When I was in France and walking the cobble streets of Montpellier with my mother-in-law I stumbled upon the cutest store named none other than Happy Design! I swear I felt it was speaking to me … it lured me in with it’s quaint storefront, adorned in a medley of color-pop! I am confident my mother-in-law thought I was nuts the way I became instantly giddy and crossed that busy cobble stone street just to get through their doors without a care as to whether I’d be hit by the passenger trolley going by. But, I knew with certainty it would be euphoric and transcendent.
So, why all the childish excitement? Well, this store had what I like to call Kitchen Color Pop! It offered many different home goods, even though the shop itself was maybe the entire size of my living room. But, what I most appreciated about their products was the fact the products were simple in design, multi-functional in some cases, and came in assorted, bold colors. Eye candy jack pot!
You see … I had the pleasure (inserting my sarcasm here) a few years ago to downsize my living space when we moved to our current house … Literally like by half! We are super pleased with our decision to move, but what I didn’t amply prepare for was the way I would need to acquire both form and function in my kitchen to maximize space. And, to put it simply, my current design element theme in our main living space is cheerful, or as a recent mom said it best: happy! How I capture this mood, or feeling, is through using subtle pops of color around the living room, dining room, and kitchen because we live in an open concept floor plan. Therefore, elements from each need to be able to compliment each other, even if they can still get away with their own style. In short: Keep the personality the same and let the design of each room modify to keep it fun and unique!
In extension to my style approach, you’ll find I am not a clutterer – I have been this way since my adolescence and I feel it’s more of a blessing than a curse? In saying this, I know the same applies to my kitchen, although I won’t be dishonest with you in that my cupboards need a massive org-job (I can’t believe I just created that word – I’m LOL right now!), but I’m leaving that for another project and post series this year – Yay, can’t wait (no sarcasm on this one!)!!!
So, when I am now shopping for my kitchen pieces I find I am going through the following criterion:
- Functional. I can’t sacrifice space for a piece that only gets pulled out of the drawers, or cupboards, but maybe once a year. Therefore, when I find a piece that I know will be used often it is already on my radar. Otherwise, if it still is a “must-have”, I have to consider other storage options (albeit limited) I may be willing to account for just to have this piece. It happens … Like my turkey cooker!
- Complimentary. When I say this I mean more from a perspective of style. I try my best not to mix style of my pieces because I don’t have enough mixture to pull off that ecclectic Bohemian look yet :). And, I like my kitchen utensils, cutlery, napkins, dishes, etc. to mirror as much of my personality as they can. Why not?!?!? So, unless you really disagree with me here, I like pieces that are fun and in some cases end up being great conversation pieces.
- Multi-Purpose. I really get goosebumps when I find something that can offer multi-purpose, like an IKEA glass that my kids use in the morning because their are small and perfect for that sip of orange juice, but also can be cute slider dishes for entertaining. So, when I do assess dishes I do come at with the angle of multi-purpose.
So, as I quietly hopped around the Happy Design store, I took note of those items that I knew brought the highest temptation to add to the pop around my house … and here they are!
My Top 5 Bag Of Favorites: Kitchen.
SUSOKI 8 in 1 Kitchen Tool Set- Multi Kitchen Gadgets Maker(Funnel, Juicer Lemon squeezer, Spice grater, Egg masher, Cheese grater, Egg separator, Measuring cup, Can opener)
Man – this one is packed FULL kitchen necessities. I saw this and thought to myself, ” I would have loved to have this when in Paris and having a kitchen the size of a bathroom!” … I could have had SO many kitchen tools without sacrificing space. This may be a good camping piece, wedding gift, or even a “going off to college” gift for those that will be lucky enough to have a kitchenette!
Joseph Joseph Index Chopping Board Set
Did I fall in love with this because it looks like clean and organized? YES – don’t judge me! But, how cool is this that it is actually a beautifully organized set of cutting boards. And, these are all different types of boards based on what you’re chopping up – I am putting this on my wish list for sure 🙂
UKIYO Premium Nessie Soup Ladle Set of 3
Not only do I love how these stack with each other, but I also love how I can use these as both serving spoons AND as a cute way to put finger snacks (like trail mix, dried cranberries, etc.) in them and have them on the counter for a little fun snack personality 🙂
Alessi AMDR06 SY “Gianni a little man holding on tight” Kitchen Box in Glass With Hermetic Lid in Thermoplastic Resin
Adorable glass – Check. Super cute, fun lid for the glass that can come in a variety of colors and personalities – Check! Whether it is liquid or solids in this glass, you seriously cannot go wrong with this adorable kitchen necessity. Love, love, love this 🙂
Joseph Joseph Nest 8 piece Compact Food Preparation Set
Here is a kitchen piece that is meeting ALL of my elements: functional, multi-purpose, and fun personality! I really like how inclusive this is with multiple measuring pieces that have poppy color + mixing bowls … because, let’s face it – in many cases when you need to use mixing bowls you need measuring cups, too 🙂
My Top 5 Bag Of Favorites: Around The House Fun or Humor Items.
Fred & Friends RAIN & SHINE Rain Boot Toothbrush Holder
For as long as my kids have been brushing their teeth, I still do not understand why they struggle SO much with putting their toothbrush up. So, this is my strategy to help get them motivated to follow through … so, I am definitely thinking of making this a quirky stocking stuffer 🙂
Youngerbaby Elegant Rainbow Colorful DIY Creative Whatever Sunburst Wall Clock
Okay … this clock is pretty darn cool. It is a DIY for you (or, if you feel like sharing with the kids, go ahead!) … and how sleek would it look in the mudroom, or perfect spot in the kitchen. Just think, every time you look at the time you get a treat of color pop – a great positive mood lifter 🙂 I find this could be on my holiday list for some sweet girls in my daughter’s circle of friends and family!
Fred & Friends SAUCED UP Ravioli Spoon Rest
This cracked me up when I saw this because I could already imagine my friend Melinda asking me when cooking whether this was “For Real” a ravioli … laughing with her infectious laugh. Why did I think of Melinda on this one? She likes Italian and a glass of wine over conversation anytime 🙂
Lilliput Salt and Pepper Shakers by Stefano Giovannoni
These are really adorable, and in fact have these exact salt and pepper shakers thanks to my sweet friend, Marie … who happens to be French! I wonder if she went to this exact store years ago and got these there when bringing them back to me. I have had fun showing kids how these swing around and they are pretty durable.
Fred & Friends OUT TO LUNCH Insulated Lunch Bag
My kiddos are avid “take my lunch to school” peeps and there are some adorable insulated lunch boxes, or kits … and here is another one to add to our collection that I, myself, will be borrowing! Not too expensive either – Yay to my wallet 🙂
In this post, I wanted to share with you the home pieces I have put on my favorite list, and I also thought, “Maybe my friends may enjoy these, too!”. I did come home from Montpellier, France and researched whether I can get these items in the U.S. and thank goodness for Amazon! Yes, ALL of these items can be found on Amazon … whew, I was wondering how I could persuade my mother-in-law to buy these and ship them over if I couldn’t find them domestically. So, I’m passing these awesome item ideas along because how fun, different, and functional would these be for any home and gal 🙂
Don’t forget: Keep it simple and happy — XOXO, Bridge