Saturday, March 6, 2010

Mosey up to the (breakfast) bar

I love baking. I have both a sweet tooth and a desire to be a younger, hipper Martha Stewart, so I'm always churning out cupcakes, cakes, cookies -- if I like to eat it, I'm going to learn to make it so that I can eat it some more.

My old kitchen

But when I lived in my studio, my constant baking made my apartment almost unbearable, especially in the summer. My unit got HOT, and combine that with a hot oven that was only 15 feet from my bed, it became a sauna. I think I sweated off all the weight I was gaining by eating what I'd made.

The other problem I was constantly running into was the lack of countertop. Where could my lemon cupcakes cool as I worked on another batch?

Apartment Therapy, which is celebrating "Kitchen and Bath Month," has two great articles on an idea I wish I could have implemented. Installing a breakfast bar is a great way to create more counter space without taking up precious floorspace. I suggest looking into simple but sturdy shelving that you can install without putting huge holes in the wall as opposed to the traditional breakfast bars/extented countertops you see here, but take a look and get some inspiration!

A kitchen makeover from Country Living, as featured on The Kitchn, with a cute cross-window breakfast bar countertop

A Cool and Elegant Renovation for a Little Kitchen (The Kitchn, AT's sister site)

Wall-Mounted Breakfast Bars (AT Chicago)

I've got another tip for ya if you're not up to installing something just yet. I have this "over the sink" cutting board from Crate & Barrel (below) and I use it all the time. You lay it over the sink, creating an instant workspace. I actually have a slightly different model with a metal colander cup-thingie, and to be honest I rarely use that part. Still, such a large cutting board is essential in a small kitchen, and I highly recommend it.

Available at Crate & Barrel

Via Apartment Therapy, The Kitchn, and Crate & Barrel.


  1. I also have this cutting board. It is fantastic.

  2. I lived in a teeeeeeny apartment with no kitchen sink (but a double pan stainless in the adjacent bathroom...yeah...) and I would use a large cutting board from IKEA that had a lip on the front edge to cover the full size stove, when it was not in use, providing me extra counter space and a prep area to use before cooking. Strangely enough I really miss that apartment and all the creative usage of space I was required to think up.

  3. I looove my cutting board. I'd be concerned about using a cutting board on top of a stove, though, because I can be REALLY absent-minded and I just know I'd put the board on top of a hot stove... :-P

  4. Found you through D*S! Finally, someone doing what D*S does for TAAs!

    Holy moley, my apt is so small... HOW SMALL IS IT? It's so small, I have to step outside to change my mind. barum-bump

    Thank you for the hilarious but so useful and ingenious posts!

  5. Ha ha! I like Mike Birbiglia's stand-up, and he's got a bit about his tiny New York apartment. One day, he saw a mouse in his apartment. Mike leans over and says, "Hey!... Where are you going to sleep?"

  6. i have this cutting board with the plastic colander and it's the best thing I purchased for my small nyc kitchen I have only one small counter so this was a life saver. I use the colander mostly to keep whatever I am cutting up. Measure your sink before hand though - it almost was too small!

  7. Simone, your old kitchen is really cute!
    OK, I've been wanting a cutting board that fits over my sink, because A) I have a TAA, B) there is a space saving little cutting board that's in the lower know that pull out cutting board thing {or is it for extra space?}..I've never used it, it kinda creeps me out. But, I just walked over and pulled it completely out and it fits across my sink! I can put my cutting board on it! All this time, 2 apartments later, who knew?


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