4 Moms Open House: Kitchen and Dining Room

Welcome to the second week of  4 Moms: How Moms of Many Manage open house.  Please feel free to link up your post tour of your kitchen and dining room below and visit the other moms of many KimC, Connie and The Deputy Headmistress to see how things work in their food areas.

Last week we explored our yard and entry way, this week you’re invited into what many call the heart of the home, the kitchen and dining room.  Although honestly for us the ‘heart of our home’ is the family/school room.  You’ll have to come back next week for that tour.

Our kitchen doubles as the passage from our entryway, living room and the rest of the house into our family/school room.

I love our kitchen and am thankful the previous owners put in white cabinets (although they do require a daily wipe down in a house with 20 small dirty hands running around).   Our kitchen is much bigger than our previous kitchens and has a wonderful amount of counter space which enables several people to work in the kitchen at the same time.

Left side of kitchen

However, when little children decide to run in our house, they run right through the kitchen. They run from the front door, through the kitchen and jump onto the couch in the family room (although they aren’t supposed to) and then they run back again.  They are usually running in pairs ’cause you know it’s lots more fun if it’s a race.  So I’m constantly reminding little children to walk through the kitchen, reminding big kids to be VERY careful when they are working in the kitchen and also trying to keep the dishwasher closed so that no one impales themselves on a fork.

Right side of kitchen

When we have large groups of people in our home, our kitchen works as a large buffet.  We start in the family/school room, dish our plates and get drinks as we pass through the kitchen and then move into the dining room or out on the deck to eat.

I also appreciate that we have so many large, bottom cabinets that enable us to store all but our most used appliances {we don’t have a microwave} out of sight.  This gives us more space on the counters for food preparation

Kitchen counter

and makes it easier for the children to do their table chores each evening.

One of the biggest challenges for our family when we’re looking for a home is finding one with an eating area that is large enough for our family and for guests.

Dining room from kitchen

This house provides that space for us.  It also opens onto the covered eating area on our deck which provides additional room for larger crowds.

Dining room from Living room

Deck off the dining room

From our group Bible memorization and  morning worship to a quieter place for the children to work on writing or science projects, our dining room gets a lot of use during the school day.  At breakfast we write the children’s daily assignments and other notes that should be remembered and checked at the end of the day on the chalkboard wall.  We display time lines, maps and the children’s most current art work on the magnetic wall.

Chalkboard wall and magnetic wall in dining room

One thing that we have done to make setting the table a little more simple for our younger children and to free up cabinet space in the kitchen is to move some of the dishes into the dining room.

Extra dish storage

I purchased this wheeled cart at a yard sale for $2.50 (it’s waiting to be spray-painted) and we store one of our sets of dishes (also from a yard sale) on it in addition to a pack of wipies, just in case someone gets messy during dinner.   We often have company a couple times a week, so we have two large sets of dishes and two sets of silverware.

Buffet in between Living room and Dining room

We store one of our sets of silverware in the top drawer of this buffet.  This is also where we store cloth napkins, place mats, table clothes and serving dishes.  We use the bowl on top to store our fresh fruit.

Storing the dishes that we use everyday in our dining room enables our younger children to set the table without getting underfoot in the before -dinner-rush in the kitchen.

Nearly everything used to decorate our dining room home comes from yard sales, although we did find the table and buffets at a used furniture store.  I’m constantly amazed at God’s blessing and provision of much more than we need.

Just a note, last week I had several comments wondering if our house always looks like this, of course not, there are times when our counters are covered with flour or piled with dirty dishes and there are times when there is play dough all over the floor and crayons scattered about.  There are also times when things get out of hand and need some serious work. (Just take a look at my decluttering series.)  However, this is what our home usually looks like after our daily chores.  It’s an advantage of having a lot of children,  there are a lot of hands to help.

Raising Olives open house:

Visit the other 4 Moms to take a look at their kitchen and dining areas.

The Common Room
Life in a Shoe
Smockity Frocks

Share your kitchen and dining room open house post with us. Please link directly to your post, not to your homepage and link back to one of the 4 Moms blogs so that your readers can visit all the open house posts.

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49 Responses to 4 Moms Open House: Kitchen and Dining Room
  1. Krystal
    August 12, 2010 | 7:36 am

    LOVE the table on your deck! Also I wasn’t aware the chalkboard paint came in other colors than black. I am totally going to look into that for our new house. How do you make a magnetic wall? Is it paint or a certain kind of wall board?


