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A Peek Inside the Parsonage

I loooooove getting the inside scoop from the pros about decorating.  I’m always on the lookout for helpful tips and beautiful ideas to copy in my own home.  Last weekend I got to attend another free design class at Gracious Designs in Jonesborough.  Those folks not only decorate graciously, they receive their customers graciously and are so willing to help with their design dilemmas!  That’s why they offer these classes – to help us have a home that is a delight to our families and our guests.  Of course they sell beautiful accents too, but they’re really lovely people!
The class I attended last weekend was one I was really looking forward to.  It was on Kitchens and Baths. The designer said that the most common complaint about a person’s kitchen is not enough storage.  Are you in agreement with that?  Even if we have a good amount of cabinet space, it seems we can always use more.  Her suggestions were simple:
  • Be creative!
      • Use baskets and trays to corral like items
        • Make a list of the activities you do every day in your kitchen and create stations to accomplish that task easily.  Keeping all the coffee items together will make the task of making coffee much simpler.

        • Make a basket or tray of your baking supplies.  Put your most used spices out for easy access.  Add your measuring cups and pretty canisters for brown sugar and/or confectionery sugar.
        • Use a basket to collect the mail
        • Use baskets to store linens
      • Get a 2-tiered stand for veggies and fruits

      • Use wall space wisely – Use hooks for aprons, towels, or oven mitts.
I asked the designer how you keep the kitchen from looking too cluttered with all these containers, and she said to use the same material for them all.  I happened to have light colored baskets.  You could go with black metal containers, or white baskets.  Making them all the same will keep a good flow to the room.
  • Add a bookshelf to your kitchen if you can.  If not, at least create a basket with your most frequently used books.  We all probably use the same ones over and over, so get those out where they’ll be at your fingertips.
  • Soften surfaces with little touches
    • Greenery in a vase
    • Linens 
      • Use cloth napkins for valances!
      • Place mats
      • tablecloths
      • runners
      • aprons
    • Add lighting
      • Battery operated candles
      • light sticks
      • sconces
      • hospitality lights
  • Add pieces with character
My dad made my stained glass years ago
and got me started on my Rooster theme.
My house is a work in progress!  I came home from the class and rearranged things for a couple of hours.  Her tips were so helpful.  I feel like the room is more unified with the like-colored baskets, and it’s more convenient with the “stations” she suggested we create.  Shopping for what you need in your own home is free!  When I needed another basket I’d go through the house and find what I needed.  You’d be surprised what you can do with what you already have!
I trust there’s some idea here that I learned that will inspire you to organize and decorate your kitchen so it feels just like the place in which you’ll love to create something delicious!
From inside my parsonage kitchen,

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