I grew up in Oklahoma under big skies and wide-open spaces (Dixie Chicks, anyone? Reunite!). I love my homeland. You’ll never find kinder people, better sunsets, or more red dirt. It also boasts an insanely reasonable cost of living. Care for a kitchen as wide-open as your Oklahoma sky? You can probably find it well within your price range.
When JD and I felt ready to buy in Denver, we knew we had to quell our inner Okies and approach our search with realistic expectations. It helped that we were looking at mid-century homes that are generally smaller and more compact than modern builds. When we walked into our future home for the first time, we were floored. It blew away all of our expectations…and then I saw the kitchen.
Our kitchen is a 5×6 cube with a built in cooktop and economy size fridge. It also houses our economy size washing machine (Our two black labs have totally stopped shedding to accommodate this new twist). My initial thought was no way. But then I stopped and asked, “why?”
Obviously, the kitchen did not deter us from buying the house, and I’ve got to be honest, it’s one of the things I love most about our home. It forced me to trim down to what I considered kitchen necessities. Gone were salad spinners, veggie choppers, and steamers. I purged what I didn’t need, and I haven’t missed any of it.
Our economy fridge never reaches capacity. I meal plan every week and buy exactly what we need. It keeps our produce fresh and cuts down on waste. I’m happy to report that we live just fine with five different types of mustard instead of eight (crisis averted).
Counter space was my biggest concern, and I’ve learned to adapt. In our previous kitchens, I always used the same small stretch of 3×3 counter to work with and that hasn’t changed. I store larger appliances (Kitchen-Aid mixer, food processor, etc…) in cupboards when they’re not in use.
I have to admit that there are still times when I’m a little self-conscious about my modest kitchen. But when I’m dancing around my stove within arms reach of everything I need, I feel a little less crazy.
Sometimes it’s uncomfortable to give up what you think you need or want. We’ve made adjustments that work for us. What could you do without?
It can be tough to fight the draw of “more”, around the holidays. Don’t be afraid to live a little smaller this week. You might be surprised what you gain. For me, it was a pretty bitchin’ home.