Kitchen

Thursday 01.26.17

10 Ways to Spice Things Up in Your Kitchen

What do you think? Are you ready to spice things up a bit in your kitchen?

As you know, we love sharing our favorite tips and tricks with you, but have found that everyone's style of living NEAT is slightly different. With that in mind, we thought we would share some of our OTHER favorite things we have found to make your spice area the best yet! First, you must choose your spice jar. Obviously, we love to use these from the Container store, but if you are looking for something less conventional, here are a few of our other favorites...

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The stainless option is great for a more modern home. Keep in mind that this is only good if you are going to be looking at the spices "head on" since they will all look the same from the top. 

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This picture alone made us want these hexagon glass jars. If you love something that is streamlined but a little different, this could definitely be your look!

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Finally, if you like a more "found objects" look in your home, these jars with the cork top are perfect for you!

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Not ready to commit to refilling spice jars everytime you run out? We get it! There are very pretty spice jar options that you can just buy and use prefilled instead. We believe it is best to stick with one brand when purchasing spices. It creates the same, beautiful, uniform, look as purchasing jars. For example, if you are a big cook, you might love these from Dean & Deluca. 

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You can also find these from Spice Island at many grocery stores or online. 

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Finally, this happens to be a personal NEAT favorite when it comes to spices!

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If you have decided to take your spices to the next level, that means you are going to need to label them! We have found THE BEST labels to purchase, download and DIY! We have to start with our major etsy crush, IttyBittyPaperCo. We cannot begin to describe how much we love these. If you follow us on instagram, you may already know! 

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If you are looking for a simpler look, we found this site that helps you make a beautiful label like these shown above!

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Are you looking for something that has a rectangle shape? We get it - sometimes the circle isn't for every kitchen. Here you go!

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FINALLY.... are you wanting to write your labels on your own?? Finding the perfect pen is seriously 99.9% of the battle. UNTIL you find an epic site that shares what every pen looks like, what it writes on, and where to buy it. We are not even kidding, THANK YOU Elaine from JetPens Blog.

Ready to tackle your spices? When you are finished, tag us! We can't wait to see!

xx

the NEAT girls

Tuesday 01.17.17

Our Top 5 Pantry Products for Every Home!

While we can humbly brag that we think our pantries are pretty great;), we can't do so without recognizing the things that actually make them really shine - the products! We're sure you've heard us say it before, but truly utilizing quality products is the only way to create a sustainable solution.

So let's take a closer look at our recent pantry reveal and what products we have to thank for this beautiful photo!

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First and foremost, it should be noted that all of the products you see can be found at The Container Store!

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In the image below you will see 3 of our all time favorite pantry products. 

First up is the Hyacynith basket which appears in nearly all of our pantries!  However, no basket is complete without a cute hang tag to remind you and everyone else in your home, where everything is supposed to live. 

Also noteworthy are the small glass spice jars which can also be used for sprinkles! How fun is that?

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Now lets talk about OXO canisters. You might be wondering why these are necessary, but really the reasons are endless.... they keep your dried foods fresh, are stackable allowing you to maximize space, and ensure that you can see everything you have. On the left of the image below you will find our favorite candy jars, which are also great for snacks or anything else you want to be able to quickly grab as you go. 
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For more of our favorite pantry organizing products be sure to check out our shop page, but not before you watch this quick 5 step video on how to organize pantry snacks!!

Now that you know which products to use to make your pantry picture perfect, its time to get started! Happy organizing!

xx
the NEAT girls

Monday 01.09.17

5 Steps to An Organized Pantry

After six years of organizing spaces and sharing photos of our work, we thought it was time to show you a bit more about what we do and how we do it. We are kicking of 2017 with a series of "How to Videos" that you will NOT want to miss! You've asked and we are excited to deliver the first of many NEAT Method videos! Since NEAT pantries are by far our most popular space, we decided to start by revealing our '5 Steps To An Organized Pantry' first. 

Drum roll please .... 

Don't worry, there is a lot more where that came from. Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel to stay updated on our video releases.

A special thanks to The Container Store for their amazing products and our favorite videographers at Filmtwist. Thanks for making our jobs even more fun!

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Oh and in case you missed our video teaser from last week, here is the blooper reel to get you even more excited about what's to come. Or at least give you a good laugh!

xx
the NEAT girls

Thursday 10.20.16

Apartment 34's Dream Pantry Design

Over the past few months we have been collaborating on a really fun project that we have been dying to tell you all about! We had the privilage of working with the adorable Erin Hiemstra of Apartment 34 to create the pantry of her dreams.

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As always, our goal with Erin's pantry was to make it so that she could see everything that she has and to keep like type items together. These are the two key ingredients to a highly functional pantry!

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However, the organizing can't really even begin without a properly designed space. Therefore, we were so glad that California Closets was also involved in this make-over because they were able to give us a great framework to work within. 

