A closer look: Lucky Linden's Kitchen
Kitchens. It's a big deal, I know. And tiny house kitchens get a lot of attention, because, you know, it's the heart of the home - but in this case, a tiny heart! I'm in love with our kitchen, and since we have been using it for about three months I can share what works, what doesn't, and what I would change if I were to do it over.
Our kitchen isn't that small relative to the size of our house. The breakdown of where we spent our space budget looks something like this: The overall house is 20' long by 6'6" wide on the inside. Our porch takes up 35" of length, or roughly 12% of our available downstairs area. Our living area is 96" in length, or roughly 40% of the house. The bathroom is about 10%. And the kitchen is 38%. I think this is a decent breakdown, and it reflects the time we spend in each of those areas pretty well (maybe excluding the porch - we don't spend 12% of our day there, but it's so worth it aesthetically!). Given that we spend a good chunk of our at-home time preparing, cooking, and cleaning up from meals, I'm very happy with how our kitchen is laid out. It's an L-shape, which gives us two benefits over a straight run of counter top. First, there's less "walkway" space, because you can stand in the crook of the L shape and reach almost everything in the kitchen. Second, the leg of the L that isn't against the wall is also our eating counter from the living room side, so we have dual function use of that area.
The main work area of the kitchen is right here, and I end up standing right in front of the sink more often than not. Our cutting board fits perfectly between the cook top and the sink, which is super convenient, and it also fits on ledges of the sink so I can increase the surface area over here. We decided to go with a 3 burner cook top (made by Suburban, and almost identical to one made by Atwood) because we don't bake very often. We enjoy baked goods, don't get me wrong.... But it was an item that we thought we could do without. For practice, we stopped using our oven for 3 months in our previous apartment. We found that often what we wanted to bake was easily adjusted to be done in a crock pot instead. Including desserts and baked potatoes!
Upper cabinets just didn't make sense given the size of the area and that the window behind the sink takes up quite a bit of wall space, so we used hanging bars and hooks by IKEA. These are the from the Fintorp series, and we have the Fintorp dish drainer as well. I love having everything visible and close by - the pots and pans are out of the way and easily accessible, and every utensil that we have that can be hung up is on the left!
I've already talked about our Spice Rack in another post - DIY your own and save $$$! I love that ours is right on the ceiling, within easy reach when I am standing at the cook top. My wine glasses also live on the ceiling using a holder like this one. It's working great because I have it positioned over the sink, so we can just wash the wine glasses and hang them right up, so they drip in the sink to dry. I am thinking about upgrading to a slightly different rack that also holds wine bottles, but that's a future project. For now we're really happy to have these delicate items in their own space and up out of the way!
While I'm talking about using ceiling space, this set of baskets has been amazing. It gets all of our fresh fruit and veggies off the counter, and I've even started using it for loaves of bread and chips that I don't want to get crushed in our pantry space. You'll notice the one I linked to has three baskets, but we only use two. The third one made it hang too low, so I just unclipped the smallest basket at the top and we only use the two larger ones.
Our plates live in the dish drainer, along with our camp-style toaster and the biggest pot lid. Originally I was going to hang this on the wall somewhere, but we moved in and just started using it to the right of the sink, so here it lives. Our four plates don't take up much room so the front part is used for temporarily placing wet dishes until they get put away. The metal pan at the bottom catches drips and keeps our wood counter top dry! We only have four plates because that's all we need. Honestly we could probably get rid of the two smaller ones and just use the dinner plates, but these are part of our wedding fine china set and I like having them out. The dinner plates are Queen Victoria pattern from my great-aunt, and the accent salad plates are by Noritake. I love using our fine china as everyday dishes, which feels very luxurious!
I love our faucet. And our sink. But the faucet really makes the sink a dream to use. I had never had a pull down sprayer until we moved into our 338 sf studio apartment here in Salt Lake City. And now I don't think I'm ever going back! I shopped long and hard until I found this faucet by Pfister, called the Cagney. It's black, which I love because most of my accent hardware in the Lucky Linden is black. It has two different spray patterns, and a weight so it automatically retracts into the neck. It's sleek and low profile, and easy to clean because the handle doesn't have lots of nooks and crannies or anything.
Our cabinets are all self-assembled from IKEA. I chose a beadboard drawer and door front, because it mimics the wainscot that is on the lower part of the walls in the rest of the house. The IKEA cabinet system is called Sektion, where the frames and the hardware are all the same and then you choose the door style separately. I really love these cabinets, because they all have soft-close hardware (yes, sometimes I open and close the drawers just for fun, even now).
The drawers hold silverware, dish towels and a pot holder, lids for our glass pyrex storage containers, and our toothbrushes and toothpaste. Yeah, I know one of those things is not like the other! But we don't have a bathroom sink, so we need to store our toothbrushes somewhere close to the kitchen sink. I thought it would be weird to brush my teeth in the kitchen, but really it's just fine.
The lower cabinets under the drawers are the worst part of our kitchen. I just haven't found a good way to organize it yet, so we have our larger pot and crock pot stored with a bunch of pantry items. Our pyrex food storage bowls also live down here, and they do double duty as our eating bowls. We just didn't see the point of having bowls specifically for eating and bowls specifically for storage! Under our sink is a larger cabinet that holds the trash bin, cleaning supplies, and my stash of liquor (hehe). Dan really likes having moscow mules, so we usually have some rum and vodka on hand. And we both love having a bit of Bailey's in our coffee on the weekends.
The last area of our kitchen is the refrigerator and the very skinny cabinet next to it, on the left. The skinny cabinet is just 12" wide but 24" deep! I modified the interior of the cabinet to hold some skinny wire bins on rails, which help us use this deep space more effectively. Without the drawers, we would have to pull out everything in front to get to something in the back. Our refrigerator is an under counter one, made to fit below a standard counter top height. I knew it was going to be an adjustment going from a full size fridge and freezer to just a little guy, so Dan and I talked extensively on whether we needed a freezer. In the end, we went without, so this unit is all fridge. This saves us the space otherwise devoted to the freezer function in these tiny fridges, and saves energy. We have adjusted to shopping more frequently so we don't store food in advance. Thus far I have gone to the grocery store every day or every other day since we moved in to the tiny house. I don't mind, because it's just a one-bag kind of trip, not a massive shopping cart full of food. I'm a poor meal planner anyway, and shopping so close to when I cook the food has helped me not be so wasteful and I am getting better at only buying what we need for the next day or two. It's a more European way of eating and shopping, and I really like it because more of our meals are fresh.
And that's our entire kitchen! What do you think? Could you cook in a kitchen this small? What about that refrigerator?!