I am proudly keeping produce on display in my kitchen! For over a year now the hubby and I have followed, or tried to follow, a slow-carb diet. This year we transitioned to the Paleo diet. It is also known as “caveman” or hunter/gatherer” diet. I don’t want to spend much time talking about the diet itself, but rather a change it inspired me to make in my kitchen.
As with all healthy diets, the Paleo diet calls for tons of fresh fruits and veggies. I have a happy place for fruit, but I had no place outside the fridge for vegetables. I have a decent size pantry, but if it is out of sight in this house, it is out of mind. I want all the wonderful, healthful things I should eat in plain view and handy. My need for produce storage sparked me to finally make a change in my kitchen I have considered for years.
Someday I would love open shelves in my kitchen. I am not ready to take on that drastic of a change now, so I thought opening up one cabinet might hold me over for a while. The corner upper cabinet in the kitchen has bothered me for years. I like divided lites on french doors, not kitchen cabinets. In fact, I am kind of over glass front cabinets in the kitchen. I say, open is the new glass front. Skip the doors altogether.
I removed the glass door off the corner display cabinet to make room for produce. This cabinet was anything but a display cabinet before. It was simply there holding stacks of china. A cabinet like this is no place to display pretty china…I need to find another solution for that. Instead what I needed was a place to put loads of fresh veggies.
I have longed for some actual display space in my kitchen, too. Somewhere to bring in a little personality. The chalkboard pantry door and puppy art were a start, but on the cabinet side of the kitchen it is all doors. I have 9 ft ceilings in the kitchen, but with 40″ upper cabinets, I don’t have enough height above for display pieces.
Removing the glass door on the corner cabinet allowed me to kill two birds with one stone. I was able to fit two generously sized baskets to hold all my produce and still have room for a small decor vignette. Both have brought a ton of personality into the space.
I found the water hyacinth baskets at Target. I really like the sturdy wire frame and the open weave sides with a solid weave bottom. I love the faux white leather band around the top. I adjusted the two shelves in the cabinet to allow just enough space for the baskets to slide in and out. The lower basket has about an inch of extra headroom to accommodate larger squash.
The top basket is full of onions, shallots, and garlic. This basket is light and easy to pull down. When I grocery shop I put the newest produce in the back of the basket. The newest onions and garlic are in the back of the shelf where it is dark…they keep best in the dark. I use up the onions in the front first. I never buy more than a weeks worth anyway, so I am not trying to keep anything too long.
The bottom basket is for the larger, heavier produce. This week it is home to a butternut squash, a couple acorn squash, baby tomatoes, and tomatoes on the vine. They will all be eaten up in the next day or two.
I am swinging by the grocery store 2-4 times per week now to grab fresh fruits, veggies, and meat. A quick peek in the baskets and I can see in a glance what I am running low on. I love putting the veggies away after grocery shopping. I simply pull down my baskets and load them up with the goods.
On the top shelf above the baskets I was left with a very tall open space. It is really too high up to store anything useful, so I made it a display area. I took the opportunity to bring some color and decor into the kitchen. Remember those vases that moved to the living room for the dining room making way for new DIY finials? Well, they have moved again. After almost a year on the mantle, my beloved ceramic vases ( a house-warming gift from my in-laws) have moved to the kitchen. My kitchen needed the splash of turquoise to break up the expanse of cabinetry.
To round out the new vignette, I added the Nate Berkus hammered gold bowl. Love the glimmer from the metal. I filled the bowl with some faux succulents. I am not a faux plant fan, but some plants work better than others. Succulents already look plastic-y, so even the faux ones look pretty real. I opted for faux in this spot, because it is high up and there is no way I will remember to water something living up there.
In case your curious, I love the Paleo diet. With a few substitutions I can still have yummy baked goods like banana bread and apple cinnamon muffins. Last night I made this Apple Butternut Squash Hash for dinner. It was so delicious!