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Krystal. We made our own chalkboard paint. It’s super easy that way you can have any color that you wish. I posted a tutorial here.


  2. chantelle
    August 12, 2010 | 7:47 am

    Beautiful. Thanks for sharing!


  3. Kathi
    August 12, 2010 | 7:58 am

    I just love your house:)


  4. shannon
    August 12, 2010 | 7:59 am

    Ok, don’t roll your eyes at me but I thought, “No microwave, how do they heat their food?” LOL. I know how, I just have become so lazy I can’t imagine using the stove or oven for quick reheats. However, in our house we are SO limited on space in the kitchen that the idea *almost* sounds good. 🙂 My thought is about the little kids…. like right now my son (5) can heat his own foods in the microwave but I wouldn’t let him use the stove. Hmmm….
    About the chalkboard wall. Are they allowed to use it for fun drawings or just “to do” kind of stuff. I LOVE the idea and am wondering if it would just end up being a big mess?
    I sound like a whiner or something but I’m really not. I have 3 kids (one’s not even walking yet) and I’m working on changing my thinking and getting a large family mentality because we want several more. I really love your site (and the other moms!) and am trying to learn all I can.


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Shannon we have a toaster oven that we use for heating things up. It’s faster than the large oven and easier for younger children to use. Not as quick or easy as a microwave, but we’ve not used a microwave for more than 7 years and so don’t even think about it. 🙂

    When our microwave bit the dust 7 years or so ago, the reason that we didn’t purchase another one was because of limited counter space. We like having the counters clear and didn’t really miss the microwave.

    As far as the chalkboard wall goes. The little ones may draw on it with permission. It’s a fun activity and will keep them occupied for a good long while. We enjoy their drawings for a few days and then just wipe it down.

    I love having a chalkboard wall and we use it a lot, but I would not have liked it when all of our children were young. It would simply have added additional mess/work.


    shannon Reply:

    Thank you for taking the time to reply. I really appreciate it.


  5. Melodie
    August 12, 2010 | 8:57 am

    I knew when I read the article about the chalkboard and magnetic walls that they would be useful, but I never imagined how nice they would look! You have a beautiful home. = )


  6. Lynley
    August 12, 2010 | 9:21 am

    Beautiful…I especially love the patio furniture!

    Question…do you find that you have a lot of chalk dust to clean up off the floor? I am wanting to paint a wall with chalkboard paint but shudder over the amount of chalk dust.

    Thanks for the tour!


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Chalk dust does get on the floor, but since this is in our dining room where we sweep 2 to 3 times a day, it is not a problem.

    Also, there is less chalk dust than I had feared there would be. It seems to get on the floor when you’re erasing and not each time you write.


  7. Holly
    August 12, 2010 | 9:24 am

    Your house is so pretty!! I totally get you in regards to having the kitchen be a breezeway for the kids to get to another end of the house. We have a very small eat-in kitchen and a very big table. I literally have at most 24 inches between my L-shaped kitchen area and my table. I know that my table has been scooted down too far when I can’t get my refrigerator open…and it’s a side by side 😉 Same with the dishwasher, I have to close it to let folks get by!! On the other hand it sure does make life handy when you just have to lean back in your chair to get most anything you might need during mealtime 🙂


  8. Vicki
    August 12, 2010 | 9:40 am

    Beautiful kitchen and dining area. I love the chalkboard and magnetic walls. What a cool idea!


  9. Carol
    August 12, 2010 | 10:14 am

    Very pretty home! I enjoyed seeing that I have a round oak table very similar to yours. I love it. I also have white kitchen cupboards – I am very impressed that you wipe yours down every day. I don’t and you can really tell!! I am inspired to keep up with my cupboards better! 😀


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    I don’t wipe the cupboards down each day, but someone does. 🙂 It’s a great task for a small child because they can generally reach just as high as all the dirty hand prints reach and they LOVE wiping things.


