I love the challenge of living in a small house. Rather than wishing we had more closets and storage we get creative and work at finding ways to utilize our space making life feel a little more efficient incorporating both the practical and beautiful.
Our most recent light bulb moment was the top of our basement steps.
My Pop and Chris had installed bead board in this area when we first moved in but it never got painted and quite honestly was left forgotten as the basement door hid this neglected space.
A few years ago (when our girls were safe from tumbling down the stairs) we removed the door to open things up which actually made the kitchen feel a bit bigger.
The door was left off but the space remained unpainted and under-utilized until recently when I became frustrated with my ever growing cast iron pan collection. We have accumulated an array of second hand pans in all shapes and sizes. They are the workhorses of our kitchen and are used daily. I love the versatility of cast iron, able to go from stove-top to oven. Our favorite pan is the extra large one used for big batches of granola and roasted vegetables. Chris found that pan for only 25 cents at a yard sale! Wishing that I had a space to hang my pans rather than stack them I realized that I did have a place!
Yes, the top of our basement steps would make the perfect pantry for pans but how about a place for hanging tools such as dust pans, brushes and a brooms. And while we are at it, let’s hang a few hooks for extra coats when we host company since our house came without a coat closet. Killing two or even three birds with one stone is how I like to roll in our home.
Once we envisioned our new space we got to work and started with painting the bead board and walls a crisp white. Chris hand forged hooks (made with recycled iron from an old hay rake) that would be sturdy enough to hold the heavy pans.
He also made a light fixture from Kentucky Coffee Tree wood and a ball jar.
I hung a wooden accordion hook on one side for dust pans, brushes and brooms and installed a few hooks on the other side for aprons, coats, spare cutting boards, etc.
A while back my mom had gifted me an antique drawing of a woman selling at market. I could never find quite the right place for her until now.
I love this new space displaying our tools that are both practical and beautiful.
I find that domestic work becomes a bit more enjoyable when your tools are pretty enough to display.
Rather than let them sit until the end of the day, I now eagerly wash up our pans after each use to hang them back on their hand forged hooks in their very own pantry.