Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Kitchn

On my list of Favorites and Inspirations are blogs that I read every day, or almost every day. But there is one blog that I read every single day that is not on my list. "The Kitchn," a branch of "Apartment Therapy" is so entertaining and inspirational, I don't go a day without checking to see what's cookn in the kitchn.

I enjoy the recipes and the musings about food, but the real reason I visit the kitchn is the kitchen tours. I LOVE the kitchen tours! And I especially love the "Small Cool Kitchen" entries and winners.

Let me explain.

Recently single after (almost) 20 years of marriage, and with a son going off the college next fall, I have started looking for a new house. Hopefully my new house will be of the same 1940s vintage as my current home, the house where we've lived for the past 16 years. But for certain, the new house will be smaller. And while my current kitchen is not large, everything I've seen so far has been smaller still.

Like many of you, I love smaller spaces, reminiscent of beloved French and European homes. I've been combing magazines for ideas and inspiration, but, magazines rarely feature small spaces, and most of the featured kitchens are huge. Enter "Apartment Therapy," and its sister site, "The Kitchn." These sites focus exclusively on smaller spaces--apartments and small houses--and they help me to see that moving to a smaller space will have huge possibilities.


  1. Small kitchens force you to be creative and to edit like crazy, but the results are good I think. You end up with less clutter and they are not as expensive to decorate because they look okay without fancy granite or super high end appliances. My favorite small kitchen makeover was by Elizabeth Maxon. I think she did it for $500 or something and I would take it any day over a really large kitchen. Here is the link:

  2. I too am a fan of The Kitchn though I've not visited there in a while. Thanks for the reminder!

  3. S, thanks for the Elizabeth Maxon link. I love it.

    Yes, I love the challenge of a small kitchen. As I said, my current kitchen, a galley, is not large. But it is open at both ends and one end opens into the dining room. There are 3 large south facing windows, so the entire space gets lots of light. So, even though the kitchen is only 9x13, it feels much more spacious.

  4. What an excellent blog. I've added it to my daily must-reads.

    I honestly don't know why people want big houses. How do they find time to do the mandatory daily maintenance on it -- the dusting, the vacuuming, the tidying-up, etc. -- I always wonder? And then all of the additional money that comes from having to FILL all of that physical space? Uck. It seems like it makes life so much more complicated!

    My rowhouse is 1,600 square feet, which at times has felt too big for three people. But we recently re-purposed three of our rooms to make much better use of each, and it's made a tremendous difference in our lives. Now, suddenly, it doesn't feel like too much space after all. And we are one teenage boy and two adults who both work from home, so we do get a lot of "usage" out of our home.

  5. M, I'm in agreement with you on big houses. Aside from the upkeep, a big house has never appealed to me. Even my current home is modest in size, and at times I feel like it's too big.

  6. I agree totally with the small house/apartment comment; I design huge homes all the time and they really don't appeal to me at all. BUT, my big worry is always closets and storage. I might move, sometime in the relatively near future, back to Paris and will certainly live in a place smaller than my current home; it does not bother me at all, except that finding a place with closets, storage and a decent kitchen(even small) might be a challenge. A small home means clever solutions to all these challenges. Not impossible at all. Even fun.

  7. Well, if someone GAVE me an enormous kitchen would I be pleased -yes, more than probably...! But, as it is in UK I have a small galley kitchen and everything is to hand and plus when we update it it won't cost as much...! In Oz we have a house we rent - the kitchen is quite large and airy but NOT what I would have choosen for myself though. Great post and I look forward to following the links.

  8. Good luck in your search for a new home. Hopefully you will find exactly what you are looking for. I thought I wanted the typical supersized home when we first started our home search, but when I walked through the door of my 1200 sq ft 2 bedroom condo, I knew it was home. True the smaller scale forces me to carefully consider impulse buys, but the advantages are well worth it.

  9. A,
    This is a chance for you to re-invent yourself and create a home and space that is 100 percent exactly you and ALL you. It is a great opportunity to create a haven for you that makes you feel great every time you enter it. I am like most of you and wish my 1200 square foot home was even smaller. Isn't that funny since we are so outside the norm in this thinking ... it is a romantic ideal we must have that stems from our love of everythign European I think ...
    Good luck with your house search. I will be crossing my fingers that you find the perfect one!

  10. K, I do think there is a "romantic ideal," at least for me. Every place I've stayed in France has been either small or very modest in size. So on some level, it's that European standard that calls to me.

    Even now, I find now that we really only *live* in a few rooms--the kitchen, the dining room, and the family room. And, I don't feel like I need--or want--more than that.

  11. Bonjour!
    I just found your blog via Bonjour Madame and so glad I stopped by. Have been enjoying reading through your posts.
    Best of luck in finding your new home, I'm sure the right one will come by. You can still whip up delicious food in a small kitchen.
    I'll add you to my must-read list.

  12. Even though we live in the country, we live in what one could describe as a "cottage" though nicely placed on lots of land. The kitchen, though nicely place, airy and bright, does not possess lots of M2 (I know you know what that means. . .)

    I can't wait to see this site. I love places like that to visit.

    I hope you find the perfect new home that will make you happy, cozy and warm.


  13. I want SMALLER SPACES too!! I wish I were in your shoes Amigh :) I keep telling my husband that we need to downsize(currently 3800 sq. ft home) The kids are grown and have moved out and I AM NOT spending the rest of my life cleaning house! Eventually, he'll come around... Going to check out the website right now

  14. I live in a small home in Arlington. Small for today's families, but not small for a family in the 50's. The original owners raised a family here and my husband and I have plenty of room. Nevertheless, people visiting comment that the house is so small: it has 3 bedrooms, 2 1/2 bathrooms, a separate dining room, formal living room, a day room, and a full basement. That is small??

    Yes, the kitchen is small, but I am the only cook and it's fast to clean. So I'm happy. Can't understand these massive homes!

  15. How's your life in your new home? That was pretty unique of you, choosing a smaller place to live in. Most people would want to live in a house that's ten times bigger, so your choice was quite refreshing. Maybe you don't have too much stuff, so you were humble enough to keep things simple. Well, to each his own. I hope you're doing great in your two-bedroom townhouse!