My simple kitchen command station

June 13, 2016

Hello all! Hope your weekend was great! I was sick all weekend -- at first I was frustrated I couldn't get anything done but then I embraced it and just enjoyed laying around and watching movies for 72 hours straight. Now I'm on the mend and trying to catch up from my lazy days. :)

I'll be hard at work on some outdoor projects this week but I wanted to share a quick spray paint project I did a few weeks ago. If you've seen my kitchen you know I added a tray to our island since I expanded it more than a year ago -- I love having a spot to corral all the stuff that we reach for every day. 

I've been using a tray I found at Goodwill but I had been on the search for something a little larger for months. I found this one at HomeGoods: 
Wood tray with metal handles

I liked the big industrial/farmhouse metal rings as handles and loved the color of the wood, but unfortunately it was all wrong on the butcher block island. 

Spray paint to the rescue! I wanted more of a contrast so I sprayed it black and LOVED it. You saw it last week when I shared more about our peonies
Tray on island for kitchen necessities

This has become our "command center" in the kitchen and we use the items in the tray numerous times a day. They're all little things that feel too small and cluttery on their own and gathering up on the tray looks so much better. 

My favorite part of the tray is the new recipe box I found a few weeks ago at a local shop: 

Rifle polka dot recipe box

Of course afterwards I looked online and found the exact same one on Amazon for less. There's a floral one I may have to get for the spring/summer. I don't usually do that but I LOVE that one too and have an Amazon gift card burning a hole in my pocket. ;)

Anyway, the polka dot version had me immediately and I love having my recipes so easily accessible. I've started filling in the cards but need to get more:
Crock pot chicken and wild rice soup

That's my yummy crock pot chicken and wild rice soup -- SO GOOD. These recipe cards from this line are so pretty too! They have so many cute designs. I'll probably end up just copying more on the printer but they are adorable. 

The set comes with about 12 dividers too. It's seriously too cute and looks great sitting out on the tray: 
Metal recipe box

 I also keep a dollar store vase in the tray with straws and my favorite butter dish from Target:
Glass butter dish
Of course my pitcher (also from Target) I've had for years holds my flowers every week. This napkin holder was from Target (I think?) as well (do you sense a trend here?). The napkins were from IKEA, but watch out because they turn your face blue!: 
Wood napkin holder

Ha! They sure are pretty though. 

We use at least one of the items on this try every day, if not all. I love having it right out in the open so everything is easy to access: 
Tray on kitchen island

I'm trying to keep the clutter down in our kitchen so having all of these little items in the tray eliminates some of that. At least it feels like it does. ;) 

Do you use a tray in the kitchen for similar items? It would work for the kitchen table too! You can see how I used the tray to make a cute and functional hot chocolate station at Christmas too:
hot chocolate station

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  1. I have been searching for something similar to use on my breakfast bar for the exact same reason. Love it!

    1. I wonder why it is that things look so much better corralled together? I stupidly threw out my little recipe box when I moved here two years ago. Now I want another one. Love yours!

    2. They really do! I have a little pedestal next to the stove for random little items there too. Love it!

  2. I've just learned to embrace the clutter busting power of trays. They seem to instantly transform clutter into a group with purpose. I have one by my coffee maker for all of our to go cups, it's great because it keeps the taller cups from falling over.

  3. I love this idea and especially how you painted the tray. Very cute! But what is the butter dish on the tray for?

    1. That was my question too! What is in the butter dish --- not butter I hope!

    2. For butter! I've always kept ours out -- soft butter is the best. :) Salted butter does best in a dish (always covered) but I've never had any go bad.

  4. I like that tray you found. I have two in my kitchen. One by my cooktop with utensils, salt, oil, and garlic keeper. The other by my coffee maker with our two cups, spoons and coffee canister. Makes it look nice and easy to clean.

  5. I keep a sqaure-ish basket by the stove and it holds a utencil caddy, small butter dish, pepper grinder and my olive oil bottle - our most used things. It looks cute and helps to keep that area from feeling cluttered.

  6. I have two and I love having my spices in one and other essentials like you have, in another. Greate post.

  7. I bought those napkins for our daughter's graduation open-house this Saturday. Your caution that they turn your face blue reminded me of my brother's graduation open-house 35 years ago. That was back in the day when every special occasion feathered mints made in molds (wedding bells for wedding receptions, booties for baby showers, caps for graduation, Etc.) The mints at my brother's open-house unfortunately turned everyone's teeth blue. Maybe we'll make some humorous memories Saturday with our pretty Ikea napkins.

  8. I have one of those French butter keepers with the water around it (forget what it's called) but I've still had butter go bad several times in it. Hmmm...maybe I need to use salted?

  9. I keep my butter out in a covered dish like Sarah's and have never had it go bad. However the one time I tried a French butter keeper, it spoiled. I guess simpler is better!


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THANKS so much for reading!