An Office/Kitchen Storage Before and After

by Angela (Oh She Glows) on October 1, 2013


This is a little tale about a reorganization we did at the beginning of September. You know that first week of September when everything needs to be in its place? I only wish it lasted all year long.

Our office had been a disaster zone for months and the current black buffet table wasn’t helping the situation at all. Please excuse the random coconut syrup container, fake flowers, lemon tree, and pears. I didn’t realize it was this bad until I typed it all out. Decorating was never my strong suit.


Sketchie supervised the entire project, obviously.

I forgot to take a true “before” photo because the table was actually flooded with books for months and it slowly drove me insane. I even had books and other crap stuffed underneath the table. It wasn’t pretty.

Enter Labour Day weekend.

Eric built this handy cabinet in less than 1 hour. Not one swear word was uttered. The printer is now on a chair behind the door, tucked away and out of sight! That might be my favourite part.


Seeing this office wall makes me so happy now.

We moved the buffet table downstairs across from the kitchen. I was sick of seeing the jars on the two shelves, so I took the shelves down and transformed the buffet table into a new storage system for my mason jars, canned goods, and extra baking items like cocoa powder, almond milk, etc.


Oh and lentils, rice, coconut, etc.


This new storage helps so much, I can’t even begin to tell you. It manages to look fairly tidy too, despite everything it’s holding. Granted, it’s definitely not my ideal storage situation, but it sure beats reaching 3 feet into the dark corner cupboard.


The only part I don’t like is not being able to see all of the items, but if I can train myself to put things back in the same spot (unlikely), it should become automatic overtime. Again, unlikely.


Sketchie was not overly impressed.


Are you up to any organizational projects lately?

Oh, I’m also on a huge Pinterest kick right now. You can now find my dream kitchen, bathroom, and office boards on there now. Eric and I actually got into an argument on the weekend over our imaginary-future-office design which is funny because we’re not even close to designing an office. We’re not even in a house yet. So it was a fight over something hypothetical, an imaginary office. Those are the worst kind. Anyway, we always seem to disagree on everything possible when it comes to design, furniture, paint colours, and décor. Please tell me I’m not alone? He wants practicality (“My desk needs to be massive, taking up the entire room, with 6 billion wires shooting out from everywhere.”) and says my style is so “GIRLY”. Hrmph.

We may need counseling.

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{ 55 comments… read them below or add one }

Dana @ Conscious Kitchen Blog October 1, 2013 at 8:30 am

I love that buffet table! I’m looking for something like it for my living room… where did you get it? p.s. – I think the project turned out well.


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 2, 2013 at 8:08 am

thank you, it’s from Ikea :)


Marian October 1, 2013 at 9:02 am

I need to be inspired by your post! We just moved (okay, it was 3 months ago…) and I have yet to fully organize my pantry.
As for husband interior design battles–my solution is a man cave. I fought the principle for so long. Why should a guy get a room for himself and his buddies? It’s so the wife doesn’t have to fight him on having sports memorabilia, a sticker of the skyline of Detroit, and that ugly painting of ships in the living room. I don’t know if that will directly help you with the office. but sometimes having control over a space can making it easier to give up some control somewhere else. Good luck!


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 2, 2013 at 8:08 am

hahah omg this comment made me laugh! I love the idea of a man cave. I personally would rather be on the main level than the basement any day


Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health October 1, 2013 at 9:03 am

I suspected something like this was coming after seeing your multiple home office pins in my Pinterest feed. It’s so easy to get sucked in to Pinterest!

I love that buffet and Eric did an awesome job with that cabinet! Under an hour? That’s impressive.

We are renting so I don’t o crazy with decorating or arranging things because I know we’ll have to move soon. But if we were settled already, you can bet I’d be right there with you on Pinterest!


Lauren @ The Highlands Life October 1, 2013 at 9:04 am

I am on a big crafty, organizing, pinterest kick right now too. Must be the cooler weather. I always get this away around fall!


