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Thursday, October 24, 2013

Big Ideas for a Small Kitchen

There has been a lot of food and recipes on Domestic 360 as of late. And, lord knows, I love food, but I think its time to shake things up a bit.

A few months ago we moved from our first ever R&C together apartment and in to a new (to us) apartment. We had lived in one of those mega apartment complexes, the ones where you are referred to as your apartment number rather than your name. It was huge and had a pool, a gym, a parking garage, 7 residential buildings and absolutely no character or charm. Needless to say it was a rather impersonal experience. Aside from the neighbors we knew from church, we never spoke to anyone who lived around us. Save a few mumbled hello's spoken in passing or an occasional sorry-my-one-year-old-who-is-just-learning-to-walk-ran-into-your-leg-and-caused-you-to-drop-all-your-groceries look, there was no interaction between tenants. After three years we were ready for a change.

We moved into a lovely apartment on the top floor of a beautiful old Victorian home. We now live on an avenue lined with historic homes and chatty neighbors. This is the kind of neighborhood dreams are made of. Everyone knows everyone and everyone likes everyone. There are block parties when the street is shut down so the kids can ride their bikes on the road, there are pie baking competitions, and garden harvest sharing. Its ideal. Plus, our apartment has charm, as in trim and built-ins and funky old light fixtures!

The only downside to this new home of ours, is the kitchen is tiny! Its much smaller than our old kitchen. There is very little storage space and the laundry is smooshed into the already cramped space. I knew we were downsizing a little when it came to kitchen space, so I packed away most of my non-essentials, but I don't think I was prepared for how little space we would actually have.

We have about two feet (not exaggerating) of counter space, four drawers, three upper cabinets, and one lower cabinet that isn't under the sink. There just isn't enough storage for a family of four.

Time to pull out the creative storage solutions! We hit up The Container Store and got to work. Here is what we ended up with.
Fabulous Elfa drawer storage system from The Container Store acts as the pantry. This small addition took the awkward space between the washer and dryer and the wall and made it useful. This drawer system is what really makes this kitchen functional.

Spice racks from The Container Store with mega magnets (also The Container Store) are on the side of the fridge right above the stove for easy cooking access.

Shelves under the sink for foil, parchment paper, plastic baggies, etc... and a basket for plastic grocery bags hung on the cabinet door.

A plastic basket for under the sink cleaning supplies.

A paper towel bar on the wall, just freeing up a little more counter space. Its the little things that count!

This Polytherm Grid System (The Container Store) is awesome! You can really do whatever you want with it. I keep dishcloths, sponges, and an aloe plant on mine. I also keep bottles in one of the baskets. Its totally flexible because you can get all different sized shelves and baskets that just hook onto the grid, so you can move them all around. (Did I mention there's no dish washer.)

See? Its awesome!
(Make It Pretty Tip: Put your dish soap in a interesting pump container or an olive oil bottle instead of leaving it in the ugly plastic bottle. Mine is in an old hand soap bottle, the pump also makes washing dishes easier and faster.)

We have since gotten rid of our coffee pot in favor of a french press. Not only does it take up WAY less counter space, it looks prettier, and makes better coffee. Win, win, win!

These are just some stackable shelves I had in college that just add more storage .

Another spice rack (a gift from my aunt) and our super cute mail/key rack
(I feel like I should say the kitchen came this yellow color. It was not my choice.)

Amazingly enough, we ended up with more space than I was thinking we would have. I mean, I even have some empty cabinet space. Its incredible what a little creative organizing can do!

Believe it or not, I love my kitchen. Yes its tiny but, thanks to a little effort, it works beautifully.

I hope I have given you a little inspiration!

Do you have a tiny kitchen? What are some of the things you have done to make it work for you? Creative storage solutions? Leave a comment and let me know!



  1. I LOVE the container store!!! This all looks really good!- Can't wait to see it in person!

  2. You've definitely taken what many would consider the lemon of your new space and made it into a delicious lemonade. Your creativity and organizational skills pay dividends once again!