05 July 2011

Kitchen Questions

I'm working my way through One Year to an Organized Life by Regina Leeds.  Part of the first section is devoted to helping me understand how I currently use my kitchen and how I would like to use it.  Here are my answers to selected questions posed in the text.

What do you like about your kitchen?
I like that there is plenty of storage space for my pots, pans, and baking supplies.  There is sufficient lighting and even a window overlooking the back yard.  My favorite part is probably the pantry.  I imagine it filled with self-canned, homemade, and real foods.  I like having a double sink and really hot water.  In general, the layout seems to work for us given the small space.  It's not like we could change that anyway!

What do you dislike about your kitchen?  
Pretty much everything else!  Unfortunately, most things can't be remedied since we rent this house:
  • Fridge/Freezer.  When we first moved into this house, we were excited about the side-by-side fridge/freezer with a water/ice dispenser.  Since then, we've realized that the ice maker and water dispenser never have worked and never will work.  Because there are no shelves in the freezer, only curved drawers, we can't even make our own ice in ice cube trays.  Instead we have to buy bagged ice from the store.  Also, the shelves/drawers are immovable on both halves.  This is particularly problematic on the fridge side; it's so hard to make everything fit!
  • Cabinets.  On first glance, the cabinets aren't that bad.  They're not my style, but aren't the end of the world.  I think it's annoying and pointless that the area between the top of the cabinets and the ceiling is closed off.  However, my biggest problem with them is the insides, which are unfinished!  We tried lining each shelf with contact paper, but it doesn't stick.  Any other ideas?  Splinters in my glasses and on our plates is unacceptable!
  • Counters.  After living in three rental properties, we've realized the utter lack of respect people have.  Do people not own cutting boards?  There's also not enough counter space, but I'm not convinced any kitchen would have enough counter space for me :)
Are there any cosmetic changes or tools you could introduce that would make the space work better?
We would really like to buy a small deep-freeze in order to preserve more foodstuffs throughout the year.  This would also provide a space to make our own ice.

We recently purchased a small cabinet for the bread and coffee machines, which freed up some counter space.  Hanging a mug rack above the coffee machine and storing items with the two machines in the cabinet would make this space even more functional.  I've recently started setting up the coffee maker in the evening and setting the timer so that coffee is already ready by the time I get up.  I may use a similar feature on the bread machine in the future.

The kitchen, and house in general, is not personalized.  We've been cautious of putting money into a rental property in the past, but since we're planning on being here for another 3-4 years, we are starting to consider making temporary cosmetic changes.  We don't plan on painting any walls, but are looking at hanging artwork and pictures, making curtains or valences, etc.  We want to be happy living in this space!

What we need is a simple, functional space.  Our kitchen is not there yet, but it's a work in progress.

What do you like/dislike about your kitchen?


  1. My kitchen is small and I don't have as much counter space as I'd like either. It also doesn't have enough storage space. I do like how my cabinets and counters look, but I would gladly exchange appearance for space.

    Have you tried laying down the thicker foamy cabinet liner? You could always sand them and put some poly on them but that would be a lot of work. Maybe a few coats of poly would smooth/ secure the splintery stuff enough to put contact paper down?

  2. I use the non-stick foamy shelf liners in my cabinets, too. If you want to try a new look for the cabinets, you could try removing the doors so you just have shelves to display your dishes and food and stuff. I'm thinking about doing that...

  3. Everyone I've talked to has suggested the non-stick foam liners, so we may have to try them. My mom used them in our camper growing up to keep things from moving around during transit, but I never thought of using them in a "real" home.

    I have considered taking the doors off all our cabinets, but I don't know where I'd store them. Any ideas? Also, doesn't that mean I'd have to dust the contents on a regular basis? Maybe I could replace them with a cheap see-through material instead?