I have always been very lucky to have nice large kitchens. ALWAYS. It’s pretty much a priority for me. Until now. Now I’m trying to fit into a very small kitchen in our Washington, DC apartment and it has been a bit of a challenge. I thought you might enjoy a peek inside and see how I’m making a small kitchen work.
But first, just so you can feel my pain and see where I’m coming from I thought I’d share a few photos of a couple totally awesome kitchens I’ve had. Several years ago we lived in Richmond, Virginia and was lucky to enjoy this beautiful kitchen for 3 years.
Then we moved to San Diego and I was even luckier to have this fantastic kitchen to work in. The side of the kitchen this picture is taken in had a huge refrigerator and a butler’s pantry. Through the door by the wall was the laundry room and walk in pantry with cabinets for storage and an ice maker too!
Then we moved to Pennsylvania and I got an equally as nice big kitchen like the other two! In fact, it had the biggest island yet, with a prep sink, and another large island separating the kitchen from the breakfast room. The two islands were fantastic for entertaining. It also had a wet bar with a sink and ice maker (that’s where I came up with so many of my Martini Madness cocktails). And, to top it off, it also had a big secondary prep space/laundry room/storage room! I wish I had some decent photos to show you…they’re lost on my hard drive somewhere and I can’t find any 🙁
Then we moved, again. First to New York City for a couple months so that didn’t really count. Now we’re settled for the next year in a decent sized apartment in Washington, DC right next to the zoo. I love the location. I love living in the city being able to walk to shops and restaurants. The building is beautiful. The only thing not really working for me is the kitchen. It’s a small, closed in kitchen. BIG, BIG change from what I’m use to. It’s challenging, but I’m making it work.
The kitchen is a small galley style kitchen with the stove and refrigerator on the left…
Since I do all my prep work near the sink I’ve kept my awesome cutting board on the counter and try to keep the rest of it clear, except for the mandatory coffee maker! I hung an over the door towel rack on the lower cabinet door for convenience (oops forgot the towel in this picture). The hardest thing for me to get use to is not the lack of space, but the lack of a window and having the kitchen open up to the living space. I feel like I’m cooking in a closet. I needed a little reflection so I put up some square mirrors I bought at Ikea over the sink.
Obviously, with such a small kitchen, there’s not an abundance drawers and cabinets. I have two nice sized drawers under the oven that I keep my baking sheets, etc., in one, and foil, plastic wrap, etc., in the other. I have exactly four small drawers for everything else and they’re shallow and don’t hold much, let alone big utensils. My solution? I used some glass canisters I had and put them on the counter. I know it eats up precious counter space, but it’s a necessary evil.
I also have this odd, shallow, open shelving which my neighbor uses as a wine rack. I needed more storage so I bought some wire baskets at the Container Store that fit pretty well and now corral my measuring cups and odd shape cooking essentials (and more spices!).
Well that’s about all there is to show you. I sure am glad I downsized A LOT before I moved. One thing I’ve learned through the process is how much “crap” I don’t really need. It feels really good to be “lighter”.
Do you have a small kitchen? If so, what are some of the tricks you’ve learned to manage in a small space?