Make It Work: Custom Open Kitchen Storage for Under $100

Happy Friday everyone! I have been meaning to post this project for a while, but the last two weeks have probably been the busiest weeks of the year! No only do I have the usual school (especially chairing styles… it is heating up! More on that later when I get my head above water), work, and life stuff to worry about, but I have also had about 40 string art orders to manage and complete from the catalog launch! Since they take me 1-2 hours each to do (plus three days of painting in prep), that is a lot of “extra” time to find in my week! I just kept reminding myself of sending out that invoice… :)  Needless to say, I have finished the rush and am now back to the usual flow of orders, so I may be around more often.

I am finally getting my act together enough to share our first “Make It Work” project! Sadly, this project was completed almost a month ago, but better late than never, right?!

Like I explained, we don’t have much time or money to invest, but we NEED to find a way to make this apartment work better for us. When we asked ourselves, what’s the first thing we would change, the answer was the kitchen. I have mentioned our major lack of storage before and even proposed a cool counter-height table to add more counter space. However, what we really need is storage space, since we continuously acquire new kitchen appliances, devices and ingredients. Since we typically use the kitchen table to do out prep work, the counter space seemed less urgent.

So after a bunch of research for complete solutions under $100 (shelving is expensive! But this was the one place in the house were we were willing to spend a little dough on storage), I ended back at good old faithful: Ikea. I walked out with many shelving pieces in hand to make better use of this area of the kitchen:


Five minutes later (SERIOUSLY – the Ivar system is INSANELY easy to assemble. No tools necessary except for the back support brace!), we had a full wall of open shelving in the kitchen!KitchenShelves_WM

I am OBSESSED with it. Not only can we add $4-6 shelves whenever we feel like it, I also love that we were able to customize it so that my school stuff fits right underneath. Oh, and also Bo’s little eating area! :)KitchenShelves2_WM

Thankfully, we already had most of our food and chiles in these jars, so I only had to buy two extra! But like the shelving system, buying more jars as we need them is very inexpensive going forward.GlassJars

One of my favorite parts of the new shelves is the visibility of all of our spices. They used to be on a shelf I could barely reach, let alone see, so I hardly ever got creative. Now we have easy access and (seriously) our food has been better than ever this month!SpiceJars

Thanks to Design Camp, I also had a World Market gift card (woo!) for $10, so I decided to buy this awesome vintage oil container to keep our oil fresh (it likes the dark!) and a new spice shaker for our chipotle powder.OliveOildTin

Also, thanks to all of the new space, we were able to display our new Nebraska shot glasses that we got on our recent trip, as well as a book of my family recipes that my brother gave me one Christmas.NebraskaGlasses

It may seem like a silly thing to be excited about, but I can tell you that it has made an amazing difference in our lives! I already feel a thousand times better in the apartment and love the way it has complemented our cooking process. After a month of living with it, I wouldn’t change a thing, except that I need to find a new place for our “Life Is Good” letters.

I know I have been putting the blog as a low priority, but I really appreciate you sticking with me and riding out this busy time! I will be spending the next hour catching up on other people’s blogs… I MISS YOU GUYS!

I hope everyone has an awesome weekend. We had some lovely guests last weekend (and had a blast!), but we are looking forward to having an Erika & Walker (& Bo) weekend to just relax and spend time together after these busy few weeks!

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14 Responses to "Make It Work: Custom Open Kitchen Storage for Under $100"

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  1. Melanie

    August 16, 2013 at 9:43 am

    What a great solution!

    40 string orders – wowza! How do you find the time!?

    • Erika

      August 16, 2013 at 10:51 am

      Thanks Melanie!

      To be honest, I have NO idea how I managed to fit them all in. I pretty much didn’t sleep or see other human beings for a couple weeks. It was a bit of a blur… haha!

  2. Ashley

    August 16, 2013 at 9:58 am

    I could see this shelf coming in super handy for the garage!

    I’ve gotta echo Melanie – FORTY string orders? You’re a machine.

    • Erika

      August 16, 2013 at 10:53 am

      Yeah, it would be a great garage storage system! It is really easy to assemble and customize.

      Haha I have no idea… I went on auto-pilot and got creative with my time! I basically had a portable string art center in my school bag and brought it everywhere. My back is killing me haha! :)

  3. Ainhoa@ALittleBite

    August 16, 2013 at 11:53 pm

    A couple of friends have the same system in a nook in their kitchen, it’s a great solution! Also, the vintage oil container reminds me of a similar one my parents used to have when I was a kid… wonder what happened to it.

    • Erika

      August 17, 2013 at 8:52 am

      That’s awesome! How funny! You should get one at World Market for the sake of nostalgia… it was only $10! :)

  4. Miriam

    August 17, 2013 at 7:50 am

    Looks great! If you can manage to find a tall enough ladder and maneuver yourself, the Life is Good letters would look great right above the new shelving and/or over the fridge. Or over the window.

    • Erika

      August 17, 2013 at 8:54 am

      Thanks Miriam! Great minds think alike… I was contemplating the same spots! I think we are leaning toward over the window, but we may also move it to over the stove instead. I want to paint it a fun color first! :)

      I hope all is well and that you have a great time on your upcoming visit with my family! xoxo miss you!

  5. Ashley@AttemptsAtDomestication

    August 17, 2013 at 4:52 pm

    Love that shelf! What a great storage solution for your kitchen! And that oil container is super cool!

    • Erika

      August 19, 2013 at 4:59 pm

      Thanks Ashley! It has been really perfect for us! The cabinets are practically empty now! :)

  6. Cindy P

    August 19, 2013 at 5:02 am

    Erika, I love your little kitchen solution! It’s so nice and practical, yet adorable too! I’m glad it’s working well for you and that you love it!

    • Erika

      August 19, 2013 at 4:59 pm

      Thanks Cindy! I am so happy we finally just took care of it! :)

  7. Amy

    August 19, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Very nice! Looks great!

    • Erika

      August 19, 2013 at 4:59 pm

      Thanks Amy! :)


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