Vintage Style Organization

I don’t know why January is all about organizing and storage. 
I guess because it’s the New Year?
I was always historically White Sale month so maybe women would throw out their old stuff
 and get new which prompted cleaning and reorganizing.
Who knows?
Anyway, I’ve shared before about how we built our own house 
and about what a great cabinet builder my husband is.
I am a storage nut.
 If there’s a space to hide stuff, I want it.
There’s a lot of not pretty things in our everyday lives 
and I don’t want to see them in my pretty house.
I thought I’d share some of the storage ideas I have used to hide 
the necessary objects.

Now, this may get sort of wordy but I’ll try and include lots of pictures too.
We have what is called an ‘unfitted’ kitchen. This means little upper cabinets and
more freestanding units.
So, in planning my units I needed to incorporate areas for things like 
plates and silver and glasses, etc.
The above cabinet is the first one I want to show you.
Now, my husband built this to my specifications 
but any cabinetbuilder could do the same for you.
Inside the top door is the microwave
the next drawer down is not really a drawer but a flat surface 
to set something on that is going into the microwave
third is the silverware drawer
You can see that alongside the microwave, I still have room for a couple cookbooks
The hardware is nickel and everything is painted in 
Benjamin Moore White Dove
also the color I use for all my woodwork
I use the gloss latex
 The next two large drawers are for dishes
This house is our last and I knew we would be older 
and older 
and older 
(OK, I’ll stop)
as we lived here
I wanted my dishes at a lower level 
so I wasn’t needing to reach into an upper cabinet when I was 80
Plus, we have 6 grandchildren and it’s not uncommon
for kids to have difficulty getting dishes
out of upper cabinets.
We love them and have gotten so many
“what a good idea”
Here is a good example of the not so pretty things
 I like to hide. (believe me, you’ll see plenty more in a minute)
If I had a pretty, matchy set of dishes they could be in a glass fronted cabinet
but these are everyday, chipped (5 kids, 6 grandkids) dishes.
I don’t want to see them on display
Here is a closeup of the silverware drawer. 
We inherited a ton of wooden cheese boxes (there’s a pic later)
so my husband screwed them together and they make great silverware boxes. 
Those little plastic things are never big enough.
I have a double set of silverware because when I get 17 people here 
for just a typical family dinner…we run out of utensils.

Across the kitchen, next to the stove,
I found this cabinet in Home Goods and it was the same color as my walls!
Now, I’m cheating here because this isn’t something
I designed or my husband built.
But, I wanted to show how something can be used creatively 
for storage. Plus, this is where the cheesebox picture is.
 I keep all my spices in there.
Another, not pretty thing.
The cheese boxes hold groups of spices
like basil, oregano, garlic, etc
that I use often. I just lift one out when I need it.
This next cabinet is on the right side of the stove.
Even though my husband built it to look like a set of drawers, 
it’s really one big cabinet
designed to hold more unpretty things
sheet pans, cookie pans and large cutting boards 
Eeeew….you can see I’ve been cooking for 40 years
These items in particular are always so difficult to store.
I knew I wanted vertical storage from the beginning.

Just  off the kitchen is the eating area. I chose to do a
banquette to make more seating in a small area.
It’s the most popular place and is packed to the gills at
every family gathering or party.
Unfortunately, I had to remove the black and white checked 
cushion I made because the kids have less than stellar
eating habits.
It will return someday. 
For awhile I brought it out when we had company 
but it became annoying to get it out of the attic so I quit.
Anyway, I modeled the banquette 
after the vintage ones I saw in all my old movies.
Nothing like movies from the 40’s to give you great ideas.
Some of my faves are:
The Bachelor and The Bobby-Soxer
Father of the Bride (original and new)
Mrs Miniver
Mr Blandings Builds His Dream House
(just to name a few)

There is storage in each side of the banquette.
More old cooking stuff!

