As I’m in a kitcheny mood (which I will be for a while) here are a couple of recent purchases I have made to make my life easier.

1. Joseph and Joseph Flip Drainer £15

I’m not entirely convinced that my sink has been installed correctly … in the showroom the sink was flush with the work top but in the brochure it was proud by about 1 cm. Mine sits above it by about 2 cm. You would have had to completely destroy the under-sink cabinet to make it sit flush so this is what I’ve ended up with.

kitchen sink

I do love it but I have a slight issue with draining crockery after hand washing (to be fair I don’t do that much hand washing so it’s not that much of a problem) placing the wet cups and bowls directly on the work top means there’s no where for the water to go. So hurrah for this nifty little drainer from Joseph and Joseph. It’s clever little  grooves means that if you have it the way shown here then the water runs down into the tray for you to dispose of later and if you flip it onto it’s other side then the water will drain off into a sink. Nice.

joseph and joseph flip

2. Matalan Trivets £2.50

The work top is made from bamboo. I haven’t managed to give it the requisite three coats of sealer/varnish/protector stuff yet and I’m constantly worried that its going to scratch/burn/get cup marks.

matalan trivets

So hurrah again for these rubber trivets from good old Matalan. I love the colours, their geometric shape and their general rubberiness; they couldn’t scratch a thing however hard they tried. There’s also a grey one but I think my mum may have ‘borrowed’ it as I can’t find it anywhere!

kitchen pegboard

Pegboards have finally been allowed out of the garage where they so magnificently organised all the ‘man stuff’ and have been welcomed into the home, into our kitchens and Craft Rooms (oh to have a Craft Room, it’d be right down the hall from the Present Wrapping Room). Painted bright colours and used to organise our pots and pans, our ribbons and our scissors, pegboards are the choice of the neat freak homeowner.




Having acquired an old one from my dads garage I found it invaluable above my work table so I could always hang my scissors, knives, and tapes up out of the way to keep the table clear for actual work. (They used to be swept from the table onto the floor with a great sweeping arm when I ran out of space.) It just wasn’t that pretty so I decided to make a nicer one using an old picture frame and some paint…

bedroom pegboard

and here’s how I did it …

picture frame pegboard

click to enlarge

It’s super simple.. the hardest part was sourcing the pegboard itself. I tried all the obvious places – B&Q, Homebase, Wickes – but no one had any. I tried online where I had more success but the delivery costs ended up being twice the price of the board. Eventually I tried good old Yellow Pages (or as they are now) and found a local timber yard Catford Timber  who not only sold me a massive sheet of pegboard for around £18 they also cut it to size so I didn’t look like a complete idiot carrying it on the bus home… (they do do free delivery for South East London).

Having made this one (and having So Much board left) I then tasked my dad to make me one for the kitchen with a shelf beneath. Instead of a frame this one has four pieces of 2cm thick baton nailed to the back, so it stands proud of the wall.

pegboard closeup

I’ve not yet managed to get any proper pegboard hooks so I’ve made do with some ‘s’ hooks, Washi tape covered clothes pegs and different sized bull dog clips held in place with paper fasteners. I love them and their organising powers.

For more inspiration visit my Pinterest page

pinterest pegboards

kitchen before

So this is what my kitchen looked like when I moved in 10 months ago. It had been built in the side return but badly; the kitchen units were fixed to next doors wall, the wall at the end was built with air bricks so very chilly and the roof was plastic so Really Noisy when it rained. The picture above is shot from the dining room through the ‘serving hatch’ which was actually just the old external window. Nice.

Next to the kitchen was a small room which I was using as my craft room. Ideally I wanted the wall between this and the kitchen removed, french doors put in and some sort of glass roof. Then the builders turned up and did this …

kitchen during

Aye carumba. Above this small brick column that seems to be holding the entire back of the house up is my bathroom. I did a lot of tip toeing around and had no baths during this time.

Then this happened …

kitchen after

Oh hello lovely kitchen. It’s not quite finished yet but I thought if I waited to post till that happened the internet might be defunct.

(The eagle eyed amongst you may notice that I still haven’t finished painting the garden fence but it keeps either raining or being too hot. One day soon. I promise.)

My pots

I do like a nice bit of storage. I think it’s because I’m a bit of a hoarder and keeping the stickers I got when I was 12, the Really-Important-Pebble-from-that-lovely-beach-that-I can’t-quite-remember-where-it-was-but-it-definitely-can’t-go-in-the-bin and all my other bits and bobs hidden away in a selection of jars and pots make me feel like I am holding some semblance of order over my home.

Mixing old and new jars and canisters is a good way to avoid ending up with a Magnet Showroom style kitchen and reusing food containers with pretty packaging is a nice recycling touch; granted my friends do look at me funny when I transport (clean) used yoghurt pots home in my suitcase from holidays in France, but the design is so good.

Anyway my latest addition to my kitchen is the blue lidded jar in the center of the picture above.  Ages ago I saw these cute little spice jars in Anthropologie selling for around £10, which are beautiful and I love the ornate detail around the chalkboard.

anthropologie chalkboard_jars3

But then I saw these in Matalan and they’re bigger and cheaper at 18cm high and only £5 each. Hurrah.


Shame you don’t get a stick of chalk with them … Where do you buy chalk these days?

Also on my shopping list are these little beauties

Nice storage jars
From left; Bloomingville Carla Storage Jars, £12
Sagaform Keep Storage Jar, £15.66
Jonathan Adler Candy Storage Jar £138
Cream Crackers by Wayne Hemmingway £12