Friday, February 26, 2010

Kitchen Message Center

While changing the color of the kitchen cabinets, I decided that I also wanted to do something drastic with the other end of our huge-but-awkwardly-laid-out kitchen. These bookcases:

I've had them since my first-apartment-after-college and they always housed my large collection of books - either in a living room or bedroom, or both. When we moved into this house, we still needed somewhere to store my cookbooks and other kitchen-y things, and that wall is pretty large with nothing else to put there. So there they went, getting junked up and cluttered along the way. Jim and I both started to hate them - mostly the fact that they were so large and collected so much clutter. 

Once I decided that I was going to change the color of the kitchen cabinets, I thought, why not these also? But I didn't want all the shelving at the top - that's where the clutter happens, so after being inspired and envious of some message centers like the ones below, I made a decision to cut the bookshelves in half and create a message center above.

My inspiration:

Pottery Barn

Pottery Barn

This Old House

Pottery Barn

The Lettered Cottage

And the result...


I really love organizing books by color. Such an easy way to play with color. The red file boxes on the bottom shelves house years of issues of Martha Stewart Living organized by month. The basket on the bottom left keeps linen napkins close at hand. Metal boxes on the right contain all the recipes I find from magazines and newspapers that I am still waiting to try, as well as take out menus and local information for guests.

I love that all my gardening and cookbooks are not only close at hand, but also beautifully displayed.

The small hanging buckets and bracket are from Ikea - great to keep pens handy and a few odds and ends. The metal knife bar above holds our keys - a fun alternative to the traditional hooks.

Frame I picked up for one dollar at a local thrift store. I spray painted it white, and cut a thin piece of plywood to size, painted it with chalkboard paint, and ta-da! A homemade chalkboard!

This was simply a stretched canvas from an art supply store (16"x20"), covered in a great fabric, and I then added the strips of ribbon stapled in the back, and I used fabric glue at the intersections to create places to slide in memories. For us, some save-the-dates from friends for upcoming weddings in 2010.

Another one dollar photo frame from a thrift store, spray painted white, and a piece of sheet metal from Lowes cut to size. Instant metal memo board.

See my upcoming corkboard post for the how-to on this project. So easy!

An inexpensive basket from Homegoods hung on the wall for mail. Vintage lantern from an antique market in Lancaster, PA.

Love, love, love the finished look! All the white makes the room complete, and the punches of red tie it all together. LOVE IT!

Posting on these fab websites:


alimac33 said...

The kitchen looks great! Awesome job.

Anonymous said...

Abby, this looks amazing! Especially the color coordinated cookbooks! Hope all is well with you and Jimmy! =)


Joel said...

The kitchen looks so good! I love the white cabinets. I am going to steal a bunch of your message center ideas for my mud-room someday when I finally get around to it...Interested in a project up in Mass? :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! Love it! So creative:)


Rachel said...

It looks great Ab!! I had no idea that chalkboard paint existed! Very cool!

Andrew said...

Ab, kitchen looks amazing. We are getting ready to remodel our entire kitchen in a few months. Would love your take on stuff!

Kimbo West said...

so amazing! you did such a great job! I love love it.

Emily {Frilly Details} said...

WOW!!! Love what you did with this space. It's so bright and cheery!! Great job incorporating very practical ways to organize. Everything looks so cute!

Shayna Mills said...

You did a great job, it looks so pretty and practical! I love it. Hopped over from Marketing Monday, so glad I di.

Mom in High Heels said...

That is fantastic! What a great job.

Leslie said...

Looks great - I love the cook books arranged by color!