When we had our house built, we had two kitchen floor plan options. Option A had a walk-in pantry and lots of storage cabinets but was cut off from the other rooms in the house. Option B had less storage space but was open to the living room and dining room, with a large island in the middle. We chose the open layout and we’re so happy we did. It makes the whole house feel bigger and airier, and it’s so nice to be able to cook while entertaining or hanging out with family and not be cut off from everyone else. Unfortunately, this layout meant that we were a little short on dry food storage space. Luckily, we have a laundry room right off the kitchen that was just begging for some cute storage shelves.
We found a small storage cabinet to hold my cookbooks and hide our unsightly recycling bins. Then we picked up some basic white shelves from IKEA. They also sell these inexpensive wire baskets that clip onto the shelves. They are not the sturdiest things, but I like them because they extend your storage space and provide a good place to keep produce. Small metal mug hooks screwed into the wall provide a perfect spot to hang bunches of drying herbs from our garden.
We also found this light grey tabletop that fits perfectly on top of our washer and dryer. It is easier to clean than the ridged tops of the actual units, provides a nice, flat surface for folding laundry, and I think it makes the room look just a bit more finished.
Boxes and crates like this wooden toolbox are handy for storing baking supplies that I don’t use every day. If I’m baking something with a lot of ingredients, the handle makes it easy to bring the whole box into the kitchen. Glass canning jars work well for storing bulk nuts and other dry foods.
I love this little wall unit that we use to store dried rice and beans. We got it at IKEA but it doesn’t seem to be available any longer, which is a shame. The plastic canisters came with the shelf and have lids and handles to easily carry them back and forth while cooking. We added the mug hooks to the bottom and store tea on the shelf–it’s easy for guests to go select the type of tea they’d like and grab a mug while they’re at it. My mom made the little fabric recipe box for me many years ago when I first moved away from home, and I am still using it today 🙂
I’m a big fan of multi-purpose rooms, and this is a prime example. Not only is it a laundry room and pantry, but it’s also where our dogs sleep, eat, and hang out while we’re not home. The exterior door leads into a fenced-in dog run, one of my wife’s projects. Since our two-acre property is not fenced in, and Vashon is home to wildlife like raccoons, deer, and the occasional cougar, it’s convenient to have a secure place to let the dogs outside while we aren’t supervising. We got this jute area rug so that when the dogs come inside with muddy feet, they are more or less dry by the time they walk into the rest of the house.
We found a cookie jar at an antique store to use for storing dog treats. Our boys expect a constant supply of treats, so it’s nice to buy them in bulk and have somewhere close at hand to store them. The dogs really love their little room, and when you tell them “It’s time for bed,” they run straight in there. Mars now knows how to pick up his toys from around the house and take them to bed with him (he is very proud of the fact that he can fit three toys in his mouth at once).
Overall, I’m really happy with the dual functionality of this space and how it has become an extension of our kitchen. It just goes to show that even when space is tight, it’s always possible to figure out creative ways to add organization and character to your home ❤