U Street Kitchen Makeover


Nancy is a talented graphic designer with her own business and a charming apartment on U Street.  She loves to cook and entertain, and the large kitchen gives her lots of space to get creative.  But Nancy found that there is so much space that sometimes she loses track of what she has. She came to me with three goals:

  1. To stop wasting or forgetting about food in the cabinets or the fridge.
  2. To prioritize kitchen space around the most-used items.
  3. To make better use of her lovely fireplace area.

We also talked about some lifestyle goals.  Nancy wanted her kitchen to be more inviting so that she would be encouraged to invite people over for dinner or brunch.  We were able to accomplish all of her goals in one 6-hour visit by clearing out clutter and unwanted items and by finding the best home for her belongings and food.

Here are some “before” photos:

Nancy’s cabinets were so crammed that she often left things on the counter instead. As a solution we cleared out unwanted items and created designated spaces for the things she wants to store.  She said,

Even though I didn’t often go into the messy cabinets I still knew the mess was there.

Together we whipped the cabinets into shape so that she could make her counter spaces more appealing.  See the “after” photos here:

With some unwanted items off Nancy’s open shelves, there was more room to show off her more attractive jars of preserves. A small tray of produce reminds her that she has fruit to eat.  The small lamp and clear counter put the emphasis on her wine rack, reminding her of her intention to entertain more.  Her homework was to invite a friend over to open a bottle!

Now the fireplace area is ready for other uses. Nancy thinks she might add a full-size stool so someone can keep her company while she bakes.

Nancy’s thoughts on the process:

If I did this on my own it would have taken a very long time and I’m sure I wouldn’t have thrown out as much stuff. It helped to have someone to keep things moving, to question me about items I wanted to keep, to give me ideas that I may not have thought of on my own, and to give me encouragement. It was nice for someone to say, “you’re doing great!” to keep the day positive, and to do it all in one day so as not to lose steam. Having some company actually made it a little bit fun.


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