Spice Drawer


WARNING!! This blog posting contains graphic images of extreme organization that may be disturbing to some people.

In the excitement leading up to the Dwell photo shoot of our kitchen, we tried to get our place looking as good as we could. Among the many projects that we tackled, John painted that hard to reach stairwell window…


and I installed FLOR carpet tiles in the vestibule.


Even though our place was looking pretty good, I was losing sleep at night worrying that the Dwell photographer may open our spice drawer. Our spice drawer was not camera ready. It was a mess.


Even with an expensive wooden insert (that warped and was sent back) to hold spice jars — it was a mess.

Something had to be done, and John and I knew if we put our heads together we could come up with a solution. After all, we designed and made a great looking spice shelf for Louise’s kitchen (see February 1, 2014 posting, Louise’s Kitchen Goes Festive).

We were prepared to take drastic measures. We agreed to forgo the store bought jars of different shapes and sizes and chose to get new jars that were all the same. This was a big decision. From now on, we promised each other, we will put any spices we buy into our own jars.


I printed labels and put them on the new jars.


John was very amused that I used a piece of cardboard tube from a toilet paper roll as a template so that all labels would be positioned at the same height on every jar.


My toilet paper roll template was nothing compared to the clever idea John came up with to hold the jars in neat rows using wood dowels.


The end result is extremely organized and satisfying (we restrained ourselves from putting the spices in alphabetical order). It looks good enough to be a centerfold in a magazine.


What we like most about our new spice jar display is clearly seeing the beautiful colors and textures of the spices (without a lot of manufacturer labels getting in the way).


Our once messy spice drawer now looks and feels more like an exotic spice market. Every time we open the drawer it’s like finding treasure inside.


Jack must imagine it’s filled with kibble and Kongs.

In the end, the Dwell photographer did not ask to look in our spice drawer… but we showed it to him anyway.

live. enjoy. repeat.

3 CommentsLeave a comment

  • You have really cool solutions. I was wondering if you would ever have an “Advice” column for those of us with small design problems and small budgets?

    • good idea! i would even subscribe to service like that. i have no mother and no girlfriend, i always need help.

    • Thanks Annika, we do hope to add an advice column at some point so stay tuned. Meanwhile we will continue to share low budget solutions in our posts from time to time.

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