Rachel October 1, 2013 at 9:13 am

Haha I love the imaginary, hypothetical situations fights – you are definitely not alone – we still haven’t hung the towel rack in the bathroom because we just can’t agree where it should be (there are only so many options, how hard can it be – very apparently haha).
Love your new organizing system :-)


Angela October 1, 2013 at 10:59 am

hah glad we’re not alone! Nothing like a good towel rack stand off. :)


Anele @ Success Along the Weigh October 1, 2013 at 9:25 am

Very nice redo! If Eric would like to build more stuff, send him our way! He does an excellent job.

I NEED to do some organization projects. My office looks like the post office blew up in there!


Ting October 1, 2013 at 9:31 am

Angela, I have to say that I have been reading your blog non-stop since I discovered it. I live in NYC where life is extremely fast paced (and value can often be placed on the wrong things), and reading your blog has literally brought me inner peace and calm. I also recently started a vegan diet and I have already tried like a dozen of your recipes!

Also my husband is Canadian (from Toronto) and we have an extremely adorably cute Maine Coon cat that reminds me of Sketchie. Keep posting, you are an inspiration!

Last but not least, here is a link to a great vegan cheese producer that was well reviewed in Food and Wine Magazine, thought you might enjoy it!


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 2, 2013 at 8:07 am

Hey Ting, Thank you so much for your lovely note! I’m so happy you enjoy the blog :)


Kelly @ hidden fruits and veggies October 1, 2013 at 9:50 am

It’s a little more disappointing when you own your home and COULD make these changes, but don’t. Pinterest just starts to get sad instead of dreamy and fun! I definitely need some motivation to organize more though.


Angela October 1, 2013 at 11:00 am

yeah totally agree with you on that one. It’s a fine line!


Janae @ bring joy October 1, 2013 at 10:22 am

I too am a little pinterest happy! It’s fun to start dreaming, imaging, & with all the hullaballo that’s happening in the world (ie. American politics), it’s a nice escape from reality.

I love your buffet organization. I’m totally addicted to glass jars of every shape & size (especially the gallon jars)–aren’t they the best for storage? I love how pretty they are & that you can see the ingredient (& no worries about plastic leaching!).

& your cat, is so pretty.


Suzanne @ hello, veggy! October 1, 2013 at 10:23 am

I LOVE your cat; such a beautiful animal. Mason jars are a must have in my living spaces as well: (a snapshot of my cupboard)


Gina, book dragon October 1, 2013 at 10:39 am

I’m so glad I’m not the only one! I’m thinking about houses “when I win the lottery” and I’ve always gone for horse property. Forgetting of course that husband is allergic to them! I need to look at beach property, he seems to breathe easier near the ocean.

love, love, love the new cabinet!

heading over to pinterest :-)


Liz October 1, 2013 at 10:48 am

I just have to say that I’m happy to hear someone else (especially a blogger whom I respect so much!) say decorating isn’t their strong suit. It’s not mine either, and I’m surrounded by friends with awesome style and the Internet, which tells me that style is just THREE EASY STEPS AWAY!

Truth: In college, I lived in an apartment for two years with nothing on the walls because it just didn’t bother me. My friends whose apartments look like they fell out of an Anthroplogie catalog were scandalized.

But anyway, looks like a great new system! We have a really really deep pantry, and it can be kind of a pain to get things in and out of it, so maybe I need a new system!


Angela October 1, 2013 at 11:01 am

I’ve always felt the same way too – admiring others ease of decorating. Actually I’m the same way with dressing myself. I always feel like I can’t put together “outfits” (do people even say that past the age of 5??) Anyway, there’s always hope! hah


Kathryn October 1, 2013 at 11:48 am

Ha – one time my husband and I got into a huge fight in IKEA over a couch we weren’t even looking for and didn’t need. It happens to the best of us.


Kristen Kelley October 1, 2013 at 11:56 am

I WISH we were on any type of organizing kick lol. We’re on a aquire as many boxes as you can to pack up the house because it’s under contract only to have the buyer walk and get stuck with an office full of cardboard kick. LOL!! Your cat does not appear to be very amused by your kick lol.


slywlf October 1, 2013 at 12:05 pm

Since I am on the ragged and crumbling final lip of the cliff – AKA about to move – my issue is about getting rid of all and any stuff I don’t either absolutely need or totally love so that when we move into the new space we will be able to get into the ‘a place for everything and everything in its place’ mode right off the bat. The use of baskets in the buffet is a great combination of the esthetic and functional – love it! Between the two of us my friend and I have amassed more baskets than I would have thought possible, but I expect they will all get put to serious use once we start organizing ;-)


suzanne October 1, 2013 at 12:51 pm

I’m having storage envy! I am in need of this in every room in my house!!!

