Sunday, 1 June 2014

Tidy Kitchen Shelf

A while ago I tidied up my kitchen bench, and removed lots of cookbooks and other mess that had accumulated.  I created my Recipe Box and I also created two clipboards with a weekly planner on one and a menu and shopping list on the other.  This system has been working well for me for the last six months or so.

Lately I have found I want to keep a few more things handy.  I've added a few folders which contain important paperwork for school, some notepads, our pocket money bank, behaviour charts and a jar of washi tape.  All this stuff gradually took over the bench and became really messy again.

This is normally where I'd put a "before" photo, but this project has taken me a couple of months to complete, and I managed to lose my before photo.  I'm really sad, because the difference in the before and after is amazing.  You'll just have to use your imagination.

The easiest solution to getting the mess off the bench, was to put up a shelf.  We used an Ekby Järpen shelf from Ikea, and cut it down slightly to fit in the space.  Once the shelf was installed I set about making everything pretty, colour coordinated and labelled.  I decided on a colour scheme of yellow, turquoise and grey.  There was lots of inspiration online.

I already had my Orla Kiely Recipe Box in yellow.  I gathered some notebooks in grey, black and turquoise.  I also used some washi tape on the spine of my KitchenAid user manual, to make it fit the colour scheme.

I created some patterned paper in PowerPoint in the colours I wanted, then I printed several sheets and stuck them together.  I glued the sheets to some A4 folders, and covered them in clear adhesive book covering film to make them durable.

I had a lockable money box for the pocket money bank.  It was in a bright blue colour and didn't really fit with the colour scheme.

I was willing to buy a new money tin, but couldn't find one in the right size and colour.  Instead I got some grey enamel spray paint and painted the money box.  I started by removing the handle and button lock (the key lock couldn't be removed), then I gave the tin a light sand, wiped it down and covered the key lock with tape.  I gave the box several light coats of spray paint all over and allowed it to dry thoroughly.  Finally I reattached the handle and button lock, added a label, and some adhesive book film to keep the label clean and neat.

Lastly, after searching for ages to find a cute turquoise jar, tin, pot or basket, I stumbled upon this really sweet turquoise and grey pot while I was at the supermarket.  It cost less than £2, and looks great.

Here is my finished kitchen corner, with everything looking pretty and organised.

I love the fact that I have reclaimed my bench space.  I also love that everything I need on a daily basis is close at hand.  I am especially excited that everything is colour coordinated, pretty and has great labels.  This has been a really great project, and has made a huge difference to the kitchen bench mess.


  1. This is such a happy shelf now! I am so glad that you mentioned adding washi tape to the spine of manuals! This is brilliant...thank you so much for sharing!

    1. Thanks Nikki. It was such an easy way to brighten up a boring white spine.