I thought that since I’m cooking a little more at home these days, and my kitchen is, umm, challenging, which I’m bound to whine about every now and then, I’d take you on a little tour! Could be fun, right? I kind of enjoy getting a glimpse inside of people’s homes and so I thought I’d give you a little glimpse of part of mine.
Here is the view from the doorway of the kitchen. I live in a small downtown apartment but I do have a full kitchen so I should consider myself lucky for that.
And I do! Except for…well, you’ll see.
Just inside the doorway to the left is my sink and countertop. Don’t you love the mint green tile with the black cap? It’s so 50’s.
Except that I don’t know how any Suzie Homemaker in the 50’s could have made her family a pot roast dinner with roughly 4 square feet of counter space. Maybe it’s just me, but I can’t see it.
To try and make up for my complete lack of counter space, I bought this butcher block kitchen cart at IKEA and put it next to the window. It’s one of the best purchases I’ve made in a long time! The extra space is really handy and it has a couple of shelves for extra storage.
Since this is where I take nearly all of my food photographs (the window behind the cart if the only source of natural light in the kitchen) I put my placemat collection on the first shelf and my stepstool, for those overhead shots, on the bottom shelf.
The other really funky, pet-peevy thing about my counter area is a complete lack of electrical outlets. Take another look at the first picture of the sink area…not an outlet in sight.
Kind of makes it tough to plug anything in. Like a blender. Or a mixer. Or like, a toaster.
You know, details…So where are the outlets, anyway…?
Over there! Halfway down the wall, by my table/desk. So, naturally, whenever you need to plug something in, you need an extension cord.
It’s not the end of the world, but it is pretty inconvenient and messy. Not to fear, though! Things start to get better as we make our way around the room.
Here is my table/desk area. There is enough space in the corner to have a small table and a couple of chairs. I usually eat in the living room in front of the television, but sit at the kitchen table to work and blog. Go figure.
On the opposite wall from the table, I have a small pantry area and the fridge. Or should we say the leaning tower of fridge, microwave and slow cooker? With the obvious lack of counter space and therefore a somewhat deficient amount of cabinet space, as I’ll show you in a moment, you have to be creative with making space.
The pantry area to the left is great—the drawers are about 2-1/2 feet square inside—but they aren’t on rollers. It’s just wood sliding on wood, and they get really heavy and hard to pull out and push in when you load them up. It’s unfortunate because you could store a ton of stuff in there if the drawers were on rollers and easy to access! I still make it work as best I can.
Here is a great example of how I’ve maximized space in my kitchen…this hanging pot rack. I bought this at IKEA when I first moved in to this apartment 3 years ago. I hang all of my pots and pans and a lot of my kitchen utensils here for easy access. If you don’t have a ton of cabinet space, I would highly recommend this solution!
Also to the right of the stove, I have a set of tall, narrow shelves for all of my jars and spices, and also a few cookbooks. Again, for easy access and lack of cabinet space, these shelves work really well. I also like having my jars full of dry goods out where I can see them so I know what I have handy and also so I don’t forget about things. I won’t use my quinoa if it’s tucked away where I don’t ever see it.
PS. Those shelves aren’t anchored to the wall, and they really should be. If I’m ever standing at the stove cooking and the big one hits—the big earthquake I mean, this is California after all—they may find me bloodied and buried under a hundred broken jars of beans and lentils. If that happens, I want you to know that I love you all and it’s been fun.
How about we move on to a less morbid idea—the rest of my cabinet space!
Under the sink, I keep my cleaning supplies, garbage bags, etc. I think that’s pretty standard. Then I have three drawers in which to keep everything else.
The top drawer is my silverware and measuring cups and spoons, since I use them every day and I hate digging around trying to find the right one. I also love that yellow bristle brush for scrubbing things like carrots and potatoes, and those little glass ramekins for salad dressing.
In the second drawer, I keep all of my kitchen utensils. I hate to keep complaining, but here is my challenge with this drawer—like the pantry drawers, these drawers are not on rollers. While a small drawer of silverware and measuring cups isn’t anywhere near heavy, it still produces a fine sawdust as I pull and push the drawer back and forth a dozen times a day.
And everything in my kitchen utensil drawer gets covered in a fine layer of sawdust.
See my blender lid? Yeah, haven’t used that in a while. But you can see that every time I need to use something out of this drawer, I have to rinse the sawdust off of it first.
In the bottom drawer, I keep an abundance of dish towels. And my before mentioned extension cord.
I do have a cabinet under the kitchen counter where I keep my blender, food processor and mixing bowls.
And then here is the cabinet, above the counter top, where I keep my rapidly growing dish collection…God forbid I ever hos a dinner party, because I barely have two dishes that match each other! I guess that’s what happens when you’re cooking for one most of the time and you want some variety in your food photos!
Looking at this photo makes me laugh…you’d think I was a college kid who inherited a bunch of mish-mash, garage sale dishes! Haha…
Here is the final cabinet. A high cabinet above the kitchen sink, where even I need a stepstool to get anything down off of the top shelf. I keep the grill plates for my George Foreman grill, my colander and salad spinner, saran wraps and foils etc. here.
Whew! That was kind of a long tour for such a small kitchen. I hope you weren’t too bored…and the next time I whine about having no counter space and no plugs, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about!
Someday I’ll have a large, gorgeous kitchen—and after teaching myself to cook in this funky little setup, I’ll be able to appreciate it all the more.
How about you? Do you love your kitchen or is it funky like mine? What’s your #1 kitchen pet peeve? (I obviously have like 10!)