11 Kitchen Essentials (Beyond The Basics) // A Girl Names PJ

11 Kitchen Essentials (Beyond The Basics) | Dream Green DIY + A Girl Names PJ


Hey, Dream Green DIY readers! I’m PJ, the writer behind A Girl Named PJ, a lifestyle blog covering topics ranging from style and entertainment to motherhood and self-care. When my family moved to Washington, DC a few months ago, I didn’t have the forethought like Carrie to invite some of my blogging friends to guest post while I was busy unpacking boxes and attempting to get organized. Hopefully, Carrie is able to take advantage of her time away from Dream Green DIY to make her new house feel like home!

Nearly four months after our move from Omaha, I’m still trying to determine how to fit the contents of a two-story house into a townhouse. Not only are there fewer rooms, but each room is smaller than its equivalent in Nebraska—especially the kitchen.

Thankfully, our new kitchen doesn’t feel (terribly) cramped because of its floor-to-ceiling windows and the over-the-sink cutout looking into the dining room. The upper cabinets extend to the ceiling, which is a nice feature, but there are fewer lower cabinets in which to store pots and pans, small appliances, and bakeware.

Oh, and there’s no pantry.

So I came up with a list of kitchen essentials we’d need to help make the space work for us.

  1. First of all, our new fridge doesn’t have a water dispenser! Obviously, that’s not the worst thing in the world, but we hadn’t used a water filter pitcher in almost six years and needed to buy a new one. Any Brita would’ve sufficed, but I love the modern look of this Soma water pitcher (1).
  2. Because of the lack of storage, some food items have to live on the counter. I’m a sucker for typographic kitchen canisters (2) like this set from West Elm.
  3. We also don’t have a ton of extra drawer space for all of our cooking utensils, so I wanted to store the most frequently used ones in a crock next to the stove. This vintage-looking utensil holder (9) is a fun contrast to the kitchen’s super contemporary look.
  4. Instead of replacing the Keurig machine that died just before we left Omaha, my husband and I decided to try regularly making French press (5) coffee instead. That meant we needed a coffee grinder (4) because freshly ground beans taste the best. And although it wasn’t necessary, we enjoyed my parents’ milk frother (6) and didn’t want to drink coffee without warm frothed milk!
  5. We were hoping to add a hot water dispenser to the kitchen sink to help speed up the manual coffee-making process, but it didn’t turn out to be possible. We realized we’d need either an electric kettle (3) or a whistling tea kettle (8) to leave out on the counter.
  6. And because of the lack of a pantry, we quickly learned we’d need some extra storage like a kitchen cart (11) with shelves or a classic baker’s rack.
  7. Believe it or not, my husband is the primary cook in our family. (Okay, if you know me in real life, you can probably believe it.) I’ve just never been interested in cooking. However, his new commute means he isn’t usually home early enough to make dinner, so I added a slow cooker (10) to the list because I had heard that it’s basically life-changing.
  8. Finally, our collection of dish towels is just old and sad. Half were from my husband’s bachelor days (!) and the rest are just well-worn from years of use. I’d love to start fresh with a set of modern screen printed linen tea towels (7).

Besides ladles and peelers and colanders, what are some of your essential kitchen tools? What couldn’t you live without in your kitchen?

Visit A Girl Named PJ daily for clever roundups and stories like this one!

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