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Once the installation was complete it was on to the to NEAT details. We took inventory of everything Erin had and got our favorite products from The Container Store to stock up on our favorite pantry storage items! Of course after implenting everything we went to town lableing! 

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How fun is this drawer feature that California Closets offers? We love using them for produce! 

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 And the final step to completing this, or any pantry for that matter, is to hire a good Photographer to capture the 'after'. Here is our favorite, Michelle Drewes, behind the scenes of these beautiful photos. 

For more photos and details on this design tranformation, head over to the Apartment 34 blog post! Enjoy! 

xx
the NEAT girls

Thursday 08.04.16

3 Must Haves For Your Kitchen Rehab

One of the best parts of our job is getting to see the latest in kitchen design trends! Of course, our tendency is to favor those spaces where you can tell that the designer has a knack for organization. Or better yet, we love to be invovled in the design process so we can ensure our client will have no problem keeping things NEAT. 

Here are 3 of our recommended must haves for your next kitchen rehab project ... 

If you are one who insists on having your toaster out on the counter, an appliance garage should be added to your 'must have' list. We love a clean countertop and these sure help make that possible!

If you are designing a space and know that you will have more than enough drawer space, we love incorporating a custom spice drawer insert. This one was designed by Studio Dearborn and is truly a chef's dream come true.

No matter who you are, you have experienced the dreadful cord war in your kitchen. Having a drawer with an outlet to hide pesky cords and keep your essentials charged, is definitely on our 'must have list'. This one was made by a company called Docking Drawer.

If you are lucky enough to be rehabing a kitchen, take note of our advice here and let us know what other trends you are loving right now! 

xx
the NEAT girls

Thursday 03.24.16

Spring Has Officially Sprung - AMAZING Project Photos Attached!

Nothing says Spring quite like bright colors and crisp, clean spaces! Our Florida team recently had the honor of working in this beautiful home with just the right touch of Spring inspiration. We hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

What pretty spaces!! Thanks Marissa for sharing! We hope you all are enjoying the start of Spring! Enjoy your Easter weekend!

xx

the NEAT girls

Wednesday 12.09.15

Pantries Are A Girl's Best Friend

Treat #9 :: We are firm believers that once one space is organized in your home, then everywhere should be! A pantry might be the one exception to that rule. If no other space is organized, at the very least, organize your pantry/food section. A truly organized and beautiful pantry not only saves money with grocery shopping since you are now able to see what you actually have, but it also equals a healthier lifestyle. 

Don't believe us??? Take 20 mins. to purge all of the expired items in your pantry and categorize everything by type. Once you have done so, it's easy to then put everything in a storage solution of your choice and label away. Trust us, you will feel refreshed and movtivated to start eating healthier with this simple task. 

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xx

the NEAT girls

Tuesday 11.24.15

The NEATest Kitchen Remodel

Earlier this year, Mika had the opportunity to work with the team at AZ Build Pro to create a client's DREAM Kitchen. The process to create the stunning space was too good not to share! Below is what the kitchen looked like when they started their plans...

We asked Mika to give us the details of how this tag team effort was planned out from beginning to end in hopes to give you some insight if you are planning a kitchen remodel soon!

NM:: Mika, this space turned out so great! Tell us how this all got started.

MP:: One of the owners of AZ Build Pro, Jillian contacted me with a client that wanted to have drawer inserts and certain features of the kitchen truly customized for them. I did a consult, taking measurements and counts of the following::  pots and pans, lids, silverware, utensils, diameter of plates, size of baking dishes, and the type and count of small appliances.
 
It was also important to determine which ones they accessed the most, etc. as well as information from the client about the types of food they eat,  and how they use the kitchen. From this inventory, I concluded that they wanted things like a vegetable drawer so I have them ideas of what that might look like and where it would fit in the space. 
 
**Here's a picture of the space mid completion**

NM:: Wow! You certainly did a thorough job! It should be noted that this is the ONLY WAY to do a customized space like this. It is SO IMPORTANT to look into the details so that it is not only beauitful, but functional! So what happened next?

MP:: Next, I reviewed their blueprint and noted that they were going to be losing a pantry so I made suggestions to modify including adding a double unit of an appliance garage and a pantry, which at the time was a single unit just for the appliances. Using a new blueprint, I created a layout of where everything was slated to be placed in the new space. The client spend the summer out of Arizona so it was certaintly a fun reveal when they returned!
** Here is a picture of the actual blueprint that was used in this space**

NM:: Wow! The results are certainly stunning! Well done, Mika. We think this is officially one of the NEATest kitchens to date!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ready for a more functional kitchen this holiday season? NEAT is ready for you!

xx

the NEAT girls

Thursday 10.30.14

Pantry Perfect!

