Home should be our happy place. Our place to unwind, to relax, to feel safe. Home should not be a place of stress or cause anxiety. Sadly when our homes don’t work for how we live, they can quickly and easily go from that place of rest to one of stress so it’s important to take the time to address the things that cause stress in the home. As a follow up to last week’s post about how to get started planning for updates to any room, I’m sharing with you a problem area we had in our house and how we solved that problem.
The back door of our house is the door we always use. Any time we come and go from our house, it’s through that door. Before we moved the kitchen, our back door came right into the kitchen and there was always a section of the counter top that got cluttered with stuff. Everything from keys to wallets, purses, mail, loose change and anything else you can think of that can get dropped off when coming in and out of the door.
If not kept in check, the clutter would gradually make it way farther down the counter until the entire kitchen felt messy. It caused a lot of anxiety.
When we moved the kitchen, we planned to have the back door enter into a small laundry / mudroom area that opened into the pantry and kitchen areas. I hoped having the mudroom would give us a buffer and keep the kitchen counters clutter free from all the “stuff”.
Initially it didn’t, but I knew with the addition of the pantry area, we’d create a designated drop zone for all the clutter that would then allow the kitchen to remain clean and organized.
You’ve seen the actual pantry side of this little nook off the kitchen. What I’ve never shared here before is the other side of this small space.
Similar to how we made our little coffee nook in the kitchen, we used upper cabinets both on the bottom and the top to create some additional storage in this small space. Like the kitchen, we poured matching concrete countertops so the pantry area looks and feels like an extension to the kitchen itself.
This little area proved to be a perfect spot for my stand mixer so we opted for a shorter upper cabinet to allow plenty of space for the mixer. After living with this for a short time, I didn’t like that the counter area got cluttered so we decided to add a shelf under the cabinet but still high enough to not interfere with my mixer that would become the “Drop zone”.
Instead of just doing a shelf with brackets like we did elsewhere, I decided I wanted it to look more planned and less like an afterthought so I drew up this idea to make brackets that look like they were coming out of the cabinet that held the shelf.
B took my idea and brought it to life. He bought square steel tubing from the hardware store and welded it into and “L” shape. He welded flat “brackets” on each end to allow for attaching to the cabinet and wall. He spray painted them black to give them a clean finish and we used the same oak that we’ve used elsewhere for the shelf.
We added an outlet to this wall that has USB ports which is great for phone charging and Alexa too. This small shelf may not always look the most organized but it keeps the clutter contained and gives us a handy (and out of the way) place to drop our things.
Since installing this drop zone shelf in the pantry area, we’ve also added a small set of hooks near the door for keys and a basket above which has proved great for things like gloves, the dog’s poo waste bags, my gardening gloves, etc. This has also helped cut down on the clutter.
This simply custom shelf now solves our kitchen counter clutter while giving (mostly B) a convenient place to drop his phone and wallet without spilling over and multiplying. This is yet another reason why our little pantry area is one of my most favorite spots in the house!