I have a question – Im going to make your summer stone crisp but use apples and Blueberries – how many cups do you think I need? (I just posted this ? in your original post but not sure if you see those). I want to get the ratio of other ingredients correct. My in laws are coming tomorrow so I wanted to make it then and am going to the store today.

Thanks so much!!!


Melissa October 1, 2013 at 12:58 pm

Yep, my husband and I get into bitter disputes about whether we should move to an area with better schools (we don’t have kids) or just build a second story on our tiny house. Neither option is an economic possibility, but we both have very strong opinions about it, anyway!


McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN | Nutrition Stripped October 1, 2013 at 1:53 pm

I love those baskets, so cute! And you have great lighting in your home, not to mention the cutest cat with squinty eyes :)


Catherine @ Chocolate & Vegetables October 1, 2013 at 2:09 pm

We are mostly pretty organized, but I have two shelves in my bedroom/office area that are a DISASTER! Maybe I should finally tackle them this weekend….


Emma October 1, 2013 at 2:17 pm

The new set up looks great. Love how neat it all is. I know what you mean about wanting to be able to see everything though. I recently got this snazzy little Ikea trolley and it’s fab for storing my jars of beans and grains and miscellaneous bags of kitchen items. Visible but organized :)
Good luck with the future office planing!


Jill October 1, 2013 at 2:51 pm

Looks great!
I have spent the last month completely redecorating and reorganizing. My boyfriend moved in during the summer and that threw my apartment into complete chaos. So excited that it’s finally coming together. Will be posting pics soon!


Erin @ An Inside Job October 1, 2013 at 4:53 pm

My husband and I argue about decorating too. I know a lot of couples where the guy doesn’t care about what is being decorated and gives the woman free reign, but alas this is not the case for us. He has a particular vision and I have a particular vision and oftentimes those two visions do not complement each other. It’s all about compromise.

This post reminds me that I have more decorating and organizing to do. We moved into our condo in Jan and the guest bedroom is still full of boxes of my books because we couldn’t decide exactly what kind of shelving we wanted. I think our upcoming wedding celebration/reception next month is also causing us to put a lot of things on the back burner. Once that is over hopefully I will be able to add more details here and there.

Nice job organizing; it looks good!!


Angela @ Eat Spin Run Repeat October 1, 2013 at 5:51 pm

GAH Pinterest <– I KNOW! Speaking of that deep dark hole of endless ideas though, have you thought of basket tags as a solution to your not-being-able-to-see-inside-the-bins problem? These ones kind of remind me of your style – I always feel so much better after organizing any room in my house – the kitchen currently needs some work! Great job on your makeover Ange!


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 2, 2013 at 8:09 am

those are so cute!


Christie October 1, 2013 at 6:37 pm

Holy cow, I am totally stealing your printer behind the door idea. BRILLIANT!


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 2, 2013 at 8:05 am

It’s honestly my fav thing in the world (not having to see it) hah enjoy!


Kelly October 1, 2013 at 7:56 pm

Love the new storage solutions almost as much as those cat pics :) I would just add that if it’s bugging you that you can’t see what’s in all the jars, I write in marker on the lids of mine so when I pull a drawer out I can read what each one is without lifting them all out individually to look.


Angela October 1, 2013 at 8:18 pm

When you need a referee for your kitchen or office renovation (once you actually have a house!) let me know. I will drive from Montreal to design it for you! Good designers are always part marriage counsellor :)


kate October 1, 2013 at 11:40 pm

You are certainly not alone! My husband and I are ecovillage designers and so we often have conversations and occasional arguments about hypothetical designs- that aren’t even for us sometimes!