    Vicki Reply:

    LOL my youngest daughter loves to wipe things. She’s forever with a box of wipes cleaning off the dressers, chairs, my desk as I’m typing. 😉 LOL


  10. Kara
    August 12, 2010 | 10:15 am

    I love your set up! The chalkboard and magnetic wall, how neat:)


  11. Bekki
    August 12, 2010 | 10:22 am

    Love the rolling cart I am looking for something just ike that! It will make it so much easier to bring our food in and out from the kitchen. I like the idea of storing the dishes there too. I am currently re-doing my space so no pictures. My table is covered in china hutch doors that are being painted. A great yard sale find but so much work! I will be glad when it is done.

    Love the chalkboard and magnetic walls!


  12. […] and have some independence. There you have my 2 kitchens and dining room. Head on back to KimC, Kimberly, Connie, or thecommonroom to see the other homes and maybe gleam ideas from other families. […]

  13. […] I'm 300 miles from my kitchen.  If it's kitchens you want, you'll have to drop in on Smockity, Raising Olives, or the […]

  14. Kimarie
    August 12, 2010 | 1:16 pm

    I just love the colors in your house, Kimberly! I can also appreciate the setup so that things flow. I’m glad to hear that the chalk dust isn’t bad, because my kids LOVE chalk drawing, and we have this tiny easel that is just in the way. A wall dedicated for drawing would be great.


  15. Beth
    August 12, 2010 | 2:29 pm

    Company twice a week? Wow- that’s great! I am curious about specifics of how you do this! Do you have people over from church, neighbors, unbelievers, a mix? Do you have set meals that you serve, or just pull out more dinners from your freezer that night? Do you think freezer cooking makes it easier to have others over? Do you have set nights that you schedule for hosting? Thanks for letting us take a peek into how you do things! 🙂


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Hi Beth. I should have qualified that more in my post as we do not always have company twice a week. When I’m in the first trimester of pregnancy we don’t plan to have company at all. 🙂

    Our official ‘plan’ is to invite a family over once a week. Sunday lunch is one of the easiest times for us. Otherwise we usually invite for Thursday evening.

    We also host a couple of regular monthly get togethers in our home, have young moms with their children over for lunch and often have friends stop by spur of the moment.

    I generally have set meals that we serve when we invite guests and save the freezer meals for unexpected company, but we do a lot of everything. We’ve even purchased carry out BBQ or pizza to serve to company in a pinch.

    We have a mix of people over, although I must say that we have been a huge failure at having our neighbors over since we moved here 5 years ago.


  16. Ruth Adams
    August 12, 2010 | 3:00 pm

    Beautiful! I love the idea of storing the dishes in the dining room near the table. Your house looks so clean and inviting. It sounds like you are following the Biblical practice of hospitality as well. I need to work on that. It is not my natural giftedness.


  17. mary beth
    August 12, 2010 | 3:58 pm

    I just love your home. The pics were wonderful. I think they were the best out of all. Thanks for sharing them with us. Will be waiting for more.. Hugs


  18. Amy
    August 12, 2010 | 4:32 pm

    We have white cabinets too, and they DO require a lot of wiping down! I love how your kitchen is a pass-through area usable for serving. Handy!
    Your buffet is gorgeous, as well as your yard-sale decor. I would never have guessed. Mine is yard sale and but not near as cute and well put together. Now I’m inspired to go “shopping” this fall! 🙂


  19. Gen
    August 12, 2010 | 5:33 pm

    Finished my post…took me all day!


  20. Tracy
    August 12, 2010 | 6:20 pm

    I loved seeing pictures of your kitchen and eating areas. I especially love your countertops! We try to keep things off of our’s too…it makes for so much less work!


  21. Becky C
    August 12, 2010 | 8:38 pm

    Thanks so much for letting me join the Open House! Your kitchen is spotless! And I LOVE the rolling cart:) Your house is beautiful. I don’t know how you do it with sooo many kids. I really admire you. I just juggle 3.
    Becky C
    A Country Classroom


  22. celee
    August 12, 2010 | 9:30 pm

    I’m so glad I’m out of town for this one. My kitchen needs to be painted so desperately! It was going to be my Christmas present then birthday and since we’re here over our anniversary that’s not going to happen. Maybe next year 🙂 .


  23. Jennifer Dewing
    August 13, 2010 | 12:11 am

    I’m sure I’m not the first one to tell you that I LOVE the idea of a chalk board wall and magnetic wall! If only my husband would agree… That, and I had more wall space.:0)


  24. […] Kimberly @ Raising Olives […]

  25. Mary
    August 13, 2010 | 10:49 am

    Love it!


