I love this door. I mean shelves.

Back to the main purpose of this blog: making a 425 sq ft “house” a home. In this so called home, we have one kitchen drawer. Yes, that’s right. One kitchen drawer.

I have lived in a place in DC where I  slept above a toilet. I have lived in a house where persons over 6′  had to stoop to fit into some rooms (in Colorado). I have even lived in a pop-up camper that one time (in Montana) … uhm, popped … to one side, creating a nicely 45 degree-sloped floor in the middle of the night (which equals rolling out of bed down to the other side). But … this is the first time I have lived somewhere with one kitchen drawer.


Meet our kitchen drawer. “Hello, little drawer.” And little it is…

This drawer has become the obligatory junk drawer. Home to twist-ties, scissors, rags, hot pads, matches, etc. So what happens to, you know … spoons. forks. knives. spatulas. But we cannot declare defeat!


Enter my most favorite “find” ever…  Meet my door.


Once upon a time this door was a regular door on a house. Then it was a damaged door on a burned down house. When I crossed paths with this door, I was living on the border in Weslaco, TX, and stumbled upon a wonderful woodworking artist named Augustín, who rescued wood from burned down houses and turned them into country-ish furnishings. (My best friend bought an awesome bench).

At the time, this door was a blue door frame with chicken wire in a stand. For two years, I used it to simply hang things … photographs with ribbon, tiny vases with flowers. (I’m sorry I don’t have photos. I promise to get better at this.)

However, the time came that I decided it should, could, and would, be more useful. At that point, I bought a basic slab of wood at Home Depot, had them cut it to the the near width of the door. I then mounted these strips of wood with brackets.


Then I carefully selected a paper from the oh so voluptuous paper selection at the Paper Source (let me count the ways I love you) and decoupaged, then shellacked it onto the shelves.



The door then instantly became a way to make up for our lack of kitchen drawers.

Sentimental mugs = silverware holders

Used kombucha jar = lentil bean container

Shelves = spice and tea rack

Chicken wire + mini-S-hooks = kitchen utensil hanging rack

(We go through phases of drinking tea anywhere from occasionally to frequently, but nevertheless … tea boxes are actually beautiful! No reason to hide them in the cupboard!)


This was our kitchen door before the holidays. It has gotten much more cheerful since then…


We have since decided that our little white lights are nice. We’re leaving them up until further notice … 🙂

What I love most about the door is that it has taken a journey that is all its own. It survived a house fire. It was transformed by a talented artist almost in Mexico. It was then further transformed by me, its not-so-secret admirer. And it now serves our household in a unique way. I will always have this piece of furniture!

If you also live in a 425 sq ft (or thereabouts) apartment with your significant other, looking for inspiration to maximize this space, I realize that this post is slightly unfair, because not everyone has met awesome Augustín or run into his incredible work in the back room of a small Texas town antique shop. However, perhaps you have your own one of a kid enviable objects that can be used in an unexpected way, or that you could modify to use in an unexpected way. If you do, please share them!


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