04 September 2011

Another valiant attempt to stay organized in a terribly designed rental kitchen

Our rental kitchen is tiny, about 6' by 10'.  But I know from obsessively reading Apartment Therapy that small kitchens can be awesome when used wisely.  For two young people living on a tight budget, six by ten should be plenty.

Somebody else's well-designed tiny kitchen.  Our kitchen was not so lucky.  I want one of those magnetic knife thingies, btw.
Our kitchen, unfortunately, was not used wisely.  It's basically just a box, with our front door at one of the narrow ends, and a door into the living area in the middle of one of the long walls.  Plenty of room to build cabinets and a counter along the long wall, perhaps even a little wrap around counter with a range and oven built in.  An under-counter fridge would maximize the space, but I know I'm dreaming there.  The ceilings are very high, so there is plenty of room to build big cabinets just about everywhere.

Another well designed tiny kitchen that is not mine, from Apartment Therapy.  We have enough room for cheap-o cabinets like these!  Why didn't you put them in!!??
But instead, the "designer" of this kitchen chose a less traveled route, choosing to install one counter-top along the narrow wall of the kitchen.  Beneath this counter-top are the three most awkward cabinet spaces ever, each awkwardly fitted with shelves that don't fit the space.  That's right, some of them don't even hit the back wall of the cabinet, leaving a convenient six inch gap at the back of the cabinet for pots and pans to fall through.
The Bermuda cabinet gap.  Pot lids have no defenses.

And then instead of building in cabinets above the tiny counter, as in the picture above, this mysterious "designer" chose to install a single large cabinet on the wall to the LEFT of the counter-top, making EVERYTHING difficult to get to, even stuff on the bottom shelf.  Then over the sink he or she chose two  narrow open shelves of different sizes.
Why would anyone build a cabinet here????

And I know that an under-counter fridge is dreaming, but was this GIANT of a creature really necessary?

I could go on about the stupidity of our kitchen, but needless to say we've been up against some organization challenges.  I've tried to fill the open shelving with our prettiest, most colorful dishes.  And because we only have two tiny drawers in the entire kitchen, I hang as many things as possible, and keep silverware out on the counter-top in some ceramic holders we got at Ross.

I like that they have a little picture of the utensil on them, so it looks like I'm keeping utensils on the counter on purpose because I'm so proud of them.
Before I hung this spice rack, I used to keep all the spices in a pile on the counter.  Craziness,!
In the past few days we have further improved the kitchen. In order to stop things from falling through the crazy gap, I bought a giant drawer from the clearance area of the Container Store to "contain" everything on the shelf.

Try getting to my pot lids now, evil gap!
Since we recently got a free coffee maker from a hotel that closed in town, and a gigantic toaster that takes up half the counter, I got rid of the tea and picnic supplies I used to keep on the counter, and relocated them to one of the cabinets.  We also hung a wine glass rack to hang the glasses we got for free after a wine tasting with my family a few weeks ago.  I think it's about time I stop drinking wine out of jars.

Sometimes I think the toaster and the fridge intimidate the tiny little coffee maker and the tiny little stove .  Appliance bullies.

We also built a pot rack from some cut redwood saplings.  I have yet to find the right solution to hang our pots and pans from it (no S hooks big enough at the hardware store, and these tie hangers are too big to fit through the loops of all but this saucepan).  Building the pot rack was a post all of its own, so I'll save that for another time.

Anyhow, it was another valiant attempt to tame the worst designed kitchen in the West (they should give out a prize for that) with zero budget.


Craig Faustus Buck said...

Keeps getting better and better. You guys are almost ready to live on a boat. Try Ikea for S hooks.

Karina said...

Even though it was designed by a clueless non-cooking handy-man, it looks adorable. (At least they put in the red formica.) Cudos to you and Chris for making the best out of the situation!

zbuck said...

My problem with living on a boat isn't the galley...it's where the stuff prepared in the galley inevitably ends up (if you don't get my euphemism, it ends up being thrown up by me out of the side of the boat).