A few months ago I took you on a photo tour of our 600 square foot cabin in Alabama. Today I’d like to invite you back inside for a more in-depth look at our tiny kitchen…and how we make it work!
Eric and I both love cooking (I even wrote a cookbook!) so having a small kitchen requires creativity and patience. I can tell you right now that we’d have a lot less of both if we hadn’t first done some hardcore simplifying!
If you have a small kitchen that’s also a cluttered kitchen, you are going to go insane. So respect your mental faculties and simplify your stuff before you try to make do with a tiny space.
I’ve written a lot about simple living here on the blog, but the kitchen editions will have to wait until my book comes out! In the meantime, you can get a taste of the results of our kitchen simplifying spree by checking out this photo tour.
Disclaimer: The lighting in our cabin is not the best, so please excuse the “meh” quality of the following images.
If our kitchen was closed in, it would probably be miserable! Thankfully, the kitchen opens up to the rest of the cabin so the cook can interact with anyone hanging out on the couch or at the table. By the way, that’s our adorable cat Sophie who likes to chillax with us when we cook!
Here’s a close-up shot of the main wall of our kitchen. I’m going to start on the right and take you around the room …
To the right of the stove, we have a shallow built-in shelf that’s perfect for displaying mugs and glassware. We used hooks to add an extra row of mugs above the top shelf. I store my beans, lentils, chickpeas, teabags, etc. in vintage blue Ball jars for a little style infusion(: Bulky rice and potatoes go on the floor at the bottom.
Here’s the stove, as you work your way counter-clockwise around the room. The oven is small, but so far very accommodating to our baking needs. We keep the kettle out 24/7, since there’s really no other place to put it! Above the stove is a magnetic knife rack (you can purchase one online). These are the only knives we own. You don’t need many–a serrated bread knife, a Santoku, and a sharp paring knife are the essentials. We used nails in the wall to hang up our frying pans.
Our main kitchen storage space is below the sink. We have a narrow shelf where we keep our silverware divider (our kitchen has zero drawers!) and other miscellaneous items. Below that we keep the trashcan and bulkier or oddly-shaped kitchen items. I purchased a sturdy, high-sided plastic box to store parchment paper, aluminium foil, and other kitchen disposables.
To the right we have two deep cabinets that run all the way back to the wall. These are great for stacking glass baking/leftovers dishes on the bottom, and tall cutting boards and cookie sheets on the top. I keep a few glass jars in the very back, since I don’t need those as often.
This is our kitchen counter! It’s deep enough that I can scooch a few appliances to the back. The glass utensil crock is a must (again, no kitchen drawers!!). We hang measuring cups from a nail in the window frame, and our kitchen towel is on a cute turtle hook on the wall.
The overhead storage is for lightweight appliances, dishes, glasses, mixing bowls, etc. I store the lids for our leftovers containers in a plastic basket that’s easy to pull down. Plates and saucers are stacked on a shelf organizer to save space. (We got one similar to this at Wal-Mart). We also chose Corelle for our everyday dishes–not only are they durable and lightweight, but they don’t take up much space!
We keep a basket on one shelf to coral small kitchen gadgets that don’t fit in the utensil crock. It acts as a make-shift drawer!
To the left of the counter is the back door to our cabin, and a tall plastic shelf that serves as our pantry! My sister helped me organize it with baskets and boxes to keep it contained. And I love using these pretty blue Ball jars to keep baking soda, salt, cornstarch, etc. The uniform sizes bring order, and the wide-mouth of the jars is better for scooping out what you need. Plus, the jar protects the contents if you set it down on a wet counter (it would be a problem if they were still in their cardboard!). I write the contents on a piece of tape on the lid of each. The microwave goes on top of our small fridge–there’s certainly no room on the counter!
We’ve come full circle around the space now! To the left of the fridge is a free-standing shelf. We use the counter top for extra food-prep space, and store our pots and wok on the shelves beneath. Hooks on the side provide a spot for hanging oven mitts, trivets, and a bag for recyclables. My apron and a cloth shopping bag hang on the post to the left.
Our small kitchen has its quirks, but we make it work quite nicely! I’ve found that you can grow accustomed to pretty much any space after you’ve lived in it for a couple of weeks. As long as we keep things simple (and try our best to stay on top of the dishes!) there’s nothing we can’t cook up in this little space!
Update 6/2/2016: We no longer live in this cabin. ): The good news is, Meadow Lake Cabin is now open for anyone to stay in, whether you want a getaway vacation or you’re just passing through Alabama. You can find the cabin listed on Airbnb. The folks who rent it out are very nice. In fact, they’re my parents(:
Meadow Lake Cabin is located in Chelsea, Alabama. Search Airbnb by city and state and you’ll find it! The Listing ID is 13055845.
Want to see how other cooks make a small kitchen work? Check out these other tiny kitchen tours:
- AlinaJoy at GoodOldDaysFarm.com shares how she juggles cooking, eating, homeschooling and long term food storage in a small 1930’s farmhouse kitchen.
- Danielle from More Than Four Walls shares how she continues their real food philosophy while living in a camper.
- Katie Mae at Nourishing Simplicity gives you a tour of her make-shift kitchen in Mexico.
- Jennifer from GrowingUpTriplets.com shares a video of how she manages real food prep.
- Rachel at Mason Jar Values shows how you can make a kitchen work as big as it seems…even if it’s not!
Do you want lots more simple living ideas? Check out my brand new book! Your Simple Home Handbook is a 100+ page guide to decluttering your home and simplifying your stuff. Work through 30 different areas of your home–at your own pace–and enjoy the benefits of a space that breathes! Click here to learn about my book!