One of the things I like best about living in NC is that we get a lot of good weather to spend outdoors. This had led me to want an outdoor kitchen. Several other tiny housers do this already and I think it will make my tiny living better, because while I’ll have a kitchen inside, I can extend my living space to the outdoors.
Once I finish my tiny house, I plan to build a small deck and want a have this kitchen, but there’s a hitch… The land that I am going to be living on is land that I’m leasing and that means that while I’ll be there for the foreseeable future, I’m not going to be there forever most likely. So this leaves me with having to figure out how to have a deck and a outdoor kitchen, but be mobile. So I found this video of a mobile kitchen cart and fell in love! I’m not one for diamond plating, but I figure I can tweak it as I’ll need to build it myself. Now I just need to learn how to weld….
I have always been interested in table ideas that I can pull out for a dinner party, but have tucked away when it is just me. I usually will eat my meals watching a TV show (the only time I watch TV) if I’m alone, go out with friends, or go to my families house for dinner. I like having people over for meals, but in the end it may happen one-two times a month. Though that is the life of a bachelor I guess.
so this table breaks down to a smaller size. While its a coffee table I like the concept and it could be done on a larger scale.
The one area that I was always lukewarm on with many Tiny Houses was the kitchen, but today I wanted to share a awesome video of a great kitchen in a Tiny House that my friend Libby shared with me. What I really like about this kitchen is the nicer finishes for the toaster over, a full washer dryer combo unit, and the hanging rolling door. While I am not crazy about the main room furniture, I think it was really well finished and all the storage in this house is amazing. It just seemed to have some really large spaces that you could tuck a long of things away in really well.
In a traditional house, in my experience, people often congregate in the kitchen. But when it comes to Tiny Houses I’ve noticed that the current layouts often dictate that people gather in the great room or living room, depending on what you call it. It is for this reason that we want to minimizing our kitchen space to as small as possible, while it still being comfortable and functional. For some Tiny Apartments in big cities, they leave out a kitchen all together.
If you think about it we spend very little time in the bathroom and the kitchen, so they should be proportioned as such. We spend 8-12 hours a night in bed, while the rest is in our work/living space or out and about. I think ultimately Tiny Houses do cause us to get out more, interact with the world around us, that being the man made world and the natural world.
So I found a great kitchenette that seems very useable, but has a very small footprint. It also has the added bonus of being able to close up and look very presentable when not in use.
Get an island or custom-built extra counter — Even if you you have just two square feet of “spare” space, do whatever you can to find a table or counter that can be customized for it. Heck, I have even seen counters that fold out from the wall, like a Murphy Bed! If you can find a way to create some storage space underneath it, even better.
Don’t actually keep anything on it — I am nuts about having my single counter in the kitchen clear. The idea of sacrificing even a corner of my precious counter space to a mixer or toaster or other occasionally used appliance seems crazy–these are the types of things you can put in shelves underneath.
You probably don’t need half the things in your kitchen — Okay, obviously what I think you don’t need and what you think you don’t need are different, which is why I am loathe to make such a list. Let’s say that you, like Laurie Colwin in Alone in the Kitchen with an Eggplant, decide that you can live without everything but a deep-fat fryer. You go get yourself a deep-fat fryer. But when space is key, you might consider doing away with things like that knife block, when drawer knife holders or wall magnet strips will help keep your counter clear. You don’t need a double boiler; use a bowl over a pot instead. You don’t need a sifter when a mesh strainer can sift and, you know, and also strain. Pyrex 8-cup measuring cups can double as mixing bowls. Stuff like that
Learn to cook neatly — Picture a restaurant kitchen–do you think each of those line cooks have four counters to work on? No, they learned a long time ago how to maximize their use of any station they were given, by prepping everything they need before they start cooking, keeping their counter clean and keeping what they can within arm’s reach. Learn to cook like this, and you can cook anywhere.
It can totally be done — People, I don’t mean to go the martyr route here–especially because I think we know I enjoyed the process so–but I baked a wedding cake in my little kitchen, in its 3/4-size oven. I know too many people who say they can’t entertain or have dinner parties or cook the dinners they crave because they say they don’t have the space. But people cook all over the world with less space–and fewer gadgets (though I think I will sob if my Microplane ever breaks up with me) than we do everyday. With a little extra thought, I am sure you can pull off whatever crazy kitchen feat you had in mind. Even if you have to put your dishes in the tub when you’re done.