Tips to Creating a Minimalist Kitchen
For years my husband and I have thought about the day when we’d be able to live small in a big way. That means less stuff and more meaningful moments, experiences and adventures.
The suburban life has its advantages and I will certainly miss having the big kids 🙂 around as well as my morning walk route and garage studio. That said, we’re trading it in for simplicity, morning coffee and sunset wine on the water. Yes, we’re selling the house and moving back to my chick pad on the intracoastal which will now be a sanctuary for two, plus one kitty. My musings brought me to Minimalism, a very inspired documentary about how two guys made it happen in their lives. Check it out on Netflix. Downsizing and moving is kind of like a mandatory form of minimalism, it’s the only way. Scary? Yes, but also exciting and since kitchens is what I do I began exploring the idea of what makes the Minimalist Kitchen. Here are thoughts to get you started if the idea inspires you too.
“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”- William Morris
These words by William Morris are the perfect place to begin when considering the Minimalist Kitchen. The concept is, of course, not new. Morris was a nineteenth century British designer, writer and social activist who espoused this principle and his advice is the perfect way to begin the journey to the Minimalist Kitchen. Consider every single item in your kitchen in due course, i.e. not necessarily all at once but methodically and thoroughly. If you’re not sure, one way to decipher usefulness is to take note of the items you use every day, week, month and only on holidays. Items used only once a year don’t need to be stored in the kitchen if space is tight and if it’s been more than a year why are you holding space for it? The kitchen remodeling process is very helpful in this regard. You’re forced to empty all your cabinets then, as you live out of boxes during the process, you quickly become familiar with the items you really depend on. Chances are there are less than you thought. Usefulness is huge BUT remember the beauty too. This means if you LOVE something you get to keep it!
Consider Multi-Use Appliances
These appliances offer versatility and save space for things you love.
My daughter’s boyfriend got us this rice cooker for Christmas and we have never looked back. Not only is it a convenient rice cooker but it’s also a slow cooker and a steamer! You can even hard boil eggs with it. In my house it earns its space in the kitchen. The Aroma Professional Rice Cooker comes in a variety of sizes too.
If your cooking goals are loftier there are many luxury appliances that combine convection, steam or microwave technologies into one appliance. This Bosch Benchmark combo oven features steam on the top and regular convection on the bottom. You can also get a microwave on the top if you prefer. These are just a couple of examples but you get the point, yes?
Ditch the Duplicates
Do you really know how many you have? I certainly was surprised to see I had so many funnels! Speaking of duplicates, when I move we’re having one big set of dishes that we love and use everyday. That is all and I give you permission to do that too. If you have little ones you will have to strike the right balance between beauty, durability and price. I love the variety of suggestions here. If you must have a set of separate dishes for the holidays remember they can be stored outside the kitchen if space is tight.
Detach & Re-Charge
One nifty feature I’ve been working into most of my design lately is a charging station. Give yourself and your devices time to re-charge. This charging station gives you a safe place to store devices off the counter top and out of sight. A few hours of detachment can work wonders. It’s a de-clutter strategy for your kitchen and your mind right in line with the Minimalist perspective. See some of the options at Docking Drawer Try it!
Organize Your Recipes Digitally
I don’t know about you but I have a lot of cook books and most of them I don’t use. There are so many easy ways to organize and save your favorite recipes on line. I usually use Pinterest or AllRecipes.com to curate my collection . If you’re not too internet savvy just take a photo on your phone or tablet. It’s as easy as that. Definitely keep cookbooks with sentimental value such as the ones with grandma’s hand written notes. I actually wish I had some of those!
The goal for me is less stuff. The payoff is saving money, easy cleaning, maintaining what I have, knowing where everything is when I want it and having more time and resources to travel and enjoy the relationships and experiences in my life. As The Minimalists, Joshua Fields Millburn & Ryan Nicodemus say “Love people and use things because the opposite never works.”
Stay tuned for my downsizing moving adventures in the months to come and let me know how I can help you craft your own Minimalist Kitchen.
Gloria is a kitchen and bath cabinetry designer with AKBD certification from the National Kitchen & Bath Association. She has also served on the Florida Treasure Coast Chapter's Board of Directors as the VP of Communications. Her work has appeared on This Old House as well as in Florida Design Magazine, K+BB Magazine and the Palm Beach Post. She is co-author of The Complete Idiots Guide to Remodeling Your Kitchen, Illustrated, as well as a freelanced writer contributing occasionally to the Sun Sentinel in the area of kitchen design. She is a proud member of the Blanco Design Council and the illustrious Brizo Blogger 19.