Ina Garten’s book Cook Like A Pro is all about helping home cooks (like me!) gain confidence in the kitchen — because who doesn’t want to feel like a professional chef as they’re whipping up dinner? And so recently, when I found myself in a total cooking rut, I knew just the woman who could help get me out of it.
When Heather Knight moved into her new home, she had to focus on more urgent repairs and wasn’t able to put as much money into the kitchen as she would’ve liked. (So yes, although $7,500 is a lot of money, it’s not really that much when you’re talking about a kitchen renovation.) While the space was in good shape, it was dark and a little too dated for her tastes. With some pretty clever spending, she pulled off a pretty impactful renovation project.
Frozen dinner options have come a long way — especially at Trader Joe’s. (Makes sense, considering most of us are more likely to shop the freezer section at TJ’s than other grocery stores.) The offerings at Trader Joe’s are ridiculously cheap and delicious. While I’m not saying I have frozen meals every night (I do love to cook when my schedule allows!), I do turn to them fairly regularly.
There are only so many changes you can make to a kitchen you do not own. Jess Bunge, Senior Market Editor for Emily Henderson, faced many of the classic challenges of a rental — dated floors, lackluster countertops, an oddly shaped floor plan — but brilliantly worked around them to make the space one to sigh over. The real star of this new kitchen is the countertop cover. With help from her dad, Jess cleverly cut plywood to fit over the gray granite, and built a matching backsplash.
It’s so unfortunate that cooking can be this soothing escape from the rest of your day, and then it’s followed by the worst, ickiest, biggest bummer of a chore: washing the dishes. The fact that you have to touch wet, gummy food is bad enough — let alone that you have to do it every day.
Chelsey Brown’s kitchen was pretty nice from the beginning: It had modern-looking appliances and cabinets, and there was enough square footage to move around without feeling like the walls were closing in. But Chelsey found the space a little too boring for her liking. She wanted to make the room brighter and more open, while also respecting the terms of her lease and keeping costs down. She totally pulled it off.
In most homes, the kitchen is a communal hub where everyone works and gathers. Because of that, it can be one of the hardest rooms to keep neat. Luckily you don’t need to hire an expert or spend a bunch of cash on fancy containers to get your kitchen in working order. We asked professional organizer Gilat Tunit of The Project Neat for her best tips on decluttering and organizing a kitchen — and keeping it that way.