8 Kitchen Essentials in My Simple Shaker Kitchen takes a closer look at those kitchenware items I rely upon day in and day out. It will illuminate for you a few things which ease daily chores, improve efficiency, and that I would rather not live without.
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Kitchen Essentials in My Simple Shaker Kitchen
Is the desire to tidy up your home, improve its organization, and pare down a bit bubbling up in you as the promise of springtime edges near?
Each year at this time, it happens to many of us homebodies.
Time to Joyfully Embrace Spring Cleaning?
As the light outside begins to change, it is as if we see our spaces and belongings with new eyes. It feels like the time is ripe to address them.
We are all different so your essentials may vary from mine (and if so, I’d love to hear about your picks).
Downsizing Isn’t Downgrading
This topic becomes particularly significant if you happen to be downsizing as we did five years ago. At that time, we gutted the dated kitchen we inherited here at the fixer.
Then we addressed the dozens of design details involved with creating the new kitchen. While it can be argued one can never have enough storage in the kitchen, we had neither the budget nor space for bountiful storage.
Instead, I imagined the ease of using and storing the simple essentials. For example, if ever I get the itch to make a trifle, I will have to borrow the appropriate dish for it from a friend.
Same goes for Pizelle cookies or any recipe requiring a Mandoline slicer or pressure cooker.
Pare Down to Favorites
Simplifying for me, goes hand in hand with truly wanting what I have. Excess stuff I don’t use, am wishy washy about (or simply reluctant to part with), or is a color I don’t like seems to have energy all its own.
That energy drains me and blocks the way to a lighter way of living and being.
I still have boxes of stuff in the basement I am storing (kids artwork, photos, styling props, Christmas decor, baby clothes, books, and home decor I JUST KNOW my Millennial sons will thank me for later *ahem*). However, whenever I address those stored things and pare down, I feel so much better!
A Less Cluttered Kitchen
Am I going to convince you to whittle down your rolling pin or spatula collection? I don’t know. Lots of folks are comforted by the clutter that creeps in. But keeping just one favorite (the rest can be offered up for free on FB Marketplace or donated) may clear clutter and make room for a more pleasing kitchen space as well as a greater lightness you never knew you needed.
1. Touches of Antiqued Silver
While I feel uneasy with too much clutter, a little is necessary for efficiency sake. And that clutter may as well be lovely!
An essential on the counter next to our farm sink is a silvery mercury glass holder (meant to hold a candle) for vegetable and pot scrubbing wood brushes.
Find wood pot scrubbers in my shop HERE.
I like the antiqued glass finish of these receptacles since it bounces the light around and provides relief from all the white while remaining understated.
I also love the mercury glass options at Pottery Barn:
Another vintage-y looking touch of antiqued silver which I leave on the counter: salt and pepper shakers.
Here are the exact ones, and you’ll note mine are thoroughly tarnished!
2. Rustic Warm Wood
Our reclaimed elm wood stool below abstract paintings by me is something I rely on every single day. It gives me a boost when the 5’2″ me needs one, makes a great perch for a handbag or small sack of groceries, and often holds a stack of cookbooks I drag in here. It is the perfect perch, and I love the warmth of wood in an all white kitchen!
Our stool came from RH years ago. Sarreid used to offer a very similar one as well. An antique stool showing its age would be my first choice…look at this beauty made of elm:
or this scrubbed wood rugged example:
They also make great perches in the bath, and if you live in the UK, the shipping on this next one is free:
A round accent stool may do the trick too:
If you love the rustic look of wood stools in the kitchen and need one as seating at the counter, here’s a good looking, greyed finish, friendly priced reclaimed wood option at Pottery Barn:
Another way to bring the warmth of natural wood into the kitchen is with a turned candleholder or two.
3. Multi-use White Ruffle Bowl
I can’t give this versatile, beautiful bowl for $25 enough praise.
It is pretty enough to leave out on the counter to hold fruit, snacks, napkins, and an endless array. But it also works as a popcorn, salad or pasta bowl (when you’re not serving a crowd).
It’s basically a genius-sized everything bowl with a great sculptural form.
It also makes the perfect gift! You could fill it with the lucky recipient’s favorite snack! (One of mine is RIGHT HERE.)
If your kitchen needs a round board for charcuterie or a pizza paddle, these reclaimed pine options with a vintage Italian look, are beautiful:
4. Marble Bowls & Crock
Get ready for my favorite finds that hail from a surprising source!
TARGET! Yep. These gorgeous, natural stone bowls (for dips, nuts, condiments, or at-the-ready spice blends as you see here on my counter).
5. Vintage Mixed With New
When everything in a new kitchen feels NOW, there may be a lack of character and interest. To avoid that generic, non-custom, showroom look…just add vintage and antiques to the mix.
I love living with beautiful vintage dishes (like these Fireking Swirl plates) and cookware (glass mixing bowls from the 50’s are a dream to use and admire in the kitchen).
Did you miss the post where I showed you how to make my no-flour, no-knead easy healthy bread? I make it weekly and eat it toasted for a snack with a handful of dried cranberries, cherries, and golden raisins. While it has fats from the nuts and seeds, they are the good ones.
Did someone stay TOAST? We cannot live without this:
After we added this vintage cart in our kitchen and topped it with quartz, we wondered how we ever lived without it. Our harvest table with bench is another vintage element. We commissioned these custom pieces over two decades ago, and they were built with antique barn wood and square nails.
6. Heavy Cookware
I love heavy pans that do a beautiful job and last for many years. Here are my everyday ones.
7. Dishtowels With Stripes
8. Sous Chef
This is the Vitamix model I have, and you may be surprised to learn its price. I always thought it was an extravagance I could live without, but when time and/or strength is low, it’s money! Also, I got so tired of replacing cheap blenders after burning the motor out…mercy.
If you are striving to eat a healthier diet with smoothies, vegetable juicing, and protein shakes, you can reach for a blender and maybe get a fair result. Or you can invest in a Vitamix and wonder how you ever settled for less. It’s a dream. I use it for everything from smoothies to grounding oats into flour.
A Word on White Quartz Countertops
I field so many questions about white quartz countertops, and I still love our Viatera “Minuet” quartz five years later.
There are some scratches from years of use, but nothing that I even feel the need to have buffed out.
There isn’t a single stain, and while the veining is busy, the color is light grey and understated so it doesn’t jump out at you.
I’m not sure I would like it as much if the veining were less busy because this way, it stays forgiving.
Here’s a smart teapot (below) that looks great resting on the black grates of your cooktop or range.
Another kitchen essential are these small tumblers which are perfect for wine, little desserts, mocktails/cocktails, and juice.
Woven placemats protect surfaces but also add a layer of texture…don’t you love those double duty essentials?
Tour a Whimsical Home!
I mean you just know Jonathan Adler’s home will be whimsical, but prepare yourself!
THANKS SO MUCH FOR READING AND VISITING ME EACH DAY. SAY HI IF YOU HAVE A MOMENT…I LOVE MEETING YOU IN THE COMMENTS. 🙂
Peace to you right where you are.
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