Edible Bozeman

Adding Layers of Joy to Cooking

When it comes to organizing my kitchen, especially my open shelves, it’s a delicate balance of two very important things: form and function. It’s meaningful that the items on display not only add beauty to my home, but are also useful. If I can find items that tick both boxes, it makes my aesthetic-loving-yet-practical heart happy.

For example, I use a bottle with a spout on top that was originally meant to hold cooking oil and fill it with dishwashing liquid so it can stay on my counter and look nicer than your average dish soap bottle. I also look for creative and beautiful ways to store and display dry goods in my pantry, keeping items like rice, beans, and grains in big glass jars.

Every day, my husband and I use our classic white dishes and bistro glassware that’s stored on the shelves. The frequent use prevents dust from collecting (this is a common concern for people considering whether to install open shelves). I prefer this method of storage because it keeps kitchen essentials in easy reach, without having to open and shut multiple doors to grab an item.

I gather most of my storage items through antiquing, which I see as an important move for sustainability in this age of single- use products and throw-away culture. I love finding well-loved items and giving them a new life instead of just buying everything new (not that I don’t also do that on occasion).

The copper salt and pepper shakers on my shelf are antique finds, as are my pitchers and cutting boards of various sizes. Many of the utensils in the crock next to my stove are also antiques, including a set of copper spoons with painted blue and white porcelain handles that I found in a little village in France and brought back home with me. I use them often, which not only makes cooking a little more winsome, but also brings back memories of my travels.

My other favorite method for finding special items is through artists and makers, and I especially love looking for talented potters for things like mugs and mixing bowls. The blue ceramic colander holding berries on my island was found at a living history museum in Georgia, where the artist made rustic kitchen wares using traditional methods. The objects on my shelves have become a sort of journal, holding memories of the people and places that brought them into my life. They connect me with the past and bring another level of joy into the process of cooking, baking, and entertaining in my kitchen.

Related Posts