Food + Drink + HOUSE: Newburgh

Spice jars.

This is one of those things I’ve been meaning to do for years, literally—I finally got my spice situation organized! I bought three RATIONELL VARIERA spice racks from IKEA, mounted them inside of a kitchen cabinet door, and transferred my 18 most commonly used spices to them. And look, labels! I bought a 3-pack of Martha Stewart labels to make life easy (I had planned to design my own labels, but for some reason, graphic designers tend to be really lazy about designing things for their own homes/lives—I’m not sure why this is…), and it’s done. Bulk and seldom-used spices were moved to a tray in the pantry (with labels on the TOPS of the containers, because I am smart).

I can’t even tell you how much better this makes my life, seriously. For years I have been digging through shelves of spices; buying 3 duplicate tins of cumin because I thought I was out, neglecting to buy nutmeg because I was sure it was in there somewhere, etc. The hour or so it took to get this done was totally worth it.

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  • Reply Karen January 28, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    it looks so nice and neat! I should do this…. :^O

  • Reply Making it Lovely January 28, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    You just summed up all of my pregnancy cravings* in that bottom picture. YUM.

    *OK, chocolate would also need to be represented, but still.

  • Reply Tas-ka January 28, 2009 at 5:03 pm

    wow, love the little jars.

  • Reply Alta Marie January 28, 2009 at 5:15 pm

    This looks so wonderful and tidy, and so modern & sleek at the same time. It makes me want cumin seeds, and tidy handwriting…

  • Reply Karrey January 28, 2009 at 5:19 pm

    Love it. I need to do the same, but I’m going to wait until the new/old kitchen is installed.

  • Reply kate January 28, 2009 at 5:21 pm

    Looks great! You have great handwriting too…Mine looks like a third graders cursive. We have SO many spices in their orginal ugly plastic containers piled in our pantry, this motivates me to do something! Thanks.

  • Reply Amanda January 28, 2009 at 5:24 pm

    Ooh I want these too.

    I’m a graphic designer and totally agree with what you said about being lazy when it comes to our own things, I cant for the life of me work out why. I love designing and I take pride in my house but when it comes to putting the two together I just never get around to it. Maybe it feels too much like work. Hopefully I’ll change that habit now I’m a homeowner. We’ll see!

  • Reply mixette January 28, 2009 at 5:38 pm

    Love your handwriting on the labels.

    On a sad note, I just read that Domino is going out of business ***sob***. More than ever, I’ll now rely on my favorite house blogs such as yours.

  • Reply kristy January 28, 2009 at 5:39 pm

    Urgh I just had a fight with my spice drawer on the weekend. I am so over trying to find things and thinking I don’t have it and buying another jar. I have four jars of ginger! I so need to follow your example!

  • Reply Denise Smith January 28, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Does the door close well? It looks like your cabinet items are up to the front of the shelves. And were you afraid the screws would go through to the front of the door??

  • Reply Makayla January 28, 2009 at 6:19 pm

    You have lovely hand writing.

  • Reply joslyn January 28, 2009 at 6:20 pm


  • Reply robin January 28, 2009 at 6:28 pm

    How did you attach the shelf. I, too, am having a spices crisis? Also, I’m not too sad about Domino’s demise since bloggers like you give me much more useful information. Thanks and keep it coming!

  • Reply Michelle January 28, 2009 at 6:50 pm

    Love it!

  • Reply Sara January 28, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    What a fabulous idea. And frugal because bulk spices are so much cheaper than those in jars! I unfortunately have little baggies of bulk spices intermingled with mixed and matched jars of spices. I’m inspired! Thanks for the great idea.

  • Reply Anna at D16 January 28, 2009 at 7:33 pm

    Denise: The doors close just fine — I positioned the racks/jars so they don’t interfere with the shelf or frame at all. And no, I wasn’t worried about the screws, I just used ones that are shorter than the thickness of the door. The racks come with a piece that allows them to be attached to doors with thin center panels, but I didn’t need that.

    robin: The racks come with screw holes and are all ready to attach — it only took a couple of minutes, nothing hard. :)

  • Reply Regan January 28, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    The Virgo in me salutes you.

