The vibe: Open and orderly, simple and spacious. The cleaner and more organized my kitchen is, the happier I am.
The style: A mix of traditional and minimalist. Traditional decor is not my bag, but you get what you get in a rental! So, I tempered the traditional style with some modern elements like the dining area/workspace and spice jars.
The palette: Neutral; mostly gray. Admittedly, the wall color is one of the things I fell in love with when checking out this home. The paint is actually greener on the swatch than it appears here, since all the natural light mellows it down. Which is great because I prefer cooler grays anyhow.
What I love about this room: Its size! It’s the biggest kitchen I’ve ever had. Not even the kitchen from my childhood home was this big. I also love the workspace I have set up under the pass-through wall.
What I don’t love so much: No dishwasher. I’m still mourning the loss of this from my last apartment as I wash dishes every couple days in tear-infused water.
How this space is ME: This room really speaks to the slightly minimalist side of me. In a highly functional room like a kitchen, I believe order and minimal clutter is a must. Thankfully, there’s enough design elements to add visual interest, like the arch, the alcove, and the beadboard.
It’s a pretty no-frills kitchen but I actually embrace this since the kitchen has to be so functional. Even so, adding decorative pieces is a must, especially in such a wide space. (Without some decor, it would feel too cold.) To compliment the simplicity of its design, I chose sheer, striped curtains for the windows beside the tables and hemmed a pair of sheers for the window above the sink.
Let’s talk more about how awesomely wide this kitchen is. I especially enjoy the area under the wall pass-through, where I placed 2 IKEA desk-slash-tables.
These tables fit perfectly in this area for eating, but in reality they’re more like a workspace. Initially, my motive was to have additional surface space when cooking but they double nicely as a workspace for other creative ventures, like DIY and crafting. And since they don’t fit well in my new home office like they did in the last apartment, this spot was perfect.
Another great assistant in my test kitchen is this dry erase board–it’s really just a frame with glass and white paper. It’s super helpful when trying out a new recipe or creating my own, as I like to take notes during and after cooking (which almost always results in adding more garlic–I’d marry it if I could). I also use it for grocery lists and to jot down recipes saved to my phone.
The cabinets are pretty basic, although they’re a definite upgrade from my rinky-dinky kitchen—plus I have much more of them! I won’t attempt to revamp them with shelf liner or contact paper this time around. I probably won’t ask the landlord about adding handles either. Well, at least this year. Who knows where my decor sensibility will be in 6 months.
I love the alcove where the refrigerator sits. Keeping it flush with the rest of the wall lends to the roomy feeling.
I revamped my spice jar collection to make them more uniform and modern. Removing the DIY chalkboard labels I’d previously made, I replaced them with simple dry erase labels and stuck them to the lids. Using all matching jars shows off the colors and texture of the spices but keeps the rack from looking too busy. Wall storage rage is also a favorite trick of mine because it frees up precious counter space.
This is a simple little area for my morning tea and his brew of molasses, cinnamon, cocoa and God knows what else. In my kitchen, I like to keep the counters bare except for anything I use regularly. Fruit, tea, knives/utensils, and spices. That’s it. I don’t even like to keep the dish strainer out, even though I use it every other day. (Yes, I’m still salty over having to wash all my dishes now.)
- Tables – IKEA
- Chairs – IKEA
- Knife rack – IKEA
- Spice rack –IKEA
- Mirror – consignment store
- Dry erase board — Michaels
- Curtains – Target, Home Goods
This concludes the first half of my new home tour–stay tuned for the second half, where I switched it up by using color in the remaining rooms!