The new kitchen (photo tour)
My kitchen is unpacked and completely functional now. Yay! :) After 4.5 years in the same kitchen, it felt strange to be cooking in a different place, now called "my kitchen", that still felt like it must belong to someone else or something! :)
We're in a 2-bedroom apartment, about 900 sq. ft., which is a little smaller than our rental house in Ohio. Here are pictures from our kitchen in Ohio. I was accustomed to having a few more cupboards, plus a nice-sized enclosed porch right off of the kitchen, which I used for storage. There was even a small counter top on the porch where I had my appliances like the toaster, bread machine, grain mill, etc... so that freed up space in the kitchen.
I knew that most likely in our new place, I'd be condensing the kitchen and enclosed porch both into a smaller kitchen, so when we were packing, I tried to get rid of as much as possible to make the adjustment easier. Many of you also advised me to get rid of things before the move rather than after, which was great advice! We sold a few things, but with only 8 days' notice, most of it was given away to family and friends. :)
Okay, enough gabbing. Here are photos of my new kitchen! :)
One half of the kitchen has the sink and dishwasher. I didn't think I would like having a single-basin sink, but with also having a dishwasher, it's not too bad. One definite perk is that big dishes (like 9x13 bakeware!) can lay completely flat to soak. :)
Our Berkey water filter is to the left of the sink. (You can read about the Berkey water purifiers here.) The little window in the wall has a small counter area, which I've been using to store fruit. I've been using my dish drainer even though I have a dishwasher, because it seems like each day there are quite a few larger things that need hand-washed.
My bread machine is obviously a well-used appliance, since I decided to sacrifice counter space to have it out! (Our blender? Stuffed in the cupboard above the fridge... it'll take a serious smoothie-craving to bring it down!)
The brown closet doors lead to the laundry closet with a washer and dryer. More on that in a bit.
Here you can see the whole kitchen. In spite of the fact that I don't really like the fluorescent lighting (and taking pictures of food in this kitchen is kinda out of the question!), I will admit that it does make the kitchen very bright for working in.
And if I can complain for just one second, I don't like the fridge. It's small. The butter compartment in the door doesn't even hold butter without it falling out. The produce drawer holds a few more flat things, like carrots or celery, but good luck getting broccoli or a head of lettuce in there! I could go on but I'll stop. Let's just say I am going to have to get creative and learn how to fit things in that fridge. :)
The stove is old, but it works. :) I'm still not sure why the exhaust fan above the stove just blows the air back out into the kitchen (at our last house the vent above the stove blew the air outside) but oh well! :)
Things I do like about this kitchen:
It has a dishwasher. It has a good spot for the Berkey to sit. It has outlets above the counters, to plug in things like the bread machine. :) It doesn't have carpet. (That's always a plus in my book!!) It's small, so it's easy to clean up. It has good lighting. And the fridge is short enough that I can wipe the whole top clean without standing on a stool (I'm 5'4".). And, hey, there's enough counter space to do some real cooking. :D
The dining area holds our table comfortably. :) I still need to re-tape the tablecloth; that's somewhat of a sanity-saver for me since I can't give up the cheery brightness of a white table cloth on my table. :)
The buckets on the right hold grains (hard and soft white wheat, hard red wheat, rolled oats, and quick oats). Those are the grains I use the most frequently. The rest of my buckets of food storage items are stored in the master bedroom. Yes, even in a smaller house I still cling to my reasons for having some extra food stored ahead. :)
Another view of the dining room. To the right of the table is a short hallway that leads to the bathroom and the door.
The laundry closet has two shelves, along with a nice-sized washer and a decent-sized dryer. The washer is a newer model and I must admit it's rather luxurious to be able to set soaking times, or turn on a second rinse for my cloth diapers! I was used to having to run up and down the basement stairs, turning on and off the washer, hoping that the children wouldn't tear apart the house while I was away for a minute or two. :) (Our basement in Ohio was rather icky and the children weren't allowed to walk around down there.)
The dryer, which stopped working after our first week. But they fixed it! :) I have no clothes line here, of course, and the weather this time of year isn't conducive to setting my wooden clothes rack out on the balcony.I was able to dry a few blankets on the rack on the balcony our first couple days, but nothing since then. I'm sure summer will be easier. :)
My (homemade) plastic bag holder is on the left, my mixing bowls are up above, along with some extra towels and such. I think this area needs a second, lower, shelf, but we'll have to see if that's allowed and how much the materials would cost. :)
Maybe my favorite feature here: A little pantry closet with shelves, strong enough to hold canned goods! And it is full. We are so blessed!! :)