I used to keep a lot of decorative things in my kitchen. I find more and more these days that I will put those things away (or give them away) in favor of things that are more functional. Or maybe it’s that I look for things that are both functional and decorative.
I love canisters of flours and sugars.
I love jars of dried beans.
Those candles? They aren’t for nothing! Those tapers are power outage candles, at the ready.
I like pretty bottles and pitchers for flowers from the garden or the roadside.
I like a basket of fresh-washed eggs and my dried herbs.
I like pretty crocheted dishcloths, aprons, and old cookbooks.
I’ve been spring-cleaning (or fall cleaning) my kitchen. If you are visiting my home next week, I’d appreciate it if you noticed that my salt shakers are sparkly.
By the way, did you know that if you live in a humid area, if you add a few bits of rice to your jars, the salt won’t clump?
We’re having a big party here in a week, so I need to clean up for that reason alone, but lately, any time I clean anything, I take the time as I go to sort through and dismiss what doesn’t fit in a functional, minimal home. (I have a long way to go. Have you seen my kitchen drawers? They need work.) But bit by bit, I move from one room to another, tackling a piece at a time, getting rid of stuff. I want my home to function, and the kitchen is the heart of any home.
There is a purpose to some decorative things. There are some things that need to exist in a kitchen to bring a smile or a memory, or just for the joy of its beauty. But I make myself think hard about each of those things that I leave. Why is it there? What memory is attached to it? Do I really love it?
My mother always kept these hand-painted Italian rooster plaques in her kitchen. (My mother had so much class, even her kitsch was hand-painted and Italian.)
They make me think of my mother in the kitchen when I was growing up. I will find them a place in my kitchen.
When everything in the kitchen is both beautiful and useful, it brings a kitchen alive with activities and possibilities. I want a living kitchen. You?