One of the things I wanted in my new kitchen is a command centre. It doesn’t come ready to assemble from IKEA, so I got the brain juices flowing for it. Here’s a video on how it’s done.
If you want the nitty gritty, read on:
There are lots of inspiration for command centres on the internet. I liked this from HowToNestForLess.com and this on organizinghomelife.com. Both used the back of their kitchen doors to display meal plans, schedules, etc.
I run a less complicated home – there is only me to manage! But I do place quite a bit of emphasis on my meals and I like to plan ahead. I detest going to the supermarket too often or to arrive home only to realise I forgot the cinnamon for tonight’s chicken. I like things organised, out of sight yet within reach. A kitchen cabinet command centre sounds like the perfect solution.
First I listed down all the things I wanted in my command centre:
- Weekly menu + workout plan
- Meal lists
- Grocery list
- Noticeboard for reminders
- Whiteboard for jottings
- Metric converter
- Protein count (because I work out and want to quickly calculate how much protein I’m getting)
- Recipes cards/ books
- Bills to pay
- Shopping receipts
- Appliance warranties and manuals
- First-aid kit
- Sewing kit
- Kitchen organization materials (like chip clips, rubber bands, etc)
- Stationery and labels
- Spares – like batteries, bulbs
I singled out the METOD cabinet above my washing machine for this project. It’s at the right height (each door measures 60 cm x 40 cm) and also the cabinet nearest to the landing space. So once I get into the house with my mail, I can sort and clear.
Decorating the METOD doors
These babies are still new. I could not bring myself to prick and prod them too much. So, I gave myself the challenge – no holes, no paint and removable if necessary. Perhaps, 10 years down the road, I may feel differently. But for now, those were the three conditions.
I sketched a few designs. At one point, I really wanted triangles. Then crosses. In the end, I decided to go for diagonal stripes to match my striped ceiling.
I measured and cut out 1 1/4” wide strips of black contact paper. I needed 5 strips in the following measurements to fit a 60 cm (h) x 40 cm door.
- 80cm (31.5”)
- 75cm (29.5”)
- 55cm (21.75”)
- 40cm (16”)
- 25cm (10”)
They are slightly longer than the door so I can trim the edges after I adhere them. I labelled them 1L, 2L, 3L, 4L, 5L and 1R, 2R, 3R, 4R, 5R so I know which strip goes where.
As my METOD cabinet door is the RINGHULT high gloss door, I used a dry erase pen to mark it. I did a test on a small spot just to be doubly sure. Then, I drew lines on the METOD cabinet. This marked where the top edge of the first stripe goes. I measured 2 1/2” and drew another line. This is for the second strip. I continued until I drew all 5 lines. Peel and stick on the contact paper, according to the lines. Erase the marker lines.
Repeat on the other door. I mirror imaged the diagonal lines.
Set the doors aside.
The Right Door is for the Weekly Menu Plan + Meal List
My inspiration is from Cassie from BackToHerRoots.com who combined a menu and workout plan in one. But her template was a little small for my stickies and I also wanted space for a shopping list on the side. This is mine. Not as pretty. But it works for me.
Then I made a second chart for my list of meals. This is to reduce the time wasted every week thinking, “What shall I eat today?” At one glance I see a list of meals I regularly cook and enjoy. I just move the post-its from the Meal List and stick them on the Breakfast, Lunch, Snack or Dinner boxes on my Weekly Meal Plan. If you’re wondering what the Phase 1, 2, 3 & 4 are for … that’s because I follow Alisa Vitti’s protocol.
I printed it out and had both charts laminated. At the top left and right corners, I punched holes for the hooks.
Then I made two slots at the “Shop” section. Inserted a binder clip and a FULLFÖLJA notepad. On the second binder clip, I made a holder for a short pencil. (Yes, it is an IKEA pencil rolled in fabric tape.)
The Protein Count + Converter
I laid out the information on canva.com, printed and framed it in an old IKEA RAM photo frame. The RAM was originally in unfinished wood. I gave it 2 coats of white spray paint.
The Left Door is for Reminders
On the left door, I hung up a small whiteboard which I bought from Daiso for RM5.30 and trimmed to fit. I wrapped the ugly blue border with black contact paper.
The cork noticeboard is made from IKEA’s trusty HEAT trivet. I found a vector drawing of kitchen utensils and printed them out on paper. Then I traced them onto adhesive window glass sheets also from Daiso. Using an penknife, I carefully cut the outline and stuck the stencil on the trivet. Then using a brush, I dabbed paint (regular water based wall paint) onto the cork trivet. When the paint dried, I removed the stencil and out came a cute cork noticeboard. I added in the details with a Sharpie.
To hang the trivet, I found a length of hemp string from my stash. I cut a piece to the right length, looped and stapled the ends of the string to the back of the trivet. It was done.
Below are two pockets for Bills and Receipts. I followed the instructions from this post on making laminated pockets. Instead of scrapbook paper, I used 2 pages from an adult colouring book. I filled in some dots with metallic gold ink but left the rest uncoloured. I also made the backing paper slightly longer than the colouring page so that the blue trim showed. I stuck the HEMSMAK labels in the middle of the pocket and wrote “Bills” and “Receipts” with a chalk pen.
Putting it all together
No holes, remember?
To hang the Meal Plan + Meal List, Protein + Converter, and cork noticeboard, I used 3M Command Hooks. They are removable should I ever want to change the configuration of my command centre or restore the RINGHULT door to its original condition.
For the small white board and dry erase pen, it was light enough to be held in place with blu-tack.
The Bill and Receipt pockets are fastened with Velcro squares. I can easily remove the pockets and empty the content when necessary.
This is how they look after I put them all together.
Moving into the cabinet
I have a skinny collection of recipe books. Honestly I find recipe books hard to use and prefer saving recipes I find online into my Evernote app. Searching is so much faster and easier. Nonetheless, I do occasionally come across recipe cards and books that I like, so I keep a dedicated file for them.
Magazine holders store my appliance warranties and manuals in one place.
I reused two old IKEA cardboard boxes for my sewing kit, first aid kit and spares box (for batteries, bulbs, filters, etc).
And on the right side of the cabinet is probably the most important thing of all – my coffee! My absolute essential before I start every day.
And that’s it! My METOD kitchen command centre. Every morning as I sip hot java, I see my plan beautifully laid out for the day. Indeed, a day well fed is a day well lived.
You may be interested in:
Post 1: The old custom kitchen – its problems and before photos.
More information on the IKEA METOD kitchen.
Disclosure: IKEA Malaysia is the sponsor of my new METOD kitchen. However, my experience and views on the IKEA METOD range are entirely my own.