  • Reply Denise Smith January 28, 2009 at 7:58 pm

    Thanks for answering! Blogs are better than magazines any day…blogs can talk back!!

  • Reply trupeach January 28, 2009 at 8:01 pm

    i LOVE this, and so need to do it myself!

  • Reply euni January 28, 2009 at 8:17 pm

    Anna, you are my idol.

  • Reply Jessica January 28, 2009 at 8:18 pm

    Awesome! I’ve been looking for a spice solution, and this is a great idea!

  • Reply martha January 28, 2009 at 9:41 pm

    I am SO stealing this.
    and I’m going to send you a photo of my spice drawer.
    make sure you’re sitting down when you see it:)
    thank you!!!

  • Reply jennifer in sf January 28, 2009 at 9:49 pm

    I so need to do this. I have about 5-10 unknown spices that all look almost the same.

  • Reply Tarsier January 28, 2009 at 9:55 pm

    I am so doing this. Thanks for the inspiration!

  • Reply Designers' Brew January 28, 2009 at 10:04 pm

    doesn’t organization just give you the biggest feeling of accomplishment?

  • Reply Kat January 28, 2009 at 10:35 pm

    Thats rad… I have been having the same problem…Totally doing this to my mess of a cabinet. thanks!

  • Reply Benita January 29, 2009 at 2:30 am


  • Reply Catherine January 29, 2009 at 4:27 am

    Oh, they look great! IKEA open here in July and I’m already lusting after the FAKTUM/RATIONELL kitchen stuff. I’ll definitely be picking up a few of these.

  • Reply georgina January 29, 2009 at 7:26 am

    Its true!!!: “graphic designers tend to be really lazy about designing things for their own homes/lives”… jaja
    my spice jars are waiting the labels that “I have to design”

  • Reply barb blair/ knack studios January 29, 2009 at 7:57 am

    all the things you do to your house totally inspire me! I LOVE your taste and clean style. xoxo

  • Reply lesley January 29, 2009 at 7:58 am

    >for some reason, graphic designers tend to be really lazy about designing things for >their own homes/lives—I’m not sure why this is…

  • Reply lindsay January 29, 2009 at 8:07 am

    This serously inspires me to put a little extra thought into the unseen spaces in my home…first seeing your closet and now this! I just bought a dehydrator so I can dry my own herbs this summer when we have a garden. These spice racks are exactly what I need, and what a space saver it will be.

  • Reply MrsLimestone January 29, 2009 at 9:23 am

    Ive meaning to do this too but you are inspiring me to get my lazy ass in gear. I do admit, Im afraid of drilling holes into my cabinet doors.

    PS: So true about designing stuff for your own use. I have a lot of plans to do this and that but it rarely happens.

  • Reply jacklyn January 29, 2009 at 9:26 am

    this is so fantastic. it looks even better on the black cabinets too.

  • Reply Kelly January 29, 2009 at 9:55 am

    so lovely! i’m envious.


  • Reply Adam January 29, 2009 at 9:57 am

    Totally awesome!

  • Reply cuppy January 29, 2009 at 10:08 am

    NICE RACK !!!!

    (I had to!)


  • Reply Kasia January 29, 2009 at 1:22 pm

    Aww Shucks,
    My cabinets aren’t wide enough. I have very narrow and tall cabinets next to the stove. Do you think these will hang sideways without the jars coming out? And I don’t want to drill it into my tile backsplash, what to do?

  • Reply Eva January 29, 2009 at 1:24 pm

    love it! Great idea!

  • Reply Anna at D16 January 29, 2009 at 2:33 pm

    cuppy: Love you. xox

    Kasia: Unfortunately, no, I don’t think they would work hung sideways. :( What about using something like this, though? You could mount 3 or 4 of them vertically inside the door, maybe…

  • Reply TheUpstart January 29, 2009 at 10:47 pm

    I wanted the same thing, but I feared that my cabinet doors were too thin to support the racks (alas, now I know the crafty rack makers thought of this).

    I wound up painting 5 coats of paint that is made to be used with magnets on the inside of the door and sticking magnetic spice jars on it. So far, so good!

