A Small Kitchen Update

I spent some time yesterday making a small update to my kitchen, which was all started by a purchase of a water filter.

When Matt and I lived in the condo, we researched different water filters and decided to purchase a Berkey Water Filter. We loved having it, and it sat in a cubby that I created specifically for the water filter in the bookcase that I turned into a little pantry.

You can see more of that kitchen here. Interesting side note: Those condo kitchen cabinets are the same color as my current kitchen cabinets — Behr Hallowed Hush. What a difference lighting makes!! That condo kitchen was all warm incandescent lighting with no natural light. My current kitchen is all 5000K (daylight) LED lighting combined with quite a bit of natural light. If you missed my post about the huge difference it made in the house (i.e., a huge different in how all of my colors looked) when I switched from warm LED lighting to daylight LED lighting, you can check that out here.

Anyway, Matt and I still have that little Berkey water filter, but it’s just so small, and Matt drinks so much water (plus what I use for my tea) that I’d have to fill it constantly. It was such a pain that we haven’t used it in years.

But about a week ago, I decided that I wanted a new one — a BIG one that I didn’t have to constantly refill. And the only place it could live is in the corner of the kitchen peninsula. It’s the perfect place for it since it’s right by the sink. So keeping it filled won’t be a hassle. And while various small appliances have lived there over the years — my Blendtec blender and Instant pot — I really don’t like keeping appliances out on the countertop. Right now, I’m storing those on the countertop in the pantry (which I also don’t like, but it’ll have to do for now), so that left me with this space on the countertop for a new Berkey.

It arrived yesterday and I put it together, and oh my gosh, it looked so huge!! We got the Royal Berkey, so I think with the stand, it’s around 30 inches tall. That means that the water filter on its stand and sitting on our 36-inch-high kitchen countertop is about 6 inches taller than I am. 😀

It looked so big that I decided I needed to hanging something on that blank wall that was even higher than the Berkey in order to hopefully make the Berkey look smaller and to draw the eye away from it. So I did a little shopping around the house to find some extra frames, and then got on Etsy and purchased some printable floral watercolor artwork, and hung a series of three pictures on that wall. So here’s what this corner looks like now.

I absolutely LOVE the floral watercolor artwork, but the frames may not be permanent. For one, I don’t love repeating the same frames that I have in the entryway in this corner of the kitchen. I’d like something a little different, I think. And I think these frames may be a bit too big. Something just a tad smaller (with smaller mats) would probably work better. But I love the overall idea, and that particular artwork is here to stay.

That artwork has all of the colors that I love in it, and goes so well with the neighboring rooms.

The funny thing is that I’ve wanted to hang something here for years now, and just never got around to it. It took a big water filter to finally get me to move forward with that idea.

And of course, this cutting board lives here permanently. I wish it didn’t have it, but it does because while my polyurea-coated concrete countertops are holding up very well overall…

I happened to find the one thing that would eat through polyurea. Yep, leave it to me to find that one thing — isopropyl alcohol. I spilled some on the countertop, and while I thought I had wiped it all up, I didn’t realize that some had run underneath the Instant Pot that was sitting right there. It sat there overnight, and when I moved the Instant Pot the next day, there was a circle of wrinkled and bubbling polyurea coating that just peeled right off.

So that cutting board sits there doing its job of covering up the ugly spot on my countertop.

Here’s a closer look at the pretty little watercolor flowers. But you can see them very clearly here.

This corner also hides another secret. This little drawer doesn’t open all the way.

When I remodeled the kitchen back in 2014, I didn’t know enough to know to use filler strips when putting cabinets right next to walls. So I just put the cabinet right up against the wall. That was fine as long as that wall was solid. But then it became a problem when I added the cased opening between the kitchen and the living room. So that drawer hasn’t been used much since then.

But now, in addition to the important job of holding matches and toothpicks, it also holds the various things that I need for the Berkey water filter. So it’s actually a very convenient place to keep those things.

And then the cabinet underneath that I’ve never really put to good use now holds my extra cutting boards and the fire extinguisher. It’s the perfect size for those items!

So this corner now has function, and that just leaves me with one more thing to do before I can call my kitchen completely organized.

And that is getting rid of the dishwasher. I’ve talked about doing it for years now, but I’ve never gotten around to it. I’ve also gone through several different ideas of how I wanted to use that space. But now I have a clear vision of what I want to do.

I’m going to turn that into a cabinet with doors, and that’s where I’m going to store the two small appliances that I use the most, but don’t want stored on a countertop — the Blendtec blender and Instant Pot. And there may even be room in there for my third most-used appliance, the air fryer. I’d love the convenience of having those in the kitchen!

And because the outlets in that corner are the ones that I use when I’m using those appliances, I had to make sure that the Berkey was sitting far enough away from that side wall to keep the outlets and the light switch accessible.

I kind of like that the Berkey covers up that switch and those outlets from most angles, but they’re still accessible.

So this corner of the kitchen finally feels like it has purpose. And other than the cabinet that I’ll make where the dishwasher currently sits, giving purpose to that small drawer and cabinet in the corner means that I’ve now C.O.P.’d my way through my entire kitchen. Every cabinet and drawer has a purpose, and holds only what I want and need in the kitchen. Everything else has been purged, and the cabinets and drawers have all been organized and customized to make my kitchen work efficiently for me. Next week, I’ll give y’all a final “tour” of all of the organization I’ve put into place in my kitchen. As a person who’s not naturally neat and organized, I have to admit that my kitchen makes me very proud now.