As many of you ohhh'd and ahhhh'd over Ashley's Kitchen Makeover last month, some of you got to thinking "but where's the organizational aspects of this newly updated space?" Well, we've got great news...we were able to convince Ash to let us in to her home one last time to take a quick peek into her favorite organized space in the kitchen. Her pantry! You would think that it would be the beautiful marble counters or the updated white cabinetry, but oh no...it's actually her pantry that makes her feel "like a new woman!"

Let's check it out!

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With a custom design from Neat Chicago's closet bestie, Carson Closets, Ashley was able to come up with the perfect layout for her new pantry. After all, this was her area of expertise! The following was her checklist of criteria ::

  • A space to fit her microwave that aligned well with the outlet and was deep enough for the microwave to actually fit
  • Enough drawers to allow for storage of the "ugly" kitchen items (ie. tupperware, ziplocs, lunch bags, etc.)
  • A great color that was different than the rest of her kitchen
  • An efficient use of space, in order to be able to access her everyday necessities as well as store all of the extras that she doesn't use on a regular basis (ie. serving platters, bowls, drink carafes)

 

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After completion of the installation (and with a little help from her Chicago team) Ashley was able to quickly transform her new pantry into the perfect space for her and her family. All it took was the perfect storage solutions (listed below) and Heather's impeccably handwritten labels to get her well on her way to the NEATest pantry in town!

  • These baskets were used to store all of the snacks from salty to sweet, as well as her entire baking section (ummmm looks likes Ash much rather prefers to buy more sweets than make them!)
  • No pantry is complete without the use of functional food storage containers. Ashley used these for her pastas, these for her cereals and these for the little treats like nuts, raisins, etc. Sure, you could continue to just fill your pantry with the actual boxes your foods come in, but what fun is that when you could have a beautiful pantry like this??
  • And, lastly, these labels, a white paint pen, and some natural jute twine added the perfect finishing touch to keep this pantry nice and NEAT forever! 

 

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We hope these pictures have inspired you to re-organize your pantry! And, if you don't feel like doing so yourself, then you know who to call! (wink. wink)

xx

the NEAT girls

Friday 09.26.14

Ashley's Kitchen- After

We are thrilled to finally share the amazing transformation of Ashley's kitchen! In an effort to save you from the edge of your seat, we are going to jump right in with all the details of this NEAT Project!

Wow! It really turned out super great Ash! Please share all the FUN behind the magic...

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AM :: So, as I mentioned last week, what initially started as "let's just change a few things" quickly developed into a complete gut rehab of our entire kitchen. I owe many thanks to a couple of my best friends for all of their creative ideas, expertise and knowledge. One of those friends just so happens to be one of our very own... Thank you Lauren Combs! I really couldn't have done it without you! I learned through this process that it defintiely takes a village, so much research, and patience to not only achieve your desired look, but to also attempt to do so without breaking the bank.

We made it a goal to have everything ready to go pre-construction (ie. cabinets ordered, counters picked out, applicances, tile, sink, faucet, etc.). After much back and fourth with a couple of the big decisions? Like...do we go with marble or not? Do we make a bar area or a desk area? What type of hardware (which honestly held me up the longest)? We finally got the ball rolling with all of the decisions. Here's a look at the before and afters of a very fun first attempt at rehabbing a kitchen. 

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As an organizer, it was so rewarding to come up with the exact layout, spacing, and placement of all of the drawers and cabinets. I wanted to create something that was not only functional for my family, but also appealing to anyone that would come in as a potential buyer down the road.

I quickly realized how simple I like to keep things! Hence the ALL white kitchen. And yes, I know...choosing Carrara was really bold, but since it isn't our forever home I wanted to see if I could maintain it and if so, would be thrilled to beat the odds. Let's just say, in a few short months, we've managed to develop a few less than desired stains and scratches. Which definitely doesn't go over well with a perfectionist!

It doesn't stop me from loving the final look though! To be honest, I actually think it turned out better than what I expected. Again, I didn't love being without a functioning kitchen for 7 weeks, but it was all well worth it in the end.

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:: source list ::

cabinets :: Birch Marsh cabinets in Alpine- here

counters :: Honed Carrara Marble

tile :: Ann Sacks- Matte White mix of Beveled and Flat Subway with a Herringbone inlay 

hardware :: Top Knobs- all chrome

walls :: Benjamin Moore- Nimbus

floors :: white oak- Minwax stain- color Ebony

island :: Crate & Barrel- here

lighting :: Restoration Hardware- here

sink & faucet :: Kohler and Delta- here & here (possibly my favorite purchases)

bar stools :: Cost Plus World Market- here

rugs :: Cost Plus World Market- here

 

Please feel free to contact Ashley with any further questions about her process, and the do's and dont's from an organizing standpoint. 

xx

the NEAT girls

 

 

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