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Teresa's Cool and Clean Rental Kitchen




Washington, Washington D.C.



Square Feet:


How many people live in home:

One: me (well, and my two cats, who are firmly convinced that they are people to!)

What makes your small kitchen so cool?

My kitchen is cool in its uncoolness! It's not slick and modern, but it fits perfectly with my personality and the feel of the entire apartment (which is in a converted 1910s rowhouse that still has most of the original detail and character)

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

My kitchen may be in a room that is about 100 sq. ft., but very little of that space is actually usable for cooking, thanks to 4 doorways and a huge window (before the rowhouse was converted to apartments, I think the room may have been a bedroom) So I have very little cabinet space, and practically no counter space. I added a sideboard to create more storage and work space, along with a table and chairs to make the space more functional. I also painted the cabinets (the upper and lower cabinets were different shades of wood-tone and different styles when I moved in--with a coat of fresh white paint on all, the differing styles is much less noticeable) and the walls, and added a back splash (the faux tin tile look ties the space into the period details of the rest of the apartment) to make the space look less like a crummy rental kitchen.

Favorite Meal to Cook in Kitchen

Tamales! After seeing my kitchen and its lack of counter space, my mother proclaimed that there was no way I'd be able to make tamales from scratch in it. Of course, I took this as a challenge. It may have created a gigantic mess (and one of the cats may have ended up with a bit of corn batter on them), but I did it, and I can't wait to do it again!

Favoriting and voting have ended.

Comments (7)

I love looking at rental kitchens, cos I'm a renter myself, and this one is fabulous. Cuoldn't help but notice, though, that this kitchen, like my own, has absolutely no drawers. Was the cutlery/flatware removed for the sake of photography, or is it cleverly squirelled away somewhere?

posted by thannypants on July 20, 2011 at 12:27pm
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@thannypants: Thank you! I keep my flatware in some white mugs that I got from Ikea ages ago (forks in one, spoons in another, knives in a third) on a shelf in my cabinets. I had to move a shelf to make the height fit, but it works well. And as far as larger knives, I actually just lay those flat in the cabinet (I actually only have two large knives--one nice multi-purpose one, and one junky one, so they don't take up too much space) :-)

posted by chinook2006 on July 20, 2011 at 12:56pm
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@chinook2006: That's such a great idea! Right now I've got mine in a bamboo flatware organizer, which looks great, but takes up far too much counter space. Thanks for letting us see your terrific kitchen!!

posted by thannypants on July 20, 2011 at 2:47pm
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Where did you get those tiles?! Was it a splurge, or are they available for a reasonable price...?

posted by kmk355 on July 21, 2011 at 2:43pm
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@kmk355: They were totally reasonable! And it's not actually tin, or individual tiles--it's actually panels of plastic pressed to look like tin tiles! I got it at Home Depot, and I'm pretty sure I spent less than $60 for 3 panels plus the adhesive to put them up! (So, the backsplash is the most expensive thing that I did in the kitchen, but it's still really not a "splurge"! :-))

posted by chinook2006 on July 21, 2011 at 3:24pm
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Hey, awesome job on the tamales in a small kitchen! I've been making them for almost 20 years in my tiny galley kitchen. It CAN be done(although I roll sitting at a table now)! I've gotten *really* efficient :o) especially when kids were little & underfoot! I do my meat in a crock pot which helps tremendously.

I, too, love the tin tile back splash. Is it easy to keep clean?

posted by SuzeH on July 22, 2011 at 1:51pm
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I'm so envious of your huge window, though I know it eats up a lot of wall space. And I love your backsplash!

posted by Kayla-P on July 25, 2011 at 4:56pm
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