HOLA! From the land of thesis writing, script marking, and near-daily shoots. What a month it has been. Can you believe it’s April already? I cannot. April snuck up on me from behind and smacked me across the back of my head, and the ever pressing question is: what have I done with my life, now that a third of the year has gone by?
Not much in terms of concrete skill building. This is not something that I take issue with, to be honest, because this year I’ve been focusing on getting better at what I already do, plus you know, finishing my Masters degree, of which we now sit in the last leg. But last year, my resolution was to do/learn something new each month, and so twelve new things later, it does feel strange that I havent exactly done anything concretely new this year yet. So it was with apprehension and just the slightest gasp of desperate relief that I took on the Deliveroo upcycling 2017 challenge – a hands on project in redoing your kitchen, DIY style, into a space that my family would actually want and love.
The thing about kitchens is, they’re so full of clutter. I have to admit to being a bit of a technofreak, I get really excited whenever new gadgets and appliances come out. I got my parents a nespresso machine for christmas last year, and we’ve been enthusiastically using it every single day. This, however, is unfortunately not true for the rest of my kitchen gadgets, most of which just sit around taking up space. It’s so silly, because although I love to cook (not very good at it though), I hardly have the time, and so clutter accumulates, condiments, thingamabobs, gadgets, bread that moulds too fast. It was time to marie-kondo this shit, I said.
Let me show you the state of my kitchen before the uprising:
The most infuriating thing was, half of this wasnt necessary. All those cups I collected from macdonalds during the olympics all those years ago? Never used them. We dont really eat bread, so I dont know why we got all those condiments, I suspect half of them are expired. And everyone at home has been trying not to eat rice, I dont know why we dont just put the rice cooker in deep storage and bring it out during chinese new year or something. All these things you dont even think about until youre forced to – and then bam! The place is a mess.
Btw, those jars on the kitchen counter were because my mother was trying to grow some beans or something to make kombucha, because she is a HIPPIE. I was like, Mum, i will deliveroo you some kombucha. And she just said, dont mess with my beans. They can hear you.
So this fit in perfectly with Deliveroo’s challenge, which was to rid oneself of all the unnecessary kitchen clutter, and to literally, leave it to the professionals if and when I wanted something a little more complicated to make. Of course, this differs from person to person – so if you’re the type who spends most of your time at home then you may want to always be experimenting in your kitchen, but if you’re on the go all the time like me, then realistically you’re not going to make full use of these random appliances, upon which they become – you’ve guessed it – CLUTTER.
Anyway, on to the planning stage!
Here’s the thing about my kitchen. Because of the way the HDBs in my area are built, there’s not that much light coming in through the kitchen cos the other blocks block it. It’s still bright, but relative to the rest of the house, it’s pretty much the gloomiest part of my flat. It’s also where my cat, her royal highness Athena Wei, eats, drinks, and sometimes sleeps. So my goal was threefold:
1. Create the illusion of space and light by clearing out the area – the walls are white ceramic, so if the area is cleared, the light will automatically reflect off them and make the place look brighter and more spacious
2. Introduce greenery to the kitchen – we love plants in our home, and I wanted my kitchen to look like some hippie pinterest modern fusion kitchen where you could sip a coffee and enjoy some nice fresh air, recycled by your friendly neighbourhood plants
3. Rehaul Athena’s area because she deserves a little upgrade too!
“Who’s ready for a brand new home?”
*unwillingly, my photo prop*: “Me”
So phase one begun: the cleaning out phase.
To be honest, this phase is a pain in the ass because I hate housework. But I suppose once I get into it it’s quite alright. The gross bit was realising how long some of these “key” kitchen gadgets havent been touched – I had to wipe down and dissolve the lime buildup under some of them! *shudder*
While this was ongoing, I basically lived off deliveroo, because no one else was allowed to use the kitchen at the same time. So that was a fun week – a lot of inertia regarding cooking complicated dishes is in the washing up, so while I wont make it a daily habit, it’s quite nice to just have dinner arrive readymade and packaged conveniently to recycle once finished with.
