Everything but the Kitchen Sink – Fruit Bowls

Ah dear readers…I have a confession to make.  I can not for the life of me figure out how to store my veggies.  We belong to a CSA during the summer which means that once a week, we get a bounty of produce that I quickly 'process' and for the most part store in the refrigerator until time for consumption…but there are still a few items that boggle my mind.

You see, way back when in the great-counter-clearing-experiment-of-'09 I banished our system of counter-ripening fruit to the pantry cabinet in an ill guided attempt to be one of "those people" who have nothing on their counters.  But while the cool, dry, dark storage was great for my onions and garlic, my apples, bananas* and any other veggies that had shown up for the week did NOT like being hidden in the dark.  No, instead, the cramped quarters caused the ethylene from the apples and bananas to build up even faster over-ripening every piece of produce in a matter of just a day.  I needed to find a better solution.

Until this time, I thought the only option was a hanging basket; which would be the perfect solution if we had someplace to actually hang it where it wouldn't bonk us on the head:
 

Thankfully, there are lots of options out there for counter-top fruit storage.  The key to keep in mind is that every fruit gives off a certain amount of ethylene gasses so it doesn't hurt to separate your produce.  What better way to do that than some pretty bowls?

 

A dessert platter is a great way to get some height on your display and allow you to store more than one fruit in the same footprint:

 

A little more space consuming, but pretty none-the-less; storing your veggies in one layer on a platter is a great statement:

 

Here's a fun, smaller scale basket with great lines that would look pretty in any manner of kitchens.  All this time I thought the all-one-fruit in the basket thing was for aesthetics…but now I know…yup…now I know the truth about ethylene:

 

A small collection of matching wood baskets is a great way to keep 'em separated yet still maintain a coordinated look on your counter…although don't be fooled by this photo…I'm sure those bananas and the apple were ripening that avocado just as fast as the shutter could click:

 

Speaking of coordinated looks…how about these G-O-R-G-E-O-U-S china baskets!!  LOVE LOVE LOVE…but, they're small…good for berries…but not good for the amount of veggies I need to store:

 

Lastly, I found this interesting, fun display idea over at ETSY…I can only imagine what fun the cat would have if I went and displayed every piece of fruit on its own individual stand on the counter…and she doesn't even get up on the counters.

 

The jury is still out on this one for me.  I just don't have that much space on my counter to give up so in my indecision I usually just lay everything out on the counter.  Which takes up just as much space, if not more, on the counter and doesn't look pretty.  It's a vicious circle.

Any one have any magic solutions I haven't thought of yet?

 

* no…our bananas do not come from the CSA; but we have a toddler who loves him a banana so even though they are from a different continent, I still need to purchase and store them

{sources: 1-Organize It; 2, 3, 4-Devine Kitchens; 5-Black and Blum; 6-Peg and Awl; 7-Jayson Home and Garden; 8-A Mischievous Marriage}

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Good Designs For Happy Cats – and Owners!

For years, I worried that I was a bad cat owner. As much as I wanted to provide my feline friends with a scratcher, post, or perch on which to lounge and play, I couldn't bring myself to buy one of those cumbersome, hideous pieces of furniture you usually see at pet stores. Besides, with names like Eames and Eero, my cats deserved something more modern!

Other cat people must have felt the same way, because in recent years I've been delighted by the arrival of beautiful, clever, and even eco-friendly solutions – no more drab, dowdy, carpet-covered cat trees! Several designers – and DIYers – have paired refined forms with FLOR tiles, an ingenious way to provide a scratching or sleeping surface while maintaining a streamlined look. And if Eames and Eero are any proof, cats love scratching FLOR tiles.

Below are a few of my favorite examples, including those you can buy and DIY. Let us know if you have your own pet-oriented FLOR projects to share!

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