It’s always the little things

I don’s know about you, but in addition to having my house look nice, I like for everything to work. Sadly that isn’t always the case. AmIright?

The house is never perfect, and there are always 101 things on my honey-do list that need constant attention.  Plus, I’m sure you will agree, everyone and everything wants our attention.  I’m 2 for 2 aren’t I?

For the last few weeks (ahem – months), the switch for the garbage disposal next to the sink has been on the fritz.  It would work, sometimes, but only if you jiggled it, or sort of leaned on in in a certain direction when you toggled it on.

Just so you know it’s the switch on the right  – closest to the solar hula girl we got when we were in Hawaii last time.  The other switch is for our dishwasher.  Yep, we have a separate switch that can turn on, and off the dishwashwer independent of any controls on the actual machine.  But that’s a different story.

These kinds of things drive me crazy.  You expect them to work, and they just don’t.  I’ve got a few of these things around the house – stuff like the front porch light that only seems to work when it’s cold outside.  Or the little piece of baseboard that always seems to fall down because it wasn’t nailed in 100%

There’s no need to get into all the details about how to change an electrical switch – there are hundreds of useful YouTube videos for that.  I’ll just share some sexy photos from the process – starting with the new flush mount switches and new cover plate.

The whole process took about an hour – it would have been faster had each switch not been on it’s own circuit.  And the overall TOTAL cost was about $6.  Each switch was $2, and the cover plate was a buck and a half, and now they also match the rest of the switches in our house.

I didn’t opt for the heavy duty switches which are reccomended for this area – because soon we will be remodeling our kitchen.  Obviously, as you can see from the oudtated 4×4 white tiles, and original laminate countertops.







Coffee Station Goals

Modern Coffee Station

There is this one spot in my kitchen that’s just perfect for making coffee. Trouble is, I don’t have it set up that way.

Most days, I’m an early riser. I always have been. Never needed to set an alarm clock a day in my life.

I wake up, rub my eyes a few time, thankful that I’ve made it through another night successfully, and mosey into the kitchen. To simply make a cup of coffee.

Heading over to the drip coffee maker, I take out the carafe, which I usually have to rinse out before I even get started. Thankfully I’ve got the coffee maker near the sink. So there’s that.

While I’m cleaning it, I fill it up with water, and dump it into the reservoir. So far so good.

Then I have to dump out the used filter and ground in the garbage can – this is on the other side of the kitchen, in the pantry. Generally the grounds have dried out a little bit so they don’t drip on the floor, but sometimes they do. Now I’ve got a mess to clean up.

Heading back to the coffee maker, I reach into a cabinet and fish out a new clean filter and assemble the whole thing.

Next back across the kitchen to the fridge where I grab my pre-ground Peets Major Dickason, and then take a little side trip to the silverware drawer to grab a tablespoon to scoop out the magic crystals.

Back to the drip machine, grounds, and measuring spoon in hand, where I carefully scoop and dump the required amount for the volume of coffee I am preparing. Shut the lid, hit the little green button to turn it on, and wait.

Soon the house is filled with the delicious, and familiar morning smell of freshly brewed coffee.

There has to be an easier way.

So many steps, so many trips around the kitchen. So much work!

I’ve been noticing a trend at some of the houses I visit. No, not the houses I am previewing for clients, or touring with buyers. These are actual homes that people live in.

When I take my 5-year old kiddo over to a friend’s house for a play date, the other parents invariably offer me a cup of coffee. I do the same when the situation is reversed. But I’ve noticed something different at these other houses. All their coffee supplies are in one place. Neat. Tidy. Efficient.

These folks weren’t running all over their kitchens gathering the supplies needed to make a simple cup of Joe. Why hadn’t I thought of this?

So now I’m on a mission.

There is this perfect section of counter in my kitchen that would be ideal for a Coffee area.

This is the part of my kitchen between my fridge and pantry that will become my coffee station. Currently there are glasses and mugs in the upper cabinets, silverware and tin foil in the drawers, and misc storage in the bottom cabinets.  Don’t judge the un-remodeled kitchen.  I’ve got a 5 year old, a happy wife, a full time job, and a life.

Right now it has an oversized, under-cleaned toaster oven, a 5 gallon jug of homemade wine, and the rest of the space collects empty bottles and boxes for recycling. – now that I think of it, this may lead to a recycling station as another upcoming project. Stay on topic, now Eric.

Of course the first step in any project is to turn to Pinterest and the web to get inspiration.

My favorite high end coffee maker is probably this Breville dual boiler model. Too bad this photo is in black and white, because this is an amazing machine.
Are you a fan of the chalkboard wall behind the coffee pot? Me? Not so much.
If I still lived in a dorm or apartment, this is what I’d do.
This is my favorite.  Hands down.  Loads of different cups specific for each drink - coffee, expresso, cappucinno.  All neatly organized, with some high end coffee making machines.
This is my favorite. Hands down. Loads of different cups specific for each drink – coffee, expresso, cappucinno. All neatly organized, with some high end coffee making machines.
Here’s a simpler take on the whole idea – everything gets hidden behind a door for a nice clean look.  I especially like the pot filler to make adding water simple and easy.
This might be a bit too modern for me – but don’t you just love the seamless integration of the meile built in coffee maker to the cabinets?
Modern coffee station, check. Storage – check. grey color – check. Hideaway – check.
Here’s a pull out dishwasher under a coffee station.
Look at that natural wood, and those pull outs! Modern Storage – clean lines, and everything in it’s place for my OCD.
I've never seen anyone do this, but here's an idea that would take a coffee station to the next level.  Install a drawer dishwasher and fridge in the cabinets below.  Who's with me?
I’ve never seen anyone do this, but here’s an idea that would take a coffee station to the next level. Install a drawer dishwasher and fridge in the cabinets below. Who’s with me?

What are some of the essentials you have in your coffee station. Do you prefer a more industrial look, or something a bit more country? How have you streamlined your morning ritual? Share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below and I’ll incorporate them into my area as I’m re-doing it.