Lessons from a tiny kitchen


On the heels of my recent post about wanting less, wouldn't you know that here I am writing about buying something.

Like many apartments before, mine comes with its own set of quirks. There are the weird sconces in the bedroom that void any reasonable furniture arrangements, the bathroom that has no storage space and too many towel racks, and the tiny kitchen has only two 18 x 24" rectangles of counter space. There's no doubt that my space is small. There is certainly plenty of room for me here, but in such a small space I can't help but be a little more selective about what I buy.  

Does it fit? Is it worth the space it takes up? Is it multifunctional? Does it solve a need? Will I use it for years to come? Everything must pass the test. 

While I realized pretty quickly that the lack of counter space kitchen was going to be an issue, it took me much longer to come up with a solution. I wanted to find a work table that could be used beyond the kitchen, for that someday when my kitchen has just enough counter space. I wanted something that I enjoyed looking at and made my space more beautiful, but also something that wasn't going to fall apart.

I mulled over the decision for so long, several months actually. I found something I liked, but was it too much? Could I find something better for less? I kept my eyes peeled at antique stores, and second hand shops. I even found this tutorial, which I may have used if I had any skills or space to build stuff at all (why hello, tiny apartment). I ended up landing on this shelf, which isn't actually for kitchens at all, but passed on all other accounts. It was just the right height for chopping and mixing, and just wide enough to fit my kitchen aid that had been sitting in a closet for over a year. 


Annoying as my situation was, I'm glad it was something I could take my time with. I've found that by waiting until I've found something just right before making any purchases, I end up with a space that makes me happy and feel good knowing that I've spent my hard-earned-cash intentionally. I think it's so important for me to mention that I do think that function trumps form, but if you can wait until you can afford something that you really enjoy, you end with less regret, less money wasted, and beautiful space. 

To celebrate, I made a coffee cake in the kitchen not made for baking and the stand that made it possible. It's from this recipe by the ever-reliable Smitten Kitchen. Cheers!