Our other houses, Part 2A (North Howe Kitchen Storage)

The townhouse I bought on Howe was intended for just me, but one thing led to another, and I wound up getting married and having a husband and his two cats and his stuff move in with me. Don sold his Cape Cod in Munster 24 hours after it was listed (around Thanksgiving), and his stuff and cats joined me between Christmas and New Year’s. (He stayed with his folks for the most part until we got married President’s Day weekend. Good thing, too. I was in crying hysterics over all his stuff on New Year’s Day. Because we were having the carpet replaced in the basement before installing the Murphy wall bed, I didn’t have a single place to sit that wasn’t covered with his stuff, and he was at work, eating bagels and cream cheese due to the Y2K hullabaloo.)

The marriage resulted in us having even more stuff — Besides doubles of all the usual household goods (two vacuum cleaners, two coffee pots, two blenders, two coffee grinders, two sets of china, two sets of silverware, two sets of pots, four slow cookers, knives by the dozen, four linear feet of cookbooks, and cookie sheets and pie plates galore), we had to go back to register for additional wedding gifts because our friends cleaned out the registry. I think we had sixteen place settings of our everyday china, twenty mugs, twelve sets of crystal, not to mention an entire set of Good Grips from Oxo.  Those Grips may be Good, but they are bulky. This excess of good fortune meant that we had to get clever about storage in the kitchen.

The kitchen itself was a small galley. One long side of the galley looked into the living room and the other was the west wall of our townhouse, shared with our neighbor. The kitchen, powder room, and living room comprised the first floor. (Look-out or English basement with wall bed, fireplace, full bath and laundry down a half flight of stairs; two bedrooms and full bath upstairs. Roof deck on top.)

The south exterior wall of the townhouse was less than three feet from our next door neighbor’s house. (Don did some chimney-style climbing there once.) So, the view to the south was essentially their siding. Ummm, nothing special to say the least, but sunny. So, Don installed shelving in our living room and kitchen windows, thereby stopping the eye before reaching the siding and getting the gigantic Good Grips out of my drawers.

Kitchen window shelvingKitchen window with built-in shelving

Living room window shelvingLiving room window with built-in shelving

He also installed a place to hang our wine glasses above our east-facing cabinets. (Hint: Take the crystal down while demolishing the bathroom upstairs, or the vibrations will jiggle them loose into a zillion pieces.)

Crystal storage and wine rackCrystal rack

He even added kitchen storage to our coat closet. (Hooray for Elfa and the Container Store’s regular sales thereof! We’ve reused some of this Elfa in four houses now.)

Elfa shelving in closet just north of the kitchen.jpgCloset with Elfa storage for kitchen and coats

We also had a four-foot baker’s rack, with a butcher’s block top that kept even more pots and pans, but we don’t have a picture of it from this house. (We used it as our kitchen for eighteen months in the orphan Italianate. You can do a lot with four feet of kitchen if you don’t put your microwave on it.)

We also had a magnetic knife hanger which got the knives off our countertop and out of our drawers. (Loved it, especially after Don took a knives class from The Chopping Block – Valentine’s present from me. He also took a series of Building Block classes there. He came home most every time with a new tool or spice or both. The lemon reamer was a good addition to our tool set.) The Little One might now be old enough we can hang our knives on the wall again.

And a spice rack from Ikea, also shown in the picture below. (Loved it. Tried desperately to find one like it for our Kensington house, but didn’t succeed. It was just the right depth that spices didn’t get lost. I still had another drawer of spices, but this helped so much.)

Knive rack and spice rack (Ikea)Knife rack and spice rack (Ikea)

Getting things out of kitchen cabinets and into spaces that weren’t being used sure made being married easier.


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