With What You Have | 55

Words about contentment inspired this series that celebrates ingenuity, creativity, and resourcefulness. Join me in the comments and share what you've done with what you have.

I just posted this photo a couple days ago, yes. But I can't stop thinking about it. I mentioned the below-counter curtains, the painted floor, the shelves, and the work table before, but there's so much more here. Let's unpack it, shall we? 

+ Stone slabs. I count four of them. No, these aren't marble counters in this kitchen, but there are four marble slabs on the counters. Makes me think of the antique marble slab I saw last winter, buried under piles of who-knows-what at a used furniture store. I asked the man behind the counter for a price. Seventy-five dollars. And I didn't buy it! Of course, not long after, I thought of the perfect place to use such a thing, but by then it was gone. 

+ Silverware jars. There's not a drawer in sight. No matter, crockery jars lined up in a wooden crate make for efficient and handy flatware storage. 

+ Mixed lighting. If you have some lighting that's gilt-edged and crystal-dropped, and some that's sleek and modern? Go ahead and mix them. Just do. 

+ Food in jars. Seeing these grouped on a shelf reminds me that I've got a gallon jar for oatmeal, a gallon jar for dry rice, a gallon jar for pasta, a gallon jar for sugar, and a gallon jar to hold the perpetual supply of iced tea in the fridge. I've already got this going on. Sometimes I forget.

+ Grain sack throw rug. Let's just say grainsacks aren't only for pillows. Would I use a mostly white rug on the floor in my kitchen? No. But I love it when an outside-the-box idea that someone else had sparks an outside-the-box idea in my own mind that turns out to be the best idea I've had in a long time. 

+ Sans dishwasher. It's possible that there's a dishwasher hiding behind those curtains, or just out of frame. But, I like to believe that there isn't one. I'm in my fifth year without a dishwasher and don't even miss having one. I find that there's something wholesome and resorative about hand washing dishes. To keep the task from being onerous for any of us, we each wash our own dishes after every meal, and the prep dishes I wash along the way as I'm cooking. 

+ Antique breadboards. Pull out the ones that grandma had. 

+ Art & flowers. Sort of like bread & wine. Everyone is better because of them. Did you know that you can bring your geranium indoors for the winter? It's true. My mom would wrestle her giant terra cotta pots from the stoop to the sunny bay window in her kitchen every fall. And there they'd be, huge (not kidding) geranium plants, blooming profusely, in her kitchen, in January. Go ahead and let that sink in, make plans for your own geranium, then  snatch up the next oil painting you find forgotten in a corner, and hang it up in your kitchen immediately. 

+ My gosh that range. Here's the thing: sometimes we need to save a little here, work a little there, and spend a little more on an investment piece. A professional range is not going to boil water any better than the range you have now, but they sure are pretty, and they do boil water faster. If you have a mind to aquire such a thing, I'd suggest hanging tight with what you have as long as you can. Do your research, find sources (hello craigslist). Sell any odds and ends you have hanging around and put that money in the sugar bowl to use toward the purchase. Maybe pick up a short-term side job or some freelance work, and squirrel that money into the sugar bowl, too. When it all adds up, go out and buy that beauty. 

Do what you can with what you have.