Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A Tiny Kitchen Workhorse

Have you noticed that it's the tiniest annoyances that can bother you the most? Take, for example, a teeny snag on your thumbnail. Or a small chip in the polish of a freshly pedicured toe. Or a zit on the chin of a bride on her wedding day. I could go on and on.

I've noticed that our kitchen has worked great for us, except for a few tiny chin zits. Ha.

This is the entrance to the kitchen, which is visible from the front door. Our kitchen is a fairly small galley-style kitchen. It doesn't feel confined because the back of the kitchen has 10 foot windows that provide plenty of natural light, and the left side of the kitchen opens to the living room. Glass front cabinets allow light to travel between the rooms and help it feel open.

This is the left side of the kitchen, open to the living room.

Right side of the kitchen.

You can see the area above the cabinets that still needs to be painted sage.
The general lay-out of the kitchen is great, with a work triangle of stove, sink, dishwasher. The things that aren't working for us were easy to fix.

I realized that the reason I dread unloading the dishwasher (aside from any general laziness) is because the dishes we use most were stored all over the kitchen, which meant that unloading took way too long. Glasses went in upper cabinets to the right of the dishwasher, plates were in an upper cabinet to the left of the sink. The colander, bowls, and silicone ice cube trays I use to make William's food went in their own drawer. So I rearranged a few things and put all of the dishes and bowls we use on a daily basis in the cupboard right next to the dishwasher. The drawers pull out, so everything is easy to grab quickly.

It turns out that this tiny change really did save time. It takes less than 2 minutes for me to unload the dishwasher now, but the true timesaver is that I don't put off unloading the dishwasher all morning while new dirty dishes pile up on the sink and countertops.

Before, with a cluttered lazy susan that takes up too much space, and a blender as far away from the fridge as it can be.


The other tiny change with a huge impact was rearranging the lazy susan of spices and cooking utensils we keep on the countertop so that their location makes more sense for how we cook. We are smoothie people; even William slurps one down on a daily basis. Moving the blender right next to the fridge lets us pour in the soy milk and frozen fruit before the freezer door has even closed again, which means I don't have to lug all of the ingredients to the tiny counter on the left of the stove before blending. We moved the spices from the lazy susan into the spice cupboard (novel concept, I know).

The eat-in kitchen area is a little awkward for us. Our round table seats the three of us perfectly, even though we almost always use the dining table to eat. I imagine this area being a banquette with big cushy throw pillows (made of outdoor fabric) and a soft place to land at the end of a long day. This would be the ideal place for William to work on homework or his little brother/sister to color while I'm in the kitchen. We're still thinking of exactly what we need to get out of this area before we commit to a building plan, but we definitely plan on having it built before the arrival of baby two.

Our kitchen is small, but it's proof that a small space can work just as well as a large one. I prepare our meals in this kitchen every day and love doing it because it blends so well with the rest of our home. Despite being the smallest room in our house, this is definitely the heart of our house.

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