I get this question a lot… “Your kitchen looks so tiny, how do you work in there??” (or something like it). Well, that’s exactly what I wondered when we bought this house 9 years ago! The short answer is, very creatively.
Our house was built in 1910 and boasts a whopping 1800 square feet! It has 5 bedrooms and two bathrooms plus a full basement. It sort of feels like living in a dollhouse at times because all the rooms are tiny scale compared to modern homes. That is especially true for the kitchen! The saving grace is the full pantry…
The woman who designed this house (Lucy Whiteaker) designed three homes in our neighborhood and used them as rental properties. But this is the house she lived in. And you can tell she was a woman who liked to cook. There is storage for DAYS compared to a normal home of this vintage. We are very lucky that none of the previous owner got creative and updated the beautiful cabinetry or woodwork.
I have only made a few updates myself over the years. So here’s how it all works…
The #1 key to making this kitchen work is all the STORAGE. Dozens of cabinets that go all the way to the top of out 12 foot ceilings. Using that height for the pot rack and art work (local artist Jennifer Lommers, in case you were wondering).
The #2 key is EDITING. I don’t have enough room to stash a lot of stuff so nothing is allowed in here that isn’t used. In fact! we call our utensil drawers “most used”, “frequently used,” and “infrequently used” – not the best system when someone else is unloading the dishwasher, but you can guess which one is the smallest (and farthest away from the action)!
The #3 key is CLEAN-UP. There is simply not enough counter space for any crap to stack up. When there are dirty dishes, they have to be put in the dishwasher asap. If you have made dinner, wipe that sh** down before you settle in for the Harry Potter marathon. It has taken us a while to hone and stick with that system – especially now that the kids are learning to cook! – and we don’t always nail it, but that’s how *I* make it work in my tiny Indy Kitchen.
PS. Here’s a list of cool things you can’t see in the pictures above (I’ll try to snap a few pics later and add them in:
- The cupboard next to the sink is a junk drawer & very full kids snack drawer. It’s where we store the rubberbands, jar lids, chip bags, and twinkies.
- The tall blue cupboards to the right of the stove hold all my baking pans and supplies. Also paper towels and the iron.
- The tippy top cabinets in the pantry are almost completely empty because I can’t reach any of them – lol!
- I keep large pitchers, vases and our router in the wood cabinet over the stove/micro. Ancient cabinets aren’t deep enough for many of them.
- We used to have a kitchen table in the space between the stove and the back door, but a few years ago I found an up-cycled mid-century dresser that I LOVED for that spot. I added a stained/sealed top that extends over the back side to create a deep workspace/cat bed and a long narrow storage area behind it.
- We also have a full fridge and freezer downstairs in the basement. They were left over from the Art Farm kitchen and do come in very handy. Down there is also a janky workspace/storage area for canned goods and other AFO throw-back stuff like wine and cheese making.
- The laundry/mud room is just outside the kitchen. It’s like a hallway I shoved the washer and dryer into. Not ideal, but better than having it in the basement!
- My mom recently got me an air fryer and I almost freaked out because there is so little room in my pantry. I only recently added a rice maker, waffle maker, and slow cooker. Before all I had was a small toaster, large Kitchen-Aid mixer and an Air popper. It’s darn crowded in there now but I must say… the air fryer is AWESOME!