As I mentioned in my this post, we recently moved to a smaller house in search of some simplicity. We loved our old home and our neighborhood, but for many reasons it had become more of a drain than time, energy, and money permitted. Finally, this past fall we decided to take the plunge and look for something new, and got lucky pretty quickly in locating a new house that fits our family’s needs almost perfectly. It is indeed smaller and much more simple, but also beautiful and more streamlined.
I was pretty stoked about this, but one area I had some sadness over was our kitchen. Our old kitchen had some quirks: funky vinyl tiles in various shades of green, counter appliances that needed to be placed at awkward angles, a beloved but unreliable propane range, and a sink wedged into the very corner of the cabinets on an angle. (Note to prospective home buyers: if you have never seen this before and come across it, run the other way or plan to change it. Your back will thank you.)
But I loved it. It was open and spacious, had a marvelous pantry with loads of space, looked out into the dining room, and a lovely view of the pine trees in our back yard, and the blue jays landing on our back deck in the spring and summer. The things I loved more than made up for the flaws.
The kitchen and dining areas in our new place are vastly different. There is no formal dining room, and the living room/family area runs into the eating space. The official kitchen area is more of an adjacent area to this space then its own entity, and is much, MUCH smaller than what I had before. I was looking forward to cutting down some of our possessions, but because cooking and food prep is something I enjoy so much, I worried that I would find it cramped and having trouble fitting in the things I use on an almost daily basis.
A few weeks into officially living in the new space, and slowly moving things in and adjusting in a Tetris-like fashion, I am pleased to say that in this case, simplicity is good. Things I’m loving:
- Instead of feeling cramped and frustrated, I feel like I have more space and ease of motion while in the kitchen. The kitchen is much newer and has more modern finishes. I have never been particularly hung up on “modern” finishes such as stainless steel, and was perfectly happy with our white appliances, vinyl floor, and country oak cabinets…but I have to admit it is nice to have spaces that are sleek, in good repair, and easier to clean.
- Instead of the awkward spread of appliances we had before, I now have – surprisingly – pretty much the same amount of room to store items, but they are now at arm’s reach as I am in the process of cooking. I didn’t realize how much I went back and forth constantly in the past.
- Just off the dining area, there is a bump-out room that houses the laundry area as well as ample room for a large set of shelves, which is serving the same purpose as our old pantry (that may be my favorite part).
- The dishwasher is quieter. Not a huge issue for me, but yay for other members of my family.
- The sink is in a straightforward spot that does not require back contortions to wash dishes.
- The kitchen is perfectly placed so that I can keep an eye on R while she is playing in the living area or having her after-school snack.
- The back wall of windows. There are three large windows – along with the back patio door – lining the wall of the living area/eating space, and the kitchen faces these. So I have a full view of the backyard and there is lots of light, which will be especially awesome in the summer when R and I are home a lot together.
I know that like anything, there will a bit of a honeymoon period with this house, and eventually there will be things that I would like to change or that I might wish were different. But in general, I think our new home is going to fit our needs as a family very well, and the kitchen space in particular I think will be much more efficient than I imagined it could be. I am going to enjoy getting acquainted with it.