My mum and I also went out to buy 1. plants 2. floor mats 3. Athena’s water fountain and 4. Athenas new bedding. Don’t laugh – the reason why cats need a water fountain is because they are snobbish pricks who wont drink water out of a bowl – or they will, but they dont like it, and so they get very dehydrated. Something many cat owners/ cat cafes do is get a water fountain, because cats will drink willingly out of a moving water source. Mine cost about seventy bucks from Pet Safari in Vivocity.
Ready to see Athena’s new corner? :3
Notice: the new japanese patterned floor mat for her food bowls
I think we might have gone a bit nuts with the plants, but thats okay! Maybe now my hybrid greenhouse-kitchen dreams have been achieved?
I don’t know if you can tell, but if you’ve been following my Snapchat/Ig stories for awhile you might have guessed that actually my mother is obsessed with plants. We have plants all over our living room, and the theme has now spilt over to the kitchen! I love having plants around because they make the whole place look fresher and somehow, cleaner. They also inject life into any living space – and I’ve found myself drawn to apartments that have little pockets of greenery during my travels when looking for places to stay in. Even in my office space I keep flowers and little potted succulents around so my space always looks fresh, and so when planning for the kitchen this was really a no-brainer.
Anyway, it was soooo cute to watch Athena explore her new home. She’s a bit of a snob, so its rare that she openly displays curiosity or affection because she is damn act cool. But she was pretty pleased with her new upgraded corner, so that was nice!
And now! The rest of the kitchen:
I figured – if I really want some peanut butter cake or a really complicated and elaborate meal, I can always deliveroo it. How often am I realistically going to get down and dirty to cook a three course meal anyway? Their motto is “leave it to the professionals” after all. So away with the air fryer and away with the storage tins! The toaster gets to stay because it’s white and matches the rest of the kitchen, HAHA. #priorities
I also made the executive decision to move the nespresso to the other end of the kitchen, to replace the rice cooker, and create a kind of ‘Coffee Corner’ because my parents and I always make a point to have a coffee every morning, whether together or otherwise, and so it makes more sense that everything is congregated at one spot. This is also right under our cupboard where we keep beverages – coffee powder, tea bags, sugar and creamer, etcetera – all hidden away behind the clean white ceramic cupboard doors. So it makes more sense to have it here anyway, I think!
This part of my kitchen actually also has a pull out table masquerading as a top shelf drawer, so if my parents and I want a coffee together, we can just pull it out and sit around the mini table.
It’s right next to the stove, so if we want to brew coffee and bring it out (my dad does this a lot), then our tumblers are all congregated there as well, next to the kettle. Shoutout to my gorgeous rose gold chrome tumbler from Starbucks, because I know I’m going to get emails asking where it’s from!
I’m just gonna say that this is what this corner used to look like before…
Ha! I feel so happy with my coffee corner lol. I just have to say, that my mum is actually really good with interior design. She basically had an idea of what she needed, then googled what kind of architecture would suit it, then got someone to come in and design it. That’s why we have these random things like pull out tables and small shelves to put condiments and now, plants on.
Finally, the cooking area..
Here’s a break down of what I actually did:
– move the cooking oils and spices into the top left cupboard, where it is easily accessible should you want to cook
– keep the pots and pans in the cupboards below (my kitchen is full of cupboards)
– moved the salt and sugars into the – no prizes for guessing – condiment cupboard, then replaced it with creeping plants
– put a plant next to the sink
– added a nice floor mat (cant see it here, but you can see it in the first pic in this blogpost)
– cleaned up the area
Seems so easy but it makes such a huge difference!
I feel so optimistic just looking at it, LOL. The thing about clutter is, it keeps coming. So I’m sure it’ll start to accumulate again, but for now at least I have a fresh and clean start, and I think it looks great! Fingers crossed my family manages to keep it this way for a good while 🙂
Alright, so that’s about it! My deliveroo challenge, completed. I think I did pretty decent, and dont tell me if you think otherwise because take your negativity away from me! I feel extremely accomplished and very adult, and I hope this inspires you guys to at least get up and pack your room.
Thanks for the challenge Deliveroo – what’s next? Bring it. x