A functional, accessible kitchen is the first step to a healthy lifestyle.
It allows home cooking or at least home meal assembly so you have greater control over ingredients and portions.
As I mentioned in the book, Unstuff Your Life!, these photos are from my home in PA.
While this house was sold in 2010, my current kitchen in NYC is set up with the same principles.
If you’d like me to help you set up YOUR kitchen for maximum beauty AND function, let’s talk.
WIDE SHOT, THE KITCHEN
The two upper cabinets on the left house all beverage containers. The one closer to the range hood holds glasses and mugs and cups, and the one closer to you, the reader, contains come crystal stemware that my mom gave me.
WIDE SHOT, THE ISLAND
The island is generous but not too big: seven feet wide to allow flow on both sides. 18” on the left of the sink, and 42” on the right.
The dishwasher is here as is an extra deep and wide sink. I wanted a sink large enough to submerge a roasting pan in—and I found one at a resale store that sells repurposed high end kitchens and components pulled out of mansions and cast offs from trade show displays. A Franke sink that lists for $1175 for $180. You can imagine I was pretty stoked.
Please note the foot pedal for operating the faucet. This is hands down (no pun intended) my favorite appliance. You open the faucet to whatever temperature you desire and then operate it solely through the pedal. Mine is usually set at a temperature hot enough to wash pots or your hands but not scalding. It’s an amazing time and water saver and so convenient when your hands are dirty and you don’t want to touch anything before washing. It takes a bit to remember it, but once you do, you’ll miss it in every other kitchen.
This cabinet does double duty. It contains all Cooking & Baking and parts of Preparation. Here you’ll find all the pots and pans and all baking supplies (cookie sheets, muffin tins, cooling racks). Cutting boards live here, strainers and two lazy susans. The first one contains oils and vinegars and the other spices and herbs. You’ll notice the counter only contains a crock with utensils and you can just make out my pepper mill. Unseen but there is also a salt cellar.
This cabinet contains additional Prep items. All appliances, both countertop and handheld are here, along with all mixing bowls, measuring cups and some baskets. The salad spinner lives inside the salad bowl. Since I serve salad in the bowl, but first assemble the salad in it, it lives here and not with other serving pieces. Due to space considerations, you’ll see a dutch oven and an oversized stock pot in the far corner. These items are used less frequently and there was not room with the other pots and pans for these two items to be with their siblings.
Silverware drawer. Chopsticks also live here. You’ll notice he has two kinds of knives here—butter and steak. The butter knives live together towards the bottom and the steak knives live together toward the rear. He eats more butter than steak… The small compartment at the rear contains seafood picks, a bottle stopper and a Mickey Mouse teaspoon that is from his childhood.
KNIVES + SHARPS
Knives and sharp things that cut. At the top of the picture you’ll see the assortment of microplanes and rasps. At the front of the drawer are the knife sharpener and the can opener. I also have a steel, but one Japanese butcher’s knife requires a particular angle be used when sharpening it, and rather than risk dulling it, I opted for a tool that guarantees the correct angle.
Serving pieces. Everything from whimsical spreaders, toothpicks and carving sets to decorative tongs and the corkscrew. Behind that you’ll see a gravy ladle and the rice paddle.
Food prep. Melon ballers, sushi rollers, basters, the infamous ice bat, graters, zesters and peelers. The reamer, a small funnel and garlic press. A few spatulas for spreading and clearing out the food processor as well as a mushroom brush.
SCOOPS + LADLES
Scoops and an oversized ladle as well as a set of steak knives. Moment of disclosure: since getting the silverware that came with steak knives, he seldom uses this set. Andrew’s mom gave them to him and he has the room so he hasn’t let them go yet. If space became an issue, right after the ice bat, they’d leave. They’re redundant.
Baking. Pastry knife and brushes, cookie cutters and the measuring spoons (both round and oblong—great for narrow mouthed containers) and two sets of measuring cups. Pie weights and a sweet set of tart tins in the lower left corner.
TOWELS + OVEN MITTS
Hot pads, oven mitts and dish towels. That’s it.
STORAGE + CLEANUP
Storage and cleanup items—wraps (aluminum foil and waxed paper) and assorted zip-lock bags. Sorry for any implied brand advertising. I think everything in this drawer was purchased at Costco … ooops. I did it again.
GRAINS + NOODLES
Grains and noodles. Dried fruits. Dried Mushrooms. Soy and nut milks.
Teas and canned goods, both individual ingredients (beans, peas, tomatoes, tuna) and prepared food (vegetarian chili, boxed soups and stocks).
Dishes. The salad plate is one of a series my family made for me as a housewarming gift one Thanksgiving when I couldn’t be with them. “Flamè mingles” is what I called filet mignon when I was five and described a particularly fancy dinner I had attended.
Containerland. More storage and cleanup. The vacuum sealer lives here along with its supplies. And every storage container within reach of its corresponding lid. No top, no bottom and vice versa. Having everything in one place and matched up makes storing food very easy.