A Small Kitchen Update

I spent some time yesterday making a small update to my kitchen, which was all started by a purchase of a water filter.

When Matt and I lived in the condo, we researched different water filters and decided to purchase a Berkey Water Filter. We loved having it, and it sat in a cubby that I created specifically for the water filter in the bookcase that I turned into a little pantry.

You can see more of that kitchen here. Interesting side note: Those condo kitchen cabinets are the same color as my current kitchen cabinets — Behr Hallowed Hush. What a difference lighting makes!! That condo kitchen was all warm incandescent lighting with no natural light. My current kitchen is all 5000K (daylight) LED lighting combined with quite a bit of natural light. If you missed my post about the huge difference it made in the house (i.e., a huge different in how all of my colors looked) when I switched from warm LED lighting to daylight LED lighting, you can check that out here.

Anyway, Matt and I still have that little Berkey water filter, but it’s just so small, and Matt drinks so much water (plus what I use for my tea) that I’d have to fill it constantly. It was such a pain that we haven’t used it in years.

But about a week ago, I decided that I wanted a new one — a BIG one that I didn’t have to constantly refill. And the only place it could live is in the corner of the kitchen peninsula. It’s the perfect place for it since it’s right by the sink. So keeping it filled won’t be a hassle. And while various small appliances have lived there over the years — my Blendtec blender and Instant pot — I really don’t like keeping appliances out on the countertop. Right now, I’m storing those on the countertop in the pantry (which I also don’t like, but it’ll have to do for now), so that left me with this space on the countertop for a new Berkey.

It arrived yesterday and I put it together, and oh my gosh, it looked so huge!! We got the Royal Berkey, so I think with the stand, it’s around 30 inches tall. That means that the water filter on its stand and sitting on our 36-inch-high kitchen countertop is about 6 inches taller than I am. 😀

It looked so big that I decided I needed to hanging something on that blank wall that was even higher than the Berkey in order to hopefully make the Berkey look smaller and to draw the eye away from it. So I did a little shopping around the house to find some extra frames, and then got on Etsy and purchased some printable floral watercolor artwork, and hung a series of three pictures on that wall. So here’s what this corner looks like now.

I absolutely LOVE the floral watercolor artwork, but the frames may not be permanent. For one, I don’t love repeating the same frames that I have in the entryway in this corner of the kitchen. I’d like something a little different, I think. And I think these frames may be a bit too big. Something just a tad smaller (with smaller mats) would probably work better. But I love the overall idea, and that particular artwork is here to stay.

That artwork has all of the colors that I love in it, and goes so well with the neighboring rooms.

The funny thing is that I’ve wanted to hang something here for years now, and just never got around to it. It took a big water filter to finally get me to move forward with that idea.

And of course, this cutting board lives here permanently. I wish it didn’t have it, but it does because while my polyurea-coated concrete countertops are holding up very well overall…

I happened to find the one thing that would eat through polyurea. Yep, leave it to me to find that one thing — isopropyl alcohol. I spilled some on the countertop, and while I thought I had wiped it all up, I didn’t realize that some had run underneath the Instant Pot that was sitting right there. It sat there overnight, and when I moved the Instant Pot the next day, there was a circle of wrinkled and bubbling polyurea coating that just peeled right off.

So that cutting board sits there doing its job of covering up the ugly spot on my countertop.

Here’s a closer look at the pretty little watercolor flowers. But you can see them very clearly here.

This corner also hides another secret. This little drawer doesn’t open all the way.

When I remodeled the kitchen back in 2014, I didn’t know enough to know to use spacers when putting cabinets right next to walls. So I just put the cabinet right up against the wall. That was fine as long as that wall was solid. But then it became a problem when I added the cased opening between the kitchen and the living room. So that drawer hasn’t been used much since then.

But now, in addition to the important job of holding matches and toothpicks, it also holds the various things that I need for the Berkey water filter. So it’s actually a very convenient place to keep those things.

And then the cabinet underneath that I’ve never really put to good use now holds my extra cutting boards and the fire extinguisher. It’s the perfect size for those items!

So this corner now has function, and that just leaves me with one more thing to do before I can call my kitchen completely organized.

And that is getting rid of the dishwasher. I’ve talked about doing it for years now, but I’ve never gotten around to it. I’ve also gone through several different ideas of how I wanted to use that space. But now I have a clear vision of what I want to do.

I’m going to turn that into a cabinet with doors, and that’s where I’m going to store the two small appliances that I use the most, but don’t want stored on a countertop — the Blendtec blender and Instant Pot. And there may even be room in there for my third most-used appliance, the air fryer. I’d love the convenience of having those in the kitchen!

And because the outlets in that corner are the ones that I use when I’m using those appliances, I had to make sure that the Berkey was sitting far enough away from that side wall to keep the outlets and the light switch accessible.

I kind of like that the Berkey covers up that switch and those outlets from most angles, but they’re still accessible.

So this corner of the kitchen finally feels like it has purpose. And other than the cabinet that I’ll make where the dishwasher currently sits, giving purpose to that small drawer and cabinet in the corner means that I’ve now C.O.P.’d my way through my entire kitchen. Every cabinet and drawer has a purpose, and holds only what I want and need in the kitchen. Everything else has been purged, and the cabinets and drawers have all been organized and customized to make my kitchen work efficiently for me. Next week, I’ll give y’all a final “tour” of all of the organization I’ve put into place in my kitchen. As a person who’s not naturally neat and organized, I have to admit that my kitchen makes me very proud now.

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