Spruce Up Your Kitchen For The Holidays... No Remodeling Required

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I cook our family meals in a tiny kitchen that hasn’t been updated since its construction in 1989. I adore the vintage look and have no desire to tear out my cabinets and install a new kitchen, but my storage and workspace are limited, and with kids underfoot, the last thing I need when I’m trying to cook a holiday meal is a busy, cluttered kitchen. What little counter space I have needs to be clear so I have elbow room for chopping and mixing and kneading, and I want my pots and pans to be multifunctional, nonstick, and able to hold enough for the whole family, preferably with leftovers to spare. That’s not asking too much, is it?

Still, kitchens have a way of getting cluttered, and if yours is anything like mine and in need of some sprucing up in time for the holidays, here’s how to do it, no demo required.

1. Minimize Clutter >>> Maximize Counter Space

Some people “spring clean.” I “pre-holiday clean.” As the holidays approach, I make it my mission to purge closets, cabinets, and surfaces. The most important rooms to do this in are the kids’ rooms, because they’re about to accumulate new stuff and I’ve got to free up space unless I want to hate myself on December 26, and the kitchen, because ain’t nobody got time for cooking holiday meals in a disorderly kitchen.

So I pull everything out of the cabinets and pantry, putting back only what I know I’ll use and then donating whatever is usable and throwing out whatever isn’t. I’m always amazed by how random cups seem to appear and take up valuable real estate in my cabinets and how long-forgotten boxes of impulse buys clog up needed pantry shelving.

Once the cabinets and pantry are cleared out, I move the stuff that migrated to the countertop — I’m looking at you, blender and french press — back to the cabinets where they belong. Nothing like a clear countertop to soothe the soul.

2. Invest In Timeless, Quality Kitchenware

As a hardworking parent, I need hardworking kitchenware. I want sustainable, ethically sourced products that are timeless and durable. The Always Pan and Perfect Pot are exactly that. Not only do they take the place of 16 pieces of kitchenware, maximizing space in my cozy kitchen, but they’re so gorgeous that I can barely stand to put them away. There is no decor style that these pieces don’t enhance.

You may already have heard of the Always Pan — it sold out multiple times in its first year of production. It’s an 8-in-1 nonstick work of art designed to replace your frying pan, saute pan, steamer, skillet, saucier, saucepan, spatula, and spoon rest. It’s also nontoxic, with no PFOAs, PTFEs, other PFAs, or toxic metals. It even comes with a beechwood spatula that nests right in the handle, and a stainless steel steamer basket. And despite its weighty look, the body weighs a mere three pounds.

The Perfect Pot is similarly multifunctional, able to go from stovetop to oven to table. It serves the purpose of just about any kind of pot you can think of, whether you’re brewing up a stew or banging out a new bread recipe. With a 5.5 quart capacity and thoughtful built-ins like a strainer, nesting spoon, and roasting rack/steamer, this one-pot wonder replaces multiple bulky items that would otherwise clutter your cabinets.

The Always Pan and the Perfect Pot are bundled together in the Homecook Duo to replace 16 pieces of traditional cookware. They’re beautiful and efficient — an entire cooking system in just two pieces.

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3. Collect Matching, Stackable Dinnerware

I will happily invest in dinnerware that looks amazing and, most importantly, stacks neatly in my cabinets. Actually, the look of it may be the most important. No, wait, the stacking. OK, fine, I demand both. I want plates and bowls and glasses that my sister will eyeball at Thanksgiving dinner and enviously ask where I got them. Our Place offers drool-worthy, personalizable dinnerware that you can buy in tidy, stackable sets. The sunset color option for the glasses screams mid century modern, and I’m in love with it.

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Did I mention everything stacks neatly?

Between a purge of unused items and the addition of a few hardworking, gorgeous pieces to maximize the efficiency of cooking at home, your kitchen will be more than ready to take on the holidays. You may even get to experience the simple, petty joy of a sibling coveting your dinnerware. Happy holidays!

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