The kitchen in the new (ahem, “new”) apartment is more of an area than a designated room. You can see what I mean in the floor plan and photos from the real estate listing. It’s got a great stove, a decent fridge, a dishwasher drawer (LUXURY!), and about 14″ of counter space. It’s small. I need my prep space, so the obvious solution was to add an island. I went with the STENSTORP from IKEA. I was a little worried that it would look kind of country-ish with those tapered legs (ankles?), but that detail is really not noticeable in context. This thing is GREAT. Solid oak top, stainless steel shelves, built like a tank. It even has space for a couple of stools, so it doubles as a dining table. A+.
The rug is from Urban Outfitters. I bought it on clearance for $30, so I’m not surprised they don’t have it anymore, but this one and this one are from the same line and appear to be the same weave style. I was a little worried about putting a cotton rug in the kitchen, but I took a chance for the price. It’s turned out to be a great rug! It’s very thin and not the kind of thing I’d want in, say, a living room, but for a kitchen or bathroom where you really just want to cover up some tile, it’s perfect. Very easy to vacuum since it’s so flat, and I haven’t had any problems spot-cleaning minor spills with plain water.
Wherever I live, setting up a coffee station is a priority. Pre-coffee, taking sugar out of a cabinet is just too much to ask of me. Because counter space is really at a premium in this apartment, mounting a couple of shelves above the island seemed like the best solution. These are LIMHAMN shelves from IKEA, and I can’t find them on the US website. That’s usually a bad sign, so…I’m sorry. Damn, IKEA. You really do discontinue the best stuff. Sigh.
I did some poking around, and it’s really hard to find stainless steel shelves that are deep enough hold decent-sized jars but narrow enough to fit in a tight space. These LIMHAMN shelves are only about 16″ wide, but they’re almost 8″ deep. Pretty perfect. If you have more wall space you could go with something restaurant-grade, or maybe this double-decker from CB2. It’s still not quite as deep as the IKEA shelf, but at least it’s more substantial than a picture ledge.
That coffee maker is almost a decade old, and it’s still chugging along! Cuisinart has been making the DCC-1200 for about 15 years now, and it remains popular with good reason: It’s a super-solid, affordable machine that makes a great cup of coffee. The salt and pepper grinders are from Menu, and they are GREAT. Easy to fill, easy to grind, and since the opening is at the top, they don’t leave little piles of spice on your countertops.