Although we currently aren’t working on any ecovillages, we are in the process of looking for and buying land to build our own home with materials from the earth and with our own hands- aka no permitted designs or official architectural or engineering seals of approval. This means that the entire design comes down to what we agree on together and are physically capable of doing by ourselves and with the help of our friends and family.

I’m telling you this not because I think you’d care about the activities of my life, but because there have been some incredible resources that have helped both of us work together to achieve a collective goal- peace and harmony in the home based on clear communication, intuitive design, and compassionate and unconditional listening to one another to come to decisions that benefit us as a unit, not just as individuals but while still meeting our individual needs.

Although there are countless books, videos, and speakers who have contributed to our ability as a married couple to proactively and productively work together in a loving way to turn our dreams into our reality, there are two books in particular that I’d love to share with you.

The first one is A Pattern Language by Christopher Alexander. I’d suggest checking it out at the library first because his books are very rare and tend to be on the pricy side. It demonstrates and states so clearly how important every design is to the way you feel, the way you behave, and how you interact when in those spaces. A design is never just a single design, every design in one way or another must interact and be incorporated with another design- whether it be bigger or smaller or more or less detailed, than the initial one at hand. For example, designing a garden isn’t just designing that garden. Theres going to be a path way to it, surrounding scenery areas, open spaces, seating space, a water source, etc. all of which need to be observed and included into the whole design. Anyways, its a great resource and really helps to clear things up and lay out the design process in a manner thats easy to comprehend and apply to reality.


The second one is called Non Violent Communication by Marshal B Rosenberg. Some people prefer to use the term “effective communication” instead of non violent but when it comes down to it, it isnt a book thats directed towards those who have domestic violence. Instead, its directed at those who are conscious of the fact that our actions effect the way we perceive and interpret everything we experience, so the way we communicate with both ourselves and others will ALWAYS play a major role in how we feel in any given moment. It simply gives guidence and examples that help to reawaken this connection even in the moments where communication seems so difficult. This book is totally worth reading and I also have a lot of videos by Marshal that I would love to share with you if you find yourself wanting more information from him.


Anyways, I hope you enjoy these resources or that they at least plant a seed in your heart.

Enjoy your evening, and remember to embrace each argument that you and your husband have because as long as you are open and receptive to learn the lessons at hand, then its perfectly acceptable to recognize that you argue about theoretical things, it just means your human and so is he. When you can connect with him on a human level instead of just his ideas, only then will the unconditional love in your heart shine through the judgement that the ego loves to fill the mind with.

Much love and respect,


Joy October 2, 2013 at 2:36 am

You are not alone! Jim and I fought like crazy at our old house about design – It was ridiculous. So when we bought this house we hired an interior designer, we both gave her our likes/dislikes and then left everything to her (we love it all) everyone teased us about spending money foolishly but really it made what should have been a stressful time absolutely easy


Emily - It comes naturally blog October 2, 2013 at 2:52 am

We’re moving into our first owned home next week so I can see lots of DIY projects coming up. As a DIY novice I am feeling a bit overwhelmed. Thankfully my hubby is pretty easy-going and is happy with whatever I suggest. I just wish I could decide between modern-and-minimalist or cosy-country-cottage.


Martha October 2, 2013 at 6:20 am

I loved reading about you and Eric fighting about the office and him wanting a massive desk. My husband and I recently moved into our first home- a tiny three bedroom. One of the rooms has become his office and we went through the same thing with office design. I picked out all kinds of different office arrangements that had simple streamlined desks to maximize space. When he picked out his ideal desk it was called the ‘Executive’; you could have used it as a dinning table and hosted dinner for eight. It would have more than filled the whole tiny little room. In the end he got a slightly less massive desk, still filling the room, with wires shooting out everywhere. But the rest of the house is mine to make girly. :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 2, 2013 at 8:04 am

hahah glad I’m not alone, but I feel for you! I like the idea of each having a space to decorate though.