Having five kids means TONS of paper.
Honestly, schools kill more trees than Washington I think!
I HATE piles of papers on my kitchen counter.
But, the other option is to tell them to put it on my computer desk
I think not.
I came across one of those brown wooden breadboxes 
that used to be so popular in country decorating. 
Do you know the ones I mean? With BREAD etched into the top?
I don’t have a before picture because this was 2010bb
(before blogging)

I filled and sanded the BREAD letters 
but you could still see them.
So I found this pretty embellishment in my husband’s supply drawer
and glued it on top.
I planned to add a little glass knob but never got around to it.

Here’s the unpretty part
When the lid won’t shut anymore, I clean it out.


  1. You did a great job! I’m your daughter and never knew what was in the bread box!!!!! LOL Of course I’m a fan of Dad’s building and your design! You should show the butler’s pantry! A small amount of floor space is taken with a ton of storage in it…oh and the mud area! She has LOTS of storage! Great blog!

  2. What awesome pieces!!! I hate having to look at the everyday ugly things too. Your husband is very talented, and so are you. Your post has me dreaming.

  3. Could you please email me, I can’t find your contact info here. It’s for the “what I like about your blog” event going on. Thanks.

  4. Only my daughter will realize that I’m just showing the pretty bits of the house…there’s a whole lot that isn’t picture worthy…LOL
    Thanks honey!

  5. Thanks Kathleen….I am very fortunate indeed!

  6. Great creative storage. I like the idea of storing plates and bowls in the drawers. I wouldn’t have thought to use it that way. Thanks for sharing. Stopping by from at the picket fence.


  7. Thanks Nedra!

  8. Lovely designs! I’m lucky like you to have a talented hubs who can build any little old thing we ask for. THanks for the great post–I saw you at Picket Fence linky party.

  9. Your creative storage solutions are just fantastic! And beautiful! Love the breadbox and think I need to head to the goodwill to try and find one to give a makeover. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing this with us at Inspiration Friday this week!

  10. Love your stuff. Have to run out to the dentist, but gonna snoop around more when I get back….


  11. Oh I love a good cubby hole or a good ‘ol nook and cranny!! Love to have things to store and hide things in! Great ideas!!

  12. Great ideas – I really love the use of the bread box. I’ll have to look for one as I always have a problem with papers too, and I only have one kid.

  13. Another great idea, too bad I finally got rid of my 80’s bread box. I see them sometimes for a song and a dance at garage sales. I’ll bring it home add it to the WTH pile (what the hell) with all good intentions of turning it into something great like yours. And what a great concept…. building a house for growing old. Why didn’t I think of that? Lord knows I’ve built three houses around the kids, bout time we built one for our, umm, later years.


  14. You’ve really given some great ideas here, my mind is spinning. Wish I had read this earlier today so I could go out shopping! Won’t be able to until Wednesday now:) I love the breadbox idea. Plus the cute little cabinet to hold your spices. Funny, I never see things and think of painting them. Now I’m inspired!

  15. Beautiful! I love that bead board lift top. The bread box is very cute. I bet all of the these pieces look great together in the kitchen. I’d love for you to join in on my weekly Show & Tell party. It kicks off on Wednesdays at

  16. Love your storage cabinets, your DH does great work. Great idea for the bread box!

    Visiting from the Newbie Party.

    I am your newest follower.

    Have a great week.

  17. Oh my goodness – I have the exact same breadbox down in my basement and am sooo doing that today. I have the worst looking mail pile on my kitchen counter at all times too. So thanks for the inspiration!

  18. Oh man, I so need something like that breadbox!! I also love all your other storage cabinets too, but my hubby, although extremely talented like yours, is not as motivated to take on those kinds of endeavors.

  19. I love all your storage – I wish my dh had the skills to make cabinetry! I especially like the cabinet with the microwave – I don’t use one but it would be a great baking station.

  20. So charming- love your storage ideas! Thank you for sharing at Feathered Nest Friday!

  21. Thanks for hosting! Nice of you to comment….you’re such a busy gal!

  22. Wow…I love all that lovely beautiful hidden oraganizational storage! Wonderful! Thanks for sharing!

  23. Love, love, love all the vintagey goodness! Thanks for linking up!

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