365 Objects Of Design, Volume II

Objects of Design #344: Kitchen Essentials Part II

8th February 2014
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raw wood chopping boards from westelm

raw wood chopping boards from westelm

Every time I go into Westelm, I pick up these gorgeous plank chopping boards. I love the style, the weight and the splash of colour at one end. It’s the perfect piece to kick off part two of the kitchen essentials started yesterday. Now I’m not claiming to make a complete list, I just wanted to show you a few things that will a) be part of a list of must-haves and b) go for a little stroll around Westelm as they’re online now so you don’t even have to get out of bed to shop there.

schmidt brother knife set

schmidt brother knife set

Obviously in addition to a good chopping board, which doubles up as a serving platter too, you will need some knives. This really is a matter of personal preference as everyone has a different idea of what is crucial. For me it’s all about the handle. I assume it will chop as that’s its job. I’m actually scared if it’s too sharp and I just want it to be comfortable to hold.

schmidt brother stock knives from westelm

these schmidt brothers knives have a shaped handle to rest your finger for comfort

I had to show you this chopping board although I think it’s only available in the US stores, and I imagine the postage would be punitive, but I have asked the store if it will be coming here any time soon (and if not why not) because it’s such a great idea.

storage chopping board from westelm

storage cutting board from westelm

I once saw this idea in a kitchen worktop which had a hole that just opened into the bin underneath. It was closed by means of a simple round, matching disk of wood with a finger hole in it so you could lift it out. I still think it’s a brilliant idea. And before you comment, I don’t think it would smell if you changed your bin often enough. We chose to have a small bin under the kitchen sink for just that reason; it is emptied every day and it doesn’t smell. Unlike those large, freestanding ones that perhaps only need emptying once or twice a week.

heirloom scissors from westelm

every kitchen needs a good pair of scissors

Every kitchen needs a good pair of scissors. Sometimes cutting bacon or shredding cabbage is much easier with shears than knives. These are based on dressmaking scissors and will work for all sorts of household tasks.

weck storage jars

weck storage jars

Finally, storage jars. I’m a big fan of clear ones so that you can see exactly what you have and how much is left. A few years ago I was given a, frankly, revolting scented candle in a Weck jar. I can’t bear to burn it (it’s huge and will probably last for six months) and various attempts to dig the candle out so the jar remains have, thus far, failed. These are only £4, I should just go and buy them.

set of four linen napkins from westelm

set of four linen napkins

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  • Poppy 8th February 2014 at 9:49 am

    My new kitchen is just being dusted down and finally finished, going to have to jump on a bus up to West Elm. That chopping board is brilliant!

  • steuart padwick 8th February 2014 at 9:39 am

    Smelly bins. My Chuckle Kitchen Bin https://steuartpadwick.co.uk/chuckle.htm is permanently open, but it does not smell. One customer had one in their kitchen for years, they then decided to use if for the office and got a pedal bin for the kitchen. Within 2 weeks their teenage daughters started to complain about the smell of the pedal bin.

  • Sarah Maria Klitgaard 8th February 2014 at 9:37 am

    Lovely things – I’m about to exchange contracts on my first home and first place I’ve lived with a proper separate kitchen so lists like these are like catnip to me at the moment! Even though it’ll probably be a year before I can afford anything nice again!

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 8th February 2014 at 10:58 am

      How exciting. Goodbye to clothes shopping and hello to lovely things for the home! You know you’ve succombed when you’d rather buy a cushion than a pair of jeans…..

  • Maggie Alderson 8th February 2014 at 8:30 am

    Love the blog. Have you been to Alastair Hendy’s Homestore in Hastings (where I live…)? He sells the most amazing range of steel scissors and shears made in Sheffield. The quality is amazing and it feels great to support a traditional British industry. My kitchen scissors joint a chicken in a few snips.

    • Kate Watson-Smyth 8th February 2014 at 9:12 am

      I’m so glad you like the blog. That’s a good tip for scissors. This is a link to the store, which is currently being redesigned so it doesn’t work, but readers can keep checking if they’re interested.

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