ANN October 2, 2013 at 7:29 am

I too love to be well organized, but that doesn’t always happen in my house with hubby helping out once in a blue moon, he doesn’t put dishes where they go either! And the whole issue of a “too girly” looking space, what would it be like if God only made all girls or all boys!! Can you imagine what this world would be like! I agree though, coming to agreement on style is very challenging! My hubby has no style except what goes with deer heads hanging on the wall, so I have to coordinate with that! Lucky me. Love your posts God Bless and keep up the encouraging words for us GIRLS.


nan @ lbddiaries October 2, 2013 at 7:30 am

Alpha Hubby and I learned a few things over the years of remodeling and additions we’ve been through. One is that “in two weeks you won’t notice” so things like wall plates aren’t worth the fight. Learn the art of compromise and be fair. Neither one can have their own way. If at all possible, find two separate spaces if your office decorating ideas are that dissimilar! Learn to give in gracefully because in two weeks you won’t notice. IF you are still bugged in two weeks (i.e., you REALLY hate that paint color), agree to re-discuss it then. Is it worth getting a divorce over? No? Then learn to either work together or agree to disagree. NOTHING is that important that you should keep fighting over it.


Maggie October 2, 2013 at 7:49 am

Your cat is GORGEOUS!!!! Stealing the buffet table idea…I need more space to store dry goods because my kitchen is so small. this will fit perfectly just outside the kitchen by an outlet and i can put my blender and Cuisinart on top!


Serenity October 2, 2013 at 8:00 am

That’s a good looking cat


Bonnie October 2, 2013 at 8:37 am

I just finished doing that with my yarn collection. I never even thought of creating open shelving for my pantry stuff, but your comment about hunting in the dark really made me laugh. I have my stuff in a linen closet and you’re right. It is very dark. Finding stuff is an adventure. Another project… :-)


Kristin October 2, 2013 at 10:45 am

Did the cabinet come from IKEA as well? I’d love to have one of those.


Noel October 2, 2013 at 4:25 pm

Can I just stay that in the past few months since I subscribed to your blog – how delightful it has been! I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 5 years, and a vegan for the past 6 months or more… ! I have made several recipes over the last few years – and now, since subscribing – have made even more. The delight of reading your life comments – as this one – as well as LOVING your recipes (and recommending them to everyone)… has been wonderful and a welcome way to start my day. Thank you! Can’t wait for your cookbook, and for your next post!


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 3, 2013 at 7:29 am

Hey Noel, Thank you so much for your lovely comment! That really means so much to me. :) So glad you are enjoying the blog!


Emily K. @ Leaf Parade October 3, 2013 at 1:19 pm

“Guys! I think we were robbed!” -your cat in those first two pictures


Kayla October 3, 2013 at 7:17 pm

My husband and I just bought our first home in May so we are ALWAYS about organization right now… everywhere in the house. We had a closet in our kitchen that he turned into a pantry for me and I couldn’t be happier about it! Now if only the rest of the house could come together as easily as that seemed to!


Alana October 4, 2013 at 10:34 am

If you love Pinterest, you have to check out my (and my BF’s!) latest obsession for home decor: Houzz!

You can search thousands of photos for ideas, ask questions of the designers, find local contractors, save all your favourite photos into ideabooks and share them with others. We are also a few years away from being able to afford our dream decor (we just bought the house though!) and this site totally allows us to plan and dream, while also taking up an unhealthy amount of our waking hours :)


Angela (Oh She Glows) October 5, 2013 at 9:03 am

omg that site is great!! Thanks for the tip :)


Virginie October 6, 2013 at 3:05 pm

great post! I love redecorating haha
also I was wondering if your cat was a Bengal? I’ve been thinking of getting one, they’re gorgeous!!


Nicole October 9, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Chance is NEVER impressed, and always gives me that skeptical glare… out of love <3


Jessica Noelle Glitterpony October 9, 2013 at 1:40 pm

Hey, great job! It may not be your ideal solution, but I think it looks just lovely and find it inspirational. :)


kimmythevegan October 9, 2013 at 7:33 pm

Ugh… my to-do list for the month is to overhaul the closet in the office. I’m pretty good at keeping things neat and tidy… or so it appears. Sometimes if you peek in a drawer or cupboard you may be completely shocked to see it overfilling with things in a complete and disorganised mess. Haha – well, you’ve inspired me to get that done. And well, it is where all of the Halloween decorations are anyway, so I see a two-in-one project coming up =)


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