kitchen that works so well. The 6′ +/- cabinet has glass on the top half of the doors, so you can see some things, but you can also hide other things. The cabinet gives the kitchen an instant homey, lived in feel.
    My second idea is to use a towel bar in the kitchen. Our island is perpendicular to our oven, so we installed a simple towel bar at the end. We added “s” hooks and hang towels, oven mitts and utensils from the bar. It keeps everything handy, within quick access to the stove.
    I first found D*S from a link on the DALS website, so I love that you are teaming up like this. And I will definitely follow you on facebook. I didn’t even know it was an option!

  • 69 leslie // Sep 16, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    I don’t see the 80 pound golden retriever that has to lay in the middle of the kitchen so that I have to constantly step over him….

  • 70 Ms ldw // Sep 16, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    Very nice Facebook page and a great give away. I rent at the moment, but dreams are free and my dream kitchen will someday come to be. Right now I am enjoying your blog and making some of the great dinner suggestions.

  • 71 Anne // Sep 16, 2011 at 5:25 pm

    I just realized I have the prefect spot for a reading nook in my kitchen. I am going to make it happen – I want the kids to hang out while I’m cooking.

  • 72 Jamie @ the unseasoned wok // Sep 16, 2011 at 6:07 pm

    If the chalkboard keeps the kids from writing on other surfaces in the kitchen, I’ll buy a whole case and put them up all over the house!!

    Cool kitchen idea – On my son’s first day at his toddler program, they showed us a video of a toddler named Emmett or Eugene something.. he had a little shelf, with all his toddler utensils, a little cup, a little pitcher (that held less water than the cup – so smart), and a container with 1 serving of catfood in it (I’ll explain in a sec), sitting next to his appropriately sized table and chair. At age 2, he could pour his own water, set the table, and feed the cat. It gave him a sense of independence and satisfaction that he could do things like everyone else, not to mention it kept him from diving into the tupperware drawer and making a mess. It was the sweetest, smartest, most sensible kitchen idea I’ve seen thus far – second only to the refrigerator chalkboard.

    I’m also a FB fan!! I especially love your profile photo – it’s so… love story.

  • 73 Meghan O'Connor-Yourkonis // Sep 16, 2011 at 7:01 pm

    I really don’t have any design suggestions but, I found a really great solution for glassware. We have 6 kids and they were constantly forgetting which glass was theirs and getting a new glass every time they needed a drink. I am not a big fan of doing the dishes so everyone was assigned their own style or color of glass. Problem solved. I Love following you on Facebook (great in case I forget to look at the blog!) made the pretzel chicken tonight and everyone ate it. Success!

  • 74 Meghan O'Connor-Yourkonis // Sep 16, 2011 at 7:07 pm

    My suggestion doesn’t really have to do with design, but with maintaining mental health. We have 6 kids and they were always forgetting which glass was theirs. They would get a new glass every time they had a drink. So, not being a fan of doing the dishes, I assigned each person in the family a different glass style. Problem solved. I am enjoying following on FB – never miss a new post to DALS that way! We had e pretzel chicken for dinner tonight. Everyone ate it – success!

  • 75 Elizabeth // Sep 17, 2011 at 12:22 am

    I know the owner of one of the apartments featured in the book! Does that count for anything? :)

  • 76 Julie Karatzis // Sep 17, 2011 at 12:51 am

    Looks like a great book – thanks for hosting!

  • 77 Sharon // Sep 17, 2011 at 11:22 am

    I’ve been in my townhouse 11 years, and did a minor kitchen renovation a few years ago. The best thing I did was some interesting paint, so I don’t have much to share, but it is on my to-do list to move. I only just recently finished getting this place in shape, so I’m hoping that if I do move, I’ll accomplish the same in far less than 11 years. A book like this would help …

  • 78 Brooke // Sep 17, 2011 at 10:56 pm

    This is the second time today I’ve heard of this book. My interest is peaked!

  • 79 Mary Beth // Sep 18, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    We keep the coloring books, crayons and ‘crafty things’ in drawers by our kitchen dining table, so the kids can be near by while I’m cooking or doing dishes (and so I can recruit them to help me with both!)

  • 80 Kelley // Sep 19, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    I currently have my dream kitchen, but we’re house shopping and I’ll soon be starting from scratch again. This would help!

  • 81 Kristin // Sep 19, 2011 at 10:58 pm

    I am starting to use my labelmaker in my pantry so i actually put things away where they go. I usually have soup in 12 different places so I never know how much I have.

  • 82 kimberly // Sep 20, 2011 at 12:10 am

    We overhauled our kitchen last year, but still need to complete a backsplash and the details that make it home. It’s time to finish this project once and for all :)

  • 83 lori // Sep 20, 2011 at 9:47 am

    I need this book — more to show me what to get rid of or salvage than what to buy. I love D*S for that.

  • 84 Natalie // Sep 20, 2011 at 4:56 pm

    love your blog & design sponge too. we have a 1939 kitchen in need of a remodel & you can’t have too much inspiration. as far as design ideas go – in my new/dream kitchen, i will move all tableware to be accessable so my kids can set the table without scaling the cabinets.

  • 85 Kate // Aug 22, 2012 at 8:02 am

    Hello,

    don’t suppose you can tell me where the gray kitchen floor tiles are from please? I am fixating on them!

    Cheers,
    Kate

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