The leaves are changing, my Instagram feed is full of pumpkins and I’m on the search for a fluffy jumper and a bowl of something warm.
If spring is for cleaning, then autumn is the season of clearing out and organising. Something about the colder weather gives me the urge to sort, file and declutter. It’s not just the night’s drawing in and needing the winter clothes back out from storage but also the start of soup and stew season that means a rifle around the pan drawers and spice racks for forgotten bits and pieces.
The quest for a bowl of something warming, a roaring fire in the log burner and a fluffy jumper seem to lead me down a path of rearranging our entire home in a flurry much like the nesting hormones of pregnancy (maybe not quite so extreme, I haven’t hauled any internal doors out of the house or cleaned the fridge at 3.00am during this autumn organising).
Like the squirrels hiding their nuts in oak trees, I love to hide my nuts in various crevices of the home (and that’s not a sentence I expected to share today and by nuts I mean ‘winter bounty’). I want to share some of the storage in two rooms of our own home, the kitchen and also the boot room.
There’s not much more satisfying than a fully stocked pantry and this is true in any season but particularly so in October. During the warmer months meals tend to be quick, outdoors and often barbequed. We often turn our cooker off over summer (to reduce the heat in the south facing kitchen and rocketing electricity bills) so little time is spent cooking. Switching the cooker back on after a long summer is a joy. It’s a permanent warmth in the kitchen and takes the chill off the morning, with the added luxury of pre-warming the kids pyjamas on the top before bed. It’s a real workhorse for us, of course cooking all our meals but also heating the kitchen and drying a constant stream of clothing which is folded and placed on top. And so, with the cooker back on the stews begin.
Under Stairs Storage
Our kitchen is not huge and is also a hallway of sorts as it contains 3 doorways and a staircase. This means that the under stairs storage drawers are part of our kitchen storage. The top drawer, the smallest triangle, is the perfect size for spice jars. The soft close runners pull out so that I can access all the spices easily. They are lined up looking orderly and reaching for the cinnamon for our morning porridge has never been so satisfying. There are two drawers below this, the largest is a vast drawer and stores all the biggest dishes and awkwardly shaped kitchenware and the middle drawer is now stocked full of winter stew essentials including lentils, pearl barley and a variety of other pulses and beans.
Utility/Boot Room Storage
One of the three doorways from our kitchen leads to the boot room. This room is not only our boot room but also the laundry and dogs room all rolled into one. We are lucky enough to live in the Dorset countryside, it’s beautiful here and very peaceful, it’s also extremely muddy. So, if it’s Nick kicking off his boots after a day’s work covered in saw dust, a dog helpfully bringing home a branch too large to really call it ‘just a stick’ or our young daughters kicking off their welly boots after running through the fields nearby, this is a room that works hard. It is the barrier between the mud and sawdust and our home.
Beside the back door is a settle, the storage hub of this room. It’s painted the same colour as our kitchen units, Farrow and Ball’s ‘railings’. It stands tall and houses tiny welly boots at the top (out grown but too cute to throw away), has shaker pegs for the mountains of coats that we seem to accumulate and a fabulous deep drawer below the oak seat – space for the whole family’s shoes.
On the opposite wall shaker doors hide the laundry and extra fridge (it says something about our eating habits that we require an additional fridge but I’m going to gloss over it) and the dogs area is tucked away in the far corner, just enough space for their tartan beds housed under a custom made shaker unit with Belfast sink and large drawer for all their bits and pieces.
So with the boot room and kitchen overhauled for the winter and today’s stew already in the oven, the next job on my list is the wardrobes. I’m off to find a fluffy jumper and some slippers.
A Carpenter’s Wife Blog
Nick and I share a passion for creativity and design. We have renovated several houses together and as I was regularly drafted in to help with his carpentry work. It was a natural step to go into business together. For many years this was an informal arrangement with me learning on my feet, including CAD, web design, tax and admin. I was itching to get involved practically so it wasn’t long before I joined Nick on-site.
We’re very lucky to enjoy our time working together. My blog is a reflection on what we are doing, what we have learnt and where we are going. It’s nice to keep a written record of our journey together and life in Dorset with two young daughters.