Loving a 6 x 6-ft. Kitchen

AUT_8024Our home has two residences: a main house and an attached mother-in-law apartment.  The property was a horror with “good bones,” and had not been updated since the sixties (groovy fountain was a clue).  We moved in and experienced six months of discovering all the things that needed correcting, including the fact that the house was sinking in one corner.

But this isn’t about the house, it’s about the apartment.  We finalized blueprints to remodel and it was clear, we had to move out.  We had a tenant in the apartment (rented it out practically the minute we moved here).  So, buh-bye tenant.  Then, movers wrapped much of our furniture in Saran and put it in the garage or under the house.  Bed, sofa, desk, dresser, TVs and many plastic laundry baskets moved into the apartment.  Our big fridge, exercise bike plus a third TV were also put in the garage, aka Larry’s Space (probably saved our marriage).  We installed one long rod in the garage, and hung our clothes.

Only thing left in the house was my stacked washer/dryer; every few evenings I crawled up under blue tarp to do wash.  Gotta have my laundry.  MY.500 sq. ft. with a cat and two pug dogs from August ‘til New Years.  I will spare you the horror stories of a 75% home gutting and rebuilding.

Tight quarters for two good-sized adults.  Kitchen?  6 x 6.  We labeled this an adventure.  And that was how we learned what it was like to be a tenant of Patti and Larry.  Once moved back out, I “refreshed” that small space (and the bath).  The teensiest two-sided sink I could find was just 22” wide, but TWO sides YES!  Added a garbage disposal.  Before, the space was a fridge+sink thing, very yucky.  I had this cabinet custom made via Home Depot, lopping the corner was smart.  Fabricated teeny-weeny countertop at a formica place in the valley.

The oven, doubtful a smaller one exists at only 20” wide, and yes you can fit cookie sheets in there. We put that in BEFORE we moved in, and during winter, with no heat, we roasted a good sized turkey to warm rooms and bellies.  Four electric burners, oven and broiler with a legal “vent” system up and out through one of the burner trays, very cool design.

Ate outside during warm weather, so it wasn’t until it got chilly that we started to not appreciate each others’ company so much, thus having three televisions in three different places for two people.  This was all ten years ago, we are still here.

Funny thing about the bathroom, we used leftover tiles from the house to tile the floor.  But then the old toilet, which was pre-water-saving, could not be saved and new ones would not allow the door to fully swing open.  It was only by coincidence that we were in a hardware store and walked right past the solution – we never knew there was such a thing: a corner toilet (the tank is triangular).  It fit.

But back to the kitchen, tell me… could you exist with a 6 x 6 ft kitchen – no dishwasher either.  I’m curious what you think of our little second kitchen, Love it or Leave It?

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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 The home remodeling July 13, 2009 at 10:24 am

Wow – you have done a wonderful job of remodeling and updating the house and the kitchen. I had never heard of a 20″ oven, didn’t know it exist 🙂 Even though the space is small, you manged to make it functional and beautiful. I wonder how much you had to pay for the customized cabinets from home depot? Again, great renovation work.
Patti comments: I don’t remember the price, but I am extremely frugal so they would have been a good value.

2 Sally Wright May 8, 2009 at 8:19 am

Love your blog! Your apartment kitchen reminded me of our adventure in kitchen remodeling 10 years ago. The whole back of our house was taken down to the studs. Our contractor walled off half of our dining room into a 8 X 12 space. We moved in the full size fridge and our former island. We had a hot plate, a microwave, a coffee maker, an electric kettle and a toaster oven in that space where I cooked meals for my husband and 7 year old for five months. Glen said I should write a cookbook using those appliances in those circumstances. I am told that I turned out a lot of great food including a dinner party for overnight guests (hat I can’t even remember) and a Christmas morning brunch. More amazingly, the only night that we were unable to cook our own dinner at home was one night when there was no electricity.

3 Patti May 8, 2009 at 8:10 am
4 Gloria Mathys May 7, 2009 at 7:52 pm

What I’d really like to see is a photo of the triangular toilet. I never heard of such a thing.

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