Paint Chips & Salsa: Decorating The Kitchen & Dining Area

Kitchen “Before”. I flew in after the movers unpacked and this was, by far, the most time intensive area to organize. Mainly because I cook every day and I may or may not have a slight case of serious OCD.


Kitchen “After”. I don’t believe in decorating the kitchen with useless things (unless it’s a tree stump on top of the cabinets…see picture for example) so I splurge on buying really nice cooking supplies since they double as decor. I also like to buy apothecary jars to store dog food/treats and glass beer jugs to store flours. Then there is my obsession with buying mortar and pestles. The one to the immediate right of the stove was given to me by my mom along with the cutting board behind it. They were among her first purchases when she arrived in the U.S. in 1981.


Apothecary jars: $30 (Marshall’s)

Crate and Barrel mortar and pestle: $35

Papaya salad mortar and pestle: $20 (Phnom Kiev Supermarket in Seattle)

Glass beer jugs: $6 for 2 (Seattle Goodwill)

Anthropologie measuring cups and spoons: $50

Frame that I repainted and filled with dried moss: $8 (Austin Goodwill)

2 woven baskets: $8 for 2 (Austin Goodwill)

Iron napkin holder that I refinished: $5 (Austin Goodwill)


Kitchen “After”. I used molding to make display areas in the kitchen. The frame to the top right is an antique one from my fiance’s great great grandmother that I used to frame moss. Below it is a shadowbox that I found at a garage sale and turned into a recipe holder. Left of that are tin cans I papered and use to hold cinnamon sticks and herbs. And above that is a mirror I found at a thrift store and repainted a distressed white.


Molding: $25

Shadowbox: $3 (Garage sale in Austin)

Apothecary Jars: $24

Recycling Bags: I think they were $16 for two (World Market)


Kitchen “After”. Because we are tree hugging hippies, I repurposed random glass jars into pantry storage. I would show you the organization of the other cabinets but have been told that my facing-labels-in-one-direction was kinda creepy.


Glass jars: Free


Dining Table “Before”. I actually took two pieces of furniture to make this. The bottom is the pedestal for an Ikea table that I attached an antique tabletop to. The tabletop has been in my fiance’s family since the early 1900’s which I sanded, painted, resanded and repainted to have it match the pedestal.


Dining Table “After”. I used epoxy spray paint to do this table since it’s extremely hard and durable and will take the daily wear and tear.


Epoxy paint in “Gloss White”: $12

Table was free using two existing tables.


Dining Area “After”. This side table was made by my fiance’s family in the early 1900’s using old barnwood. I cut it down by a foot to make it usable in this space. Flanking it to the left is driftwood I took from a nudist beach on Lopez Island. Above the table are antique doorknobs and hardware that I’ve collected from flea markets and thrift stores. The framed pieces are artwork comprised of receipts, cards and maps of our travels.


Frames: About $65 in all.  Most are from garage sales and thrift stores.

Total cost for Kitchen & Dining Area: $307


9 thoughts on “Paint Chips & Salsa: Decorating The Kitchen & Dining Area

  1. Your flat looks amazing, I’m not that into crafts really mainly because if I tried it someone would assume a 4 year old had run riot over the place. Your site stands out though as you inject humour into it, so great writing too.

  2. How do you get the smell out of the jars/lids you use for storage? I’ve soaked mine overnight in a water/vinegar mixture, but they still smell like pasta sauce, strawberry jelly, alfredo, etc. (especially the lids)!

  3. How do you get the smell out of the jars/lids you use for storage? I’ve soaked mine overnight in a water/vinegar mixture, but they still smell like pasta sauce, strawberry jelly, alfredo, etc. (especially the lids)!

    • I soaked them in water overnight to loosen up the label and then tossed it into the dishwasher. That got rid of the smell for most of the jars. But for stronger smelling jars like salsa, I just gave up on trying to get rid of the odor. I ended up using them to store like-smelling things. So, sun-dried tomatoes went into the old salsa jars. Dried cranberries went into the jam jar. Hope that helped!

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