A few months ago, I came across this post at The Farm Chicks. Serena, THE Farm Chick, showed how she had organized her pantry... it was practical but pretty too.
I really took this idea to heart... however, living with 2 men and 3 dogs... well it isn't always easy. I have to admit, when I open a drawer or a door that is "finished", well I get a happy feeling... kind of silly but it's true.
We were just finishing up a project we'd had started some time ago (actually years would be accurate). Our farmhouse is old by Washington standards, built in 1920. I guess they had used the hall closet for many things over the years and didn't seem to feel the need to put a door on it. Since it is an arched door and is finished in drywall/sheetrock, well putting a door on it was a challenge. We came across an old screen door (for free at the ReStore) that was missing it's top. Finally this past December my husband finished up the door and I painted it. Since we left it as a screen door, you could still see inside, but the dogs could no longer drag my coats out and play tug-o-war with them. I wanted the closet to look pretty, yet be practical. I painted the shelves, purchased some baskets and jars and my tidy closet was born.
I've continued the idea of pretty but practical in other ways. Instead of using plastic or cardboard to store things, I try to use some of my collected vintage pieces in new ways. I use small old pyrex type casserole dishes to keep small stuff organized in my kitchen.
In my sewing room I keep pins, thread, needles, etc in small vintage milk glass bowls.
An old bathroom cabinet was re-purposed as my spice cabinet. It fit my existing spice jars perfectly.
I keep my espresso/latte making utensils on top of my espresso maker in an old jadite pan.
Jars of batteries, purchased in bulk at Costco, are kept in large mason jars in an old milk bottle carrier.
My pantry of mostly open shelves was built with old beadboard and a cabinet (again from the ReStore). I mostly use jars and vintage pieces to hold things. Notice the small and large crocks, we use them to keep our dog food in.
The list can be endless and I still get that happy feeling when I open one of my pretty but practical cabinets or drawers. My next project is lining my kitchen cabinet with oilcloth instead of shelf paper... maybe on the next rainy day.