Did you hear about the new trend in eco/frugal decor? Nope, it’s not dumpster diving. In fact, it doesn’t even require you to leave your home. And you don’t need an internet connection, either (sorry, Craigslist and ebay). Welcome to the land of (drumroll please)…Cabinet Diving. (Full disclosure: it’s not actually a new trend. It’s really just my resourceful, cheap-o way to spruce up your space and make it personal ;)) Cabinet Diving won’t cost you any money (and even better that you won’t get caught booty-up in the town garbage.) And I promise, this can work for just about anyone.
Mira’s Empty One-Bedroom
Mira moved into her one-bedroom apartment with literally NO decor. She had the absolute basics, but that was about it. She wanted to cook more, but would always either forget or run out of time – and it’s no wonder, because her kitchen was just about as inviting as an office break room. I was determined to help Mira create an environment that would actually inspire her to cook.
Here is the kitchen before:
Everything used here came from Mira’s cabinets! Although she didn’t have much, she couldn’t believe what we could do with just a few of her favorite items.
We found these canisters in a box, so we pulled them out, dusted them off, and clustered them together at different heights. She had some flowers she bought a few days before, so one of them acted as a vase. I asked her for a few things she likes: pasta, tea, etc., and later, instead of putting these items in her pantry, she filled the canisters with these items. The reality is that, the closer they are within reach, the more likely it will be that she will use them. I also took her cooking utensils and placed them in a canister. The cutting board is another item that we brought out of the cabinets – it’s a solid piece to decorate with that is also usable. Wood is a great way to warm up a space, and in this case, the cutting board does just that for Mira’s kitchen.
The next thing I found while raiding her pantry was sack of potatoes. And let me tell you: this really was one sad sack of potatoes. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist that one). She had actually forgotten she had them until I pulled them out of the pantry. I can totally relate to this – if I literally don’t keep things in my face, I forget about them and eventually have to throw them out when they go bad. The cocktail shaker was also in a cabinet. The book was over in a pile with the rest of her books. It adds a nice splash of color, and picks up the green from the flowers.
Another great way to get motivated to cook is to set a cookbook out in plain sight on your countertop. Not only does this provide easy access, but the picture on the front will also entice you to make a meal. (And hey, even if you just drool over it while waiting for your frozen dinner to heat up, bonus points for at least getting you in the kitchen!) This cool serving bowl was also hidden away in her cabinets. The bunny is a sentimental item, which I love – it makes this kitchen hers. And the wine, of course, needs no explanation. More bottles, sure. But no explanation.
*As another idea: if you have an extra glass vase, bowl, or large drinking glass, you can put it to double use as a candle holder and wine cork collector. The natural element of cork brings extra warmth into your kitchen.*
I love the Cabinet Diving decor method for three simple reasons:
- it encourages us to set our kitchens up in a way that allows easy access to the things we use every day (or want to start using)
- our kitchens can be easily warmed up by items that are personal to us, and
- it’s free
While Cabinet Diving isn’t a serious HGTV-style home makeover, I think it does show how sometimes the cozy touch we need for our kitchen is tucked away out of plain sight. And once you take a look, you’ll see you have more to work with than you think. Small changes can make a big difference. Mira has called multiple times to say how much she loved her space and can’t believe how much more cozy it feels. So pull out those bowls you received from your registry. Bring out those glasses you love. You bought them for a reason – enjoy them!
Want to try? Send me your pics of what you did to your kitchen by cabinet diving!
***Stay tuned for my free Home Decor e-book, coming soon for those on my mailing list! It will offer tips and ideas for personalizing your space on a budget. If you aren’t on the list, make sure you sign up so you receive your copy. Just enter your email in the box on the right side of the blog.***