Sunday, January 3, 2021

Mini kitchen DIY/tour

As I mentioned two posts back, I had an uncomfortable living situation for most of 2020 and a byproduct of that ordeal was that I did not have access to the kitchen in my house. It's a long story, but suffice to say I spent most of 2020 buying processed foods that you could eat out of a box and ordering way more McDonald's lunches and dinners than I should ever admit lol. By September I just felt so unhealthy that I decided to build a makeshift kitchen in my room so that I could start cooking my own meals, store frozen vegetables, and generally just eat normal again.

I haven't left the house since March so this whole area was constructed by meticulously measuring the space in my room and double-checking online measurements before ordering all of the necessary pieces for delivery. And it all fit and worked absolutely perfectly! In late November I was able to start using the real kitchen in my house again, but I still use this regularly and I'm so glad that for September, October, and November I was able to get healthy again.

I thought I'd share this for two reasons - first of all, I am super proud of how this turned out! I didn't just make the best of a bad situation, I made it cute too! :) And also when I first decided to do this I researched to see if anyone else had done something similar and I couldn't find anything! So I thought, perhaps if someone out there has a little studio apartment or office that could use a cute tiny kitchen, maybe my experience will come in handy for you!

Since I have wall-to-wall (ugly.. ugh!) carpet and didn't want the refrigerator resting on a carpeted floor I built a small tiled floor using a chair mat and peel-and-stick tiles. I actually do not recommend this particular method since the weight of the furniture has warped the floor a bit. If you're doing this I would recommend building a plywood base first, since it would be more sturdy than the chair mat was.

This gives you a little better view of the whole layout. The "wall" behind my kitchen is actually a piece of beadboard that my brother cut to size for me with a circular saw. I have a curtain hanging on the other side that faces my bedroom. The curtain has been there for years but with the kitchen appliances there I didn't want the cords bumping up against fabric so I decided to build my own wall! 

Here's a brief summary of what I did and where I got everything:

1. The refrigerator is a 3.2 cubic foot mini fridge from Home Depot. I picked this because of the color (obviously) but also because it has way more freezer space than most mini fridges, and I really wanted to be able to store a lot of frozen vegetables and smoothie materials.

2. The microwave is from Amazon. Not the best microwave and it usually needs a minute added on to every cook time but it does the job and it's pretty enough :)

3. The microwave shelf is also from Amazon. It comes with thin clear plastic protectors that you can put on the shelves but they weren't sturdy enough so I painted some cork board pink and cut it to size instead.

4. The toaster is from Amazon. I obviously tend to purchase things because they look pretty but this is also a really nice toaster.

5. The ice cream artwork is from Everyday is a Holiday (two of my favorite artists so please check them out even if you aren't in need of an ice cream plaque!) 

6. The white scalloped shelves on my wall are actually these plastic shelves from Amazon that I painted white with chalk paint (it adheres better to plastic) and faced with laser cut scalloped wood that I cut myself. The pink shelves are these narrower plastic shelves from Amazon, painted white and then faced with scalloped wood that I cut and painted pink.

7. I got my electric kettle from Amazon. Unfortunately they don't have the pink one listed anymore there but the brand is ASCOT. I love this kettle so much that even though I have access to the stovetop in my kitchen again I still keep making my tea this way.

8. I got the table from Wayfair. This table turned out to be the most perfect makeshift kitchen I could have hoped for! The side has shelving so I could store snacks and ingredients for cooking, it's the perfect height for a countertop, and the mini fridge fits under the tabletop *perfectly* with a little room to spare for a tray that I use to store cooking utensils. My brother drilled a hole near the back of the tabletop so that I could drop cords down as needed. When I'm not using it, the hole is covered up by the Coca Cola straw dispenser :)

9. The tray on top of the fridge is from Amazon. It fits like a glove and it has handles so it's easy for me to pull it out without looking whenever I need something. It's kind of like a little makeshift utensil drawer!

10. My cute spice jars with the pink lids are no longer available but I'm going to link to them just in case they miraculously come back in stock someday. 

11. My towel rack is from Amazon. I also bought some S-hooks separately so I could hang my measuring cups on the towel bar.

12. All of my canisters are these. I painted them (on the outside only, obviously) and then I designed custom labels and cut them out of vinyl on my Cricut.

13. My kitchen cart is no longer available in mint, it seems, but it's the absolute perfect size to go right next to the fridge and under the table (and at least it still seems to be available in pink!) 

14. I got these containers for the shelving on the side of my table. While I was using the kitchen every day I had these pushed to one side and used the extra space on the side of the container to store rice, pasta, etc. but now I whittled down my supplies and can keep it a little more tidy. It was very difficult finding containers I liked that fit *almost* perfectly into this weird narrow shelf space but these worked great!

15. Some links to various kitchen stuff: my blender, pink daisy trivets, pink kitchen utensils, pink measuring cups, pink knives, scissors and cutting board set I also used a peel-and-stick towel hanger on the front of the table. The one I purchased isn't available anymore but it's just a basic circular hanger. The oven mitts were purchased during my last trip to Hollywood but I can't remember the name of the store, sorry!

16. The peel-and-stick tiles I used for my floor were from Amazon. I liked these because they had four squares per tile so the black-and-white pattern would show up even though I was doing this in such a tiny space. 

17. Finally, my Instant Pot. This thing was a LIFE. SAVER. I was able to cook healthy meals for myself without access to a real kitchen. On the saute function I could make a scrambled egg for breakfast and with the pressure cook function I could make pasta fagioli for dinner. I even bought some pans to make baked goods in the instant pot like cornbread and cake on my birthday! I used this springform pan, this fluted pan, and this sling to lower them and raise them from the pot. 

18. For good measure, here are a few of my favorite recipes that I made with my instant pot - 
Swedish meatballs with noodles (I used turkey meatballs)
Stuffed pepper soup (my favorite! I used ground chicken)

And that's about it! Honestly this worked out for the best because this was an area of my room that I was always unsure what to do with. I've never been happy with it and it didn't show up in my photos all that often because I never felt like it looked right. So this little kitchen is a bit of a glow up for that corner of my room lol! Here's a before/after!

ps. Do you like the pink and brown purses hanging on the back of my door? I sure hope so!! More on those soon!! :D