The end is in sight. By now, you should have a totally clean kitchen. When was the last time that happened? By "totally clean" I mean every single surface is greaseless including oil bottles and spice caps. The seal on your refrigerator has no mildew. Heck, maybe you even wiped down the lightbulb over the stove. You have tossed, recycled and given away ingredients and tools then restocked. So what's the point of all this?
It's time to put some spirit into your kitchen and celebrate. This week you'll do one special project, bringing beauty and life into the room, and then you'll invite people over for a home-cooked meal. So for one last week, roll up your sleeves — but this time, have your party shoes waiting for the big finale.
Week 4 Assignment
- Do one special project.
We mentioned this last week, so this is your week to finish, or maybe just start your special project. A special project is something outside the organization and cleaning part of the Cure, that will improve your kitchen. It should be something that solves a problem, spruces up the space, or just makes your kitchen more livable.
I recently changed all the halogen bulbs on my under-cabinet lighting so they were the same wattage. Relief to our eyes! Speaking of lighting, we're considering removing the two ugly overhead lights and replacing them with track lighting, but need to sell our landlord on the idea first.
Here are a few more ideas from our archives:
- Paint your fridge with chalkboard paint.
- Paint the whole darn kitchen, why not?!
- Make a custom glass back splash.
- Create your own knife storage solution.
- Replace the faucet.
- Strip the wallpaper.
- Replace your under-cabinet lighting.
- Convert a closet into a pantry.
- Make a kitchen mat.
- Build a kitchen island.
- Organize and label your spices.
- Upgrade your outlet and light switch plates.
- Cover up rusty dishwasher racks with this little hack.
- Spring 2010 Kitchen Cure Gallery of Improvements
I encourage you to keep fresh flowers in your kitchen, always. If you live in a climate where you can have a thriving windowbox this time of year, it should be tended each week: watering and using your kitchen herbs.
I can't stress the importance of this step enough. Your kitchen is the room where you prepare, and in most cases, eat the food that nourishes your life. A bright spot of living things is a wonderful reminder to yourself that this is your temple, and it tells those who visit your kitchen that it's a room you care for deeply.
One way or another, find a way to bring something fresh into your kitchen. In the 20/20 Home Cure running right now on Apartment Therapy, Maxwell did a short film about this assignment.When I first moved to New York I had very little money, but I purposely kept an envelope with $12 in it each month. The least expensive flowers I could buy at a Manhattan deli were (and thirteen years later, still are) $3/bunch and so every Friday after work, I would pick up a bunch on my way home: one blossom in a shot glass on the top of the toilet tank, and the rest in the kitchen.
When you're done with the Cure, take after photos of every part of the kitchen that you improved and post them on the Kitchen Cure's Flickr page. We'll post them in our roundup next week.
If you've completed all of the above tasks, you're probably exhausted. There's just one thing left to do: plan a dinner party. You don't need to host it this week, but start thinking about it. You don't want to lose momentum. Here are some parameters you should follow for this Cure Graduation dinner party:
• Ideally you want between four and eight at your table. This isn't just dinner for you and your mate or kids. This is something extra-special.
• Set the table. That means cloth napkins and flowers. Make it nice.
• Plan the menu ahead of time. We have a lot of resources for dinner party planning on the site.
• Take photos and share them!
November 12 is graduation!
Participate & Inspire!
Here are three ways you can participate in the online dialogue as you Cure your kitchen. Please do pitch in one or more ways — it is wonderful to be encouraged by other Cure-takers' progress and inspiration!
Share photos! - We want to see your progress!
• Upload photos on the Kitchen Cure Flickr page and please be sure to caption them. (Remember, by uploading them to Flickr you are granting us permission to use them in a post. Your kitchen just might be our next star!)
Discuss your progress - We set up a discussion board just for the Cure. If you're blogging the Kitchen Cure, this is a great place to post links and share them.
• Discuss your progress and share blog links here.
Finally, a note on participation: Do your best, and pace yourself. You will have a week to complete each assignment. Each assignment will be given on a Friday so you have the weekend to dive in deep, although they can also be done in short bursts throughout the week, so don't panic if you're heading out of town for the weekend or would just prefer to laze about. Many assignments can be on-going throughout the duration of the Cure, so if you don't finish one week's work by the following Friday, just keep going.