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Creating A Space That Will Inspire You

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I celebrated my 61st b-day on Monday. I spent the early part of the day at the bookstore, then came home to relax, read and just sat outside enjoying a day without a to-do list.

When Ed asked me what I wanted for my birthday, I told him I didn’t need anything, but he insisted on getting me a gift. After a few days of thought, I told him I wanted a second kitchen island cart.

He said, “but there is no room”. I answered that I didn’t want to add another cart in the kitchen, but wanted to add a shelf to the existing one and the only way to do that would be to get a second cart for the parts. We can use the other parts if a part on the original cart gets damaged or make something creative with them.

Movable metal rolling island in a small white kitchen.
The Wheeled Metal Cart Island in My Kitchen

After adding the stainless steel wheeled cart over a year ago, my small kitchen became easier to work in as it created a center island in the work triangle of the kitchen. It took me awhile to find just the right style and size island that could be easily moved. With a few modifications, the cart has exceeded my expectations on how beneficial it became.

Like most of us these days, I am trying to find ways to add a little more comfort and joy to my life and have been tapping into what would make that happen.

Food being chopped on a cutting board on a metal cart kitchen island.

Last week, I mentioned that I am beginning to actually like cooking. Adding more functionality to the island cart is one way to create an inspiring space that makes my little kitchen feel like a chic bistro or Ina Garten’s TV set kitchen. :-)

One of the most important things for me to do when I want to be more productive in anything, is to create an inspiring space to be able to do whatever my interests are in the style I want.

Bloggers craft room tour

I know first hand from creating my studioffice that when we have rooms or spaces in our homes that create the conditions for creativity, they also create the conditions for wellbeing – leading to a happier life.

These are spaces that you can call your own. They can be large or small which you can set up to support you in expressing your creativity, while building your skills and confidence.

When Ed and I were first married and I began to decorate our first house, all I had to claim as my creative space was a gardener’s bench that I organized with my creative supplies on an enclosed porch.

I loved this small space and spent hours there. I had set it up for ease of use to hold everything I needed. On the wall space above it, I had a simple cork board to pin clippings from magazines. It was the old-school way to save inspiration. Way before Pinterest came on the scene. :-)


Over the years and living in different houses, I made sure that I created a space that would work for me for sewing, painting, and running my blog. I found that I would rather have a studioffice/ craft room in a home than a dining room. It all comes down to what is most important to live the life you want in your home.

In college, I had a slide out low-sided box under my bed that held all my crafty supplies. It was small, but I lined it with pretty paper and added smaller boxes inside to hold and organize smaller items like craft paint, sewing notion, ribbons and more. Every time I reached under my bed to use it, my roommates all wanted to partake in whatever I was doing. Having it at the ready, inspired all of us, not just myself.

So don’t think you need to have a lot of room to create an inspiring space where you can partake in a pastime, hobby or to learn something new.

Changes to My Kitchen Island Cart

Here is how I am making my island cart serve as my small and organized chef station to allow me to enjoy the processes of cooking.

My kitchen island after getting a second shelf.
My Kitchen Cart Island Now With Two Shelves
My rolling metal kitchen cart got a makeover. Now it has two shelves and a cutting board.

The top of the island is used for food prep and cutting, so I added a solid cutting board that will not move when in use.

White plates, bowls and ramekins in a wood box on kitchen cart island.

I added the second shelf to hold a new set of dinner plate bowls that are a trending style now. When it is time to “plate” dinner, (can you tell I have been reading cookbooks?)

I can simply reach under the top of the cart to get them. Small ramekins to hold recipe ingredients and my recipe box.

Close up of second shelf added to rolling metal kitchen cart that acts like an center kitchen island.

I am in the process of redoing my recipe box. It is a DIY project that is taking me some time to source the materials. Once it is done, I will share it with you. I am very excited about this and want to make sure I do it right.

After photo showing my rolling metal kitchen island with a second shelf added.

On the bottom shelf is the large wicker basket. I originally stored an air fryer in it, but found that Ed and I were not impressed with it and will sell or donate it.

A large wicker basket on a metal rolling kitchen island filled with least used kitchen tools.

The basket now contains items that we use, but not often. A panini maker, a spiralizer attachment for my KitchenAid stand mixer, and ice cube trays at the ready to fill with herbs to freeze for winter use when I bring in extra from the herb garden.

Kitchen organizing tip for holding a dishtowel on a metal food prep cart.

