Welcome to the most chaotic, most used, most loved room in my home, my kitchen! Now, this kitchen certainly isn't the biggest I've lived with (That award goes to my first place in Houston. It only had one cabinet, but technically the kitchen was 12 by 15 feet!) or fanciest I've ever had (That would be my first kitchen in NYC. It was a tiny 3-foot strip along one wall, but it had mini high-end appliances, real wood cabinets, and the 12 inches of countertop were a gorgeous white marble.), but as a renter in New York City this kitchen feels like a major luxury.
I've started cooking more in recent years, and my husband has always loved to cook, so it's wonderful having a space we can both use to put together weeknight meals and host holiday gatherings without being in each other's way. I'm also a bit partial to the punchy color scheme, I've had a lifelong love affair with the orange/green/yellow palette of 1970s kitchens and my collection of gathered (and begged off of older relatives) items from the era are all proudly on display.
I typically cannot stand anything sitting on my counters. It's a little crazy, but it's taken me a lot of years—and living in an apartment with no drawers—to come to terms with having so much as a crock of utensils sitting out. My instinct it to put everything away in drawers so that the countertops are easy to clean, but I have to admit that having our most used utensils in easy reach has simplified the meal prep process. Plus, I love having these old Tupperware canisters on display. My mother has a collection of Tupperware that she and my grandmother built in the 1970s, and she was kind enough to pass on a few pieces to me!
This mug organizer is another product of a previous tiny kitchen with little storage. It was a much needed solution at the time, but now it's simply a style choice. I love the way the various white ceramics reflect light differently and I feel so lucky that my landlord decided on a white subway tile backsplash, it works perfectly with my mug collection.
The layout of our kitchen is a little funky. The whole thing is shaped like a square with one corner clipped off at the doorway, with the cabinets being primarily in an L-shape along two sides. When the kitchen was fixed up a few years ago, as far as I can tell previously used cabinets were sourced to fill out the space as well as they could. All of this led to having an angled sink cabinet with a large empty triangle of space behind it. I'm just under 5'2" and couldn't reach the area easily, so I had planned to stick a bunch of cake plates and other infrequently used items back there, but when I placed the big blue cake stand in the corner I realized that I would be able to reach the things on top of it without too much difficulty. So, it's become another place for cooking tools and utensils. I really might be coming around on this whole having things on the counter business after all.
The opposite side of the kitchen features the refrigerator and a floating, orphaned piece of countertop. I made the space work for us by slipping an inexpensive cabinet under the counter, as well as a garbage can, and mounting shelves and a ledge above. The cabinet stores all of our staples, baking supplies, spices, and food storage containers; the shelves house serving pieces and a few decorative items. The shelves are actually part of an Allen and Roth closet storage system from Lowe's. I liked the curve of the brackets and how the slatted shelves allow light to pass through, so I decided they would work for a kitchen as well as a closet.
Now, this is not technically the kitchen, but sitting just outside the doorway of the kitchen is our bar cabinet. It holds wineglasses, party supplies, and fabric napkins below, and showcases our collection of black and gold barware above. My husband inherited several sets of vintage black and gold glasses from his grandparents, and we've slowly added to that collection over the years. It's a fun display and a pleasant reminder of loved ones whenever we pass by or toast an occasion using one of these golden glasses.
- Yellow Cabinet - Target
- Picture Ledge - Pottery Barn
- Shelving - Allen and Roth at Lowes
- Vintage Bowls - Jewel Tea Autumn Leaf, belonged to my grandmother
- Glassware - Vintage and new
- Cake Stand - Fish's Eddy
- Tupperware - Vintage, from mother and grandmother
- Pepper Mill - Peugeot
- Tea Kettle - Le Creuset
- Mug Organizer - Pottery Barn
- Mugs - Corelle, Jonathan Adler
- Window Shade - DIY, Nani Iro textile
- Bar Cabinet - West Elm
- Rug - eBay
(Image credits: Erin Roberts)