How To Make Donna Hay Swoon Over Your Kitchen

You know how’s there all these memes going around about how foodies are lame and we have to stop taking pictures of our rustic lamb chops and crusty bread and posting them on Instagram? I’m calling a bitch please on that situation. I love seeing pictures of bowls of fruit with perfect dollops of yogurt and all the pretty ingredients that someone is about to turn into a super healthy #fitness #health #fitstagram smoothie. There’s a reason why Pinterest is popular and it’s because we’re all nosey little cherubs and love to look at what other people are doing. We like things a lot better if they’re pretty, which is why the popular page of Pinterest is usually littered with pins of home made baked goods and country life style jars of pickles, because secretly most people want to have an airy open kitchen with bunches of dried herbs hanging from the ceiling and a mint green KitchenAid on the counter. Here’s how to organise your kitchen and make it totally swoon worthy enough for the likes of Donna Hay, the first lady of smug kitchen cleanliness.

How To Make Donna Hay Swoon Over Your Kitchen

Have an open pantry

If you want that messily-wrapped-in-brown-paper-muffins-look to your kitchen then have an open pantry. Empty your flours and sugars into mason jars and label them with a Dymo. You can store almost all of your pantry food in this way and it’s much better than keeping items in their original bags and trying to re-seal them every time you use them. It keeps your pantry items fresher for longer and looks dead cute on a shelf in your kitchen. 

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Display your cooking utensils

Why not pile all your spatulas and egg flippers into a pretty jar and leave it on your kitchen bench? Pile any gorgeous crockery in a stack on a shelf? Hang your pots from the ceiling? There’s no need to keep everything hidden away. Especially if it’s something like Le Creuset  or Bison. A beautiful casserole dish will look gorgeous on a  kitchen island or tucked into the corner of your kitchen bench.

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Use food as a decorator item

When you buy a bunch of herbs, pop the leftovers from that night’s dinner into a small vase on the kitchen bench. It will remind you to use up your left overs and it will also add a gorgeous little sprig of delicious and fragrant greenery to your kitchen for a few days. Display any fruit that doesn’t need refrigerating in a beautiful fruit bowl that matches your decor. I have a total weakness for fruit bowls and I have several but my favourite is this one we have from Fink. We have an older version of it but it’s just such a beauitful piece and it’s completely timeless. If you happen to be getting married soon register for a shite load of Fink stuff. You won’t regret it.

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What do you struggle with the most in your kitchen? Storage? Cleaniness? Decorating?

Carly is the founding editor of Smaggle which launched in 2007 back when blogging was weird. She has appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, Cosmopolitan and Cleo magazines. Hoop earrings are totally her thing and she almost got run over by Myf Warhurst while out jogging one day.


  1. JessB 2 years ago

    Groan, the dishes! I hate doing dishes, and always leave them as long as possible before rolling up my sleeves and attacking the piles like a whirlwind.
    I love the idea of de-canting things from their paper containers though, and do this regularly with things like flour and sugar. In my last house, we had pantry moths a couple of times and the only way to properly get rid of the horrid things was to get everything into glass or plastic containers and remove all of the paper boxes, etc.

  2. Erika 2 years ago

    Oils break down with sunlight and heat, so I decant them into smaller dark bottles and keep them on a small timber board near the stove, together with the balsamic, Tabasco and chipotle, which means my basics are to hand. I already do most of these things you’ve listed… The hard part for me is bench space, as it’s a small galley kitchen, I’ve my full batterie de cuisine (which can be quite different to the next person’s), all the usual china and glassware, plus all the foodstuffs. And cookbooks. I’ve done a fair bit of culling, but keeping enough bench space clear is the hard one. I recently got rid of my lovely wooden knife block and went to a magnetic strip under the cup cupboard next to the stove, got me back a bit of bench space, but also made that corner look a lot less crowded. The window ledge is full of jars and jugs with different implements (Must Have Wooden Spoons), and I fully endorse narrow shelves where the bench meets the walls, lots of space for jars of tea, salt pig, pepper grinders, etc. Knock them up from pine and paint to blend in. Or be brave and mount them on angle brackets, again, painted to blend in.

    What I do miss from my old home (along with the extras bench space I had), is the rail I used to dry herbs on.

    The biggest trick to keeping a neat kitchen in washing up as you go (aka don’t let it pule up), and putting away the shopping as soon as you get it inside. which means I should go do the washing up now….

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      We’re twins! I have a magnetic strip too! And we have an open pantry that’s stacked fruit boxes.

      • Erika 2 years ago

        Our one bit of open shelving is part of an ex-govvie bookcase. Bottom shelf has records, next one up is the dog rugs and first aid, then the stereo and top shelf has all the pastas, beans, flours, sugars, etc, all in labelled glass jars…..

  3. tinawheeze 2 years ago

    Moving into a house with a dishwasher has been the best thing ever for making my kitchen tidy. Even better is it’s one of those split drawer ones so you can put on half-loads.

    Also – FINK! Love love love their stuff. I bought one of their jugs in their annual seconds sale (it has a teeny ding in the bottom) and it’s probably my favourite kitchen thing.

    • Author
      Smaggle 2 years ago

      Fink is THE BEST! When I’m rich all my things will be fink. Also, I just couldn’t even live without a dishwasher. That sounds so princessy but it’s the truth!

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