  • Reply Lori January 30, 2009 at 4:12 pm

    Ok, I have been keeping up with this site for a while now and have really, really liked it but when I saw the spice racks, I knew it was love. I mean, I think I heard angels sing! Love your organization tips and style. Here’s a toughie… How do I create your level of style and “home crispness” (love your colors and clean lines) with two small boys and a sixty pound dog? LOL Anyway, keep all the great pics coming! They are a bright spot in a dreary, cold winter!

  • Reply .amanda. February 1, 2009 at 9:44 am

    oh my goodness! I have had “buy spice rack” on my to do list for forever too!! I never seem to remember it whenever I go to Ikea or some place like that. My jars are such a mess! [and so unsightly]

    This has been very inspiring, maybe it will light a fire under me..

  • Reply julie @ coveiter February 4, 2009 at 11:06 am

    omgosh! i love love love this. i’ve never been a fan of spice racks. but this one. my! i love that it doesn’t take up space. i love that it’d actually make space! this is now on my must do list! thanks.

  • Reply hedwig February 5, 2009 at 4:18 pm

    oh thats awesome, been thinking of doing something like it myself. But, how did you put them up there? nailed?

  • Reply Anna at D16 February 5, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    hedwig, they’re just attached with short screws.

  • Reply arly February 8, 2009 at 12:46 pm

    Glitter jars!

  • Reply bah February 8, 2009 at 8:06 pm

    how do you remove the spices? does the entire jar (lid & jar) snap out? or does just the glass jar unsnap from the lid? it’s hard to tell from the photo.

  • Reply Anna at D16 February 9, 2009 at 1:18 pm

    No snapping involved, the jars (and caps, which have integrated shake/pour tops) lift right out of the racks. It’s a pretty simple operation!!

  • Reply Tony February 12, 2009 at 3:51 am

    Anna, a big question for you! Most of the spice racks I’ve found had jars that were smaller than the standard jars we buy at the store, so to use them I’d have to store the excess spice from a single jar somewhere other than in the jar on the spice rack, which pretty much negates the advantage of the rack!

    How about these jars, will they hold the entire contents of a standard 1-7/8″ x 4-1/8″ jar? Please tell me this is the solution I’ve been looking for!! :)

  • Reply Sara October 26, 2009 at 7:56 pm

    love this! truly inspiring. You are so right, it seems like a huge task, but once you do it, it saves you loads of hassle. Thanks for the references!

  • Reply Meghan Prestidge April 14, 2012 at 9:52 pm

    It looks great and I want to do it for my cabinets, but when I went onto the IKEA website and tried to look for them, they are not there. It’s exactly what I need to do to fit my spices which are out of control. When did you buy these racks? I searched and searched and came up empty handed on their website! Any ideas?

    • Reply Anna @ D16 April 14, 2012 at 11:39 pm

      Hi Meghan, this post is from more than three years ago.

  • Reply AC September 1, 2012 at 9:48 pm

    This is so wonderfully OCD I am swooning. Wonderful photographs, too.

  • Reply Fay Smith September 2, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    Love this idea and after looking at lots of spice storage it seems to be the best. Cannot find the items on Ikea, so will have to go back on the search again unless you can come up with any ideas??

    • Reply Caroline S October 19, 2012 at 8:44 pm

      Totally gutted – enquired in my local Ikea as I also bought some about 3 years ago for my (then) new kitchen; apparently these were discontinued in the UK about 18 months ago, and I SO wanted some for the kitchen in my new house.. What on EARTH were they thinking??! These racks were BRILLIANT!!!

  • Reply Ggrove April 21, 2014 at 7:12 pm

    I like the RATIONELL VARIERA spice racks very much but cannot find them on the Ikea webpage and cannot find where to buy them. Can you advise?

    • Reply Anna @ D16 April 21, 2014 at 11:12 pm

      I think they were discontinued quite a while ago, unfortunately.

  • Reply Samantha May 17, 2015 at 6:38 am

    It doesn’ t show on the IKEA site. Which IKEA did you purchase these? I live in Europe they don’t have them here either.

    • Reply Anna @ D16 May 20, 2015 at 3:20 pm

      Hi Samantha, this post is from 2009. These jars were discontinued a time ago, unfortunately.

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