Our house has a kitchen layout that's completely different from the one in our apartment: it's bigger, which is definitely a plus, but there are fewer walls, which makes furniture placement a bit trickier.
Remember when I covered the open shelving to keep Wilson from taking out bowls, pots, and pans? Well, our new kitchen has enough cabinet space to house all of that stuff (woohoo!). Now, this shelf is just for Wilson. From left to right, top to bottom: his placemat, napkin, eating utensils, cup, and dishes, towels to wipe up spills, and a bin for dirty dishes.
We started with this setup at the apartment, so it's familiar to Wilson and he knows where everything is kept. It's a slow and steady learning process. He needs quite a bit of modeling and support to set his table, wipe up spills, and clear the table when he's finished. Things get thrown on the floor, carried into other rooms, and the shelf looks nothing like this at the end of the day. Still, his growing independence and sense of empowerment are completely worth the effort!
PS. click here for some dreamy Montessori-inspired kitchens that have got me thinking about possibilities for our space.