some organization and granny smith green

12th March 2012

There has always been this somewhat secret spot in our kitchen that I tried to avoid getting in any photos. Not because it’s an ugly space, but because I had never taken the time to organize it. It housed our cookbooks, loose recipes, our drill (?), and our too-small recycling bin. And, there would often be a recycling-overflow situation going on in the bottom two shelves. See what I mean?

Well, after doing our mini kitchen makeover (see that here), I thought it was high time to do something about this small space. I emptied it, took out all the shelves, taped out the sides…

…and gave it a couple coats of the fun lime green paint left over from our office makeover.

To make better use of the space, I took some of our baking goods out of our pantry (which was also overflowing), grabbed these jars from the dollar store, labelled them (like I did for this project) and filled them up. Now these items are easily at hand, look kinda cute, and freed up a bunch of space elsewhere in our small kitchen.

I still have all of my cookbooks and recipe cards in this space, but I switched out the level of the shelves so that they could all fit in one nook.

And the basket? It’s one from IKEA that we’ve had for years. It doesn’t look like much but it is stuffed to the brim with random house improvement stuff that we like to keep at hand (most of our tools and similar stuff live in our garage). Sneaky, sneaky.

And that too-small recycling bin? Replaced by two white bins (also from the dollar store). Now our recycling is automatically separated into paper vs. glass/plastic and starts to overflow way less often. It’s still not ideal to have our recycling out in the open (I would so much rather have it tucked away in a cupboard), but when you don’t have a lot of space, you have to get creative.

I’m pretty happy with how they turned out. Sure, they aren’t magazine-worthy styled shelves, but they are practical and SO much better than we had before. Plus the pop of granny smith green just makes me happy. Not bad for a half-day project and less than $10 (paint already owned).

On a different note, a huuuge thank you to Barbara from hodge:podge who featured me in her ‘So Canadian, Eh’ series this past weekend. You can check out the feature here. And, if you haven’t been there before, be sure to browse through Barbara’s blog for a bunch of inspiration and eye candy!

So that’s it for today. How about you guys? Do anything fun over the weekend? Any home improvement projects? Do tell.

  • http://www.madeinmorningside.blogspot.com Ashleigh

    That looks great, we have a similar space in our kitchen that just gets filled with clutter, I am hoping to tackle it soon. xox

    • gemma

      good luck!

      xo,
      gem

  • http://dans-le-townhouse.blogspot.com Tanya from Dans le Townhouse

    CUTE! I love the pop of green and those organized jars. Mmmmm, I love a day that starts with labels.

    I’m heading over to read your interview!

    • gemma

      You and me both, Tanya :) I am admittedly a slightly over-zealous label-er.

      xo,
      gem

  • http://flutterflutter.ca/ Rosa @ FlutterFlutter

    I love organizing! I just found your blog via Hodge:Podge, and I’m so glad I did!! Your blog looks fabulous, I love all your renos!

    • gemma

      Thanks Rosa! Glad you popped by :)

      xo,
      gem

  • http://www.refresheddesigns.com kelly@refresheddesigns.

    Just found you through Barbara and your blog and home are fantastic! Love how you do everything on a budget and reuse when possible. Like this leftover green paint- totally transforms this area. Great job.

    • gemma

      Thanks Kelly! I totally think you can have fabulous style on any budget :) Thanks for popping by!

      xo,
      gem

  • http://pineconecamp.blogspot.com janis-pinecone camp

    Love this little make over. Great use of space now! Just read your interview at HodgePodge – nice to learn a little more about you. Ryan Gosling, hmm? ;)

    • gemma

      thanks janis!! ha ha – a little ryan gosling never hurt anybody ;)

      thanks for popping by!

      xo,
      gem

  • Lisa

    Hi Gemma,

    I came across your blog through Barbara from Hodge Podge. I used to live in Ottawa and my parents, brother and sister are still there, so reading that you’re from there, made me curious to read your blog even more. It’s amazing how different the closet looks and feels after you painted it green. Awesome! You inspire me. By the way, would you know how long paint is good to be used? I have a couple of paint cans in the basement from our basement reno 4 years ago. Would it still be good to use? How do you know what paint is no longer usable?

    • gemma

      Hi Lisa,

      So happy to connect with some fellow (or past!) Ottawa folks!

      As for the paint question – There isn’t a hard and fast rule about the number of years that paint can be stored. A couple of key things about storage: you should keep it in an area that doesn’t freeze (so not in your garage or shed), and it should be sealed really tightly with as little air space as possible (so if you use almost a whole gallon, transfer the leftover into a small glass jar). If you open up your paint and there is a weird smell or bits of rust or other particles, then it probably is time to get rid of it. You can always give it a good stir and do a little test patch on a section of wall too, just to be sure. There is a good article here about paint storage: http://www.paintgurus.com/2011/11/the-right-way-to-store-left-over-paint/

      Hope that helps! Thanks for popping by :)

      xo,
      gem

  • http://www.lisagouletdesign.com Lisa Goulet

    Hi Gemma, I just read all about you at Hodge Podge’s So Canadian Eh! And I saw that you were from Ottawa so I had to check out your beautiful blog. I’m your newest subscriber and look forward to reading all about your fab DIYs.

    • gemma

      Amazing! Great to connect, Lisa. Thanks for popping by!

      xo,
      gem

  • Gina

    Hi!!! Love those jars you have! Where did you get them?

    • gemma

      Thanks! They are actually just from the dollar store (“Dollarama”)… definitely a good find!

      xo,
      gemma