Wednesday, 10 August 2011

My $200 Kitchen Make Over

If you are reading this hoping for “wow factor”, or dazzling before and afters done on a teeny budget,  or really any kind of inspiration for updating your own kitchen – sorry, you might be disappointed. If you are reading this to see how a couple of small and inexpensive additions can make a world of difference to your cooking happiness, then you might just be in luck. You may have seen my post recently on my dismay about my kitchen and my conundrum as to whether to spend money on renovations or wait until we buy a bigger house (someday). My kitchen has many faults, some of which require a complete overhaul, but some, like the ones I am talking about today, have such simple solutions I am kicking myself I didn’t do them years ago!


My stove top developed a personality of it’s own about 12 months ago which means that I can either boil the crap out of something or let it sit on an expensive glass bench doing nothing. After many burned pots, spoiled dinners and colourful outbursts by myself the solution hit me like a saucepan to the back of the head. Buy an electric frypan! Once I had managed to convince the sales assistant that the electric frypan I had come in to buy was in fact the most suitable appliance for my needs (rather than the sear and simmer slow cooker or the grilling microwave he was pushing) I finally had an appliance that would allow me to make delicious Spaghetti Bolognese or Curried Sausages without the Tourette's appetiser.


My other problem was the lack of pantry in our kitchen. I was relying on a cavernous 2 shelf under bench cupboard for all my dry food storage which meant I often forgot what food stuffs I actually had in the house resulting in much food being wasted. There is a narrow space beside our fridge which is located in the laundry at the end of our kitchen that was just wide enough to fit a single door pantry. You can see in the first picture that we had an old box freezer there previously, it had never been plugged in and now that Luke has a huge garage (man cave) with ample space for such things, it has been moved out there. It is now actually been used as a fridge to hold his home brew thanks to the replacement of the thermostat, but I digress…

The pantry only holds the same amount of food as the old cupboard space in its current configuration, but with that area now clear I can use it to store my new frypan as well as my gigantic slow cooker and extra saucepans that didn’t really have a home. As an added bonus I can now see all of the food in there which means I should manage to use it before the expiry date.


I need to add a couple more shelves to make better use of the space, but just look at how neatly it fits beside the fridge.

pantry closed

I am making it known that this is NOT a complete solution to my kitchen woes and still doesn’t address the lack of dishwasher, but it is a massive improvement in terms of accessibility and sanity which is still a win in my book.

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