On the side is a request Ed wanted for the cart, a place to hang the dish towel. Previously it was hung across from the oven which is not close to the sink at all.

I was going to drill a hole in the side of the top, but found that a magnetic hook clip works just fine. :-) I also tried a magnetic hook, but it stuck out too far.

For my birthday, Ed also gave me a gift card to Barnes & Noble. After reviewing quite a few cookbooks online, I went early in the morning to the Barnes & Noble in Columbia to look over a few more in person to make sure they were a fit for me.

Cookbooks I Bought:

LL Balanced and The Forest Feast Cookbooks on kitchen island.

LL Balanced Cookbook – Of all the cookbooks I looked at and I looked at many, the author of this book struck a cord with me. It is not a diet book or following one way of eating, but rather good healthy food prepared by a trained chef.

The Forest Feast – I had met this author at a blogger event in NYC many years ago. I was impressed with her illustrations and lifestyle, but at the time was not into cooking, so I dismissed looking into her cookbook. I am so happy that I have the book now. Such easy and healthy recipes. I have made two recipes so far and thumbs up for both. :-)

I am taking my time to read both of these books like a foodie would – savoring everything mentioned and learning all I can.

How to Create A Space That Will Inspire You


Free printable: Make It Happen

Do you want to do more of something or learn something new and enjoy the process? Just figure out what it is that you enjoy or want to do more of and then create an area in your home that inspires you to do it.

Maybe you have been thinking about making a quilt or knitting sweaters for your family, learning a new language, or making something to sell.

  • Make it happen by making a list of supplies you will need and then finding a space where you can set up and organize it in an inspiring way so that it will be easily accessible.
  • You may have to rethink how you organize a room, closet or cabinet to make your inspiring space come to life.
  • If your space is very limited, you could do what I did back in college and simply add a box or an unused dresser drawer that can be stored under a bed or in a closet. Maybe even a rolling cart that can be easily moved to wherever you need it.
  • Most of all, make sure that you make the space as much of a “dream space” as you can so that you feel inspired.
Veggies being chopped on a wood cutting board on center island of kitchen. Salad bowl and ipad nearby.

My inspiration for my island cart is Ina Garten’s kitchen with a little of that William Sonoma feel thrown in. Having this is what is making me want to actually cook, learn new techniques and to season food to perfection.

Now if only I could create a space that would inspire me to actually like cleaning my house. :-)


Kitchen island cart with cutting board and veggies. Text overlay says Home Decorating and Organizing Setting Up Space that will inspire you.

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  1. Yeah, when you figure out how to like cleaning house, please let us know!
    To motivate myself, I think of how blessed I am to have this HOME (vs HOUSE) and that makes me want to care for it with a good attitude. It’s a start.

    1. Thanks Holly – If the cookbooks interest you, you can check out each of the author’s websites to get more info. LLBalanced.com and The ForestFeast.com

  2. So what did you do with the rest of the second cart you took the shelf from…? Just curious!

    1. Hi Janet – Good question. :-) I can use the other parts if a part on the original cart gets damaged or make something creative with them. I like furniture with wheels so I may add them to a piece of furniture or create something for one of my daughter’s homes.

      1. Hi Diane,
        I’m one of the newbies to your blog and I’m so glad I found it. You are quite an inspiration to me. I find so many of your ideas so cute and clever. I hope you are having a “happy birthday”! I think I”m probably the oldest of the group. I’ll be 79 next month. I can hardly believe it myself. ha ha Keep up the great work and I’ll keep reading and learning. It’s never to late is it!

        1. Happy belated birthday Diane! I love how you added the second shelf to your cart. So functional. Funny that eating food in large shallow bowls is now a trend! I will have to Google it. My husband and i love eating our salads in our old Pfaltzgraff Yorktowne pattern vegetable bowls. We’re trendy in our late 60’s and didn’t know it. LOL. However this old crockery is getting too heavy. I’ve been thinking maybe some nice lightweight white Corelle would be better suited for us, and would take up less place in the cabinets. I saw some when i linked to your bowls at Target. Thanks!! I really enjoy your creativeness and upbeat blog!! You’re rocking life gurl!!!

          1. Hi Deanna – Thank you for the b-day wishes. XO

            I remember that Yorktown pattern. :-) My college roommate had it. Pfaltzgraff is a bit heavy so I understand wanting to get something lighter. Corelle is very light and classic. It will always be in style and like you mentioned – will take up a whole lot less room in your cabinets. Thanks for reading my blog.