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  1. Wow! In comparing the empty corner to the corner with the water filter – the artwork makes that space look larger and your ceilings higher. I am stunned. Also, it’s beautiful! Love it!

  2. Actually, I like the size of the prints and I like the frames. I doubt anyone will notice that they are the same as in the entry.
    I don’t think I would go much smaller with frames because then your water filter would overpower the prints and the filter would seem larger and dominate the space.

    What color of frame were you thinking of using? Of course, you can always grab frames from all over the house and try them out on that wall. Can’t wait to see what you come up with.
    But then, I am a “go big or go home” person. I would rather see something a little too big than a small, dinky object in a space that shouts for something larger.

  3. All looks marvelous. Guessing you have already thought of this, but if not, perhaps use this redo of dw space – to add that spacer on the end.

    1. I don’t think I’d be able to move that end cabinet. The countertop is a poured-in-place concrete countertop that has concrete backerboard as a base, and that concrete backerboard is screwed to the countertops.

  4. I love those prints. I would keep the mats the size they are, they fit the area so well. Have you considered a solid frame, not different corners, in a color from around your house? Teal like your cabinets, the purple from your sitting room, the pink from your curtains? You have so much to choose from just in what you can see when you look at the filter.

  5. It all looks wonderful. I like the large white frames and substantial mats; they provide texture but also blend into the wall so the artwork predominates. That Berkey is beautiful!

  6. I love those prints! Have you considered using wood frames to echo the tone of the blinds, and bring the warmth up from the floor and cutting board into the wall? You can always try it and return them if they don’t hit you right!

  7. In comparing the before and after pictures of that wall, I was surprised at what a difference the filter and pictures made! Everything works together.
    I also love the size of the frames. And the filter size is perfect. Love ❤, love ❤, love ❤.

  8. I am interested in why you are doing away with your dishwasher since it is so much more water efficient than washing by hand. I love your blog. I just found it a few weeks ago and am so inspired. I do a lot on my own now. My husband has Parkinson’s Disease and is confined to a wheel chair. I am pretty handy, but am (a very young) 80 years old, so there are a few things I choose not to tackle. I just wall mounted a 55″ TV last week. I was very proud of myslef!

    1. I just don’t use it. I think I’ve run that dishwasher about five times in the almost-nine years we’ve lived here, and the last time was probably over five years ago. It’s basically just a glorified drying rack for me, and I’d rather have additional cabinet space.

  9. I just love those prints! The remind me of a comforter I just bought. Christian Siriano’s Dahlia Botanical. It has all your colors in it.

  10. I love the pictures and am amazed at how they “shrink” the Berkey down. A trick to remember! The picture framing could be smaller, but not too much I think. They add a certain boldness, yet sweetness with the delicate flowers, to that area. Yay for your kitchen C.O.P. project – it looks great!

  11. I think the pictures are good just as they are. They both blend into the wall and create quiet interest without attracting much attention. The frame gold detail picks up the gold in the kitchen without being another major point of interest the eye has to deal with. Wood frames would do that, I think, if you consider the whole, not just the part.

  12. Painting those frames the same purple as the entertainment center seen near it and pulling that color from the prints would tie nicely with the color of the kitchen cabinets and would really make the prints themselves POP.

  13. I’m just wondering how you reach up high enough to refill the Berkey? Or does your faucet sprayer reach that far?

  14. you got to get to get the Emeril Lagasse pot. it is a crockpot, air fryer, rice cooker, pressure cooker all in one, you can brown meat then pressure cook all in one pot. It has 3 separate lids one for pressure, air fry and crock . Only one Pot for all of that!! I have a small kitchen and am like you I like to keep it tidy.

  15. Girl you are amazing ! You are so creative and clever. I love everything, even the cutting board on the counter. For me it brings in warmth and relates well with the gold accents in your frames and hardware

  16. That drawer doesn’t open all the way because you need filler every place a cabinet touches a wall, even with partial overlay doors.
    The watercolor prints are lovely. And just perfect in your home.

  17. What’s great use of that space- I think it looks even better than before. The pictures are cheerful and now you won’t have to lug water very far. We have a Royal Berkey and love it, too. I think the frame size is proportionally right and like the corner glitz. Bummer about your counter oops! The wood cutting board looks intentional and I like how it warms up the space. Great job!

  18. It would be cool if you could put in one of those shelves that pulls up and out when needed, where your dishwasher is. I think most people do it for their Kitchen Aid. Then it wouldn’t be sitting on your counter top when needed.

  19. The corner looks great. The prints are pretty, and I think the frames are very good…low key with a touch of bling…the size also keeps them from being fussy. I’d be happy with them.
    I confess I’m a little jealous of your Royal Berkey! Do you use the fluoride filters in it?

    1. They’re sold out of the fluoride filters right now. 🙁 I signed up for notification when they’re available again, so we will be purchasing them. The frustrating thing is that I know I have a package with two brand new fluoride filters that we bought for our little Berkey years ago. They’ve been boxed up and unused all this time, but now I have no idea where I put them. 😀 But either way, we’ll eventually add the fluoride filters as soon as we can.

  20. Why not install RO? Your sink has a hole cover where the little faucet would go. Cost is about the same as what you paid for that filter. Yes, you have to change filters every year or so, but it is so worth it. Just curious because I’m in west Texas and we all have RO.

  21. Love the filter and the artwork. I like that the corners of the current frames repeat the gold from your hardware, even if they are tad large.