As Good as It Is Going to Get: A Completed Kitchen

I didn’t have high expectations of my soon-to-be kitchen when we came apartment hunting back in February.  We Americans are rather spoiled by our large open kitchens.  Unless you have been renting in Chicago where poorly designed and cheaply constructed kitchens leave much to be desired.   But I came prepared.   The kitchens in the new high rises of Barra were small but nice.   Others, were cramped and dark.   When we decided for sure we wanted to be in the city, I prepared myself for tiny and prayed that even the smallest American sized appliances we pre-ordered would fit.

When we found our apartment, we were incredibly lucky.  It isn’t small at all.  We have two bedrooms, S has an office that fits his over sized desk, we have a guest room for all of you (but mostly for in-laws that will stay months at a time), and a “servant’s quarters” with bunk beds that S refers to as the bunker that we will be prepared to rent out during the World Cup for ridiculous prices.   Even the kitchen seemed relatively large.

The problem really with the kitchen is that in an old building like this, it was designed either for a maid or by someone that never spent a day of their life cooking.  Right before we moved, I realized that the kitchen did not have a single drawer and there was nowhere in which one could be easily fashioned.   The cabinets are made out of a plastic laminate material that the movers already punctured and had to replace (not to mention they are just ugly).   Our appliances fit, but are crowded.  The sinks are shallow and you can expect to get showered each time you turn them on, not even a mixing bowl will fit into them (plural, because there are two detached, equally small impractical sinks).  But most frustrating is the utter lack of any counter space.  The portable dishwasher with a counter top and the last minute kitchen island purchase have been lifesavers.


Here’s looking in at the kitchen from the living room. We managed to leave just enough room for the service entry. My only counter space is the kitchen island.

Here’s the view from the service entry and our pyramid of appliances.

The cabinets were a disaster, but are now workable.  Here are before and after pictures.

Here are the ugliest cabinets. Ever.

Here are the before cabinets after the movers and S (for Stuffer) got to them.

So, while it isn’t my dream kitchen, it is growing on me and I am adapting.  Good thing Rio is too hot for bread making.   I wouldn’t have anywhere to roll out dough anyway.


5 thoughts on “As Good as It Is Going to Get: A Completed Kitchen

  1. Just wanted to leave you a message so that you know I’m reading! I like checking in and seeing how things are going. Right now I’m reading as I try to calm my nerves before I go in to give notice here at work! Nat – I have tons of cabinet space, and none of my cabinets look nice and organized like yours. Will I ever be able to make myself be organized???

  2. It looks so organized! As nice as your last kitchen? SK doesn’t need a nice kitchen to be famous, you don’t either.

  3. It’s all about the counter space. Thank goodness for Target and their cheap solutions! Even with my little move a couple miles away, I felt like I wasn’t really home, and couldn’t really relax, until I got the kitchen sorted.

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