kitchen

A Table Fit for Four

It has been a bit of process getting our kitchen table. At first, we were going to go secondhand, but as with shopping secondhand, what you are specifically looking for is not always available at the time you want it.

So, then we decided to just design our table instead. With my dad having the access and the know-how on woodworking we sent him a picture of what we were looking for and the custom dimensions we wanted for our small space.

And then we waited.

Months later (he’s a busy guy!) our table started to come together.

dining table

With every new picture update, we got even more excited!

dining table2

Before we knew it, K and my dad were finagling it up the stairs to our apartment.

And BAM!

We suddenly had a real kitchen table.

That more than two people could sit at.

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It is glorious and more beautiful than anything we would have ever bought in a store (and way better because I get to say my dad made it).

We are so cautious with it now, whereas with the old table we just threw whatever on it. Now everything must be gingerly placed on a placement or coaster.

At the time we received the table, we only had the 2 IU library chairs to sit on, so instantly inviting people over was not an option. Luckily, I had perused Craigslist the night before and inquired about a set of West Elm chairs that I have been pining over for ages. Each of those chairs retail for $249 A PIECE!

Thank goodness I acted quickly and followed up that I could pick them up the next day because I got all 5 chairs for $200 total!

chairs

Within two days we went from tiny garage sale table that fits two to the amazing custom table and bargain chairs that fit four (actually 5 but we cant fit that chair anywhere right now).

Come on over for dinner!

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Registering for Things that Will Last

Apparently, the time has come for us to register for wedding gifts.

At first, I thought there was nothing that we really, truly, needed. Maybe some new towels and sheets. But the more I looked at it, the more I realized this was a time in our lives to upgrade to high-quality items that could legitimately last forever.

We have recently started figuring out where and what we want to register for. As we walked between three different options, K said: “I want the items on this registry to last the rest of our lives.”

And that has basically become the theme of our registries. We are looking for tools that are made from stainless steel and glass, not cheap plastic.

 

william sonoma

image: William Sonoma

 

For instance, K really wants a mandolin to slice vegetables nice and thin. As I have looked about for them, the only ones I can find are mostly made of plastic. I was shocked because the mandolin my mom has is entirely made of metal and that is what I thought all mandolins were made of.

Alternative facts. Fake news.

Just like my grandma’s, we want our pots and pans to able to be used by our grandchildren 65 years later.

copper pans

We use my grandmother’s copper bottomed pots that she received for her own wedding shower in 1955.

No matter what the stores tell us we need to register for, we are only going to register for items we are going to use in the long run. We don’t need fine china. We are not going to register for a fondue set because it’s on a list somewhere.

I have made it a habit to poll all my married friends and family on what they use the most and the least from their wedding registry.  Hopefully, down the road, we will be able to say we use absolutely everything.

 

 

Designing Our Kitchen Table

I previously posted about our sad kitchen table and the search for a new table, or at least a table that was new to us.

table2

While I still continue to stalk Craigslist for a good replacement, we have decided to use my dad’s skills and the family woodworking business to our advantage.

And this is not the first time we have.

See below.

IU chairs done

Dad saved the day when my attempt at stripping these chairs proved futile.

entryway6

When the shop had some left over bowling alley lanes from a previous project, we bought some legs and made a bench for our entryway/door.

 

coffee table1

We bought this coffee table on Craigslist and on a slow day, the shop refinished the scratched up top for us.

 

Basically, my dad will solve all of our furniture problems.

Except for chairs, he won’t make those. (Sidenote, new chairs are so expensive!)

The plan is to have him model our table off of the West Elm Lena Mid-Century Dining Table. Except instead of spending $450+ on the West Elm version, we are going to fashion our own out of whatever random leftover wood the shop has lying around.

lena-mid-century-dining-table-large-1-c

West Elm Lena Mid-Century Dining Table

 

Stay tuned!

 

Some Tiny Houses Have Bigger Kitchens

Our kitchen is SMALL. When people complain about having a small kitchen, they have no idea how small ours actually is. While it is not tiny house small,  it’s very small for something that is not a tiny house! We can fit a maximum of 4 people in our kitchen, and that would be just standing there, no movement allowed. There is barely enough room for two people to cook, so K kicks me out most of the time. Fine with me!

kitchen1

This is basically it. To the left of the fridge is where the kitchen ends.

We don’t even have a full-size fridge or oven, but I am not complaining about that.

We are low on counter space and low on usable space, so we had to start getting creative. As you can see in the above picture, our cutting board acts as extra counter space. Sometimes I will put it on top of the sink if I need more space to work on that side of the kitchen.

From the very beginning, we knew the pots and pans were going to take up too much room in one of our precious 3 drawers, so a pot rack and “S” hooks keep them contained over the stove and out of the way.

 

copper pans

Additional copper pots from my Grandmother have been added since this photo was taken.

The microwave was taking up too much valuable real estate on our countertop, which caused us to have to move anything on the counter in front of it to open it. Our solution was to raise it up. We then had space to store bread and goodies on top of and below the microwave. I ended up using an extending shelf made for organizing your cabinet. It fit with the kitchen and we could always end up using it later.

kitchen3

We have space above and below the microwave now!

While we really only have 3 cabinets, one is dedicated to dishes/glasses. So only 2 are left for storing dry goods. That is plenty of space, but these cabinets are very tall. I am not a short person, but I have to use a fold-out step stool to reach the top shelves. We had to organize so that the things we used the most were on the bottom and easiest to get at. Things used less often, like popping corn, were relegated to the top.

kitchen4

A shoe box and Tupperware worked just fine for this.

In the case of the cabinet over our fridge, it impossible to reach anything in the back. Things kept getting lost in there, so basically now we have way too much salt. To alleviate this, we used a system of categorized boxes that we could pull out when we needed. I wasn’t going to pay money for a plastic box, so I used a shoe box and the bottom part of a large piece of Tupperware. One box has all our oils/liquids, while the other has pasta and grains. There is a third box in one of our precious drawers that holds all our baking needs together.

kitchen2

I can only reach things that are at the very front of the cabinet over the fridge.

Last, but not least, underneath the sink can always get a little unruly. To keep together cleaning essentials, we used a plastic bucket that had been a part of a wedding guest gift. At first, I did not know what to do with the bucket, but we put it to good use. Works for us!

kitchen5

FYI that is my compost sitting in the container on the right.

Overall, we have a tiny kitchen, and I am okay with that. It keeps things contained and controlled. It is pretty easy to clean, I just have to spin around in a circle. It also keeps us from collecting/buying unnecessary items because we have absolutely nowhere to put them!