Did that corny title grab your attention to this blog post?  I thought so.  😀

After we finished taking the wall down between our living room and family room, to make one big room, I had my eyes set upon the kitchen.  We have lived here for a little over 2 years now and we have a pretty good idea of what we really want and need for our future kitchen renovation.

Remember, we wanted to go from this:

To this:

What we REALLY needed was more counter space, and some decent seating options.  Excuse me while I drool at this island and peninsula setup…

or this amazing indoor/outdoor seating that we could do onto our deck.

I have a million more inspiration photos I could share, but I’ll save that for a whole post.

But, after taking down the wall, and getting a whole new HVAC system with zoning installed, we realized we should probably take some time to save up for a kitchen renovation that we would really love and be able to make decisions based off of what we loved and not because we were trying to save money. Also, because I still have no idea exactly where the fridge will end up in this new kitchen. Nothing quite feels right yet. Decisions, decisions.

So, lately, since I’ve come to accept that we’ll be living with this god awful kitchen for a few more years, I’ve decided to do some small projects here and there to make it a bit more user friendly.

Enter, spicy shelves.

In our South Carolina home, we raised the upper cabinets and added a shelf underneath to get more storage.  This gave me some space above the microwave to work with, and I decided to make it some spice storage.  Of course, they had to be pretty if they were on display, right? 😉

So, I had a mixture of these spice jars that I made/prepared from a few years ago. The jars are from World Market, and the labels are from Amazon that I used pretty easily to make with our personal printer.

Also a counter top spice rack from YEARS ago, that I think is from Bed, Bath, and Beyond or Macy’s.

But, if you remember one of my biggest complaints about our kitchen now is the lack of counter space, so it became a goal of mine to clear off our counter tops.  Plus, I’m kind of particular when it comes to our kitchen.  I like the counter tops wiped down everyday, and more junk on the counter just aggravates me. AND we’ve finally ditched the boon drying rack for Connor’s cups since he’s a “big boy” now.

So, hit two birds with one stone on this project: clear off the counters, and also free up some cabinet space that was housing other spices.

While I was at it, I also picked up this magnetic strip from Ikea to get our knife block off the counter too.  It took me 5 minutes to install and really cleared up some space!

I ordered more of the spice jars and labels and emptied the counter top spice rack into the new jars so they all matched.

And I had these shelves from Ikea since our Maryland House.  Can you spot them in the living room?

We haven’t used them since Maryland, so I was okay with cutting them up.

They needed to fit this weird, empty space next to our “pantry” cabinet that was just being totally unused.

The above cabinet layout is what happens when you do a crappy DIY kitchen renovation and use stock cabinets rather than customized cabinets.

Anyways, we cut them down to size, which ended up leaving some non-black particle board exposed.  Tip:  put painter’s tape where you plan on cutting to reduce any splitting on the finish.

I spray painted the unfinished ends with some black spray paint I had on hand and the boys got to hanging them for me.

By the way, Connor’s “helper stand” has been the BEST addition to our house.  David built it from some plans I found online, we’ll have to write a post about it… after I decide what color to paint it, and then actually paint it. 😉

So here they are!

They’re nothing glamorous or ground breaking, but man, they have freed up both counter space and cabinet space for us, which is very valuable.  Plus, they were cheap! I only had to buy some new spice jars to make our matching set.  I know some of you are rolling your eyes at these spice jars, but we’ve gotten to the point where we get most of our spices from the bulk bins at the grocery store, so it’s so easy to empty out the bags that we fill up at the store into these jars, rather than deal with plastic bottles.  Plus, I feel like we’re saving materials by not buying plastic bottles every time, we’re just refilling our glass containers.

Hello, convenience and alphabetized spices! <– Feeds my selective OCD (that’s a thing, right?! :D).

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