  26. Kelsey
    August 13, 2010 | 11:20 am

    I am loving the open house posts! Its so fun to peak inside everyone’s homes. Thank you!


  27. Grateful for Grace
    August 16, 2010 | 11:43 pm

    Your home is just lovely. I love the cart idea as well as the chalkboard wall, though I think my allergies wouldn’t appreciate the chalk dust. I like the idea lots!

    Thank you for the tour.

    Oh, so this week is living spaces and next week bedrooms… so no separate one for school rooms, right? We are to include that in the living spaces.

    Off to finish curtains for the girls’ room, I mean…


  28. Theresa
    August 27, 2010 | 1:42 pm

    I love your kitchen–I have always had a thing for galley kitchens! I also love the magnetic and chalkboard walls. I am working on chalkboard doors for our learning area (this is our first year homeschooling). I saw the paint that could be tinted…now that I see it being used…hmmm….ideas, ideas (that’s why I LOVE blogs!)…

    Here is a little link, if you want to see my kitchen!



  29. Becky
    August 27, 2010 | 2:39 pm

    Hello–May I ask what kind of grain grinder that you have in your kitchen? Thanks for listening. Becky


    Kimberly @ Raising Olives Reply:

    Sure Becky, it’s a Retsel, very heavy duty though not much to look at.


    Becky Reply:

    Thank you so much! Becky


  30. […] to the 4 Moms, 35 Kids open house tour.  We’ve toured the yard and entryway, the kitchen and dining room and the school/living areas.  This week we’ll peak into some of our bedrooms (more bedrooms […]

  31. […] Kitchen and dining room […]

  32. Elizabeth
    September 7, 2010 | 10:57 pm

    Argh! I hate it when I find things too late! It’s great to see everyone’s kitchen and to pick up new ideas. Here’s a link to mine since I missed the whole open-house-thing: http://ordinary-time.blogspot.com/2008/07/finally.html


  33. […] Be sure to come back next week for a tour of our kitchen and dining room. […]

  34. […] nitty-gritty, the living area of our homes. You’ve seen our yard and entryway as well as our kitchen and dining room, but here is where we really live. (I included our living room in the entryway post because our […]

  35. […] Kitchen and dining area […]

  36. Jamie
    June 8, 2011 | 9:22 pm

    Okay, I love your house! I have to ask, is it always that clean or can you send a picture of a “normal” day if it often looks any different than the pictures. I am having a terrible time keeping my house tidy, any suggestions? I have a 6 yr old, 3 yr, 2 yr and 6 month old baby right now.



  37. Kimberly @ Raising Olives
    June 9, 2011 | 4:06 pm

    Hi Jamie,

    Thank you. Our house has been a special blessing as it makes it so easy to have others into our home.

    Our house looks basically like this after chore time (right before daddy gets home) on most days. But during the day it is well used and often gets amazingly messy.

    Here’s how my laundry area looks most mornings.

    Hmm, tips for keeping your house tidy…


    Schedule a regular chore time

    11 tips for tidy bedrooms

    Did I mention declutter? 🙂


  38. Eva
    May 14, 2012 | 5:57 am

    I am a mom of 4 so far. We are getting ready to build and was wondering if you had any advice for a growing family? I know big everything and more cabinets. But is there something you really wish you had?


  39. Cheryl
    December 28, 2013 | 11:33 am

    Hi Kimberly, in some picture, I remember seeing your wall art that says “Give Us this day our daily bread.” We are painting our dining room & I would like to put that on the wall. Where did you find yours? (I looked on Amazon and there are so many fonts and styles. I like yours & just would like to make it easy and order the same kind!). If you could let me know, I’d really appreciate it! Thanks!


  40. Jamie
    February 23, 2014 | 10:37 pm

    Beautiful kitchen and dining area! It looks very welcoming!

    I have a question about the rolling cart. Do you bring it to the dishwasher after every load or how do you put it to daily use?? It’s such a wonderful idea. Our family of 6 has outgrown our eat-in kitchen but I’m always annoyed about bringing everything into the dining room. So every meal we are playing musical chairs/benches/dishes trying to get everyone at one table. A bigger table wont fit into the kitchen, so that’s the issue for now. I know, first world problems 😉


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