This Item is the Biggest Lifesaver in My Tiny Kitchen

published Oct 16, 2017
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(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

When I started my hunt for the perfect tiny New York apartment, I knew that it would probably come with a tiny kitchen, too. I got lucky: my kitchen actually has a full-sized fridge, and it even has an oven. (Yes, there are people in New York who are paying lots and lots of money to rent apartments with no oven.) And while my kitchen is small—it only has two and a half feet of counter space—I saw others that were even smaller. On top of all that, I’ve managed to significantly enhance the countertop and storage space in my kitchen with one simple addition: a kitchen cart.

When I saw the layout of my kitchen—cabinets, sink and stove along one wall, with the refrigerator at a 90 degree angle—the idea of the kitchen cart instantly came to mind, because I did not spend five years of my life working for Apartment Therapy for nothing. And let me tell you, that thing has been a real lifesaver.

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

In addition to its charming small size, my kitchen also has no drawers. How do you build a kitchen with no drawers? That should be against the law. But, nevertheless, my kitchen, although it has two panels that look like they should be drawer fronts, has no drawers. I didn’t even notice this until I moved in, perhaps because of the decoy drawer fronts, but I quickly realized it was a problem. Where do you put your silverware? Do you just display them out in the open for everyone to see?

Enter the handy-dandy kitchen cart, with drawer. That blessed drawer is highly organized, but it is also stuffed to the gills with silverware, wooden spoons, and other useful doodads that can’t be hung on the utensil rail on the wall (which is lovely and maybe deserves a laudatory post all its own). The bottom portion of the cart is home to a stack of cookbooks (okay, they are cocktail books), a rolling pin (that doesn’t fit in the drawer and therefore gets it own special spot), and a couple of baskets (which function essentially, as two more drawers. Have I mentioned how much I love drawers?).

(Image credit: Nancy Mitchell)

The top of the kitchen cart is no less useful—it almost doubles my available countertop space, and when friends come over, they often congregate around the cart like they would around the island in a normal-sized house with a normal-sized kitchen. The cart also helps to define the kitchen as a separate space, which in a studio apartment, is really important. It cost me $150, which I consider money well spent—I honestly can’t imagine my kitchen without it.

The island I have is still available at Target, although only in black—but the good news is that it’s now on sale for $75.

Searching for a different style? Check out The Best Kitchen Carts & Islands for Every Budget