3 Simple Tips for an Open and Clutter-Free Kitchen, According to a Design Expert

published Jul 12, 2022
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For pro organizer Shira Gill, clutter is definitely a stress trigger. “Our home is filled only with items we need, use, and love,” she says. “Living with less stuff has enabled our family to host, entertain, and travel with ease and has freed up so much time, energy, and resources.” See, Gill knows a thing or two about living as a minimalist. She’s the author of Minimalista, a step-by-step book celebrating her lifestyle by teaching readers all about the keys to decluttering.

In hopes of gaining a few pointers from Gill, we took the tour of her San Francisco home and spotted three simple tips on how to create a clutter-free kitchen. Let’s take a look!

1. Go all white for a bright and airy vibe.

Originally, Gill says the 1,200-square-foot historic home featured a dark kitchen and a broken-up floor plan. One of her first steps was to paint it all white. “We wanted a more spacious feeling,” she says, “so we opened up the walls between the living room, dining room, and kitchen and painted everything white — a controversial move when it comes to Craftsman houses, but we love it!”

By painting the kitchen white and replacing the outdated green marble with white subway tile, Gill says she transformed the house into her own relaxing, airy retreat. All at once, it feels clean and breezy.

2. Make your own open plan.

To enhance that airy feeling even more, Gill took the plunge and opened the wall between her dining room and kitchen. It only took a few days to do, but it completely changed the flow of the house and how Gill’s family uses the space.

“We love hosting and gathering with friends, and the open floor plan allows us to cook, prep, and clean up while still being able to socialize with our guests,” says the mother of two. “We lost our microwave and some storage cabinets in the process, but the benefits still outweigh the reduced storage and the one-time investment.”

Besides removing walls, Gill also did away with a few kitchen cabinet doors to create open shelving. Her secret? “Own less stuff. Editing your home can instantly elevate your space, and also results in less to clean, manage, organize, and care for, and eventually dispose of.”

3. Optimize your outdoor space.

Gill’s home was built in 1916 and while she loves all of the architectural details and charm, she says, “two small closets, one postage-sized shared bathroom, and no home office can make family living a challenge for sure!”

So, what does she do to create instant space? During the pandemic, Gill transformed her concrete patio into a retreat filled with plants, outdoor dining and entertaining, a hammock, and a place to work. It’s been well worth the time and investment. She explains, “I often work and write on the patio instead of wrestling for space inside — it’s become like another room in our home!”

Are you inspired by this bright and airy kitchen and the idea of borrowing outside space? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below.