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Anna's Warm & Happy Haiyang Kitchen




Haiyang, China



Square Feet:


How many people live in home:

Two people and three pets (my husband, myself, our two dogs, and our cat)

What makes your small kitchen so cool?

We transformed a dismal blue and white tiled room with zero usable storage space into a warm, happy, and functional kitchen. Now that we've decorated, cooking in there makes me feel at home in a foreign country. There's also a great view of the mountains from the kitchen window.

One challenge you overcame in your small kitchen, or a good resource you've found.

Our kitchen came with no storage space, except for damp, stinky, mold prone cabinets underneath the counters and sink. My husband and I built a simple bamboo shelf, and a food storage area under the oven.

Favorite Meal to Cook in Kitchen

A friend recently taught me how to make Chinese dumplings, which is a lot of fun. I also love to cook Indian food.

Favoriting and voting have ended.

Comments (18)

Happy indeed! Love the bright colours.

posted by fleur de cactus on July 20, 2011 at 11:22am
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The fabric covered box is a hideous little folding table that we used to make the toaster oven and the fridge the same height. The space underneath the table is our "pantry."

posted by annaminnie on July 20, 2011 at 12:02pm
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Thank you, fleur de cactus :)

posted by annaminnie on July 20, 2011 at 12:03pm
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The fridge! I am in love with the colors :)

posted by Noelle153 on July 20, 2011 at 1:21pm
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The kitchen looks so cute! And astonishingly similar to some of the kitchens back home in India!

posted by Akanksha on July 20, 2011 at 3:51pm
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The light blue looks delicious!

posted by Sooso on July 20, 2011 at 3:45pm
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It looks great - very warm & inviting. I like the spice jars & knife "rack". Saves precious space. Good job!

posted by Alison Baerman on July 20, 2011 at 3:55pm
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Noelle153, the fridge was originally a nasty grey, but I covered it with a sticky backed yellow plastic (not sure what that stuff is called..) It's my favorite part of the kitchen. :) And thank you everyone for all the nice comments!

posted by annaminnie on July 20, 2011 at 9:33pm
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Wow, love the use of bamboos in the kitchen... Beautiful kitchens sure come in small packages !

posted by PreethiV on July 21, 2011 at 4:01am
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I like your clever use of the bamboo as both a shelf and a way to hang things. What a tough space to work with!

posted by tanya67 on July 22, 2011 at 4:40pm
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That fridge is to die for! And the magnets are delicious. : )

posted by kbfromlb on July 22, 2011 at 6:10pm
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My heart skipped a beat when I saw that fridge. I love it! This kitchen is so cute.

posted by magnus on July 25, 2011 at 4:46am
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Love the fridge, it looks so happy and fun!

posted by sanna on July 25, 2011 at 12:00pm
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I think Marie should keep her negative comments to herself, and not knowing that the apt. itself is huge, the animal comment is just rude.

posted by Alison Baerman on July 26, 2011 at 2:30pm
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Marieheiss, of course you have every right to disagree with my design choices (of COURSE I should install cabinets in an apartment I'm only renting for one year!!!).. but the animals? Just so you're not too unsettled by my seemingly brazen animal cruelty, I'll have you know that my apartment is 120 square meters, with a disproportionately small kitchen. I take all my pets out for walks by the ocean and in the mountains at least twice a week, and around the town when I'm busy (cat included.. the poor animal is so mistreated- that's why he follows me like a faithful dog!). Oh, and did I mention that they're all rescued strays?

Also, you should think twice before you comment on Chinese living conditions. Have you been to northeastern China in the last couple of years? I live in a provincial city that many people here haven't even heard of, and the standard of living is better than I've seen anywhere in the world. The TYPICAL apartment in this town is about 100 square meters, and newly built village homes are even larger and more spacious. In more urban parts of the developed east, Beijing or Qingdao for instance, despite the growing population, the cities are rebuilding and renovating all the old apartment buildings, making them larger (and they weren't all that bad to begin with- have you seen a Brezhnev period apartment in Moscow? Chinese apartments are palaces compared with that.)

When I traveled to the southwest of China this winter, expecting to see nothing but abject poverty, I was greeted with more or less the same style housing, albeit slower development. I crossed the border from Laos into China, and it was like leaving a derelict shanty town and entering the space age.

All in all, I'd like to say, that while stating one's opinion is a wonderful thing, making baseless claims and accusations about a person and an entire country is ignorant, at best.

posted by annaminnie on July 26, 2011 at 6:40pm
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From what I've seen, modern Chinese living conditions are astonishingly good considering their recent history, and getting better every year. I've lived in China for 20 years and I've seen the transformation myself. What's most impressive to me is that even peasants have a higher standard of living than poor people in America and parts of Europe. Annaminnie is right, the average Chinese apartment on the east coast is 100 square meters. I work in real estate here so I know better.

posted by mantis on July 27, 2011 at 8:21pm
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I don't think Marie is denying the improved Chinese living conditions, after all practically everyone is witness to how quickly China is developing. It is also no surprise to see the standard of living in China more level, the essential premise of communist states. What is true is China has been significantly more effective at implementing policies to keep a significant portion of its citizens pleased, as opposed to other communists states like Vietnam, Laos, or Cuba. Unfortunately I wouldn't trade a little comfort for some of the freedom I've become accustomed to in the Western hemisphere. Not that that kitchen looks comfortable, IMO.

posted by smellsgood on July 28, 2011 at 9:46am
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Marieheiss, please submit pictures of your kitchen so we can comment on it as well.

posted by dougiefresh on August 16, 2011 at 3:20pm
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